Last Updated on 16/01/2024 by Kriss
If you’ve been playing badminton for a while, chances are pretty high you’ve already had an injury or two. Coming back into training after an injury can be hard and frustrating. You want to get back to your old level and it seems like you are starting all over again.
Today, we will talk about how to get back to training after injury and show Do’s and Don’ts that you need to look out for.
Let’s dive right in!
Do’s for Training After Injury
When it comes to injuries, players usually have the urge to come back faster and stronger than ever. I’ve had this happen multiple times already. But more often than not, it is smarter to take things easy.
Let’s take a look at some things that you should do after an injury.
Get your doctor’s OK
Depending on the length and severity of the injury, it is recommended to seek advice from a medical expert before you hit the court again.
They can assess the extent of your injury and provide tailored advice for your recovery. This step ensures you’re not only ready to resume training but also doing so in a way that won’t hurt you further.
A study that researched the impact of supervised rehabilitation after an injury found, that supervision helps in a more speedy recovery to a normal level (source). But don’t be afraid if you do not have access to a professional that helps you during the process – the study also found that the control group without supervision got to the same level as the ones with supervision. It did take some more time for them, though.
Start with Low-Impact Exercises
Begin with exercises that put minimal stress on your injury. Activities like swimming, cycling, or using an elliptical machine can maintain your fitness levels without risking further injury. Listen to your body and start slow. That also means, that you probably shouldn’t do a full pre-injury training session right away even if you think you can do it. It might cause more damage and set you back.
Start slow, and see how you feel over the next few days. If everything is fine, you can increase the intensity.
Focus on Flexibility and Strengthening
Depending on the type of injury you will need targeted strengthening and stretching. Common badminton injuries like Ankle sprains or Rotator cuff injuries take time to heal and you will need to put in work to get back to the old mobility and strength levels. You can look at our stretching guide to increase your mobility again. If you’ve had a very specific injury, it might be a good idea to ask your doctor for specific strengthening exercises.
This approach not only aids in recovery but also prevents future injuries.
Gradually Increase Intensity
As your body starts to heal, slowly increase the intensity of your workouts. Ensure that this progression is gradual to avoid overexertion or even overtraining. Your motivation is high, and that’s always a good sign, but putting too much stress on too early is never a good idea.
A common rule of thumb is that it takes twice as much time to get back to your old level after an injury. So if you’ve been injured for a month – it will roughly take two months to get back to where you were pre-injury.
Listen to Your Body and Adjust Accordingly
A little bit of discomfort is OK, just like a normal training session. A lot is not. If you feel any sort of sharp pain it is a sign to stop. “Comfortable” pain can be part of the healing process. Athletes come back after all sorts of injuries and oftentimes, muscular imbalances cause some pain. This is normal – but you should still be careful.
If the pain is very bad, or if it lasts for an hour or more after you’ve completed your exercise, take that as a sign that you’ve gone too far.
Don’ts for Training After Injury
Now let’s take a look at what you should avoid doing after an injury. You might be familiar with some things from the previous section – but we will explain them a bit further here.
Don’t Rush into High-Intensity Training
You know the feeling. You’ve recovered from your injury and now you want to catch up on all the training sessions you’ve missed. You think you need to work HARD now. But as we’ve discussed in our Do’s section – the opposite is true.
Your eagerness can lead to re-injury or prolonged recovery. It’s important to build up your intensity gradually.
Multiple studies like this one have shown, that higher intensity correlates to a higher risk of injury and mental exhaustion. And that’s exactly what you want to avoid.
Don’t Neglect Proper Warm-Up and Cool-Down
Skipping warm-ups and cool-downs can increase the risk of re-injury. These routines help prepare your muscles and joints for exercise and aid in recovery. A lot of players get injured because they have skipped a proper warm-up and their muscles are not ready yet.
You should take care of a proper warm-up and cool-down – not only after an injury.
Don’t Overlook Mental Health
Recovery is not just physical; it’s also mental and emotional. Feeling frustrated or discouraged is common. But is important to stay motivated, avoid stress, and keep fighting.
A study from 2010 researched psychological factors among athletes after injury. They found that positive psychological responses, such as motivation, confidence, and low fear, are associated with a higher rate of returning to sport after an athletic injury (source).
So don’t be discouraged if things take some time and have some fun along the way.
Don’t Train Without a Plan
Continuing your old training plan, or not having a plan in the first place is a bad idea. Take a step make and create a new plan with your coach or training partners. As we’ve said already, complementary sports like cycling, swimming, and so on can play an important role as well. You should have at least a rough outline of what you need to work on to get back from the injury.
I’ve recently had a bad infection of the plantar fascia and I’m still only playing badminton once a week. I need to strengthen my foot and leg before I can fully commit everything on the court again. It takes time – but that’s part of the game.
If you need further inspiration we can take a look at Carolina Marín. She came back twice after knee surgery and did so with well-structured training and a lot of mental strength.
How To Come Back Stronger After Injury: Example Of Carolina Marín
In January 2019 Marín suffered a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). She had to undergo surgery and a lengthy recovery.
Maríns recovery included a lot of the things we’ve discussed in this post. Very low-impact exercises, complementary sports, and a gradual increase in intensity. In December 2019 – eleven months after her injury – she came back at the China Open to win the title (you can watch the game here).
Her case shows that it takes time and dedication to come back from an injury. She had all the support from professionals and it still took 11 months to be back at her old level. So take that as an inspiration if you are frustrated or demotivated.
We’ve shown you the essential do’s and don’ts of training after a badminton injury. From mental health all the way to gradually increasing training intensity, these tips aim to help you with your recovery.
We’ve also delved into the importance of listening to your body, avoiding high-intensity training too soon, and acknowledging that recovery takes time.
With all that being said – we hope you stay healthy and without injuries in the future.
The waiting period varies depending on the severity of the injury. You shouldn’t feel any sharp pain or discomfort before stepping onto the court again.
Yes, you can engage in low-impact, badminton-related exercises as part of your recovery, but only as advised by your healthcare provider or physiotherapist. Think of some technique-related work in a sitting position if your foot is injured or vice versa
Signs of overexertion include increased pain, swelling in the injured area, and prolonged fatigue. Listen to your body and give it the rest it needs.