Mechanical load differences between practice and match play in badminton

Keywords: visual search behaviour, elite, coaching, representative learning design


Badminton is a demanding high-intensity intermittent sport, which has a high injury rate compared to other racket sports. The racket leg and lower back are particularly susceptible to injury due to the high mechanical loads experienced from repetitive jumping actions. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the mechanical load differences on landing between predictable practice activities and competitive match play. Nineteen national and international standard badminton players participated in this study. Participants randomly undertook a match play and multifeed trial with Vicon Blue Trident IMU sensors collecting mechanical load data from the shank of the racket leg and the lower back. All trials were digitally recorded and movements to the four corners (forecourt forehand, forecourt backhand, rear court forehand and rear court around the head) were tagged using Dartfish version 10 video analysis software. Results showed the peak mechanical load in the shank of the racket leg and lower back for forecourt and rear court movements to be significantly higher in match play trials compared to multifeed. Match play trials also presented with a greater variation in peak mechanical load. Findings suggest the mechanical load experienced in competitive match play is not simulated by predictable practice activity. Due to the high prevalence of lower back and lower extremity injuries in badminton, findings support the need for badminton practice to contain unpredictable feeding activities to prepare the body for the high mechanical loads of match play. Unpredictable feeding strategies are suggested for coaches.

Author Biographies

David Jessop, University of Winchester

Department of Sport, Exercise and Health, University of Winchester, Winchester.

Phill Grimes, University of Winchester

Department of Sport, Exercise and Health, University of Winchester, Winchester.

Oliver Baczala, University of Winchester

Department of Sport, Exercise and Health, University of Winchester, Winchester.


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How to Cite
Smith, S., Jessop, D., Grimes, P., & Baczala, O. (2024). Mechanical load differences between practice and match play in badminton. International Journal of Racket Sports Science, 5(2). Retrieved from