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Shoulder Strengthening - Play Racket Sports?

Shoulder Strengthening - Play Racket Sports?

I myself am a keen Badminton player as many of my patients will know.

A very common issue I see with badminton players and all racket players are shoulder injuries. The question we have to ask is why?

There could be many different reasons such as weak muscles, repetitive strain, poor technique, too high a tension string, too heavy a racket and so on and so forth.

The main problem that occurs is usually a problem with a certain muscle being too weak, usually the rotator cuff!

All these racket sports focus on the power going forwards. Some players I have seen have very strong forehands with just sheer power or great technique but yet they have done little or no strength training.

This creates a problem because as time goes on, they strengthen the muscles to create the force to hit a hard shot through playing but they don’t strengthen the muscles that slow this force down and this creates problems!

Every time we throw anything, a ball, hit a ball/shuttle with a racket, the force is going forwards so it’s the muscles in our rotator cuff that basically stops our arm from coming out of its socket.

This needs to be fixed with certain shoulder exercises with an elastic band or light hand weights.

Video 1
The external rotation is the important exercise in this video.

Video 2
The row and external rotation exercise is an excellent exercise to strengthen your shoulder.

These are just two videos I would recommend. There are many more on Youtube that could be useful. The important action is any movement that involves bringing the arms backwards and external rotation of the shoulder.

It is important that the weight used is not overly heavy. We are going for control and endurance with these exercises to make your shoulder stable so all movements should be controlled and slow.
It is also important that these exercises are pain free! If your shoulder is already injured and these exercises are sore, avoid them and rest the area til you are able to do them, making sure to keep the weight very light at the start.
(Image courtesy of imagerymajestic at

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