Aerobic and Anaerobic Endurance in Badminton

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Aerobic and Anaerobic Endurance in Badminton

Badminton requires a high level of energy to quickly move around the court, deliver effective shots and sustain a match. Knowing how this energy is generated is crucial.All other things being equal, the player with more stamina will most likely win a match in baminton. This is because while good stroke skills, effective shot placements and fast footwork are important characteristics in a good player, fitness is necessary in executing and sustaining these movements for the duration of a match. As a player’s energy is depleted, his or her ability to perform also goes down.

The Nature of Badminton:

Unlike marathon or jogging, moves in badminton vary from standing to slow and sudden actions. Predominantly, however, badminton involves a lot of sudden, short and explosive movements, such as doing a jump smash, pedaling back to return a clear shot to the back of the court, lunging forward to catch a drop shot to the net, jumping toward the net to deliver a net kill shot, engaging in a back and forth exchange of drive shots, etc. Badminton, therefore, is more of an anaerobic sport, which is characterized by short, sudden burst of high intensity actions, especially in men’s doubles. A good example of an anaerobic sport is a 100-meter sprint which, for top Olympic sprinters, lasts only under 10 seconds.

Other sports, such as marathon, are considered aerobic sports because they involve continuous movements at more or less the same pace and are appropriately called steady state activities. However, considering the duration of a badminton match, which could last from 30 minutes to an hour, it also has aerobic elements which means it would also require sustained endurance. So the more accurate description would be that badminton is both an aerobic and anaerobic sport, with emphasis on the anaerobic aspect.

The Three Energy Systems:

There are three energy systems responsible for supplying energy to the body that every serious badminton player should know. These are the (1) ATP-PC or phosphagen energy system, (2) glycolytic or lactic acid energy system and the (3) oxygen energy system. The oxygen energy system is activated during aerobic exercises, while the ATP-PC and glycolytic energy systems are used during anaerobic exercises.

Anaerobic Energy System:

The ATP-PC or phosphagen energy system and glycolytic or lactic acid energy system are grouped under the anaerobic energy system. Anaerobic simply means without oxygen, as opposed to aerobic, which means with oxygen. Therefore, the phosphagen and glycolytic systems do not rely on oxygen for the production of energy needed by the muscles. ATP is said to be the currency of energy because it is responsible in producing the energy needed to fuel muscle activity; without ATP the muscles cannot contract or produce movement.

ATP-PC Energy System:

The ATP-PC energy system relies on the ATP stored in the muscles, which is found in small quantities only at any given time. When food taken by the body is broken down through the digestive process, ATP is produced and stored in the muscle cells. This energy system, however, is limited in that it can only fuel muscle activity for a short duration, usually lasting between six to eight seconds. Some place the duration at 10 seconds. . Because of the speed with which it supplies energy to the muscles and and the short duration it lasts, it is the energy source in short burst, high intensity actions, such as in the execution of a smash shot, a quick lunge to catch a drop shot, or in most badminton rallies which usually lasts for only a few seconds.

Glycolytic System:

If an activity lasts for more than eight or 10 seconds, another energy system kicks in: the glycolytic or lactic acid energy system. The ATP-PC and glycolytic energy systems are most ideal sources of energy for anaerobic sports like badminton because they provide fast and short-term energy needs.

Oxygen Energy System:

An activity lasting for more than three minutes allows the body to meet the muscles’ energy needs through the supply of oxygen. The oxygen energy system is, therefore, responsible in providing energy to the muscles in aerobic sports or steady state activities, such as marathon or long distance cycling.


Badminton is a popular sport that is played by individuals, same-sex and mixed pairs. A fast-paced sport, the aim of the game is to hit the shuttlecock–a small, feathered ball–over a net so that it touches the ground on the opposing team’s side of the court. Fitness can play an important part in your enjoyment and success in badminton.


Badminton matches can be quite long, so aerobic fitness is an important part of the sport. To develop your aerobic fitness, jog, cycle, swim or row for 20 or more minutes at least three times a week. To ensure you get the most from your aerobic training, keep your heart rate between 60 percent and 90 percent of your maximum.


Because of the start-stop nature of badminton, you will benefit from performing interval training. Interval training consists of alternating between periods of high-intensity work and low-intensity recovery. For example, you might spring for 30 seconds and walk for 90 seconds. This type of training simulates the ebb and flow of a badminton match.


During a badminton match, you will be required to run, lunge, jump and sprint for the duration of the game. To achieve this you will need good muscular endurance, especially in your legs. To develop muscular endurance, perform high-rep sets of exercises such as lunges, squats and push-ups with short rests between sets. If your legs begin to tire at the end of a badminton match, you need more muscular endurance training.


Important fitness components in badminton because of the physically demanding nature of the game. It also shows that aerobic capacity and anaerobic capacity are the two most Badminton is both an aerobic and anaerobic sport, it is important to develop the aerobic and anaerobic energy system. The aerobic energy system (oxygen energy system) is fairly easy to develop by engaging in continuous steady state activities or those where the pace of movement is more or less the same, such as running on the treadmill at a constant pace, jogging, brisk walking or cycling. Rather than the intensity or speed, the emphasis on these activities is in increasing the distance gradually until endurance builds up.


Aerobic capacity is the amount of work a person can perform, normally determined by the rate at which oxygen is utilized during exercise. The ability to produce energy depends on the cardio respiratory system to supply oxygen and how well the muscular system is able to extract oxygen. Aerobic capacity or what is known as “MaxVO2” is usually measured directly using laboratory measurements and equipment including the metabolic cart/ gas analyzer and treadmill/ cycle ergo meter. However there are other ways to measure aerobic capacity indirectly in the field using tests such as Cooper’s test, 2.4 km run and 20 m shuttle run. In the physics of badminton, the 20m shuttle run test was found to be a more suitable test for badminton players since the game involves a lot of ‘stop and go’ action. Some of the main adaptations to aerobic training are:

– increased blood volume
– increased Vo2max
– Decreased heart rate
– Decreased blood pressure

The aerobic energy system (oxygen energy system) is fairly easy to develop by engaging in continuous steady state activities or those where the pace of movement is more or less the same, such as running on the treadmill at a constant pace, jogging, brisk walking or cycling. Rather than the intensity or speed, the emphasis on these activities is in increasing the distance gradually until endurance builds up. Aerobic exercises strengthen the heart and lungs and improve the body’s ability to use oxygen, which in turn increases the body’s endurance in sustained physical activities.


Anaerobic capacity is the amount of work performed using primarily anaerobic energy system. Anaerobic power is strongly related to explosive movements. It is the ability to perform brief maximal muscular activity and ability to supply energy without the presence of oxygen. In the physics of badminton, a variety of tests to measure anaerobic capacity in the upper body and lower body are performed. There are 300yd shuttle run and 5m multiple shuttle run test or Wingate test (Direct laboratory measurement). Some of the adaptations to anaerobic training are:

Cardio Respiratory
– Little or none
Gross Muscular
– Increased in muscle size (fast-twitch fibers)
– Increased in power output
– Increased stores of Adenosine Tri Phosphate (ATP), CP, glycogen – Increased lactate levels & fatigue tolerance
Others – Decreased body fat
– Improved performance – More positive mental state Developing anaerobic endurance is the more daunting task because it demands a higher intensity of exercise. The purpose of anaerobic exercises is to increase the body’s tolerance of lactic acid build-up. Although fitness experts recommend both continuous and interval training as a way of developing anaerobic endurance, badminton coaches recommend a badminton-specific interval training for endurance in badminton. Interval training is defined as bouts of exercise interspersed with short rest intervals. The exercises are performed in sets at high intensity for a certain period followed by rest periods.

Shadow Play:

The most recommended interval training for badminton is the shadow play, which is accomplished by moving around the court with a racket and simulatenously performing strokes at every corner. The movements are done by moving to the right, middle and left of the net, then to the right and left sides of the court, then to the right-middle-left sides at the back of the court, then back to the first steps, doing this drill repeatedly for as long as possible. In Advance Baminton Techniques, Butch Oreta recommends that this drill is done every other day. According to Oreta, the player must increase his or her time doing this drill for every suceeding session until the drill can be done in sets followed by brief rest periods (e.g., three sets of 3 minutes each, with rest of a few seconds after every set). The shadow play will prove most beneficial to the player because not only will it improve anaerobic endurance, it will also improve his or her footwork or even the racket stroke.

The player must, of course, be conscious of doing the correct footwork and racket strokes. For an example, see former men’s singles world champion Peter Rasmussen of Denmark perform the shadow drill on Badminton Site. Broadly speaking badminton training is similar to conditioning for the other racket sports such as tennis and squash.A simple movement analysis however, reveals a few key differences that will affect the competitive badminton players training regimen Many shots in badminton are played overhead more so than tennis or squash for example. Badminton players also rely much more on the wrist flexors for generating power compared to tennis players. While this may not lead to a vastly different training program, exercise selection and the percentage of time dedicated to some exercises over others will change.

The average rally length at an elite badminton level is 6-8 seconds and is interspersed with rest periods of about 15 seconds (1). Individual rallies would place a high demand on the anaerobic, alactic energy system with several back-to-back rallies relying on recovery of the creatine phosphate pool (2,3).As a badminton match lasts at least 45 minutes (1), short, intense periods of activity are underpinned by aerobic endurance. Clearly, speed and agility play a crucial role, and lateral movements are called upon to even greater extent than in tennis. Finally, strength and explosive power conditioning should form a fundamental part of a badminton training program necessary to maximize speed about the court and powerful overhead smashes.

The articles below, examine each of the components of fitness important in a badminton training plan, along with suggestions for exercise selection and training sessions. It is important because it have a ability to transport oxygen and energy around the body. Badminton is an excellent cardiovascular and aerobic activity. Players should display excellent cardiovascular fitness. They should be fit enough to maintain activity for 45 minutes. Anaerobic training is very important; players should train short bursts at a high intensity. Some exercises players should do to prepare for this game include but is not limited to: hopping, jumping , plyometric bounds and running with high knee action.



The purpose of aerobic training is to develop the ability to transport oxygen and food energyaround the body (i.e., cardiovascular fitness). Aerobic activity is quite simply any exercise thatraises the heart rate significantly for fairly prolonged periods of time. Badminton itself is anaerobic activity and using games as aerobic training is totally acceptable. However, aerobictraining should also be done away from the court. Any activity which uses large muscles (e.g.,legs, arms) will help aerobic fitness provided that total exercise duration is above about 20minutes. Suitable activities would include running, swimming cycling and many fitness classes. Aerobic (or endurance) fitness is essential for Badminton. Aerobic exercise involves the heart &lungs transporting oxygen and food energy to the working muscles.

These help to promoterecovery from exercise as well as restoring muscle energy supplies for the next bout of activity.A player with good aerobic fitness will be able to play very hard without getting as tired as a lessfit opponent. Once a player is tired then mistakes will become more frequent and, as a consequence, aerobic fitness is likely to be closely related to success in long games. Good aerobic fitness is also likely to mean a player can do more training over prolonged periods of time. In this way aerobic fitness, like strength, underlies all training activities. A common concern about endurance training is that it will cause a player to become slow.

This is because continuous endurance training is usually performed at fairly low intensity (i.e., a speed that can be continued for 30 minutes). A lot of continuous endurance training could certainly detract from speed and agility but appropriate endurance training (detailed later) should involved a range of activities and training intensities and should not result in decreased movement speed. The purpose of the many types of training used in badminton has already been discussed. This last section will give you specific details of how to convert this knowledge into real training like those which are performed by elite players.

Aerobic Training:

The key to successful endurance training is to use varied training in terms of the intensity and duration of sessions performed. The following is a list of four contrasting types of aerobic training sessions. Each of these are valuable in their own way and a well-rounded aerobic fitness will be developed by incorporating all of these types of sessions into a training programme.


– 35 minute continuous run / swim / cycle at a moderate intensity
Long interval
– 5 repetitions of 4 mins. hard running followed by 3 mins. of easy jogging written as ‘ 5 x (4 min hard : 3 minutes easy) ’
Medium interval
– 4 sets of (5 x (40sec hard : 120 sec walk)), 2 additional minutes rest after each set Short interval
– 5 sets (4 x (10 second sprint: 30 second walk) 2 minutes rest after each set

These suggestions above are only to be used as a guide and it is fine to use the same principles when planning a session with other activities such as swimming, cycling, rowing, etc. The principles of variation, specificity and progression should be considered when in corporating these types of training into a whole programme. The ‘duration’ type of session is to be used mostly away from competition time as it involves repetitive movements. However, duration training is very good as a foundation of the other, more intense sessions. In contrast, the short interval session should mostly be used near to competition time as it is aerobic but also involves fast, short movements.

Anaerobic endurance

During anaerobic (without oxygen) work, involving maximum effort, the body is working so hard that the demands for oxygen and fuel exceed the rate
of supply and the muscles have to rely on the stored reserves of fuel. The muscles, being starved of oxygen, take the body into a state known as oxygen debt and lactic starts to accumulate in the muscles. This point is known as the lactic threshold or anaerobic threshold or onset of blood lactate accumulation (OBLA). Activity will not be resumed until the lactic acid is removed and the oxygen debt repaid.

The body can resume limited activity after a small proportion of the oxygen debt has been repaid. Since lactic acid is produced, the correct term for this pathway is lactic anaerobic energy pathway. The alactic anaerobic pathway is when the body is working anaerobically but without the production of lactic acid. This pathway depends on the fuel stored in the muscle which lasts for approximately 4 seconds at maximum effort. Anaerobic endurance can be sub-divided as follows:

* Short anaerobic – less than 25 seconds (mainly alactic) * Medium anaerobic – 25 seconds to 60 seconds (mainly lactic) * Long anaerobic – 60 seconds to 120 seconds (lactic +aerobic)

Anaerobic endurance can be developed by using repetition methods of high intensity work with limited recovery.

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  • University/College: University of Arkansas System

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Date: 18 December 2016

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