Badminton, squash, padel… what about a change of racket?

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You play tennis and you’d like to continue to get better? Well, maybe it’s time to improve your game by trying 3 other racket sports: badminton, squash and padel. You’re bound to enjoy these complementary sports and they’ll help you with your tennis to boot. So what are you waiting for, try a change of racket!

 

Take the shuttle to success!

 

Jumps, rushes to the net, smashes, drop shots, lobs… badminton and tennis are close, even in the words they use. However, badminton is played on a shorter, narrower court with a higher net. So movement and tactics are different… and yet complementary. Explanations:

An explosive sport! Badminton is an unrelenting combination of jumps, readjustments and lunges forwards or to either side. The body must be constantly ready to react to the trajectory of the shuttlecock. The buttocks, abdominals and back muscles are subjected to an intense workout over very short periods of time. When transferred to tennis, this work on your explosiveness will lead to a more dynamic game and the ability of your body to react better to the shot played by your opponent.

Coordination and flexibility! A fast sport where shuttlecock trajectory requires footwork to adjust permanently, badminton calls for extremely quick reactions in terms of both movements and court coverage in order to play the right shot. Badminton therefore develops coordination and also your physical flexibility. Applied to tennis, these two criteria enable you to adjust much more precisely and increase the tempo of your shots thanks to added flexibility in the upper body.

Float like a feather! In 1 hour of badminton, you’re likely to cover around 5 to 6km. Movement around the court is light-footed and almost aerial. This is a considerable benefit for tennis, particularly when going up on your toes just before you strike the ball. Key to excellent placement.

Do you know where badminton comes from? Badminton originates from India where it was known as “Poona”, a game played with a lightweight ball and a racket. In 1873, the English officialised the game in the town that bore the future sport’s name (Badminton!) but as they had no balls, they stuck feathers into a champagne cork and the shuttlecock was born.

 

Body build your heart thanks to squash!

3 walls, 1 glass back wall: these are the limits of a squash court. 62 m² to run, flex, think and hit the little black ball. Considered to be one of the highest calorie-burning sports of all, squash is a highly efficient cardiovascular workout, and a perfect foil for tennis.

Developing endurance and explosiveness! Position, place and reposition… These 3 words are essential in all racket sports but become even more important when it comes to squash. The heart’s aerobic capacity is pushed to the limits (endurance), as well as its anaerobic capacity (explosiveness) in order to stand up to the intensity of rallies. This is particularly beneficial for tennis. Your recovery between points will be faster and more efficient. Remaining clear-headed and physically fresh for the following point is made easier by this ability to recover.

Enhancing sharpness of vision! Squash is fast and furious. The ball travels at speeds ranging from 10 to 200kmh on average (280kmh for the most powerful shots) and has a diameter of only 40mm. Your eyes are really put through their paces. They adapt and work incessantly within a 360° scope. This exercise has a considerable impact when playing tennis: tennis balls travel in straighter lines and at slower speeds so your eyes anticipate shots more efficiently, enabling you to get into position more easily.

Resistance to exertion! No rest for the wicked! Shot after shot, point after point, the unremitting exertion required by squash will enable you to work on your physical durability. More and more resilient, you’ll feel the difference on the tennis court with your capacity to string together point after point and game after game.

Did you know? 900 calories burned on average during 1 hour of squash making it one of the most energy-hungry and healthy sports that exists.

 

Winning is in the precision!

Originating from Mexico in 1974, padel was exported to Spain where it has become one of the country’s most popular sports with more than 8 million players. A padel court is enclosed, and measures 20m long by 10m wide. Points can be very long. Half way between badminton, squash and tennis, this Hispanic sport is becoming a complementary sport to tennis.

All about the team!  When played 2 against 2, padel is a team sport where coordination is essential. Transferring this same coordination to a tennis court, in doubles and singles, results in more precise shot placement.

Jumps, lunges, quick reactions, volleys, smashes, net play, defence! The game has everything you need to perfect your footwork including great intensity. This will definitely help you with your tennis.

Precision! Finishing a point in padel is trickier than in tennis. You have to be patient and play the right shot at the right time if you want to polish off your opponents. Precision is at a premium if you want to destabilise them. This patience and precision are perfect for tennis. Take the time to construct a point in order to finish it off more easily.

Did you know? The longest padel point ever recorded lasted 2 entire minutes (80 shot rally).

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