Badminton players need to be more fit than tennis players in that the time the ball remain in play, average length of rallies and distance traveled by players during the game are all significantly higher in badminton. In other words, the endurance level of badminton players should be very high.
Also it is worthwhile remembering that badminton is significantly faster than tennis, so the player needs to be in peak fitness to run, stretch, dive, bend, jump and reach the birdie with lightning quick reflexes and body balance. Speed is the key to winning.
For badminton fitness to be effective, the methods adopted to improve fitness should be specific to badminton. For example, there is no need to strengthen jaw muscles for badminton, as it serves no useful purpose in developing the playing skills of any badminton player.
Specific badminton fitness involves strengthening of the wrist, elbows, shoulders, neck, chest, abdomen, back, thighs, knees and ankles. Because these are the body areas that are actively involved in playing badminton. Consequently, strengthening these areas by specific exercises improves the fitness and strength of the player, enabling him to endure better during play.
The second important factor in achieving badminton fitness is that it should be progressive in nature. That is, the fitness of the player should be gradually improved by gradual upgrading of the exercise employed.
For example, let us consider that a badminton player's on court endurance is going to be improved by exercise. For the first few days, the player should be instructed to jog in casual speed for up to 10 minutes. Once he is able to do that without any difficulty, he must be allowed to do it in peak jogging speed.
After attaining the second level also, the duration should be gradually increased, say 15, 20, 25 minutes. By doing so, his fitness is gradually upgraded without subjecting him to risk of training injuries and undue fatigue.
Even with the above methods of specific and progressive badminton fitness training, any player is going to feel stale on repeatedly doing the above. He consequently looses interest, which may affect his performance at the subconscious level.
To overcome this problem, variation in badminton fitness training is to be practiced. Variations should attempt to make the player staying focused and interested in training sessions and at the same time help to improve his fitness day after day.
For instance, the player can be instructed to do jogging, skipping, hopping or swimming in different days to keep his interest in training alive. If he starts enjoying his training sessions, naturally it will translate into better on court performance.