This thesis is concerned with quantifying the biomechanics and physiological
consequences of sport-specific movements in order to answer the question if atypical
movements in badminton result in abnormally large demands that could be linked to
the relatively high levels of injuries sustained.
An initial study of the movement repertoire used in competitive badminton
established that sidestepping (SS), crossover stepping (XS) and lunging movements
make an important contribution to the game. These movements are related, within the
context of the game, and were viewed as a unit. In order to assess the potential injury
risk posed by these atypical movements a series of experiments was performed to
record the biomechanical as well as physiological demands of SS, XS and lunging for
experienced, inexperienced, male and female badminton players. The first of these
studies concerned the kinematics and kinetics of preferred speed SS and XS. This was
followed up by an investigation of the electrical activity of 7 muscles of the leading
and trailing limb and a comparative assessment of their metabolic demands was
performed. The biomechanics of lunging were thereafter investigated, followed by a
final investigation of the kinematics of atypical movement use in the competitive
The results from these investigations indicate that lateral stepping tasks result
in biomechanical demands that are within the range expected for running. An
asymmetric contribution of the leading and trailing limb to the gait cycle was
identified as well as a shift toward the use of proximal joints for force production.
Furthermore, no significant difference in metabolic power between SS, XS and
running was identified. Differences in the demands of different lunging movements
were observed with implications for both injury prevention and performance
enhancement. Overall it was observed that the data recorded in these investigations
was in agreement with the competitive, real-life application.
Based on the findings in this research it can be concluded that lateral stepping
movements in badminton do not appear to expose the participant to abnormally large
biomechanical or physiological demands and other factors related to movement may
be involved in the relatively high levels of injury sustained.
A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.