Fitness Fact-Is Playing Badminton Better Than Going To The Gym?

Most people go to the gym to lift weights, as strength training catalyzes weight loss by building muscle mass. Badminton is a sport that offers intense cardio exercise and sheds unwanted body fat fast by engaging all your body’s segments. You may be wondering which is the better choice for a workout when deciding between playing badminton or lifting weights at the gym.

Playing badminton is better than going to the gym to enhance overall health. It is a fun sport that enhances cardiovascular endurance, agility, and muscle strength. Going to the gym can improve your physique and strength, but it doesn’t burn as many calories as a badminton game.

This article will compare badminton versus going to the gym and lifting weights and highlight the benefits derived from playing badminton. I will also discuss how both activities relate to weight loss, overall strength, and other physical advantages.

The Beginner Badminton Racquet I Recommend

The YONEX Nanoray Light 18i Graphite Badminton Racquet is a great pick for an absolute beginner because it comes tuned with just the right amount of string tension.

Very inexpensive!

Is Badminton Better for Weight Loss Than Going To The Gym?

Badminton offers an effective full-body workout that is very efficient at burning calories and assisting with weight loss. Playing badminton can burn as much as 480 calories in a one-hour session, meaning you can lose at least four kilograms (8.82 lbs) in one month.

Additionally, playing a game of badminton increases a person’s heart rate, which stimulates the body toward weight loss. Muscles continue to burn calories up to 75 hours after you complete an exercise and while the body is resting.

Going to the gym and weightlifting has the potential to burn calories, but it isn’t the most efficient option for losing weight. You must combine strength training with cardiorespiratory exercises and good eating habits for optimum results.

Building muscle mass through lifting weights supports weight loss, as muscles burn more calories per pound than fat. According to research, one pound of muscle burns between 10 to 30 calories in 24 hours, while one pound of fat burns between five to 10 calories in the same period.

Therefore, in my opinion, badminton is better for losing weight because a one-hour session burns significantly more calories than if you were to lift weights at the gym for the same duration.

However, add in some cardio at the gym like running on the treadmill or using a Pelaton Bike, and the numbers begin to even out between going to the gym and playing badminton.

But if you’re like me and love racquet and paddle sports, playing badminton is a ton more fun!

Related: Ever wonder why your racquet strings keep breaking? Read my guide on how often badminton strings break.

The Health Benefits of Playing Badminton

Badminton benefits players of all ages. In addition to being a fun recreational activity, the sport is a great form of exercise. It is also an easy sport to pick up, as the rules are simple and easy to remember.

Badminton is great for the following benefits:

  • Heart Health: A healthy heart helps maintain your bodily functions. A game of badminton reduces the level of bad cholesterol in the body, lowering your risk of a stroke or heart attack. The constant movements strengthen the muscles of the heart and improve blood flow.
  • Reduced Stress: Regularly playing a game helps you fight off stress. When you’re active, your body releases endorphins, making you happy and less stressed. Playing for as little as 15 minutes can reduce stress hormones and lead to a relaxed mind.
  • Prolonged Life: According to The Copenhagen City Heart Study, playing badminton can prolong life by as much as six years.
  • Increased Lung Capacity: Badminton players have larger lung capacity because adrenalin helps strengthen the respiratory system. As you play, your lungs have to respond quickly to catch a breath, which builds your lung muscles and enhances their capacity.
  • Increased Bone Density: Regularly playing badminton encourages cell growth when your body experiences an impact from your hands hitting the shuttlecock or when your legs jump to return a shot. Increased bone density reduces the chances of muscle or joint injury.
  • Improved Metabolism: When you sweat during a session, you improve your body’s cardiopulmonary functions by eliminating toxins and attaining a higher metabolism rate.

Badminton Vs. The Gym: Other Considerations

Muscle Hypertrophy 

Muscle hypertrophy refers to an increase in muscle mass and volume. While badminton helps build muscle mass with continuous movements around the court, weightlifting is the better option for increasing muscle hypertrophy.

Consistent strength training results in muscle growth because you challenge your body to do better. For best results, use moderate to heavy weights when you train.

Overall Strength

Weightlifting, resistance training, or strength training helps individuals gain strength. Having more strength helps us complete everyday tasks easier, such as:

  • Playing with children
  • Carrying groceries
  • Picking things up from the floor

Lifting weights will also enhance performance in other sports where power, speed, and strength are requirements. Also, endurance athletes might benefit from weightlifting as it preserves lean muscle mass.

Strength training is advantageous for badminton players because it helps them maintain their endurance and minimize the risk of injury. However, playing badminton can enhance muscle strength because the game encourages you to move around the court. During a game, you engage the following muscles and improve their function:

  • Hamstrings
  • Calves
  • Quads
  • Core muscles

In fact, it is this multifactorial muscle group impact that makes badminton so challenging. And if it’s hard, it’s usually a good workout! This is why badminton is considered one of the hardest racquet sports.

Agility and Mobility

Agility and mobility refer to how quickly your body can move and react to an external stimulus. Badminton outshines weightlifting in these aspects because of how much you’re moving around the court.

When you play badminton, you need to move quickly and have lightning-fast reflexes to hit the shuttlecock in time. Having to focus on the fast-moving shuttlecock trains your concentration and mental approach, as you must think about positioning and technique when returning a shot.

Conversely, weightlifting requires less agility, and you rarely move around the gym during a set. Lifting weights may help improve physical agility, but in some cases being too muscular can work against the individual. Too much muscle mass can result in having to slow your body down because you can’t move properly.

Fun Fact: Badminton players do funny things on your court. Here’s why badminton players always raise their hands during play.

Badminton vs The Gym – My Final Thoughts

Consistently playing badminton is better than going to the gym because it is an excellent full-body aerobic workout. This sport is for you if you want to lose weight efficiently and improve your overall health.

Playing badminton also has the following benefits:

  • Improving heart health and metabolism
  • Increasing lung capacity
  • Increasing bone density
  • Reducing stress

Weightlifting can be a suitable supplementary exercise for badminton players as the sport requires its players to have endurance and strength. However, going to the gym won’t train your agility and mobility as much as playing badminton does.



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