Shuttlecock Rock

Written by Andrea Daly Category: Health & Fitness Issue: January 2015
Group Free
Pin It

Make friends and burn calories with a classic racquet sport.

“People think of badminton as a backyard, picnic sport. They don’t realize how many calories you can burn in an hour or two,” says Phoenician Douglas Towne, who has played the sport for 20 years.

Photo by  by Mirelle Inglefield: Make friends and burn calories with a classic racquet sport.

According to, playing competitive badminton burns 408 calories per hour, and social play sheds an estimated 238 calories per hour. Longtime badminton enthusiasts like Towne say it keeps them fit, sans the joint-pounding stress of other racquet sports, like tennis and racquetball.

Part of the sport’s appeal is its accessibility: There are teams of children as young as five years old, and teams of seniors 80 years and older who play two times a week and travel for competitions. Hence, more folks than ever are bashing shuttlecocks, according to devotees. “Badminton is a big new fitness trend; badminton facilities [are] popping up all over,” Towne says.

Badminton Bits
Think badminton lacks speed? Think again. Skilled players can make shuttlecocks reach speeds of over 200 miles per hour – faster than tennis.

Badminton has been an Olympic sport since 1992. It was invented in the mid-1800s by British soldiers stationed in India, where it is known as poona.

Experts say the best shuttlecocks are affixed with goose feathers, specifically from the left wing, as feathers from the right wing allegedly cause shuttlecocks to wobble.

Check It Out!
For more information on weekly badminton classes and training sessions, visit Arizona Badminton Center, 2150 W. Broadway Rd., Mesa, 480-699-2760,