European Journal of Applied Physiology

, Volume 118, Issue 11, pp 2339–2347 | Cite as

Heart rate and pulmonary oxygen uptake response in professional badminton players: comparison between on-court game simulation and laboratory exercise testing

  • Susanna Rampichini
  • Eloisa Limonta
  • Lorenzo Pugliese
  • Emiliano Cè
  • Angela V. Bisconti
  • Antonio Gianfelici
  • Antonio La Torre
  • Fabio EspositoEmail author
Original Article



Badminton is characterized by bouts of high intensity interspersed by short recovery periods. Aerobic assessment via indirect calorimetry is impractical on court because of the encumbrance of portable metabolic devices. When the relationship between heart rate (HR) and pulmonary oxygen uptake \(\left( {{{\dot {V}}_{{O_2}}}} \right)\) \(\left( {{\text{HR}}\;{\text{vs}}\;{{\dot {V}}_{{{\text{O}}_2}}}} \right)\) is linear, HR monitoring can provide an indirect estimation of metabolic demands on court. However, owing to the intermittent nature of badminton, the \({\text{HR}}\;{\text{vs}}\;{\dot {V}_{{{\text{O}}_2}}}\) relationship will differ from that obtained in the laboratory, making its use on court questionable. The aims of this study were to (i) assess cardiorespiratory and metabolic responses during on-court badminton rally simulations at different intensities and (ii) compare \({\text{HR}}\;{\text{vs}}\;{\dot {V}_{{{\text{O}}_2}}}\) relationships obtained from laboratory and on-court measurements.


The study sample was seven professional badminton players (age 16.9 ± 2.1 years; body mass 62.8 ± 9.2 kg; stature 1.71 ± 0.09 m). \({\dot {V}_{{{\text{O}}_2}}},\) HR, and other respiratory and metabolic parameters were assessed in the laboratory with an incremental intermittent Astrand-type test (IIAT) and on court during rally simulations at three different intensities.


Cardiorespiratory parameters measured during the rallies reached 95% of maximal IIAT values. The \({\text{HR}}\;{\text{vs}}\;{\dot {V}_{{{\text{O}}_2}}}\) slope and intercept differed in the on-court and the IIAT conditions (P = 0.012 and P = 0.008, respectively).


The difference in \({\text{HR}}\;{\text{vs}}\;{\dot {V}_{{{\text{O}}_2}}}\) regression lines between the IIAT and the on-court condition indicates that HR monitoring may not provide accurate data on the aerobic demands of specific on-court badminton tasks. HR monitoring should be preceded by an indirect calorimetry test on court to assess aerobic demands more precisely.


Racket sports Physiological profile Assessment Measurement Performance 



Heart rate


Maximum heart rate

HR vs \({\dot {V}_{{{\text{O}}_2}}}\)

Relationship between HR and oxygen uptake

\({\text{H}}{{\text{R}}_{\text{r}}}\;{\text{vs}}\;{\dot {V}_{{{\text{O}}_2}}}\)

HR vs \({\dot {V}_{{{\text{O}}_2}}}\) relationship between the reserve values of HR and \({\dot {V}_{{{\text{O}}_2}}}\)


Incremental intermittent Astrand-type test


Blood lactate concentration


End tidal \({P_{{{\text{O}}_{\text{2}}}}}\)


End tidal \({P_{{\text{C}}{{\text{O}}_{\text{2}}}}}\)


Rate of perceived exertion

\({\dot {V}_{\text{E}}}\)

Minute ventilation

\({\dot {V}_{{{\text{E}}_{{\text{max}}}}}}\)

Maximum minute ventilation

\({\dot {V}_{\text{E}}}/{\dot {V}_{{{\text{O}}_{\text{2}}}}}\)

Ventilatory equivalent of \({\dot {V}_{{{\text{O}}_2}}}\)

\({\dot {V}_{\text{E}}}/{\dot {V}_{{\text{C}}{{\text{O}}_2}}}\)

Ventilatory equivalent of \({\dot {V}_{{\text{C}}{{\text{O}}_2}}}\)


Minimum speed at maximal oxygen uptake

\({\dot {V}_{{\text{C}}{{\text{O}}_2}}}\)

Carbon dioxide production

\({\dot {V}_{{{\text{O}}_2}}}\)

Pulmonary oxygen uptake

\({\dot {V}_{{{\text{O}}_{{{\text{2}}_{{\text{max}}}}}}}}\)

Maximal oxygen uptake



The authors wish to thank Dr. Stefano Longo for his assistance in revising the draft version of this paper, and Dr. Valerio Bonavolontà, Andrea Di Castro, Andrea Riboli, and Luca Agnello for their support in data collection. Special thanks go to Arturo Ruiz and the study participants. The results of the current study do not constitute endorsement of the product by the authors or the journal.

Author contributions

LP, ALT and FE conceived and designed the research. SR, EL, AVB, AG and LP conducted the experiments. SR, EL and EC analyzed the data. SR and FE wrote the manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biomedical Sciences for HealthUniversità degli Studi di MilanoMilanItaly
  2. 2.Federazione Italiana BadmintonCONIRomeItaly
  3. 3.IRCCS Galeazzi Orthopedic InstituteMilanItaly

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