Viktor Axelsen bedazzles PWG Freestyle with his badminton matrix workout | Hitting the Wall

My name is Philip Warren
Gertsson, and I’m a professional
football freestyler. I’m here in beautiful
Odense, Denmark. I’m here to meet up
with Viktor Axelsen, professional badminton
player. He recently won
a bronze medal in Rio. The weather’s not perfect,
we know, but that does not stop
an Olympian from training. Viktor, right?
-Viktor, yeah. -What’s up?
-Hey, what’s up? -I’m Philip.
-Hi, Philip. My name is Viktor Axelsen. I’m 22 years old, a badminton player
from Denmark, and I recently won bronze at the Olympic Games
in Rio 2016. The weather isn’t ideal,
but still, I enjoy coming out here and doing some different kind
of training. -Should I join you?
-Join me. There are two sets of ropes. The first exercise, I’ll just
go both arms like this. When I reached 16 years old, I won the World Junior
Championships as the first
European player ever. When I turned 17, I moved
to the National Center in Copenhagen,
lived by myself, and trained alongside the
best players in the country. This exercise really helps with the endurance
of the upper body. Even though we don’t
want to be really, really strong
in the upper body, you still need to be able
to produce power even though you’re tired. My family is a huge part
of my career and life in general. My dad functions
as my manager as well. Keeping the balance between him being my manager
and dad is a really fine line, but I think that we are
mastering that really well. We do a lot of jumps,
so this kind of exercise is great for helping improve
your explosive abilities. PHILIP: Something that
struck me about Viktor is that he’s still willing to go out
and train. Even if it’s raining,
it’s bad conditions, he’s still wanting to develop
to become better at his sport. What is this?
This is creepy. VIKTOR: I usually come here
and train my movement. PHILIP: How do you use
this kind of training, like, on the court? {an8}The quick, explosive
movement from side to side. It will also help me
with some endurance if I do some intervals
and stuff like that. That was a pretty neat
kind of exercise to work on your mobility,
work from side to side. VIKTOR: Almost every
exercise I do, I focus on being low
because this is also the stance I will have
on the badminton court. -That was really exhausting.
-Yeah, it was a good workout. I think we’re ready to go
to the gym now. -Let’s do it!
-Let’s do it. VIKTOR: I thought
we could start out by doing some warm-up
for our core. I’ll just do a short series
of three to four exercises. I will go to the gym
to do one-and-a-half {an8}to two hours
of strength and conditioning. And you should feel this
in your lower abdominal. And then we just go down. I normally train alone, so
to have a partner like Philip was really great. Now we do a side stand,
like this. Right now, we’re just working
through our whole core. This is more from the side. It’s really important that you have a strong core and
you have a strong foundation for you to be able
to keep balance. It really helps a lot
because if you want to generate power on your
smashes. Opposite arm. Really think about keeping
a straight core so you don’t do, like, this, but your core’s
always straight. PHILIP: You want to have
the same stabilization. VIKTOR: Yeah, the same
stabilization. PHILIP: So you don’t get,
like, disbalanced. VIKTOR: Yeah. -Like that.
-Like that, yeah. VIKTOR: It’s good to have
someone to keep yourself on the toes. We have been talking a lot
about today the broad stance
and to be flexible, so we put a lot of work into flexibility training
as well. Just stand here, broad
stance, and then you just go. And this again helps to,
you know, just warm up your legs,
your hips, and it just opens up
so you won’t get any injuries when we get to the weights. First, we’re going to do,
like, a Romanian deadlift kind of exercise. We start in this position, go down a bit,
three seconds, drop it a bit more
for three seconds. And then the last
three seconds here. I want to tire my muscle, but still be able to move
explosively. One, two, three, explode up. When we move
around the badminton court, we use a lot of front legs, and the back as well,
so this one is a great one. PHILIP: Yeah, I can feel it
in the back and in the legs as well. VIKTOR: Yeah, a little bit
in the legs as well, perfect. After this exercise, we will go to the next one
without any break, a flexibility exercise for
the back of your shoulders. Try to reach out
as far as possible and you’ll really feel
the stretch in the back of your shoulders. You lift up, hold for two seconds,
go back. It’s not so much that you want
to put a lot of weight on and want to be really strong; it’s simply just to keep my
flexibility in my shoulders. Use your fingers to get
as far as you can. PHILIP: Being in the gym
really opened my eyes to what kind of exercises
you can do without having to put
so much weight on. This is way more exhausting
than I thought. VIKTOR: You really have
to use the small muscles on the back of your
shoulders. {an1}PHILIP: I think I felt a muscle that I didn’t even
know existed. VIKTOR: Let’s jump
to the next exercise. It’s, again, an exercise
for improving your stance. We go down, go out here, stay low, and we go back. PHILIP: This is really to
strengthen up the muscles that you need to be able
to do the side movement. VIKTOR: Yeah, and also
your core as well. Your upper body
shouldn’t move at all. It should be all the way
just stable movements. Like that. Good. So it’ll really force
you to, you know, use both your legs
in a really good way. (exhales) That was pretty rough,
actually. VIKTOR: Yeah. -Like, not only
for the core and here, but I could even feel it in,
uh… -Yeah, you can feel it
in your legs as well, and that’s one thing, like,
you not only use one muscle, but there’s a lot of things
you have to master, not only the balance but also
the strength in the shoulder and the right movement. So we arrived here
in Odense Badminton Hall. And Viktor is already
warming up. VIKTOR: Are you ready
for some badminton? -I don’t know, am I?
-I think so. We’ll make a good badminton
player out of you. I will show you what exercises
we’re going through. My sparring partner Stephen
will be in the back, you will be in the front, and I will move
on the defence. -Is there a special reason
why you use two against one and not two against two? -Yeah, first of all, the quality of the feeding
will be much better. The tempo of the rally
will be much higher. Let’s try. That’s great, that’s
basically how it works. It will be really tough
for your legs because you have to stand
low all the time and be ready for every shot. Great, let’s do it. -Ah! I’m really getting
the hang of this. -Your legs are sometimes
the most important thing because if you’re not
in the right place, you can’t play
the right shots. Nice. -Was that a point?
-That’s a point for you. You should join
the other side. PHILIP: Alone? Against two seasoned
badminton players? -Against two badminton
players. Are you ready? -Yeah, I think so. Nice! -I’m just, you know,
running around like a five-year-old
with a golf club. You’d think that it’s
a lot of shoulder movement, a lot of wrist movement. There’s one more
attacking exercise. It’s multi-feeding.
I will get more shuttles and I will stand here
with eight shuttles. When you’re around
the court, when you have to try
to be offence. Okay, that’s a lot
of shuttles. I know you are
a freestyle footballer, but I have some trick shots with the badminton racket
I want to show you. All right, let’s do it. This trick shot
will be really good when you’re playing
the flat game and you won’t have time to do
the reaction like this. I felt that a couple
of times, like, you can’t really… -Yeah.
-…when it gets to your body. You will just
let your body drop like this and then hit it like this
behind your back. Yeah. -Backhand. -Like this,
backhand like this. -Can’t even do
a proper backhand. -You really have to… -Yeah, okay, show me. He goes back just like
Keanu Reeves in Matrix, he turns around, whips it
with the back of his hand. -Now you try. I will stand beside you. -Oh!
-Hey! Nice! And he shows me, like,
this cool way to get the shuttlecock
off the ground. -Try to hit it
a bit more sideways. Just stand like this. It’s a good exercise, too, for
your control and your wrist. -I was thinking that
this might be the easiest thing
in the game of badminton. No. I can see that
I don’t have any wrist flexibility. -Nice! -Yeah, there you go. -Hopefully I can keep
improving. That’s the main goal
right now, you know, to keep
consistent training going. I was impressed
by your badminton skills. – Thank you.
– It was a great experience. Thanks a lot. Thanks for showing me. Hopefully in four years, I will have another shot
at taking the gold. (speaking Chinese) Which means,
“My name is Axelsen, I’m a Danish singles player, thanks a lot
for supporting me.”


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