Last Updated on 21/01/2024 by Kriss
Are you a badminton player looking to improve your game but find it challenging to improve without access to a court or a training partner? Don’t worry – today, we will show you how to make progress right in the comfort of your own home.
While it may seem unconventional, you can develop your strength, mobility, and racket skills at home with the right approach, taking your game to new heights.
Let’s dive right in!
Strength Training At Home
One of the easiest things you can do at home to improve your badminton game is strength training. You will have multiple benefits from building your strength on the court. A stronger core gives you faster twists and stability, and strong legs give you more speed and stamina. There is also no denying that a stronger shoulder and arm give you a stronger smash. But you shouldn’t rely on pure strength for that – instead, you might want to look into our 5 tips on how to improve your smash.
So let’s take a look at some simple strength exercises you can do at home.
Your core consists of a lot of muscles. Its main functions are upper body flexion and rotation (source). You need these movements all the time on the badminton court. You use rotation to reach smashes or while doing a scissor-kick. The core also keeps your body stable during deep lunges or side steps…you get the point.
There are a lot of exercises you can do to build your core muscles. We’ve selected two very effective ones:
Russian Twists: Russian Twists primarily engage your Rectus Abdominis (better known as your six-pack), but also your muscles to the side (internal and external obliques) and your hip flexors. This makes it perfect to build strength and stability in your core. Here is a simple video to follow for the Russian Twist:
Superman: After working on your six-pack, we will flip sides and focus on our back. The Superman works the entire backside of your body. It even improves your posture – which is also important in badminton. And it gets bonus points for a cool name. Here is a quick and simple breakdown of the superman:
Strengthen Your Legs
The legs are the largest muscle group in your body. When you are already a seasoned badminton player, it might be hard to tire your legs within the 15 repetitions range without weight – but it is possible.
We train legs to improve our footwork and speed on the court. With that comes more stamina and stability which ultimately leads to more points for you. Here are two simple and effective exercises to build up your leg strength:
Bulgarian Split Squat: You might be familiar with the regular squat. But in order to build up muscle, we need to get close to muscle failure within 12-15 reps for the best results (source). The Bulgarian Squat is great for that because we only work on one leg at a time and can easily add weight if needed. This variation of the squat is great for building strength for your lunges on the badminton court. Here is how to do the Bulgarian Split Squat:
Box Step-Up: This leg exercise comes from none other than the Danish champion Viktor Axelsen. With the Box Step-Up, you build some explosive strength and very good stability in your legs. You basically step up a box, chair, or any elevated object. You push your other leg up and pause for 2-3 seconds to work on your stability and balance. Watch Viktor do the Box Step-Up in this clip:
Improving Mobility and Flexibility
Mobility is essential not only in badminton but in your daily life as well. Whether comfortably sitting on the ground, or squatting with your heels down – basic mobility affects all of us. When it comes to badminton we can think of it as maintaining and improving mobility of important muscle groups and joints.
Good flexibility can make the difference between reaching the shuttle or not. We already have a very detailed guide on how to increase your mobility for badminton, but we will still give you two very important stretches you can do at home to improve your flexibility.
Hip Flexor and Glute Stretch
Hip flexibility is important for any kind of rotation. Whether it is a clear or a scissor kick – your hips are always part of the movement. This stretch is awesome because it stretches a lot of hip muscles. First, we stretch the glutes on our right leg, which is an important muscle group for lunges. We also stretch our deep six lateral rotators with that front leg. On the back leg, we stretch our most important hip flexor – the Iliopsoas.
Tips for this stretch: Start in a push-up position and then put your right foot forward outside of your right hand. After that, you can push your right foot a little bit more forward. Then drop your left knee to the ground. Find a hand position that works best for you.
Back Stretch And Shoulder Stretch
With all the overhead movements in badminton, our shoulders and back are under constant stress. To avoid shortening the muscle fibers, we should regularly stretch these muscles to release the tension and lengthen the fibers again.
Isolating the back can be hard without any tools. With this stretch, we target the shoulders as well as the upper back. Your lats (latissimus dorsi) also get a good stretch in this pose.
Tips for this stretch: This one can be very intense, but also very satisfying. Start by lying on your belly so that your head touches the wall. Then take your arms a little bit more than shoulder-width apart and go as high as comfortable. Drop your head and try to breathe.
Spread your fingers wide and don’t hold onto something. If your hands start to slip – simply readjust a little bit. As I’ve said, this stretch is very intense and you might not be able to hold it for a long time in the beginning.
Racket Practice At Home
It can be hard to improve your racket skills without being on the court, but there are ways you can improve your racket technique at home.
Wall Rallies are a common way to improve defense and reaction for badminton players. And the good thing is – there are a LOT of variations you can do. Change the distance between you and the wall and you have to vary power and reaction time. You can do multiple patterns like switching forehand and backhand, if you have enough space you can even do some overhead strokes.
Also don’t forget footwork while doing wall rallies. Keep your center of gravity low and do the split steps to simulate a real scenario on the court.
You can even make yourself little fluffy balls that bounce on the wall so that you do not disturb your neighbors when you hit the shuttle against the wall for an hour straight.
Generate Power With Minimal Movement
You usually don’t have a lot of space at home – but you don’t need much space to practice generating power with little movement. You need this technique when playing drives, net kills, and even on defense. The main focus should be on a loose grip and then snapping your fingers.
Listen to the “swoosh” sound of the racket and try to improve your racket speed with as little of a swing motion as possible.
We go more into detail about this technique in our finger power blog post over here.
Improve Your Short Serve
You don’t need much space to simulate a short serve – the two service lines on the court are just 3.96 meters (12 feet and 12 inches) apart. You can mark the lines in your own home and span a simple line at the correct net height (1.52 meters or 5 feet). You can then practice your short serve – one of the most important shots in badminton.
You need a lot of repetitions to build up your muscle memory for the short serve – but it is worth it.
Shadow badminton doesn’t really include swinging your racket, but it is an excellent way to simulate actual gameplay without a partner. The power of imagination is already a core element in other sports like Formula 1 or bobsledding.
A study titled “It’s All in the Mind: PETTLEP-Based Imagery and Sports Performance” had a group practicing penalty kicks and another group just imagining doing penalty kicks and the training effects were pretty close to each other (source).
You can use that information and simply imagine yourself in certain situations in badminton to have a training effect. Practice footwork, strokes, and shot placements by imagining the shots from your opponents and responding accordingly. Imagination is part of mental coaching, which is already part of the training of the pros – so why not add it to your training schedule as well?
Coaching And Recording Your Games
Recording yourself is easy – go through your recent recordings and learn from your mistakes. Compare your footage to the pro players and see where you can improve.
Another way to use your video recordings is virtual coaching. There are many offers online where you can send your videos to professional players or coaches. They will watch your videos and give you some insights about your game that you might not be able to see.
Last but not least, you can watch real games on YouTube of previous tournaments from the pros. Analyze shot selection, footwork, strategy, and technique. Each player is unique and you can take inspiration from your favourite players for your own game.
You don’t always need to be on the court to improve your badminton skills at home. Whether it is strength training, mobility exercises, or solo racket practices – each can level up your game.
Remember to be consistent, set realistic goals, and track your progress to stay motivated. Go grab your racket or weights and make progress today!
Happy playing 🙂
Yes, you can make significant progress at home by focusing on strength training, mobility, flexibility, and racket skills, even without a court.
Home-based racket drills include Wall Rallies, generating power with minimal movement, and improving your short serve. These drills are effective and require minimal space.
Core and leg strengthening exercises like Russian Twists, Superman, Bulgarian Split Squats, and Box Step-Ups are excellent for building muscle in key areas for badminton.