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Badminton Drills at Home [Improve with Practical, Effective Exercises]

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Stuck at home? No courts available? Is it 2020 during the pandemic lockdown? Sometimes we just can’t be on-court for one reason or another. Luckily we’ve made this guide for Badminton drills at home. Drills and exercises that can be done with minimal space and equipment.

Here are Badminton drills you can do at home:

That’s quite a long list so we’ve split the different drills and exercises into two sections; footwork drills and racquet exercises.

Badminton at home can be done. Let’s get started.

Footwork drills

There’s a whole host of drills you can do for improving your Badminton footwork at home. Drills can be done in a minimal amount of space and with little-to-no equipment.

You can work on improving your timing, coordination, speed and agility from the comfort of your own home or out in the garden. Let’s look at some examples of footwork drills you can do at home.

Ladder drills

Ladder drills help build coordination and speed. The sequences of the exercise are great for building muscle memory. The better you get, the faster you can go. Here are some of the best ladder drills you can do at home:

  • In and Out
  • Carioca
  • Linear run
  • Side straddle hop
  • Sidestepping
  • Hops

All of these ladder drills are demonstrated in the video below.

Portable ladders, like this one on Amazon, can be taken anywhere and could even fit in your Badminton bag to keep out of the way.

Having said that, you don’t necessarily need a ladder, some of the drills you can do with a single line. Use a doorway as a centre of reference or get some chalk and draw a ladder on the ground outside on the pavement.

Fast feet exercises

Fast feet exercises provide similar benefits to ladder drills but they can be done with a lot less space. They also don’t really need any equipment, some require just two objects to mark positions and these could be anything like a couple of books or shuttle tubes.

Badminton Famly has a great video (shown below) with some simple fast feet exercises you can do.

A good workout could look something like this:

  1. 10 seconds doing left, right, left, right at full speed
  2. 20-30 seconds rest
  3. 10 seconds doing hip twists at full speed
  4. 20-30 seconds rest
  5. 10 seconds doing in, outs at full speed
  6. 20-30 seconds rest
  7. 10 seconds doing hip twists with feet at full speed
  8. 20-30 seconds rest
  9. 10 seconds doing right, left, right, left at full speed
  10. 20-30 seconds rest
  11. This is one set, do this 4-5 times

Depending on your fitness you can up or down the work and rest time but give yourself enough rest time.

Six shuttles shuttle run

The six shuttle routine is a pretty common drill you see lots of players use. It involves taking a shuttle from one of six corners on the court and moving it to the next corner. This can be done in near-limitless combinations.

If you don’t have a court size space to use the routine can be altered to fit even smaller spaces. Using just half a courts worth of space.

The six corners are:

  • The right-hand singles line in the front-court
  • The left singles line in the front-court
  • The right-hand singles line in the mid-court
  • The left singles line in the mid-court
  • The right-hand singles line in the rear-court
  • The left singles line in the rear-court

One simple routine is to set up one shuttle in each corner of the pretend court. Move to each corner and pick up the shuttle and place it in one of the other five corners. Do this for each corner until you’ve moved each shuttle once.

You can do this as a speed exercise where you try to do it as fast as possible or rhythmically to practice your footwork to each corner.

IMPORTANT! When doing this routine it’s very important to keep your form and posture when picking up and setting down each shuttle. Make sure to always lunge properly and keep your back straight. Don’t be tempted to bend over with your back, this is how back injuries happen.

BadmintonByLydia shows another simple shuttle shadow routine you can do at home, outside in the garden or in the driveway.

Six corners footwork shadowing

Much like the six shuttle routine, shadowing the six corners is simply setting out a patterned or random footwork shadowing. You basically just want to practice moving to each corner using different footwork patterns without a shuttle.

Shadowing helps build your muscle memory for footwork. This means when it comes to using it in a game your body can just react and you don’t have to think about it.

Practices can be as simple or complex as you want. You can practice the footwork to just one corner and the recovery step. You can practice your movement from one corner to another that you find difficult. It’s simple, deliberate practice.

KC Badminton shows off a lot of different footwork patterns in his video below.

Explosive split-step drill

The key to speed in Badminton is getting out of the blocks very quickly. The split step is so important we wrote a whole article on it, the Badminton split step guide.

The three things you’re looking to improve when practising are:

  • Timing
  • Reaction speed
  • Change of direction

One simple drill you can use to improve the timing of your split step is to pull up a match on YouTube (here’s a good one to follow along to) and watch the movements and split steps of one player on court.

You don’t need to copy their movements towards each shot you can simply shuffle on the spot. Watch the opposing player and try to time your split step so you’re in sync with the player you’re following. This will help you understand the timing for when to do the split step.

There are many ways to improve your reaction time. Learning skills like juggling, playing surprise catch with a friend or playing first-person shooter games. See our full guide on improving your reaction time for Badminton to understand and learn more.

As for improving your change of direction randomised footwork shadowing is best. Ask someone to help by randomly pointing out directions for the shadowing or use an app on your phone to randomise.

Shuttle Life has a good video showing more exercises you can use. Some can be used at home, some might need more space.

Racquet exercises

As well as sharpening up your footwork you should also focus on improving your racquet skills at home. These drills can be integrated into your existing daily routine which makes means you’ll see improvement build up over time.

Using these drills will help improve your coordination, power and coordination with your racquet. Let’s have a look at some.

The wall drill

A classic exercise you can do with just a racquet, shuttlecock and a wall. You can do this inside but I’d advise not blasting the shuttle too hard or you could end up with scuff marks or holes in your wall.

You can use the wall outside your house or apartment, any wall that has a decent amount of surface area without windows. The wall drill comes in many variations but can be as simple as just rallying against the wall.

The wall never loses, never fails to return the shuttle which makes it a perfect sparring partner. Choose a textured wall or a brick wall for returns that are unpredictable for a more challenging setup.

You can do everything from practising overheads, practising defensive drives, net shots, lifts, you name it.

KC Badminton has a good video below showing a defensive drill to improve your consistency when defending.

Changing grip

An often-overlooked skill, especially for beginners, is changing grip from forehand to backhand and vice versa. The simple skill of being able to change grip without thinking and quickly is especially useful in doubles.

When you’re defending in doubles you often have to switch grips to cover your backhand and forehand side. This has to be so quick and reflexive because the shuttlecock travels so fast, you don’t have time to think about changing grip you just have to react.

You can practice changing grip at home. You can do it by actively practising it or when watching TV. It’s often better to practice something actively to build up the muscle memory and then practice it passively so you can let your fingers do the work.

Check out the video below for a simple tutorial on changing grips.

Finger and forearm power

One of the reasons why people struggle with generating power with their backhand is that they lack explosive finger power. Some people call it grip or wrist strength but they’re essentially the same thing.

Having more power in your grip allows you to generate sharper, snappier movements with the racquet and stay in control while doing so. You can use a simple piece of equipment like a grip strengthener, found on Amazon, or you can shadow actual Badminton shots like in the video below.

The other part is improving your forearm rotational power. This involves using forearm strengthening exercises that involve pronation and supination of the forearm with some resistance.

One exercise everyone can do is to take your racquet, put its racquet cover on and alternate forehand to backhand windscreen wiping motions creating a figure of eight in the air. Paul Stewart from demonstrates this simple exercise and more in the video below.

Round the clock defensive shadow

This drill is to simply practice your defensive drive/block technique. It’s called round the clock because you practice by shadowing a defensive return at each of the 12 points on a clock face.

It’s just a simple muscle memory building drill. You can practice this whilst watching some TV and let your natural muscle memory practice returning at each point. BG Badminton shows exactly what to do in the video below.

You simultaneously practice the defensive shot itself but also using the right grip for each spot. As he demonstratest you can almost defend entirely using your backhand.

Just a simple drill to keep actively working on adjusting your grip.

Overhead stroke practice

You can practice your overhead stroke motion in a number of different ways. Some are:

  • Using the wall drill but with a much higher wall to get the overhead space
  • Using a solo trainer piece of equipment (much like a swingball)
  • Shadowing with no shuttle

The wall drill is good for practising almost any shot. With the wall drill, you can easily practice your clears if you have a wall tall enough. You could even practice drop shots by playing the drop shot against the wall then playing a lift off the wall to get it overhead again.

The solo trainer is an interesting piece of equipment and although I haven’t tried one myself. KC Badminton YouTube channel used one in his video below. It looks good enough to get basic practice in if you’re struggling to find a tall wall.

Last but not least simply practice by doing shadow work. You can even incorporate footwork drills like shuttle runs to make the build-up feel more like real practice. Shadow playing a clear, drop and smash but try to make them all look the same.

Badminton Famly has a great video showing the proper overhead technique you should be practising.

Shuttle juggling

This one is just for fun but has seriously good benefits. It’s not something you’ll end up using on the court but juggling one or multiple shuttles, in the air, with your racquet is great for improving coordination.

If you’ve got multiple shuttles then you can even use two racquets! It’s a simple drill that improves your coordination and timing.

Practice really hard and you could be as good as this guy in the video below.

Wrapping things up

Even just doing one of these drills as part of your workout routine while at home will make a big difference. Check out our overall guide for everything else related to Badminton at home.

So which Badminton drill/exercise are you going to use at home? Get it touch on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.

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Written by Liam Walsh who lives in Manchester, England. Working as a Software Engineer but moonlighting as a dad, Badminton player/coach and creator of BadmintonsBest.

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