Basic Footwork In Badminton: A Complete Guide

If you want to return every shot that your opponent is playing to your court, then you need to improve your basic footwork in badminton. In this article, let’s take a look at the fundamentals of footwork in badminton.

If you’re wondering why you’re not able to reach the shuttle every time your opponent plays it to your half, even after making fast movements, it is because of the problems in your footwork.

It’s not easy to learn the right footwork on your own without any guidance. That’s why I created this article for you.

Footwork is one of the most important skills that you need to master in badminton. But most people do not give much focus to their footwork due to their lack of knowledge. Having the proper footwork is the reason why great badminton players make their game seem effortless.

As we know, a badminton shuttle can move pretty fast, and it is tough to catch up to that speed if you do not have the right technique. If you have the proper footwork, you’ll be able to cover a lot more areas in the court, and chances are you’ll be able to return most of the shots.

Now you know that footwork is essential. Let’s dive right in and learn the basic footwork in badminton.

Base Position

It is really important to know your base position and move according to that position. The base position can be different for singles and doubles.

All the newbies make a common mistake by staying at the same place where they hit the last shot. But that’s not a good way to play badminton. Once you hit a shot from a random place in the court, you need to come back to the base position as fast as possible.

So, let’s see what the base position is when you’re playing the badminton singles game.

The base position when you’re playing the singles game is the center of your court. You need to be at the center position to move to all the corners easily so that you can reach every single shuttle.

Here’s how the base position and the movements look like in badminton singles:

As you can see from the picture given above, your starting point for all the shots should be the center of the court, which is marked as a yellow rectangle. The pink lines show some of the different movements that you can make from the base position.

You’ll have the best chances of reaching all areas of the court if you move around from the base position (center) of the court. After you hit every shot, come back to the base position.

For example, suppose you’re standing at the base position. If the opponent hits the shuttle to the left corner in the backside, you need to take a couple of steps to the left-back corner, hit the shuttle, and take a few steps in the opposite direction to reach the center and be ready for the next shot.

If you do not come back to the center of the court after you hit the shuttle, then suppose if the opponent places the next shuttle on the right corner on the front side of the court. It will be very difficult for you to reach that shuttle from the left-back corner.

But if you’ve already come back to the base position as quickly as possible after you hit the shuttle from the left-back corner, you can easily move to the right-front area from the base position and hit the shuttle.

If you repeat this strategy every single time, you’ll cover a lot more areas of the court than you might think, and you’ll have the reach to every shot the opponent plays. By using this strategy, you’ll have enough time to react to the next return from the opponent.

Waiting Position

When you’re at the base position, try to keep the center of gravity of your body low. This can be done by slightly flexing your legs while you wait for the shot from the opponent.

When the opponent is about to hit the shuttle towards your court, you need to make a slight jump, which is called the split step. This will further reduce the center of gravity, and you’ll be able to react to the shot much faster. Do not jump up and waste your energy. The split step is more like jumping down.

When you complete this mini jump, your racket leg needs to be a bit more in front than the other leg. Also, don’t place your feet flat on the ground. You should raise your heels slightly so that the weight of your body is held by your toes.

This waiting position and split step will help you react to the opponent’s shot as quickly as possible, and you’ll be able to control the rally. It requires a lot of practice to make this muscle memory.

How To Move Around The Court

Now that you know the basics of the positions you need to take, let’s learn how to move efficiently to all areas of the court.

In badminton, we need to make changes to our position and move our bodies to different directions all the time. This is so different from the way we, humans, used to run or move around normally. You can’t be efficient while playing badminton if you’re running normally around the court. You need to learn how to make the right steps.

Basic Steps

Let’s see how to make the right steps to reach a shuttle and hit it.

Consider reaching the forehand frontcourt to hit the shuttle. If you want to move to the forehand frontcourt, let’s see how to do that in the best way.

  • Take a split step with your right leg just in front of your left leg
  • Take a step in the direction of the shuttle with your left leg
  • Lunge with your right leg and hit the shuttle
  • Push up your right leg and take one step back
  • Step back with your left leg to come back to the base position

This is how you can efficiently reach the forehand frontcourt and hit the shuttle. These are the steps for a right-handed badminton player. If you’re a left-hander, you need to reverse these steps.

You can use a similar technique to reach the other three corners of the court as well.

You’ll be able to understand the basic movement if you watch a video that shows everything. Check out the following video to understand how to move around the court using the right footwork.

Watch the video and try to imitate the steps by yourself. Go to a badminton court and try to do this footwork several times. You need to practice this a lot and make it second nature to you.

When you’re playing a match, you don’t have the time to focus on your footwork and think about it all the time. Your focus has to be on the shuttle and the movements of your opponents. So, try to practice this enough times to make it muscle memory so that you don’t need to think about it while playing.

The more you practice the footwork, the better your muscle memory will be. If you practice it enough times, you’ll automatically move around the court in the proper way.

Do not make too many steps. As seen in the video, you can reach all the corners with 2-3 steps from the base position. Stretch your legs to take wider steps so that you can cover more area. But do not overstretch and lose your balance.

When you’re in a stance expecting the return, place your racquet holding hand around the level of your eyes so that you can hit shuttle as quickly as possible. Keep your other hand wide open to maintain your body balance.

Having good footwork will help you save energy by reducing the number of steps you take and give you enough time to prepare for the next shot.

Final Thoughts

Learning the basic footwork is key in badminton. If you’ve read this far and learned the theoretical concepts of badminton footwork, now it’s time to practice what you’ve learned. If you practice it enough times and make it second nature to you, you’ll be miles ahead of your opponents who do not know the footwork.

I hope this article was helpful to you. If it was, do share it so that others can also find it. I would really appreciate it.

Enjoy the game!

Anushree Burad

Qualified as an MBA in Sports Management. A Sports fanatic and a passionate badminton player. My passion for sports drove me to foray into sports writing. This is my attempt at translating my thoughts into words. Looking forward to contributing to Sports through my writing.

Recent Posts