Hello everyone, I will start with a preface:
I have trained 6 years with a professional coach and I play badminton competitively for the past 5 years. I am ranked pretty high nationally as well.
My strengths are my consistency and my defense. I am pretty easily able to rally for more than 40 or 50 seconds during tournament games and can get the advantage in rallies, but starting this year, I am unable to finish even half court lifts or clears with my smash. My smash is pretty steep but there is not that much power behind it and it is noticeably slower than the rest of the kids my age.
I train 4 to 5 times a week for 2 - 3 hours. My coach says that my technique is correct, but I would like to increase the power and speed behind it. It doesn't have that sharp crisp look that other kids's smashes have. In addition, I would like to be able to jump smash higher.
How can I work on my jump for the jump smash and the power?
I have never worked out before or done weight training or heavy physical activity. Would pushups or pullups help?
Building your muscles is also a part of badminton. Not only to generate more power but also to be able to keep good balance. So yes, doing weight training will help.
As for the technique, what kind are you using? If you aren't using the underarm pronation technique already, you should give that a try. I found it to effectively increase the speed of my smash.
Also, our coach also emphasizes a second pre-load when smashing. The first pre-load works like usual, but right before you swing, you pull back/down your arm a little further (second pre-load) in order to generate more power.
Remember to also put your body weight into it when you are smashing.
I already follow both of the things you said, I do have the second pre-load where I pull back a little further right before the smash. My technique should be mostly right, I can upload a video of me smashing if you want to see it. I do get behind the bird before I smash and my weight transfer is okay. My coach says there's technically nothing wrong with my smash but as I'm getting older, my smash isn't keeping up with those in my same age. I know that a lot of my peers have started weight training and I would like to as well, I just don't know what exercises to do.
If you are anationally ranked junior then we will trust that you have access to excellentcoaches who can refine your technique.
As for strength training, this is definitely something you should work on. Forthis there is far more to it than doing a few push-ups. You really ought to seea trainer who can go over your goals, your current fitness, and make along-range plan.
But if you don't mind a little advice from a lowly recreational player, trythese few things at home and you will likely notice a difference in your smashstrength by New Years:
2) Triceps - Hold a fairly light weight (like 5lb) directly above your head.Support the elbow with your other hand and slowly flex and extend yourelbow. Do 3 sets of 10. It should be difficult by the very end. If it isn't youare using too light a weight or are going too fast. Be careful b/c you can messyour shoulder up if you are sloppy with this.
3) Anterior shoulder - Again, using a pretty light weight, lift straight infront of you to about 90 degrees and back down again, slowly. 3 sets of 10. Aswith the triceps exercise it should feel ridiculously simple at the start ofthe first set and pretty damn difficult by the end of the last set.
4) Shoulder blade - This oft-ignored part of arm exercises will help "openyour chest" when preparing for strokes and it will keep your shoulder swingstable. It is also a useful defence against chronic shoulder pains later on inyour career: The motions of the bigmuscles can cause problems if not effectively counter-balanced. Here is one example of an exercise for this: Withyour arms at your sides, pull your shoulder blades back as far as they'll go.With them tight like that, move your arms such that they are midway between yoursides and in front of you. Your arms shouldbe about forty five degrees in front of you with your hands low and your thumbsup (like you are hitch-hiking). Ever so slowly, raise your straight arms up afew degrees. Then stop and make sure you are still squeezing your shoulderblades together. Then lift a few more degrees. Keep going like that until youphysically can't keep your shoulder blades together anymore. Then come downjust as slowly. Do a few repetitions three or four times a day. Your posturewill thank you, and it will give your shoulder a more solid base on which tobase its smash.
(I tried to find a link, and even tried to draw a picture for this, but failed. i'll try to explain better if you wish)
These are only a fewvery basic things, but a good place to start (today) and see if you can't seethe difference within a week. Good luck!
1. I copied Fu Hai Feng's Smash technique. --> do it, the power will increase and your smashes will consume less energie of you own ( just concentrate for the short explosive impulse you need)
2. I changed from a extra stiff racket(Sw35) to a medium stiff racket (LN 50 II), now i can create a powerful smash from every position (jumping backwards, sidewards, in backward lean etc..) (if you what to use extra stiff rackets better copy the Korean smash style)
3. I increased string tension to nbg 95 28-30 lbs.
4. I did after every training session 5-10 min extra smash training, just tryed to hit as powerful as possible using the whole body till i was completely exhausted.
5. I did shadow smashes at home using "Schmidt Physio tabe 150" red/extra strong", fixed it at my bed (tied the ends together), if you over do it the bed will follow your smash :P
Now i can finish rally with smashed from the back line, and my opponents want to see my weapon license.
I still remember when i was with Nusa Mahsuri back in the 80's, I ask Datuk Misbun the same question about how to improve the quality of "power" in my smash. He told me that time to practice and practice....and practice a lot....and a lot of smashing drills.....thousands of them in a day that can end up as a double figure of thousand in a week. At my physical and playing level during those day...that was something that i can coupe even though i end up vomiting because of exhausted but it i can tell you, when i play and smash at those days, only the sound of thunder from the clouds could match the explosiveness of my smash at that time and i was very satisfied.
My point here is, having what have been importantly said here by all of our BC members, you can have all the strength to smash in your arm and.....at the same time able to perform a text book smashing technique and........manage to strengthening your arm muscle in the gym and....... diligently watching Fu HF doing a smash.....IMHO, its the basic thing in perfecting your smash that is...... practicing a lot of smashing drill that actually will make your smash perfect i.e powerful that what you must mentally focus to do.
You not need to do thousands of smashing drills in a day at your current age but focus practicing on the quality of "power" in your smash every time you smash will make you improve. Just be patient and train hard.
Having the power is one thing. Using the current smash intelligently is another.
I suggest having a look at the predictability of your smash as an interim measure. Are opponents able to read your smash direction?
I have a young opponent (16years old). To be honest, he trains more than me, is faster than me, taller than me and plays more competitions than me. We had a practice singles and I still managed to get 19 points. As the game progresses, I am able to read his decision making on his shots. For example, I know that a slightly short lift on his backhand side will result in a smash on my forehand. The more mental pressure I give him, the more he will stick to this favourite choice of shot. If he keeps calm and not necessarily smashing in this situation(e.g. Mix in the fast reverse drop, straight drop), it will be much more difficult for me.
Thanks for all the responses, I'll be sure to think about it.
No, I haven't asked my coach yet because I just realized this after losing in quarters at a recent tournament, and I haven't had a chance to see him as we took a break after the tournament from practice. I will talk to him today and see.
Have you seen lee jae boks videos on power smash, he tilts his racket 15 degrees towards panhandle to create a crisper and flatter face creating a little bit extra power. Also, i found practicing stick smashing helped a lot as it shows you how to create powerul and crisp smash with just your fingers and forearm with minimal physical exertion. Then when you do a power smash afterwards you will use more forearm pronation to give you that little bit extra.