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Thread: Smashing Power

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    Default Smashing Power

    I was just wondering for all you big smashers out there. Whenever I try for a full power smash, I tend to like flex my biceps? I don't really know how to describe it, but I squeeze something. However, I've been reading that having tensed muscles is not good for being able to accelerate the racket.

    To clarify, its not the forearm that I'm squeezing, but the area around the bicep right before I swing, and i feel like it is actually giving me more power.

    Am I doing it wrong? Would it be a bad thing to do?
    Just wanting to ask the badminton masters h ere.

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    You're right in that your arm needs to be relaxed in preparation for the stroke. It is important that you open up your chest area and have your elbow up (approximately horizontal to the floor), but by raising your arm in this way, your bicep and shoulder muscles will tense a little naturally - which is fine. It shouldn't very tense though.

    As we all have different physiques, some people may have bigger biceps than others and so may appear to tense more when actually your arm is relatively relaxed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by R20190 View Post
    You're right in that your arm needs to be relaxed in preparation for the stroke. It is important that you open up your chest area and have your elbow up (approximately horizontal to the floor), but by raising your arm in this way, your bicep and shoulder muscles will tense a little naturally - which is fine. It shouldn't very tense though.

    As we all have different physiques, some people may have bigger biceps than others and so may appear to tense more when actually your arm is relatively relaxed.

    But I'm actually doing it on purpose. Should I just stop doing it from now on and swing naturally?

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    I would suggest so. Being more tense not only reduces your ability to smash harder but also increases the potential for injury. As you get older (I know first hand) you get more and more susceptible to injury, so having the correct technique from a younger age is vital.

    Without "seeing" what your technique, it is difficult to comment on what you can do to extract more power from your stroke but in terms of deliberately tensing your bicep, I can't see that helping much for smash power.

    Perhaps you could post a video of you playing the smash.

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    Regular Member M3Series's Avatar
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    On the side note, I'm learning the bodyweight transfer smashes at the moment. It really does help increasing the power of my smashes. Wishing one day I could jump while doing it.

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    Don't concentrate on maximizing POWER during the stroke, but concentrate on maximizing SWINGSPEED. I.e. try to move the rackethead as fast as possible...

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    Here's how I understand smashing power.

    In physics, the kinetic energy (K) stored by a moving object is governed by

    K = 1/2 x mass x velocity squared

    Notice K is proportional to the square of the velocity, so a slight increase
    in speed yields significantly more power/energy.

    To maximize the velocity, the range of the racket swing is a key factor.
    Look at LCW and LD, when they jump smash, the preparation for the swing is
    to have the elbow pointing up and hence racket head pointing down.
    By impact time, the racket head have swung 180 degrees, the maximum
    possible.

    The second important factor to maximize the swing speed is to use the
    whipping action, not brute force. Whipping action can only be achieved
    when the muscles of all your limbs are relaxed initially and stay mostly
    relax during the swing.

    Lastly, to maximize the energy transfer from the racket head to the shuttle,
    all joins have to be tightened up just before impact, all limbs are in
    synchrony in a fluid forward motion and the racket, forearm, upper arm are
    in a vertical straight line. I.e. fully extended. The physical explanation
    for fully extended arm is the racket head will move at the highest speed
    possible. Just after impact, all muscle should return to relaxed state and
    let the arm follow through naturally to avoid muscle strain.

    Here's the summary of the key physical components:

    power <- speed (whip) <- range

    There are some subtle techniques too. The axis of the upper body is inclined
    at some 20 to 30 degrees to the left. This opens up the space to allow the
    shoulder rotation in a more natural manner for the arm to swing forward.
    This is akin to baseball pitcher's body posture. Pronation also adds
    extra power to the smash.

    Jump smash gives you more smashing power by extending the range of the
    racket swing through two dimensions. The first one is through the body rotation
    clockwise 45 degrees assuming a right-handed player. Initially, the body
    is facing the side line and at impact, the body is facing the opponent.
    The second one is through the cocking of the body and then crunching forward.
    The legs are bended backward in the jump and kick forward to assist the
    body crunching forward.

    Unleashing the full potential of smashing power really is a coordination of
    all the muscle groups, so each contributes toward the combined power.

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    Regular Member jasontyh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by halfcent View Post
    Here's how I understand smashing power.

    In physics, the kinetic energy (K) stored by a moving object is governed by

    K = 1/2 x mass x velocity squared

    Notice K is proportional to the square of the velocity, so a slight increase
    in speed yields significantly more power/energy.
    .................................................. ..................
    very well said. if u can chip in some sketches.
    especially the whipping action

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    This is what I posted 1.5 yrs ago in analyzing a certain someone's smash action:

    http://www.badmintoncentral.com/foru...32#post1862632



    Finally got a chance to view the video (i was on iphone all day).
    thejym has nicely broken down the shoulder and forearm technique.

    I would also suggest that the feeder not feed the shots so far to the baseline (as seen in the video), so that this "fella" can concentrate on smashing first and not have to worry about footwork yet in getting to behind the bird. When the smash technique improves, then the feeds can go to baseline, but we all know that a smash from baseline is not gonna be a kill shot.

    I only have a few more things to add...

    1. Explosiveness and acceleration
    The swing has to explode and accelerate into the bird with maximum velocity at strike( and a bit after). It is not a constant velocity affair. This fella must feel the racket head moving faster and faster into the shot ending with a swish that is as high pitched as possible.


    2. Aggressive mindset
    In order to get more power, as some others have mentioned, this person needs to think and feel more aggressive. Imagine your opponent has just dissed your mom! That should get the adrenaline flowing in the blood. Say it with me: adrenaline is good... it gives more power.

    3. Eccentric contractions and proximal to distal transfer of power
    I learned this concept from kenzo, who hasn't posted in the last half a year, but I must credit him here. Essentially you need to prestretch ie. preload your muscles for max speed and power of contraction. Just like why we do the split step. And also just like the split step, in order for it to be effective, this has to be done at the right moment: not too soon and not too late, otherwise the stored energy is wasted.

    In the winding up side-on preparation, the muscles in the torso, shoulder, upper arm, forearm, (and those involved in controlling the wrist and fingers), all undergo preload and energy release in sequence.Actually, it starts in the quads first, then the pelvis/hip > torso > shoulder > upper arm > forearm > wrist > fingers. And you should be able to feel the power transfer from one joint to another in sequence from proximally to distally all the way to the racket head. In essence, your pelvis all the way to your fingers and racket should feel like a "whip".


    4. Weight transfer
    For that last little bit of power, this person needs to "lean into" the shot with his body weight at strike. He can't be falling backwards away from the bird if he wants power. It just means that he has to have faster footwork to get behind the shuttle earlier.



    For a video, please refer to this youtube video "Fu Haifeng teaches how to smash". The super slow mo part is in the middle of the video. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eH6qFJoySf8 (The only part missing is no one has dissed his mom yet! )
    Last edited by visor; 09-25-2013 at 11:07 PM.

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