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    Question Strength from where?

    I am a female high school player. I had a tournament today and was playing 2nd Singles. My coach says that my shots are soft. What does it meant by soft? Does it mean that my shots are slow and weak? What type of strength(from wrist? Arm? or what?) should I use more to make my shots stronger?
    There's a period when my services went straight towards the baseline. My coach wanted me to try to serve more of that kind of service. However, I couldn't get it right all the time. How should I hit the shuttle to make the shuttle fly straight through? How do I position myself and the shuttle?
    I wanted to learn slicing the shuttle too. Will thaty make my shots stronger? I would be glad to know!
    Last edited by kwun; 01-18-2005 at 07:53 AM. Reason: Wanted to learn more things

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    Cool Really!

    Soft balls, huh? I'll assume that your coach was not just making a crude comment. You are not playing tennis with under-inflated balls, are you? Sounds like you need to get more zip in your badminton strokes to hit the shuttle with more power.

    Be sure that you are not gripping the racket too tightly... this will tend to rob you of power rather than generating power. There are also 2 types of rotation that can add also power to your shots.

    One of these is body rotation. When you have time, you want to first rotate your lower body follwoed by a rotation of your upper body. To start the lower body rotation, it is often very helpful to plant our back foot so that you get some leverage to start the chain of power... leg drive, lower body rotation, then upper body rotation. After that, you transfer the power to your arm & racket.

    For some situations you might not have enuff time or may not be in the best body position to perform the sequence that I just mentioned. If that is so, see if you can, at least, start some upper body rotation before you swing your arm.

    The 2nd type of rotation to consider is forearm rotation (pronation & supination). Your wrist should be cocked for most (power) strokes in badminton. However, the use of forearm rotation is more important than wrist snap for generating powerful strokes. Ask your coach about this.

    The last thing that I'll mention is finger power to hit faster or more powerful shots. Try doing a forum Seach to find our more about this type of power.

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    renkijutsu, i recommend that you do one hundred whip-like motion lobs and smashes everyday without hitting the shuttle. Nothing beats extra training. Your body will naturally develop a more fluid stroke as you do this exercise day by day. Your overhead stroke will also begin to become faster as you perform the smash exercise with all you've got.

    Oh, make sure that your arm stretches out to form at least 135degrees at your elbow, but definetely not 180degrees cause that will lock up your elbow giving you no forearm pronation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Iwan
    renkijutsu, i recommend that you do one hundred whip-like motion lobs and smashes everyday without hitting the shuttle. Nothing beats extra training. Your body will naturally develop a more fluid stroke as you do this exercise day by day. Your overhead stroke will also begin to become faster as you perform the smash exercise with all you've got.

    Oh, make sure that your arm stretches out to form at least 135degrees at your elbow, but definetely not 180degrees cause that will lock up your elbow giving you no forearm pronation.
    My captain told me to do 135 times the lobbing action with a 2kg dumbell, to increase our power and reduces the time taken for us to pull the racket up again after lobing!
    My dropshots and smashes are not fast enough. I had not try out using finger power yet. However, my friend told me to slice the shuttle to make it faster. How to you slice? I cannot figure out how to slice!

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    Quote Originally Posted by renkijutsushi
    My captain told me to do 135 times the lobbing action with a 2kg dumbell, to increase our power and reduces the time taken for us to pull the racket up again after lobing!
    My dropshots and smashes are not fast enough. I had not try out using finger power yet. However, my friend told me to slice the shuttle to make it faster. How to you slice? I cannot figure out how to slice!
    To slice the shuttle, hit it with an angled racket face, rather than a "flat" (perpendicular) face. Slicing always decreases the speed of the shuttle!

    Your friend is confused about slicing

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gollum
    To slice the shuttle, hit it with an angled racket face, rather than a "flat" (perpendicular) face. Slicing always decreases the speed of the shuttle!

    Your friend is confused about slicing
    Is that so? She showed me her drop shot and said that it was slicing. It was really faster. Maybe she got that wrong....I just couldn't slice the shuttle, if I do, i could not control it.

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    Every now and then, we get a post from someone who has been told by a coach that he/she has this or that kind of problem, but doesn't give them an explanation or solution. I don't understand why a coach would point out a flaw and just leave it there.

    Based on what I've seen of players fairly new to the game, especially high school girls if they have no similiar athletic experience, it sounds like you may not have enough racquet speed when you contact the shuttle, or you may not be hitting forward into it enough.

    One exercise I've seen that looks like it works well is to take your racquet and find a basketball hoop that has a nylon net (not a chain-type!) Stand under the net and extend your arm upward as you would do on an overhead swing. You want your racquet to reach up about a couple of inches from the bottom of the net, so depending on your height, you may need to use a basket with an adjustable height. Make sure that in no way could you hit the rim with the racquet. Once you are at the right height relative to the net, stand off to the side of the rim, not in front of it. You're going to take an overhead swing and hit the net, but you don't want to hit the backboard or support on the follow-through. If you hit the net hard enough, it will wrap around the hoop, so if it doesn't come down on it's own, you'll have to pull it back down somehow. As you hit the net harder, it will whip around faster--that's what you want. You will have a way of seeing how hard your swing is.

    You probably don't want to use a top-line, expensive racquet for this. In fact, when you get better after several practice sessions with this, you may want to switch to a slightly heavier racquet than you normally use to help you build up strength.

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    Quote Originally Posted by renkijutsushi
    Is that so? She showed me her drop shot and said that it was slicing. It was really faster. Maybe she got that wrong....I just couldn't slice the shuttle, if I do, i could not control it.
    A shuttle that is sliced spins faster, and slows down faster. Because of this, it is possible for the shuttle to leave the stringbed with a higher speed, and still land short. Compared to a slow drop (with no slice), a sliced drop going the same length on the court will indeed be faster.

    But this is not the only way to do a fast drop. A 1/4 smash will produce a fast drop as well, but perhaps not quite the same deception, since it is fast all the way, whereas a sliced drop leaves the racket fast, but slows down very rapidly.

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    Do not do that 2kg dumbell swinging exercise!! Given that you're hitting softly, it means that your muscle isn't toned. You're more likely to get injured. Heck, infact its crazy that your captain is telling you to do it 135 times. Follow what I've suggested to you, develop your stroke first. About the slicing, it only applies for dropshot. For lobs it travels faster if you "punch" it, but that's a higher level technique that someone has to show you.

    Once you've developed the proper stroke, you might want to try light weights training. Don't do heavy weights yet because you're probably still growing. Ask your coach what you can do if you want. Or try going to the gym and ask the gym coach if he knows some exercises that can help for badminton.

    Here are some for the arms:
    Bicep curl and "reverse bicep curl", Tricep Extension, Wrist curl and extension, shoulder press and bench press.

    For reverse bicep curl, its exactly the same as bicep curl except that you turn the weights one hundred and eighty degrees so that your palm is actually facing downwards as you lift the dumbell.

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    I am so happy that I had gained some power in my smashing! As the school that we are playing against is very strong, my captain changed the line up. I am playing doubles with my other friend who is also playing singles initially. Again, my service will have to change and my shots all became low and quite soft. I begin to worry for myself when I get to play singles again.......

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    Quote Originally Posted by Iwan
    Do not do that 2kg dumbell swinging exercise!! Given that you're hitting softly, it means that your muscle isn't toned. You're more likely to get injured. Heck, infact its crazy that your captain is telling you to do it 135 times. Follow what I've suggested to you, develop your stroke first. About the slicing, it only applies for dropshot. For lobs it travels faster if you "punch" it, but that's a higher level technique that someone has to show you.

    Once you've developed the proper stroke, you might want to try light weights training. Don't do heavy weights yet because you're probably still growing. Ask your coach what you can do if you want. Or try going to the gym and ask the gym coach if he knows some exercises that can help for badminton.

    Here are some for the arms:
    Bicep curl and "reverse bicep curl", Tricep Extension, Wrist curl and extension, shoulder press and bench press.
    Great advice for the most part. However, I don't really think that bicep strength is all that important for badminton (or other racket sports). You really only really need the bicep for picking shuttles up off the floor!!!

    Seriously tho', the bicep is a pulling or lifting muscle that might be useful if you have a very heavy racket bag. It is used for bending the arm, but the real explosive power in badminton occurs when we are extending the arm... triceps (back of the arm), forearm muscles, deltoids (shoulder muscles).

    It is possible that some bicep power is used in a high deep serve. But even then, the bicep only really seems to have much of a role during the follow-thru... after the shuttle has already left the racket. Perhaps it does help to accelerate the racket just before the the follow-thru (in order to suddenly bend the arm during the follow-thru phase).

    With all that said... some bicep work should still be performed. It is the complementary muscle group to the triceps (the pushing & extending muscles of the arm). Both sets of complementary muscles groups should be worked to avoid muscle imbalance (like abs & lower back muscles should both be done cuz they are complementary groups).

    I believe that a bit more tricep than bicep work should be performed. If one does too much bicep & not enuff tricep, the arm becomes too tight and the throwing motion (also the overhead motion) can be seriously comprimised. Keep it in balance, but with a bit emphasis on the tricep.

    Wrist curls & extensions are good for the forearm muscles. Some exercise for forearm rotation is also very important... while doing certain tricep or bicep exercises, a forearm rotation could be included.
    Last edited by SystemicAnomaly; 01-24-2005 at 07:04 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SystemicAnomaly
    Great advice for the most part. However, I don't really think that bicep strength is all that important for badminton (or other racket sports). You really only really need the bicep for picking shuttles up off the floor!!!
    She have problem serving right to the base line most of the time. If so, then she'd definetely have a problem making a good defensive lift from the forehand corner of the net. That is where the biceps come in
    Last edited by Iwan; 01-24-2005 at 08:22 AM.

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    Lifts from the net can be done using mostly the fingers, with a little forearm rotation and wrist movement. Using the biceps is poor technique.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gollum
    Lifts from the net can be done using mostly the fingers, with a little forearm rotation and wrist movement. Using the biceps is poor technique.

    Not neccesarily, they can be done that way, for deception and to hit quicker, but the normal way to hit lifts is by "drawing circles around your elbow" this involves exactly as it is put, drawing circles around elbow, on the backhand lift this uses triceps, and on the forehand uses biceps.

    After you have drawn the circle then your arm follows through to above your head.

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    Gollum, you are right, but in this situation it is better for her to train up her biceps and lift with bicep first. When she reaches a higher level, she will automatically use her wrist and fingers. You can't just teach her to use her wrist and fingers right now, I'd bet you that they're not strong enough yet to do a full base clear from the forehand corner. Which is why I advised her to train her wrist and biceps, eventually she'll be able to do the shot sooner by relying on her wrist strength and bicep than if she were to solely rely on her finger and wrist strength.

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    Training the wrist and biceps can only be a good thing. I just feel the greatest improvements could be made in the shortest space of time by focusing on technique, not strength.

    Basic shots like net lifts, or forehand overhead clears, do not require strong muscles to perform well. It's been said before on this forum: with good technique, a ten-year-old girl can clear baseline to baseline.

    For the best improvement, of course, fitness and strength training will be included. But technique is by far the most significant factor at beginner-intermediate level play.

    You're right, though, that she may not have strong enough forearms and fingers to avoid a big arm swing. But I bet she is strong enough to lift from the net, albeit with a bit of a swing.
    Last edited by Gollum; 01-25-2005 at 03:46 AM.

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    Default Drawing circles?

    Quote Originally Posted by jamesd20
    Not neccesarily, they can be done that way, for deception and to hit quicker, but the normal way to hit lifts is by "drawing circles around your elbow" this involves exactly as it is put, drawing circles around elbow, on the backhand lift this uses triceps, and on the forehand uses biceps.

    After you have drawn the circle then your arm follows through to above your head.
    I've heard this "drawing cirlces" thing once before. What on earth do you mean by this? I cannot visualize what it is that is drawing circles & in which direction these circles occur. Please enlighten.

    Still think that the role of the bicep is really secondary in badminton. Altho' there is actually some involement of the bicep (particularly in some underarm strokes), I don't believe that building up the biceps is of primary importance. More emphasis on triceps, shoulder, & forearm muscles. Wrist training is actually working the forearm muscles (don't think that the wrist has any muscles of its own). Some bicep training is good... overdoing the bicep curls (w/o training the triceps) can really be detrimental to overhead strokes.

    As Gollum mentions, technique is more important than brute strength.

    While some conventional weightlifting can be helpful, I feel that speed training or plyometrics should be included. Speed training develops (explosive) power rather than brute strength. Medicine ball work is one way to develop power rather than (bodybuilding) strength.
    Last edited by SystemicAnomaly; 01-25-2005 at 05:40 AM.

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