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  1. #1
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    Default Techniques for good footwork

    Hi! I've gone through many of the footwork threads. Alot of them stress drills and weight training but I wanted to start a thread that talks about the specific techniques of footwork. Maybe we can turn this thread into the most comprehensive thread on footwork technique in this forum to date. I guess I'll start it off then to get the ball rolling:

    1) In general, you can judge footwork in badminton based on the sound or "thumping" one makes as one moves across the court. Good footwork will mimimize the sound or "thumping" you make as you travel across the court. This is because the less sound and thumping you are making, the better you are absorbing the pressure of your weight and the more balanced you will be.

    Think of a beat-up car WITHOUT SHOCKS travelling offroad. How bumpy would it be? Now think of driving in your new luxury Rolls Royce with those brand new springy shocks and how smooth and calm the ride is.

    2) I once had a coach tell me to stay loose/relaxed and allow my body and legs to "sag" on my lunges. The idea here is to turn your entire body and legs into one big "spring" so that you are absorbing the weight & pressure on your lunges, leaving you with better balance on your lunge.

    Just don't come in stiff and hard like a rock statue on your lunge - because you'll STAY there like a statue!

    3) On the FINAL lunge forward to the net, the bottom of your racquet foot should come in HEEL first. That is, your racquet foot's heel is the first part that contacts the ground. Don't come in flat-footed ... don't come in toe first (unless you want to twist your ankle) ... come in HEEL first. The reason is, your heel aborbs the pressure and the weight of your body better and you will be more balanced on your lunge.

    4) Again, on the lunge forward to the net, make sure you extend or point your non-racquet arm behind you to help balance your body. There is always something you can do with your non-racquet arm to help balance yourself better. Just look at the pictures of the professionals lunging on the main page of www.badmintoncentral.com and what they are doing with their non-racquet arm ----- 'nuff said.

    5) Everytime your opponent contacts the shuttle, you should be doing a SLIGHT "bounce" or "hop". Moreover, you should be FINISHING up your bounce or hop as the opponent contacts the shuttle. Why do a slight bounce or a hop? The slight bounce or hop gets your leg muscles WARMED UP before you start moving.

    Have you ever had to push a car out of a ditch before? The hardest time pushing a car out of a ditch is when it's absolutely STATIONARY. However, if the car is already being rocked back and forth, it's much easier to push it out of the ditch. Similarly, in badminton, you don't want your leg muscles stationary before you are about to move!

    Watch any mens professional singles match on tape and look at how they do this slight bounce/hop before they move.

    6) Your heels should be slightly off the ground at the end of the bounce/hop from 5). If your heels are attached to the ground, it will take you longer to start moving. You are wasting energy and time by LIFTING your heel off the ground AND THEN moving. Save this time & energy by ensuring your heels are slightly off the ground before you move.

    7) To enhance "balanced" movement, the first step back towards the base should be faster. However, the final step towards your base should be slower. Players with poor footwork take their last step back towards the base faster - that is, they CHARGE back with their LAST step towards the BASE at FULL SPEED! At this point, an experienced opponent need only to return the shuttle from whence you orignally came from and you will be off balance and scrambling because you're CHARGING in the opposite direction and cannot reverse your momentum.

    I hope others can add to this list!

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    Just to touch up a bit there, if you land toe first then heel when lunging, you're going to crush your toes. But then again, landing heel first crushes your knees coz its sending shocks right at it *sigh* also, about that last point, when you're moving backwards after a netshot, keep your racket leg forward and both your feet shouldnt line up towards one corner of the net, coz if the opponent plays a crosscourt netshot, you'll find it difficult to move quickly. If you cleared to the back after a lunge, you can take back your racket leg and move quickly to the base though.

    Oh, this is what I learned yesterday. Assuming you're a right hander, when you're moving back to the rear backhand side to play an around the head shot, you should take back your right leg and position them behind the left leg and more to the left of the left leg so that your feet lines up to the backhand corner, do this in a hop like motion and as soon as you land, you jump back with a body rotation to play a smash or clear. If you cant make it to the base in those two jump, take one more hop after the first hop without changing the position of your legs and then do the jump. I hope that's clear to everyone. Hopefully you guys can visualize that

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    When planiting your leading foot with the lunge to the net, one should attempt to point the foot outwards. This increases stability and helps recovery of balance.

    Landing with the foot turning inwards will decrease stability and you may turn over your ankle. If you do this, you may end up with ankles like Xia Xuan Ze of China....bound up with ankle supports.

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    Originally posted by Cheung
    When planiting your leading foot with the lunge to the net, one should attempt to point the foot outwards. This increases stability and helps recovery of balance.

    Landing with the foot turning inwards will decrease stability and you may turn over your ankle. If you do this, you may end up with ankles like Xia Xuan Ze of China....bound up with ankle supports.
    That's wierd, few of the coaches told me that when lunging towards the net, you must point your foot towards the direction you are going. They said that if you don't, you might have some knee surgery or something.

    Can you care to explain Cheung cause I am reall confused now. I used to do what you are saying now, but since the coaches told me the opposite, I have changed and point my foot towards the direction I am going.

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    Originally posted by zero
    That's wierd, few of the coaches told me that when lunging towards the net, you must point your foot towards the direction you are going. They said that if you don't, you might have some knee surgery or something.

    Can you care to explain Cheung cause I am reall confused now. I used to do what you are saying now, but since the coaches told me the opposite, I have changed and point my foot towards the direction I am going.
    When lunging, pointing your leading foot towards the direction you are going is correct. Main reason for doing this, as Cheung pointed is to prevent injury - i.e. if you fall you could roll on your ankle and consequently injuring it. Pointing outwards is also acceptable. But never inwards

    Check the following link regarding the foot positioning http://www.badmintonphoto.com/catalo...roducts_id=880

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    And another with foot pointing slightly outwards:

    http://www.badmintonphoto.com/catalo...oducts_id=1489

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    Default Reply to Iwan

    >But then again, landing heel first crushes your knees coz its sending shocks right
    >at it

    Hi Iwan! I was explicity taught by a good coach to come in heel first when you lunge as it maximizes the absorption of the pressure on your racquet leg on the lunge. A picture says a thousand words so check out this picture from (www.badmintonphoto.com) of Bao Chulai lunging; notice how he is going to land heel first on his racquet leg:
    Attached Images Attached Images  

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    Agree.


    Landing toe/ball of foot first with your leading leg is definately a recipe for disaster. It is very unstable.

    Landing heel first allows shock absorbance using the knee. After planting the foot, your body doesn't stop immediately. There is a little more forward motion of the body which:
    1) gives more gradual deceleration (therefore less strain on the knee)
    2) allows the individual to regain the centre of gravity and thus easier for recovery
    3) because of point 1 & 2, less effort overall.

    (I used to do this and wondered then why I kept falling over and kept finding my recovery so difficult)

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    Originally posted by Cheung
    Agree.

    Landing toe/ball of foot first with your leading leg is definately a recipe for disaster. It is very unstable.
    When lounging, I land heel first since it's faster and more stable as you said. But for moving around the court, I find that land toe first is faster so I can immediate "bounce" off as soon as I land, skipping the amount of time lost while pivoting the foot from heel to toe. There isn't a thump sound and my feet hasn't hurt there before either. How can you be so sure that it's still better to land on the heel in this case as well?

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    We are refering only to the lunge here I don't think we extrapolated it to the other situations you describe.

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    Originally posted by Cheung
    We are refering only to the lunge here I don't think we extrapolated it to the other situations you describe.
    Ahh good good thx . That means my knees will be fine for many more years
    btw, should we land toe first or heal first when moving around?

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    Ok, I didnt say that you should land toe first. Infact I did say that landing toe first in a lunge would crush your toes. What I did say, is that landing heel first sends a lot of shock to the knee or puts a lot of strain on it. The main reason why people crush their knee is because they land heel first when they jump. I'd think that this would be the same with lunging.

    So what I'm saying is... our beloved sport does quite a lot of damage to our knees and that in old age, we would suffer rheumatism But what the hell, most of us can't live without badminton

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    Btw BRL, when you still need to move, you land toe first and don't put down your heel. When you're landing, for the after smash or after clears or after lunge, then you land with heel first.

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    Originally posted by bigredlemon
    btw, should we land toe first or heal first when moving around?
    Depends on the situation. Different situation have different requirements

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    Originally posted by Iwan
    Ok, I didnt say that you should land toe first. Infact I did say that landing toe first in a lunge would crush your toes. What I did say, is that landing heel first sends a lot of shock to the knee or puts a lot of strain on it. The main reason why people crush their knee is because they land heel first when they jump. I'd think that this would be the same with lunging.

    So what I'm saying is... our beloved sport does quite a lot of damage to our knees and that in old age, we would suffer rheumatism But what the hell, most of us can't live without badminton
    In line with what Cheung wrote earlier, when you land heel-first, you don't stop abruptly or slam down hard. You land heel-toe, and the landing force dissipates as it transfers along the length of your foot. The rest of the momentum force is handled by the calf muscle and the large muscles of the upper leg.

    There may be players who are so lightweight that they can do a full lunge and land toe-first. There would be some advantage in terms of recovery time for the next move. I think most of us, certainly I, would destroy the knee in short order if we did that. I don't intend to have to get an artificial knee in later years.

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    Default Leading foot

    The outward direction of the lunging foot. It will look even more obvious when the body moves further forward.
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