How to have a relaxed grip....

Discussion in 'Techniques / Training' started by Cheung, May 11, 2002.

  1. Cheung

    Cheung Moderator

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    Came across this idea the other week.

    What is a tense grip? What is a tight grip?
    This is where the muscles that work opposite to each other are contracted. Therefore the joint still move but the opposing muscles are still working and wasting energy.

    What is a relaxed grip?
    It is a grip where on a swing, those muscles pulling the racquet in the intended direction are contracting but those muscles which have the opposite action are relaxed.

    The offshot is, the swing can be faster and use less energy.
     
  2. kwun

    kwun Administrator

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    Cheung, from the muslces point of view, is it possible to have a tight grip while having a loose and relaxed wrist? you told me that all the muscles are in the forearm, and all the muscles links to the hand. so if some of those muscles are tensed, will the wrist be tensed as a result?
     
  3. Cheung

    Cheung Moderator

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    To be honest, I think it depends on how one holds the racquet. There is some seperation of the function of muscles becasue there are two main nerves supplying the muscles of the hand. So if one of those nerves says "contract", the same message may not go to the other nerve from the brain. For a tight grip, the message is "contract" to both nerves.

    If you hold the grip tightly, I would believe the range of movement by the wrist will be compromised, because some of those muscles controlling the fingers are in the forearm.
     
  4. kwun

    kwun Administrator

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    yeah. that's what i meant. if one tightens the grip using finger muscles, that would restrict the wrist flexibility as well....
     
  5. Quentin11

    Quentin11 Regular Member

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    @Cheung @kwun

    I'm reviving this post after 15 years!!!

    So I was playing yesterday and I always thought that my wrist was relaxed. However, the coach reminded us that whichever shot we do, our form should remain the same. So from one single form, we should be able to drop, smash or clear.

    While trying to do that, I accidentally relaxed my fingers and I was extremely surprised to see how effortlessly I was firing up clears and smashes. But, I could manage only around 5 beautiful relaxed clears and 4 powerful steep smashes with little effort.

    What I thought is that, no matter how relaxed my wrist is with a tight/tense grip, it would not be anywhere near as relaxed as my wrist would be with relaxed grip. Am i correct to believe that?

    Second question, I know it takes practice but I could not manage to keep that relaxed mode for too long. What should I do? I want to acquire that ability! - But i'm so glad I tasted the technique, the quality was better and the sound it produced!!!

    I'm sure you can give me good tips after your 15 years of experience :D
     
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  6. Cheung

    Cheung Moderator

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    Absolutely correct :)

    I assume this is the overhead shot.

    You can practice at home with swings. Try to use a short swing by only practicing the bit where you nearly hit the shuttle. At that point, you should have relaxed fingers. Try to hit the imaginary shuttle with a quick tap of the racquet head. You can only do that effectively starting off with relaxed fingers which tighten and then immediately relax. Try to produce a movement of the racquet head mainly with your fingers and only a slight movement of your wrist.

    Like you have discovered, a relaxation in badminton means relaxed fingers, forearm and arm. People who continuously hold the racquet tightly with the fingers usually play with a lot of arm strength to generate speed. As a consequence, these people tend to look awkward in their stroke generation.
     
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  7. Quentin11

    Quentin11 Regular Member

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    Okay thanks a lot for your advice. I will work on this exercise at home.

    Yes I tend to use a lot of strength to clear and smash. That's why I end up getting tired quite fast. And I think as a consequence I was missing the timing and cutting the shot slightly hence not producing a pleasant loud sound.

    It seems that I am on the right path now. I can't wait to get better.

    Thank you
     
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  8. Cheung

    Cheung Moderator

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    Very common.

    Once, you feel more relaxed and in control of your fingers, add in upper arm and slight shoulder rotation and then slight body rotation. You are aiming to increase your body sensation doing the small movements. Not need to do big movements as it sounds like you already have that.

    Don't worry if the shuttle doesn't go very far all the time. In actual fact, if you get it right, the feather shuttle (if you play with a decent feather shuttle) will make a click sound when the strings make contact.

    Once you get the feel of the click sound, you can add more body strength adjusting accordingly.
     
  9. visor

    visor Regular Member

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    Think of your body and arm as the power travels down a whip. Needs to be supple then explosively hard.
     
  10. Gollum

    Gollum Regular Member

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    Goddammit, posted in the wrong thread, fool that I am. :oops:

    Would delete if I could. Sorry.
     
    #10 Gollum, Oct 24, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2017
  11. Caffrey

    Caffrey Regular Member

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    Most of this stuff in instinctual if you conceptualize the smash properly. Think about it like whipping a ball as far as you can (bowling in cricket is a good example). You wouldn't grip the ball tightly would you?

    Next time you go to smash, think of your swing like whipping a ball
     
  12. DarkHiatus

    DarkHiatus Regular Member

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    I find the use of cricket bowling as an example interesting. Most people who have not played cricket cannot bowl - very hard to keep a straight arm. The classic throwing technique is also not a natural movement, but a learned one.

    The classic dart throw is more natural (the "girly" throw) and is not particularly useful in badminton, but explains why panhandle is so common in beginners!

    Therefore...it really isn't "instinctual" :(

    Whipping a towel/throwing a ball movement are good comparisons, but again they are learned movements. If you want to teach someone who cant huck a cricket ball 50m+, you have to clarify the throwing technique too, and one of those is trying to stay relaxed!
     
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  13. Quentin11

    Quentin11 Regular Member

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    As I mentioned earlier, I was always imaging the throwing thing while playing. But I was still tight and did not realise it.

    The thing which helped me relax is when my coach reminded me that my form should stay the same whether it is smashing or dropping or clearing. And while having that in mind when playing a match, I suddenly changed my mind from a drop to a smash at the very last moment before my racket hit the shuttle. That was the first time I felt my fingers loose, the vibration of the racket, the loud sound I was always chasing and a powerful smash without much strength.

    But I couldn't do it while trying to keep up with a good footwork and the relaxed fingers. I end up messing both.

    That's why I want to return to the court quickly while I still remember the feeling :(
     
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  14. Caffrey

    Caffrey Regular Member

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    Many people train footwork and swing separately but they’re one and the same. The way you move your legs dictates how you swing.

    Next time you practice footwork, don’t think about your swing at all. Just go through the motions and think about where you want the bird to go. When you do your left-right-turn on the far backhand corner (for example), when you turn your feet, your core will turn and your upper body will follow if you let it.

    Swinging is largely a fine mechanical action; such are best left to the subconscious. When you think about your swing, you bring the process into your conscious which is much slower and prone to error.

    So don’t think about your swing and footwork as separate. Think of the entire movement on court as one big motion that incorporates swinging and foot movement simultaneously.
     
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