When you’re in the middle of an intense badminton rally, you might not think about your grip much. But the truth is, the right techniques can improve both your shot power and accuracy on the court.
That being said, the correct grips don’t always come naturally — especially if you’re new to the sport. And for many beginners, one of the biggest hurdles is learning how to hold a badminton racket the right way. Fortunately, we’ve put together a guide that can help.
Read on to discover the four basic badminton grips that every beginner should know, along with how to practice them.
How To Hold a Badminton Racket the Right Way: 4 Main Grips
Here are the four essential grips that every badminton player should master.
1. Forehand Grip
If you’ve been wondering how to hold a badminton racket the right way, the first thing to focus on is your forehand grip. Sometimes called the “handshake” grip, you can use this technique as a starting point for your other grips.
This is the go-to technique for forehand overhead shots, like forehand clears, smashes, and drop shots. To do it, simply:
- Start with your hand in a “handshake” position on your racket handle.
- Your thumb should wrap along the edge of your grip (not flat pushing down), with your other four fingers wrapping upwards.
- Your index finger should be slightly higher than the rest of your fingers.
- It’s important to keep a little bit of space between your fingers. In other words, try to avoid “sandwiching” them together.
- The space between your thumb and index finger should form a V-shape. (Try to avoid a U-shape!)
- When looking directly down at the V-shape, your racket face should be parallel to the wall.
- Be sure to keep your hand relatively relaxed until you swing.
2. Backhand Grip
The backhand grip is another core technique that every new badminton player should practice.
It’s most helpful for hitting backhand shots that are in front of your body. (You’re better off using other grips for late backhands — but more on those later.) Some shots that use the backhand grip include the backhand drive and backhand serve.
As opposed to the forehand grip, which uses a lot of power from your wrist, your backhand grip will also rely on power from your thumb.
Here’s how to switch into this technique:
- Start with a forehand grip.
- Rotate your racket handle so that your racket face is parallel to the floor.
- Then, place your thumb on the flat side of your handle so that it’s in line with your racket face.
- Your hand should be positioned so that pushing your thumb would directly push your racket forward at a flat angle.
- Keep your hand relatively relaxed until you swing.
- When it comes time to hit the shuttle, tighten your grip and use your wrist, forearm, and thumb to generate power behind your shot.
Here’s a short video from Badminton Famly to see how this grip looks in practice. Be sure to check out their YouTube channel here.
3. Bevel Grip
Many players see the bevel grip assort of a “halfway point” between the forehand and backhand grip. This technique is an excellent option for late backhand shots, helping you reach the shuttle when it’s way out to your backhand side (or slightly behind your body.)
To do this grip:
- Begin with your standard backhand grip.
- From there, keep your hand in position while shifting your racket handle clockwise, halfway to the forehand grip.
- Now, your thumb should be on the edge of your racket handle — aka the bevel. If you look straight down at your thumb in this position, your racket face should be tilted at a 45-degree angle.
While this grip is great for late backhand shots, there are times when the shuttle might be just a little too late and low for this technique. In these cases, there’s one more basic badminton grip that can come in handy: the panhandle grip.
4. Panhandle Grip
The panhandle grip can be game-saving when hitting an extremely late backhand shot — and it’s also the best technique for many frontcourt net shots. Interestingly, it gets its name from the fact that it looks similar to holding a frying pan.
To do the panhandle grip:
- Start with your hand in the classic forehand grip.
- Keep your hand in position and rotate your handle until your racket face is parallel to the floor.
- At this point, your fingers and thumb should be wrapped around the sides of the racket handle, forming a V-shape. There should also be a small amount of space between your pointer and other fingers.
To get an idea of how this grip looks in action, check out this video from the Sikana YouTube channel:
How To Practice Your Badminton Grips
Playing often and staying mindful of your grips — and how they impact your shots — are the best ways to start seeing an improvement in your game. But as with all skills, mastering these techniques comes with time.
Fortunately, exercises like the grip exchange drill can help you speed up the process. Here’s how it works:
- To start, grab a few dozen shuttles and a partner.
- Your partner will act as a feeder, sending shuttles one after another across the net to you. For each shot, they should alternate between throwing to your forehand and backhand side.
- Switch between your forehand and backhand grip as you hit each shot.
- Practice this drill for 5-10 minutes as part of your badminton warm-up routine.
- As you get more advanced, you canbegin incorporating the bevel and panhandle grips into this exercise.
As You Get Started
If you’re brand new to badminton grips, remember to start by focusing on your forehand technique. This can act as your reference point for the backhand, panhandle, and bevel grips, making the overall learning process much easier.
Beyond that, be sure to add 5-10 minutes of training drills — like the grip exchange drill — into your badminton warm-up routine. With a few weeks of practice, you might be surprised at the boost you see in your power, accuracy, and overall game.