Although smashes are the most exciting shots in badminton, they can also be risky — especially if they’re not powerful enough to win the point. And if you’ve ever hit a weak smash by mistake, then you know what it’s like to frantically scramble into position as your opponent sends the shuttle flying back.
Fortunately, there are some simple things you can do to take your smash power to the next level. Here’s how to smash harder in badminton, broken down into four easy steps.
1. Improve Your Body Rotation
Assuming you have your general technique and positioning down, the first step to increasing your smash power is to improve your body rotation.
If you’ve ever heard that you can get a more powerful punch by throwing your whole body into it, the same principle applies here. In fact, most of the power in your smash will come from your body, and not your arm by itself (although strong arms and shoulders can certainly help.)
- Lean most of your weight onto your racket-side foot when stepping back into position.
- As you prepare to swing, rotate your hips forward by pushing off the ground with your back foot. This will transfer additional energy and force into your body’s movement.
- Then, rotate your upper body forward into the motion, starting with your torso and ending with the shoulders and forearm as you swing.
Instead of rotating your whole body at once, think of it as a rapid sequence of events that transfers energy (and, therefore, speed) into your swing.
2. Stay Relaxed Until You Swing
It sounds deceptively simple, but one of the best ways to increase badminton smash power is to keep your body loose until you swing.
Here’s why it works: Being too tense can cause movement to become more locked and less “fluid.” But when you stay loose, you can generate more energy throughout your body. And by only tensing your muscles at the very end, you’ll get a greater spike in power when you actually hit the shuttle.
When it comes to your smash, remember to:
- Wait to flex your core until you start to bring your racket forward.
- Tense up the arm as you swing, starting with the shoulder, then moving to the forearm and the wrist.
- Keep a relaxed grip until the very end of the motion, at which point you can tighten your hand for a maximum transfer of force.
3. Strengthen Your Body Off the Court
Raw strength isn’t all there is to a badminton smash — but keeping your muscles in good shape definitely helps.
Everything from your legs to your core and shoulders plays a role in your shot power. For this reason, it can be beneficial to include some full-body resistance exercises in your training routine:
Aside from that, you can also work on your upper body and areas of important rotation, such as your wrists and shoulders. Be sure to check out our wrist training guide and shoulder-strengthening warm-up routine for ways to get started.
5. Consider Practicing with a Training Racket
For some players, badminton training rackets (which are essentially just heavier rackets) can help improve smash power and speed. The Yonex Isometric TR0, weighing 150 grams, is one option that’s similar in size and shape to most other regular rackets.
So, how does it work? Its heavier weight makes it more challenging to handle — meaning it can boost your stamina, improve your muscle memory, and strengthen your arms. In turn, this can make smashing with your usual 80-gram racket feel much easier.
The downside? These rackets may not be a good choice for beginners or anyone without a solid technique. Without proper experience, its weight can impact your form and make you more susceptible to injuries.
To stay safe and reap the most benefits out of a training racket, be sure to:
- Stay mindful of your technique throughout training
- Practice with it for shorter periods of time
The Bottom Line on Increasing Your Badminton Smash Power
Learning how to smash harder in badminton can be tough — but the good news is there are plenty of ways to bring more speed and strength into your swing.
Remember that positioning and technique are your foundation for a solid smash. Once you’ve got those down, you can increase your power by improving your body rotation, staying loose until you swing, and strengthening your muscles.