How to Use Shadow Badminton Drills to Improve Your Footwork

Justin Ma - June 29, 2022 - 0 comments

Have you ever felt like slow, clunky footwork was holding you back in your badminton matches? If so, you’re not alone. Fortunately, shadow badminton drills are one tool that you can use to massively improve your footwork — and you don’t even need shuttles or a court to get started.

Below, discover everything you need to know about shadow badminton drills, including helpful tips, three drills to try, and a bonus resource at the end.

Shadow Badminton Drills: The Basics

Here are a few tips to keep in mind before you begin.

  • All you need to do these drills is an open area and your badminton racket.
  • Shadow badminton drills are footwork-focused, so don’t worry about your shot motions too much. Just focus on using your racket to simulate the general motions you’d use in-game. 
  • As a guideline, practice these drills three times per week for 30 minutes. You can adjust this recommendation to fit your current fitness level.
  • Remember to keep your center of gravity low. You want to be standing with your knees slightly bent, keeping yourself at a comfortable level so you can react quickly.
  • Don’t lean back on your heels. You should be slightly on your toes most of the time.
  • Focus on your landings after each footwork motion. Acing your landings means you can return to the starting position as fast as possible.

Three Drills to Try Today

Here are three of the best badminton shadow drills to include in your routine for better footwork.

1. 6-Corner Footwork Drill 

The 6-corner footwork drill teaches you how to move side-to-side and into each corner of the badminton court with speed and finesse. You can do this drill alone or with a partner. 

Because the 6-corner footwork drill speeds up all-around court movement, you might find it worthwhile to make it a core part of your training routine.

To do the 6-corner footwork drill:

  • If you’re working with a partner, have them point randomly to the corners or sides of your court. You’ll then move as quickly (and accurately) as you can between each of those areas. 
  • If you’re doing this drill by yourself, you can simply choose random corners to move to as quickly as possible. 
  • Whether working alone or with someone else, remember to focus on proper footwork and agility.

2. Smash & Kill Shadow Drill

The smash and kill shadow badminton drill can help you supercharge your footwork during smash, push, and kill shots.

To do a smash and kill drill:

  • Start by doing a shadow smash in the back of your court. (If you’re doing this drill outside, just make a mental note of where your backcourt would be.)
  • After your shadow smash, quickly move forward and execute a shadow push or kill. 
  • Repeat this movement back and forth, focusing on proper footwork and speed as you do so.

3. Defense/Side Front Shadow Drill

Defense/side front shadow drills can help you defeat offensive opponents and save crucial seconds on the court.

To do a defense/side front shadow drill:

  • Start in your ready position.
  • Use proper footwork to randomly move between the two front corners and two side corners of the court. 
  • As you reach each corner or side, swing your racket as if you were defending from aggressive smashes from an opponent.

Bonus: More Badminton Shadow Drills You Can Do Anywhere

The three drills mentioned here can help you vastly improve your footwork — but they aren’t the only shadow badminton drills worth trying.

As a bonus, check out this video to see these three drills in action, as well as two additional shadow badminton drills that you can do anytime, anywhere for better footwork.

The Bottom Line

Shadow badminton drills can help you master your footwork and improve nearly every aspect of your game. Best of all, including them in your routine requires almost zero equipment — all you need is some space and your racket to get started.

To get the best results, practice your favorite shadow drills a few times per week, or even as a quick warm-up before your training sessions.

For more strategies, advice, and tips for badminton, check out today. Or subscribe to the Badminton Justin YouTube channel for regular training highlights and actionable tips to boost your skills.

Justin Ma

I am passionate about helping people find joy in playing badminton, while also showing them how competitive the sport can be.

Justin Ma


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