Pull-ups: Make your Smashes Stronger

Justin Ma - January 27, 2021 - 0 comments

Pull-ups are often undervalued as an upper body exercise you need to do to make your smashes harder. Many people focus on other strength building exercises, such as push-ups or power jacks, or gym exercises like bench press, bicep curls, shoulder presses and other traditional upper body strength training. As a badminton player, you should work in pull-ups to counterbalance these traditional strength training exercises and particularly, to help you train your smash strength.

The best part is – you can do these exercises virtually anywhere. Just head to your local school or park and use the monkey bars, or purchase a pull-up bar that you can latch onto your doorframe and do anytime at home. Here is the one I have at my home: Multi-Grip Doorway Trainer.

In this post, we will look at how we do pull-ups, different variations of pull-ups, and the benefits of pull-ups and how they apply to badminton smashes.

Pull-ups and Variations

Normal Pull-up

This video gives a great description on how to do a proper pull-up. If you are not able to do a pull-up with your own strength starting off, you can ask a partner to hold your legs and reduce the weight you need to pull yourself up. If you do not have a partner working out with you, you can also try tying these long resistance bands around the bar, standing in it, and doing the same pull up technique.

Chin Up

The chin up is similar to the normal pull up, but your grip is reversed. This works your biceps more than the normal pull-up and is a great first variation to the normal pull up. The video below teaches you how to do this technique properly.

Hammer Grip Pullup

The hammer grip pullup also focuses on your bicep strength, while reducing the load on your shoulders and wrists. This is perfect for people starting out with pull-ups because it does not require as much strength to pull yourself up, and does put excessive load on your joints. This video shows the hammer grip pullup in action and gives a brief description of its benefits.

Benefits of Pull-ups

The pull-ups are one of the best compound exercises to help you train a variety of important muscles in badminton. Let’s take a look at the benefits.


The pull-ups are a great strength training exercise and help you improve the strength in your upper back, shoulders, and arm muscles. These 3 muscle groups play a vital role in the strength of your smashes and are all utilized in the full smash motion. Being able to train all 3 different groups at the same time helps to improve the coordination between these muscles and gives a good example of how to activate them when you are in a badminton match.


Working long sets with pull-ups helps you to work your muscle fatigue. This means that your muscles will be able to be used longer throughout a match before giving in and losing power. This means, at the end of the 3rd set, you will still be able to smash with your full power. This muscle endurance training is extremely important and can be accomplished through long pull-up sets.


Holding the grip tightly is what lets you use your muscles to pull yourself up. In the same way, before you smash (or other shots as well), you will need to grip the racket tightly to generate more power through your upper body and send it through the racket. Training your grip strength helps to create this power and use your muscles in different ways on the court. Even better, you are training your grip strength at the same time you are training your other muscles.

Incorporate Pull-ups into your Routine

If you want to get a stronger smash, make sure you add pull-ups into your routine. It may be hard when you are starting off, so try to get a partner to lessen the load or snag a resistance band. I hope you find the pull-up as fun as I do, and see how great it is since you can do the exercise anywhere! If you’d like to see more drill highlights, training highlights, or more, please check out my YouTube channel and Instagram Highlight Feed, and feel free to reach out with any questions. See you guys in the next training post!

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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