Monday, November 08, 2021

Back to Basics: Using the elbow

To me, there are two very basic things that separate an intermediate player from a beginner. I remember when I was starting out I was amazed how much of a difference it made when I attained an understanding of footwork and a proper stroke. 

I wrote a previous article about footwork that I think would be helpful for the beginner, so do take a read here.

Now, this lesson focuses on using a proper arm swing technique to get the most out of your shots. Like I say to some of the players I meet, you have to pretend like you're using your arm to throw the shuttle; that way you will notice that you're naturally using your elbow to launch the forearm out. 

Above: Taufik prepares to throw that elbow 
out for one of his famous backhands.
(Source: Google Images)

Apply that to your swing and you'll have a three-step process to get more power into your overheads:

1. Throw the elbow out - this primes the forearm to its launch forward and makes full use of the elasticity of the muscles. For the intermediates, you'll also want to start your hip rotation here and really get that twist starting. 

2. Extend the forearm - pivot the forearm on the elbow and swing it forward like a trebuchet, using the natural angle of the arm to maximize the motion. Take note not to throw the shoulder out at this stage - you'll end up with an overextended hit that more likely drags the shuttle down to the ground. For the intermediates, you'll complete the hip rotation at this point and move on to twisting your upper body around for the extra boost. 

3. Insert the power - turn the wrist and add that grip at the moment of impact to snap all that kinetic energy into one single moment. You'll hear a very resounding whip followed by a loud snap of the shuttle flying off the string bed. 

Whether you turn the above into a clear, drive or smash (forehand or backhand), the same technique will apply. Hitting the shuttle at different heights and angles will give you a wide variety of shots you can use to out manoeuvre the opponent. 

Practice makes perfect, and the more playtime you get on the court the closer you will get to mastering the simple art of swinging the racket. In the end it's about energy conservation - knowing how best to minimize your output while achieving maximum returns. 

I hope the lesson has been useful. Will share more tips and observations when I think of them. Happy smashing!

2 comments:

Healthykana said...

I read the blog about badminton. I love to play badminton and thank you for sharing.

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