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Mastering the Badminton Footwork

Updated: Apr 20, 2020

Ever wondered how the professional badminton players make badminton games look so easy and effortless? It's all in the footwork. A good badminton footwork is essential to helping a player reach the returning shuttlecock in the most efficient way possible (proper balance, timing and technique) and to ensure maximum court coverage while saving energy.

Getting to know a badminton court

There are 6 different corners in a badminton court as depicted by circles in the image above while the square represents the center of the court.

The 6 different corners include:

• Forehand front corner

• Backhand front corner

• Forehand side • Backhand side • Forehand back-court corner

• Backhand back-court corner

Center of the court

While at the center of the court, players should apply a stance where their feet are shoulder-width apart and parallel to each other while body should be slightly lowered to keep a low center of gravity for increased stability. It is important to note that players should return to the center of the court after every single shot, while waiting for the opponent's return shot. The center of the court enables the player to move in a shorter distance to all the different corners, hence players should always return to the center for a more efficient way to cover the court.

Six corners of the badminton court

So, how does one get to each corner of the court in a fast and effective manner?

1. Front corners

To get to the front corners, a player can apply the 3-steps footwork (from the center of the court): racket leg, non-racket leg and racket leg (lunge). For a right-handed player, it would be: right leg, left leg, right leg to get to the front of the court, depending on where the opponent hits the shuttle.

The front corner usually involves shots such as netting, lifting, tapping and flicking.

2. Side corners

The footwork to get to the side of the badminton court is slightly different as compared to moving to the front of the court. The footwork to move to the forehand side corner also differs from the footwork to the backhand side corner.

The side corners usually involve shots such as defense and driving.

2.1 Forehand side corner

From the center of the court, the player should apply something like a chasse step, with the last step being a lunge towards the direction of the forehand side corner. This is similar to the racket leg, non-racket leg and racket leg footwork that we implement for the front corners.

2.2 Backhand side corner

The backhand side of things is where it gets a little tricky. From the center of the court, player should attempt a shuffle towards the direction of the backhand side corner before turning their body with a racket-leg lunge in the same direction while trying to return the opponent’s shot.

3. Back-court corners

There are various ways to get to the back of the court, today, in this guide we will be discussing the most common and simple way for a player to reach the back-court.

3.1 Forehand back-court corner

From the center of the court, we will shuffle towards the forehand back-court with our racket leg being nearer to the back-court while keeping our eyes on the shuttle. When it is time to contact the shuttle, we attempt a jump-swing (bringing our racket leg to the front) before shuffling back to the center again for a return shot.

3.2 Backhand back-court corner

For the backhand side of things, if time allows, we will usually implement a overhead lob instead of turning to our backhand to return the shuttle. The reason for this is because beginners will have more strength in their forehand overhead shots as compared to their backhand shots and will be able to clear the shuttle better. The footwork that we take for this corner will be turning our racket leg towards the direction of the backhand back-court and shuffling towards the back while keeping our eyes on the shuttle at all times. Similar to the forehand back-court footwork, we will attempt a jump-swing and then shuffle back to the center to prepare for the return shot.

Learning from examples

To learn more about the different type of footwork, we can view the guides provided with slow-motion and explanation. With an example, we will be able to easier understand how we execute each and every of our footwork correctly.

Tips to mastering footwork

There are a few exercises that a player can do to improve their badminton footwork. Some of these exercises include:

• Shadow footwork (pointing with a partner or solo)

• Agility programs such as quick feet drills

• Shuttle run/running/jogging/sprinting

• Skipping

• Shuffling

• Six-corner multiple drills


Hopefully, this guide has been helpful for you and brings you one step closer to mastering your badminton footwork. If unsure, our coaches at Divine Badminton Academy can provide proper guidance in person and we offer a free trial lesson at Head on over to sign up today and be a part of TeamDivine!

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