Badminton is the fastest racket sport in the world, and to play this sport, a player must have quick reflexes and reaction time. An average person’s reaction time to visual stimuli is roughly 250–300 milliseconds. But professional and elite players can easily get closer to 200 milliseconds, as every millisecond is counted in this game of small margins. It is so because professional players have trained themselves to the point where they can react quickly and instantly.
Many factors affect a player’s reaction time, and here in this article, we will discuss those features that will help you improve your reaction time.
So let’s dive in:
Top 5 exercises and techniques to improve your reaction time in badminton
Let’s begin with:
1. Perform proper warming-up exercises
Before entering the court, you must prepare to play at your best and perform a proper warm-up. It will help increase your blood circulation and adrenaline level, which will help you perform quick reflex actions.
Below are some of the best warming-up exercises that can help you in improving your reaction time:
(a) Jogging and running
Before entering the court, you must jog or run for approximately 10 minutes, which will help heat your muscles and prevent injuries.
(b) Walking and side lunges
If you want to activate your lower body, walking lunges are the best option. This exercise helps improve your body’s balance and heart rate. Also, it strengthens your core muscles.
And if you want to improve your balance, stability, and strength, then side lunges are one of the best exercises. This exercise works for your inner and outer thighs and helps reduce cellulite’s appearance.
(c) Half squats
Half squatting is one of the best activation exercises and is generally performed to strengthen your core and lower body muscles. Also, it helps improve your body’s balance and strength.
(d) Arm and wrist rotation
Arm and wrist rotation can be a good start to activating your upper body, as it helps to warm up your arm and shoulder muscles. Also, it helps prevent injuries and boost your wrist and forearm strength.
(e) Shadow drills
Shadow drill is generally performed with high intensity, and here, you must be focused on enhancing your muscles to perform some frequent moves after you start playing.
To learn how to perform a proper warm-up, click on the video below:
A badminton player must perform these eye exercises to improve his reaction time:
(a) Juggling balls
A player must try juggling three to four balls or shuttlecocks, which helps improve his coordination and spatial awareness. This juggle trains your eyes by tracking multiple balls or shuttlecocks and switching between them.
The best thing about this exercise is that you can easily perform it at home or in any free space.
Also read: Top 10 home exercises for badminton players.
To learn how to perform the juggling ball drill, click on the video below:
(b) Surprise catch
You will need a partner holding two objects or balls to perform this drill. Your partner must stand in front of you at one arm’s distance and drop the balls one by one, and you need to catch them before they drop to the floor.
Your eyes should focus on the objects in your hands, and you must process and coordinate to catch them. It is a simple but effective drill that helps you increase your reaction time in badminton.
To learn how to perform the surprise catch drill, click on the video below:
3. Combination exercises
A directed shuttle run is one of the best combinations of exercises to improve your reaction time.
To perform this drill, you only need to set a stack of shuttles in six different areas on the court. Try to keep two shuttles in the middle, two at the back, and two at the front of the court. Then start from the middle, chasing one of the placed shuttles and touching it before returning to the middle again as fast as you can. This exercise helps you build speed and increase your reaction time.
Click on the video below if you want to learn how to perform a combination exercise:
4. Gripping technique
Good racket gripping techniques and strategies allow you to enhance your game and skills. Also, it helps to improve your reaction time and prevent injuries.
Generally, two main types of grips are used to hold a badminton racket: backhand and forehand. And to play adequately, a player must master these two grips, as these grips allow players to hold the racket firmly, move the racket quickly, and respond to the shuttlecock faster. A good grip on the racket can help players maintain control over their shots and hit the shuttlecock accurately and with more speed and power.
Rather than this, using a correct grip can prevent injuries and ensure that the player’s hand is not twisted or strained.
Types of grips
There are generally four different types of grips used by a player to hold a racket:
(a) Forehand grip
The forehand grip is used to perform forehand overhand shots, and it is one of the easiest grips to learn and helps to learn the other grips. This grip is mostly used while performing a clear, smash, slice, forehand lift, forehand drive, forehand serve, and forehand net shot.
(b) Backhand (Thumb) grip
A backhand grip is the second-most-used grip. It is also known as a thumb grip and is slightly similar to a forehand grip.
While performing this grip, your thumb should be placed on the wider section of the racket, while the racket strings should be facing upwards. The backhand grip performs a backhand serve, backhand drive, and doubles defense.
(c) Bevel grip
A bevel grip is used for performing backhand, drop, and clear shots from the rare court. It allows you to rotate your backhand fully, which helps generate amazing power while hitting the shuttle or performing a backhand clearance.
(d) Panhandle or hammer grip
Hammer and panhandle grips are the most commonly used by kids and beginners while performing powerful smashes and shots.
These grips are mostly used in the court, but remember, excessive use of these grips can also get you locked because kids and beginners often think that the racket strings need to be parallel to the shuttle, but that’s not correct. Because if you hold your racket with a 100% panhandle and hammer grip, it won’t allow you to move or rotate your forearm, and you cannot indulge power in your shots.
Click on the video below to learn about different types of badminton grips and how and where to use them:
5. Work on your footwork
Footwork is also one of the fundamentals of badminton. In these many years of my badminton career, I have seen many players face difficulties with their reaction time due to their poor footwork on the court, especially beginners and intermediates.
Basic footwork in badminton is centered around the base position, which is generally the center of the court. And to play every shot, you need to move to the shuttle and gently return to the base position on time. This process is repeated throughout the game, but you can change the position sometimes and move slightly backward or forward according to the shot.
Also, analyze your opponent’s movements and adjust to improve your positioning and timing. It will help you improve your speed, agility, and reaction time.
Rather than this, take feedback from your coach or experienced players, as they will guide you in improving your footwork on the court.
To learn more, click on the video below:
Also, I have included some videos in the post that will help you perform these drills and exercises ideally, which will help you to improve your reaction time in badminton.
And in case you face any problems or have any questions going through your mind regarding these drills and exercises, then feel free to ask us or pin them up in the comment section below.