Improving the footwork speed in badminton is essential for enhancing overall performance, as it enables players to reach the shuttlecock faster, react quickly to the opponent’s shots, and maintain an edge during badminton rallies.

In this researched article you will find several helpful badminton tip videos and some further tips and suggestions that will help you get faster footwork and movements on the badminton court. (for more tips, get the Badminton Newsletter)

3 ways to increase your speed in badminton – tips you can use

Tobias Wadenka from Germany is a respected badminton expert. At Badmintonspeak.com we appreciate the many tips he shares on his YouTube channel. Here are some great footwork tips on how to improve your speed on the badminton court:

More tips on how to improve your on-court speed in badminton

The 8 tips below are purely based on internet research. Each tip provides a method that will help badminton players improve their on-court speed. (for more tips, get the awesome Badminton Newsletter

1. Enhance Footwork

Good footwork is critical for speed and agility in badminton. Practice the following drills to improve your footwork:

  • Shadow Footwork: Mimic badminton movements without a shuttlecock, focusing on quick and precise steps. If you haven’t been taught how to do shadow footwork exercises, find a coach who can teach you how.
  • Ladder Drills: Use an agility ladder to perform various step patterns, such as side steps, in-and-out steps, and crossover steps.
  • Cone Drills: Set up cones and practice moving quickly between them using badminton-specific movements like lunges and side shuffles. Again if you don’t know how this is done, make sure you get a certified badminton coach to show you.
You might find this video from Tobias Wadenka helpful.

2. Strengthen Leg Muscles through targeted exercises

Strong legs contribute to explosive speed and quick changes in direction. What’s great about this tip is that just about everybody can build stronger leg muscles. Try incorporating the following exercises into your training routine:

Great tips for strengthening your legs – from the lovely folks at Badminton Insight

3. Improve Reaction Time on the badminton court

Badminton is the fastest racquet sport in the world! Quick reaction times are crucial for responding to your opponent’s shots. Especially in defensive positions.

Practice these drills to sharpen your badminton reflexes:

  • Reaction Ball Drills: Use a reaction ball (a small, bouncy ball with an irregular shape) to practice catching or hitting it as it bounces unpredictably.
  • Partner Drills: Have a partner randomly hit shuttlecocks to different areas of the court, and focus on reacting quickly to each shot.
Great badminton tip video on improving badminton reactions – from Gregory and Jenny at Badminton Insight.

4. Plyometric Training

Plyometric exercises improve explosive power, which is essential for quick movements and jumps. Okay, not everyone understands the meaning of plyometric. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines it as “exercise involving repeated rapid stretching and contracting of muscles (as by jumping and rebounding) to increase muscle power”.

Include the following in your workouts:

  • Box Jumps: Jump onto and off a sturdy box or platform to develop explosive leg power.
  • Burpees: Combine a squat, jump, and push-up to work multiple muscle groups and improve overall agility.
  • Jumping Lunges: Perform lunges with a jump, switching legs in mid-air to build explosive strength.

Read this scientific paper on the efficiency of plyometric training as it relates to badminton

5. Speed and Agility Drills for improving speed on the badminton courts

Incorporate drills specifically designed to enhance speed and agility:

  • Sprints: Perform short sprints (10-20 meters) to improve overall speed and acceleration.
  • Shuttle Runs: Set up markers and practice running quickly between them, mimicking the stop-and-go movements of a badminton match.
  • T-Drills: Set up cones in a T shape and practice moving forward, backward, and side-to-side quickly.
Here are some good agility training tips from Justin Ma’s YouTube channel.

6. Improve Stamina and Endurance

Good endurance allows you to maintain speed throughout the match. Focus on cardiovascular exercises like:

  • Interval Training: Alternate between high-intensity bursts (e.g., sprinting) and low-intensity recovery periods (e.g., jogging).
  • Cycling and Swimming: Low-impact cardiovascular exercises that build stamina without putting excessive strain on the joints.
Check out these badminton interval training exercises. Do these on a regular basis and you are highly likely to improve your speed on the badminton court

7. Optimize Techniques and Tactics including anticipation skills

Speed is not just about physical ability but also about efficient technique and smart tactics:

  • Efficient Movement: Work with a coach to refine your footwork and ensure you are moving efficiently on the court.
  • Anticipation Skills: Study your opponents and learn to anticipate their shots, reducing the need for extreme speed by positioning yourself correctly.
Watch these anticipation exercises from BasicFeather – the badminton racquet company co-owned by badminton legend Morten Frost

8. Proper Nutrition and Hydration

Fueling your body with the right nutrients and staying hydrated can significantly impact your performance and recovery.

  • Balanced Diet: Eat a diet rich in lean proteins, complex carbohydrates, healthy fats, and plenty of fruits and vegetables.
  • Hydration: Drink plenty of water before, during, and after training sessions and matches to maintain peak performance.

Viktor Axelsen is known to optimize all aspects of his badminton training. So it is no surprise that the badminton superstar from Denmark also cares a whole lot about his diet. Listen to what he said about that in 2021:

Viktor Axelsen discussing his food and diet plan.

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