The badminton jump smash is the most spectacular and photographed shot in badminton. But it is not only the most spectacular shot, but it is also one of the most difficult ones to perform successfully.
In this article, we are going to explain why and when you should shoot a jump smash. After that, we will do a step by step technique tutorial to show you how it is done. Following that, we will explain to you which exercises you can do in order to improve your jump smashes. Last, but not least, we will show some videos of the fastest jump smashes in history.
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Why should you shoot a jump smash?
If you are wondering why you should ever try this shot, the answer is clear. It is an excellent way to finish points. And why is that? Because, as you jump on the air and hit the shuttle from higher up, you will be able to give a steeper angle to your shot. Giving a steeper angle will make it more difficult for your opponent to return the shot.
When should you shoot a jump smash?
As we mentioned in our badminton tactics article, smashing is a very aggressive shot and should be used carefully in singles. Out of all the smash times, the jump smash is the most aggressive one, so it is the one that should be used most carefully. Therefore, you should be using it mainly when you think you can finish the point in the next two or three shots.
In doubles, where attacking and keeping the initiative is crucial, the jump smash can help a lot, as the steeper angle that you can give to the shuttle makes more difficult for the opponents to return your shot in anything that can turn the initiative.
With all the above in mind, you should be aiming at performing the jump smash only whenever you have enough time to prepare yourself and you prepare your jump in a manner that your jump will not be fully vertical but slightly tilted towards the front. You should never try to perform a jump smash with a jump towards the back, unless you see a clear advantage to finish the point with that shot. Why? Because if your opponent can return your smash, chances are that you will not be able to reach the position in time.
Now that we know why and when to perform a jump smash, it is time to explain a step by step guide on how to perform it. We will explain it at length and with detail. In case you prefer to watch a video tutorial, we would point you to the video below from Peter Rasmussen.
1. Move back in the court to get to the right place and position your body to jump
The fist step towards a perfect jump smash is to get into the right position before starting the jump motion.
It is important that your jump is not fully vertical, but a little tilted towards the front. Therefore, you should aim at positioning yourself a bit further back from where you are planning to hit the shuttle so that you can direct your jump a bit towards the net.
To perform the right jump, your legs should be open so that they are in line with your shoulders (shoulder-width apart) and with your dominant leg behind. If you are right handed, your right leg is your dominant leg. If you are left handed, your left leg is your dominant leg. In addition to that, the your chest should be diagonal to the net.
2. Jump to hit the shuttle in the air
Once you are in the correct position, you should go down in your legs in order to achieve a more powerful jump. Push with your quads, extend with your hips using your glutes and get the final push by using your calves.
This jumping motion will create a lot of power that will
While jumping, you need to start pulling your upper body up, raising your arms, which should end up in an open position, forming something like a U shape with your shoulders.
Your racket should be behind your neck and you should be holding your racket with a forehand grip.
3. Hit the shuttle in the right position
Probably the most challenging part of this shot is to learn to time well your jump with the travel of the
To do that, you will need to practice a lot in order to get to your subconscious the right timing for it.
While jumping, you should first quick your legs down and then start rotating your torso with your abs. This will twist your upper body so that the racket moves further behind your neck and your elbow moves up to be roughly at the height of the top of your head.
After this, you are in the right position to hit the shuttle. From here, you need to start by rotating by pulling your hips, abs and upper body, throw your arm forward fully stretched and doing a finally flicking move with your forearm and fingers, contracting them.
You should be hitting the shuttle a bit in front your body and high above your head.
4. Land in the right position in order to move fast towards the center of the court
Because of the rotation done in the air, when you land, your dominant leg should land a bit in front of your other leg. The legs should be a little bit more than a shoulder-width apart. That will help you to keep your balance once you land.
Once you have landed, you should push with the leg that is behind and start moving forward to the center of the court.
Please note that, even though the guide is divided in steps, the shot is one flowing movement from beginning to end that needs to be continuous and smooth in order to work properly.
How can you improve your technique?
In order to get better at the jump smash, the key is practice. As with everything in life, practice makes perfection so if you want to master this shot, you should be practising it as often as you can.
However, there are also certain exercises that you can use that will help speeding up the improvement and also making your jump smashes more effective. The following skills are the most important in our view in order to improve your jump smash shot:
- Jumping capacity or vertical leap capacity
- Timing or coordination between jump, shot and shuttle travelling
- Shot strength or shuttle speed after shot
How can you improve your jumping capacity?
One of the most important parts of a jump smash is your jumping skill. Because the jump smash bases is effectiveness in the angle you can give to the shuttle, if you improve your ability to jump, you will also improve the effectiveness of your smash jump.
This is true until a certain point. At some point, jumping to high can also be a disadvantage because, due to the speed of the shuttle, you might not have enough time to recover the position before the opponent returns your shot. However, this is true only in extreme cases where your jumping skill is superb.
To improve your jumping capacity, we would recommend a good read to at least one of the following articles:
- WikiHow: 4 Ways to Increase Your Vertical Leap
- Men’s Journal: 7 Ways to Increase Your Vertical Leap
- Basketball for Coaches: How to Double Your Vertical Jump for Basketball – 12 Week Course
As a quick summary, the key to improve your vertical leap is to train your leg muscles so they are stronger and more flexible. Exercises as jump squats, Bulgarian split squats, box jumps or jump rope are all great exercises that will help you increase your jumping capacity.
How can you improve your timing?
To improve your timing, there aren’t specific exercises that can be done that will help. The only way to improve it is through repetition and practice, as your subconscious needs to get the feeling of the shuttle flying speed and motion so that then you can feel when it is the right time to jump.
So, in order to improve your timing, just practice, practice and practice. The way you will practice more efficiently is by having a partner sending you shuttles in a way that you can do one jump smash after another. If that is not possible, just try to jump smash as much as possible during training in order to improve your timing.
How can you improve your shot speed?
The more power you can give to your jump smash, the more chances you will have of finishing points with it. However, the power in your jump smash is more a matter of technique than of muscle strength. Therefore, the key is here also practice. Repeat the movement, performing it always correctly until you get better and better at it.
Having said that, you can also train specific muscles which will help in your smash, but also on other shots. Yumo Pro Shop has a good video with three little exercises that can help to strengthen the muscles in your forearm, which play a key part in most of the badminton shots.
Most powerful smashes in history
The fastest smash in history was done in a controlled environment as part of a Yonex advertising. Tan Boon