What Is a Forehand Shot in Badminton?

If you are new to badminton, a forehand shot might sound like an alien word. If that is the case, I have created this post to explain what a forehand shot is.

A forehand shot is any shot that is done on the racket side of the body or on top of head and it is performed with a forehand grip.

Let’s have a look at it in a bit more detail now.

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What is a forehand shot in badminton? The in-depth answer

As I just mentioned, a forehand shot in badminton is any shot that is performed with a forehand grip.

These shots are usually done on the racket side of the body. So, if you are right-handed, forehand shots are performed on the right side of your body. If you are left-handed, forehand shots are performed on the left side of your body. In addition to that, all the shots that are hit on top of your body will also be performed as a forehand shot.

The image below explains the 4 main types of strokes in badminton. From those, both the overchest forehand stroke and the underchest forehand strok are considered forehand shots.

The four basic strokes of badminton

Forehand shots are the most common type of shots, both in singles and in doubles. They are the most powerful shots and the shots that players master faster.

What are all the types of a forehand shot in badminton?

Basically, all the shots in badminton have a forehand and a backhand variant. So, any type of shot in badminton would have a forehand type.

If you are interested in a thorough explanation of all the badminton shots, you will enjoy our Badminton Shots post, where all the shots are explained, including images of the trajectory for each shot.

Below is a bulleted list of all the forehand variants of the shots in badminton:

  • Forehand clear shot
  • Forehand smash shot
  • Forehand drop shot
  • Forehand service shot
  • Forehand drive shot
  • Forehand defense shot
  • Forehand net shot
  • Forehand net lift shot
  • Forehand net kill shot
  • Forehand net brush shot

When to perform a forehand shot?

When to perform a forehand shot will depend on where you are on the court, so let’s have a look at it by location.

When to perform a forehand shot in the rear court?

Forehand shots, as I mentioned before, are the most common type of shots on the back of the court. There is a reason why players try to perform overhead shots instead of switching to the backhand. Forehand shots are, without exception, the most powerful shots of any player.

So, on the back of the court, perform a forehand shot whenever you can.

When to perform a forehand shot in the middle court?

This changes in the middle court, though. In the middle court, where drive, service, and defense occurs, the power of the forehand becomes less important and the importance goes to speed reaction and precision. And, for these, the forehand stops being the clear winner.

So, for the service, the forehand version is preferred whenever power is more important (in singles) but the backhand version is preferred whenever accuracy is more important (in doubles). This has obviously a lot of caveats at intermediate or advanced levels, but it is a good starting point for beginners.

For the defense in singles, you will want to perform the shot in line with where the shuttle is going. On the racket side you would use the forehand and on the non-racket side you would use the backhand. For the defense in doubles, however, the backhand is the preferred option since it allows an easier lift when the shuttle is near your body.

For the drive shots, the importance is on reacting to it as fast as possible, so you should be using the forehand whenever that is the fastest option. That will be the case whenever the shuttle is on the racket side of the body.

When to perform a forehand shot in the front court?

On the front court, precision is the most important skill, but also speed. So, on the racket side of the body, always use forehand shots and on the non-racket side use the backhand. If the shuttle is just in front of you, backhand will be your best option because usually people can control their backhand net shots better than their forehand ones.

How to hold the racket when performing a forehand shot?

As I said at the beginning of the post, to perform a forehand shot, you should use a forehand grip.

To use a forehand grip, follow these instructions.

  1. Put your hand as if you were about to shake someone’s hand. You can call this a “handshake grip”.
  2. Once you have your hand in that position, put your hand with the handshake grip on the lower end of the handle of your racket. While you hold the racket with a handshake grip, the racket head should be perpendicular to the floor.
  3. Your hand should form a V shape on the handle, with your thumb being on one side of the handle and your other four fingers on the other side of the handle.
  4. If your grip is correct, your index finger will be the highest place, whilst your thumb will be in a lower position and touching your middle finger. This might feel unnatural at the beginning, but it is the best position in order to apply the highest strength to your shots.
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Sikana English explains how to hold your racket with a forehand grip

When using the forehand grip, remember not to hold your racket too tight. This is a beginners’ mistake and it will hinder the power you can apply. You should have a relaxed grip and only tighten it when you are about to hit the shuttle.

Final words

And with this, we have arrived at the end of this post. If you find this post interesting, you might want to check the Badminton Basics post, where I explain other basic information for badminton beginners.

If you have any questions about the post, let me know in the comments below.

This file is licensed under the Creative Commons license “Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International”.

Attribution: Sandro Halank, Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 4.0

Categorized as Shots

By MiquelM

I have been playing badminton since I was a kid, playing in both national and international tournaments at a semi-professional level. If you want to know a bit more about me, check my "About me" page.

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