19 Best Badminton Routines and Drills

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If you want to improve at badminton, just playing game after game will only get you so far. At some point, you need to train. 

But don’t what to do and how to do it?

Well, here I give you the 19 Best Drills and Routines that have helped me during my badminton journey.

19 Best Routines and Drills To Improve Your Badminton

  1. Death by 1000 Shuttles
  2. Area Accuracy (Solo Drill)
  3. Keepin’ it Low (Solo drill)
  4. Net Cord Challenge (Feeder Drill)
  5. Net Battle (Pair Exercise)
  6. Drop-Recover-Drop (Pair Drill)
  7. Drop-Net-Lift 
  8. Clear-Clear-Drop-Net-Lift 
  9. Push downs
  10. Pressure Defence 
  11. Consistency
  12. Drives 
  13. Rear and Mid-court control
  14. Smash-Block-Lift 
  15. 2-on-1 (Pair Exercise)
  16. Jump Outs (Feeder Drill)
  17. Hit the Tube (Pair Drill)
  18. Half Court Singles without Smashing
  19. Footwork (Solo Drill)

1) Death by 1000 Shuttles
(Solo Drill)

Let’s start with one of the most useful but boring drills.

The Death by 1000 Shuttles is an easy drill that is definitely dull but a drill that shouldn’t be missed. It can be used by beginners to learn how to serve or by advanced players to perfect their serving technique.

The routine is simple, serve 1000 serves. Ok, 1000 might be a bit much, but the point is to learn how to serve, the feel of a serve with no pressure and learn consistency.

Try to get as many shuttles as possible so that you don’t have to keep collecting your shuttles back up, but equally, it can still be done with one shuttle so there are no excuses. Just by continuously practicing your serve you will improve vastly.

The Death by 1000 Shuttles routine can be used to practice the backhand short serve, backhand flick serve, backhand drive serve, and forehand serves.

A schematic showing the serving drill Death by 1000 shuttles which is a drill to practice all serves in badminton

2) Area Accuracy
(Solo Drill)

The next great drill after you have mastered the motion of the serve, is Area Accuracy to perfect your accuracy.

For the Area Accuracy drill, place a bucket or a box (something to mark an area) on the other side of the court in a position you want to aim for. Try to serve as many shuttles into the area as possible.

This is a great drill for you to practice serving the shuttle to exactly where you want it to go. Whether it is short to the T, or a flick into the far corner, the Area Accuracy will help you along the way to serving perfection.

Like Death by 1000 Shuttles, Area Accuracy can be used to practice all of the different serves

A schematic showing different areas to aim for in the serving drill Area Accuracy

3) Keepin’ it Low
(Solo drill)

If you want to take your serve to the next level, then look no further than the drill Keepin’ it Low. The Keepin’ it Low drill helps you practice getting the shuttle as low to the next as possible so that your opponent can’t attack your serve no matter how close to the net they are standing.

For Keepin’ it Low take a couple of very old and broken shuttles. Place them onto the tape of the net, pushing them down slightly to keep them on. Now aim to try and hit the cork of the shuttles.

The aim is to either hit them (perfect), but more likely get them as close as possible to the shuttles, as this will be a great serve.

If you do manage to actually hit one of the shuttles, for obvious reasons the serve won’t reach the actual service box, but the point is just to practice getting the shuttle as low as possible to the net.

Keepin’ it Low is for practicing short serves only.

A schematic showing how to set up the serving drill Keepin' it low which shows putting shuttles on the net to aim at while serving

4) Net Cord Challenge (Feeder Drill)

If you want the perfect net shot then the next step is to get the shuttle to hit the net cord on its way over. For those of you who are unsure, the net cord is the string that runs from post to post that is holding the net up. If you manage to hit this, then often the shuttle will tumble down the other side of the net as a winner. You may think that when professionals manage to hit a net shot that hits the net cord, it is just luck, but no they actually practice and aim for this. 

For this drill get a person (the feeder) to throw shuttles over the net to you and then you can play a net shot back, aiming to hit the net cord. How many can you hit?

The Feeder should play 10 shuttles and then you can swap with your partner. Repeat this three times each for a best-of-three game!

The Net Shot Challenge can be practiced using both a Forehand and a Backhand Net shot.

5) Net Battle
(Pair Exercise)

The aim of the game is simple, net shots only! One player serves and from then on both players can only play net shots. This is a fantastic way to practice all of the varieties of net shots and learn to get them as tight as possible.

6) Drop-Recover-Drop
(Pair Drill)

The Drop-Recover-Drop is a great routine to practice your Drop shot in a way that better reflects the actual movement you will be doing from the center of the court.

For the Drop-Recover-Drop Drill, the Feeder plays a High Lift to start off the routine. The Player (the one working) plays a Drop shot back to the Feeder. The Feeder then plays the shuttle back to the center of the court. This means that the Player has to recover back to the middle of the court. Then the Player plays the shuttle back to the Feeder, who then Lifts the shuttle again. The Player then has to move to the back of the court to then play a Drop shot. The routine repeats like this.

We have broken the Drop-Recover-Drop Drill down into 4 levels for you to work through.

Level 1

Perform this level in only half of the court to just work Player A back and forward.

Set a timer for 5 mins and then swap with your partner. Repeat the routine for 3 rounds each.

Level 2

Move up to the full size of the court. The feeder should alternate which corner they lift the shuttle to. The player playing the drop should still drop the shuttle back to the feeding player. The recovery shot should still be played to the center of the court only.

Set a timer for 5 mins and then swap with your partner. Repeat the routine for 3 rounds each.

Level 3

Very similar to Level 2, except now the feeder can play a lift to any side they choose. Two lifts to the same side, then switching to the other side. The player playing the drop shot never knows where it is going to go. The recovery shot can also be played anywhere in the mid court. The Drop shot and the shot from the middle should still be played back to Player B.

Set a timer for 5 mins and then swap with your partner. Repeat the routine for 3 rounds each.

Level 4

Beat the feeder. Instead of playing it back to the feeder, Player A can play the drop shot wherever they like to try and beat the feeder. But the feeder can still play the lift to any side and the recovery shot to anywhere in the mid court.

Play to 11 points. Play it like a game with a point for every rally. The net player can kill the shuttle if the drop is way too high over the net. But, net player, let’s not be too harsh.

The Drop-Recover-Drop drill can be practiced using both a Forehand Drop shot and a Backhand Drop shot.

7) Drop-Net-Lift
(Pair Drill)

Number 7 on our list is the Drop-Net-Lift routine, which is a great drill for practicing your Drop shot with full-court movement. Another advantage of this drill is that both Players are working, instead of just one.

Focus on your technique and your consistency, it is so frustrating to miss a simple shot in a match! So try not to make errors when performing this drill.

You can also practice all of the different drops (Slow, Fast, and Slice), to practice your technique and keep your opponents guessing. 

If you want to learn more about each of the different Drop shots, check out our article here

To perform the Drop-Net-Lift routine:

  • Player 1 begins by Lifting to the back of Player 2’s court. 
  • Player 2 then plays a Drop shot back to Player 1.
  • Player 1 then plays a Net shot back. 
  • Player 2, after recovering from the Drop shot, plays a Lift from Player 1’s Net shot. 
  • Player 1 then has to move back to get to and play a Drop shot. 
  • The routine repeats like this.

We have broken the Drop-Net-Lift routine into 3 levels for you to work through.

Level 1

Perform this level in only half of the court.

Set a timer for 5 mins. Repeat the routine for 3 rounds.

Level 2

Move up to the full size of the court. The drop shot and net shot should be played to the center of the court. The lift can be played to either side.

Set a timer for 5 mins. Repeat the routine for 3 rounds.

Level 3

All in! The drop, net and lift can be played anywhere. However, the order, Drop-Net-Lift, should be maintained.

Play to 11 points. Play it like a game with a point for every rally. Net kills are allowed if the drop is way too high over the net. Let’s keep them tight!

The Drop-Net-Lift drill can be practiced using both a Forehand Drop shot and a Backhand Drop shot.

8) Clear-Clear-Drop-Push-Lift
(Pair Drill)

A great way to get your body moving after the customary Clears back and forth to one another, making both players move back and forward on the court.

For the Clear-Clear-Drop-Net-Lift routine:

  • Player 1 begins by playing a High Lift to begin the routine. 
  • Player 2 plays a Clear. 
  • Player 1 then plays another Clear. 
  • Player 2 plays a Drop shot.
  • Player 1 then plays a Net shot. 
  • Player 2 then Lifts.
  • Player 1 starts the routine again with the first Clear, alternating who performs the Drop in the rally.
  • The routine repeats like this.

If you just want one person to practice the Drop shot, add in a second Net shot

Practice this drill for 2 minutes before moving on to the next drill. If you do add in the second Net shot, make sure you swap with your partner before moving on.

9) Pressure Defense
(Pair Drill)

Defense is such an important part of the game, so pressure defense definitely makes it onto our list of training drills.  

Pressure Defense is great for working on your reactions and your defensive technique. The Feeder can also get something out of the drill by focusing on sharp, short, crisp actions at the front of the net. 

To perform Pressure Defense:

  • One player (the Feeder) should be stood at the net (but not too close!) 
  • The Player working should be stood around the mid-court
  • The Feeder should hit the shuttle down cooperatively at the Player. 
  • The Player should defend back to the net. 
  • Keep this going for as long as possible

As this drill requires cooperation from the feeder, there should also be a good amount of pressure on the Player defending but the rally should not break down too much. Try to get the balance between too easy and too hard! 

🔥Advanced🔥

If you want to make this drill harder you can add in these variations to the drill.

The Feeder can occasionally include a soft shot to bring the Player working forward to make sure they are on their toes and stop them from edging back too much.

The Feeder can keep switching to each side of the worker. This helps to practice changing your grips from forehand to backhand quickly whilst defending.

Try to Survive! If the Player wants to really practice their defense, the Feeder should apply as much pressure as they can. Who will make the mistake first?!

Practice this drill for 2 minutes and then swap with your partner before moving on to the next drill.

Pressure Defence is such a good drill it is often used by players to warm up before a game. It helps players to get ready and helps with sharpness before the game. It is also a great for this because you only need a half-court to perform Pressure defense, great for the pre-game warm up. For other drills and routines that can be performed on only half a court, check out our article 7 Half-court Badminton Training Drills.

 

10) Push Downs
(Feeder Drill)

Need a bit more defensive training? Then drill number 10 on our list is Push downs which is a great exercise for working on low defensive movements whilst still maintaining control. This defensive drill is great practice for both singles players and doubles players.

To perform Push Downs:

The Feeder should stand around the service line on one side of the court.

The Player should stand in the middle of the court.

The Feeder should play shots in a downward direction across the full width of a singles court around mid-court. The Feeder should take the shuttle above the height of the net to ensure that downward pressure is maintained during the drill.

The shuttle should be pushed down forcing the Player to move side to side, playing controlled defensive shots back to the Feeder.

During this drill, the Player should keep their legs bent to allow for quick changes in direction and to also push back to the middle. This should make your legs burn!

If the Player begins to creep forward to take the shuttle earlier, the Feeder can play a lift over the top of the Player for them to return back to the net. Let’s keep the Player honest!

Practice this drill for 2 minutes and then swap with your partner before moving on to the next drill.

💡 Expert Tip

Keep Low! Straight legs will negatively impact your split-step speed as your center of gravity will be higher. This means that your stability is much lower, affecting your initial movement and therefore your overall movement efficiency.

11) Consistency
(Pair Drill)

Drill number 11, Consistency is one of my favorites. Consistency in badminton is one of the most important traits that you can have. If you make the error then you are just handing the point to your opponent without making them work. If you don’t make the mistake then your opponent has to beat you! The Consistency drill is a great way to practice not making a mistake and can be practiced using any shot you choose.

The aim of this drill is to hit a designated number of Shots (Be it Clears, Smash, Drops, etc) without making a mistake. Make a mistake and you are back to 0.

The Player working will hit their shot back to the same place each time. The person not working can hit anywhere to allow the person working to hit that particular shot that they are practicing. For example, if it’s a clear, to the back line, if it is a net shot, to the net.

Start with trying to hit 20 Shots in a row without making a mistake, then move up.

Level 1

20 Shots in a row

Level 2

30 Shots in a row

Level 3

40 Shots in a row

Level 4

50 Shots in a row

Level 5

The Maximum Number of Shots in a row you can manage!

Make sure that the quality of your shots remains as high as possible. Just being able to return a shot isn’t good enough if it is easy for your opponent to return.

12) Drives
(Pair Drill)

Practicing your drives is a go-to exercise for every player when warming up and what’s more, can easily be done on half a court! It is a great way to get sharp for a match but is also such an important shot in doubles. 

Drives will help get your feet moving for the constant little adjustments you need and warm up your hands and fingers for generating power and changing your grip quickly.

To perform Drives:

  • Both players begin in the mid-court
  • Hit the shuttle back and forth to one another
  • Try to keep the shuttle as low to the net as possible
  • Have a wide stance and a slight bend of your knees to keep low
  • A short swing is best using your fingers and thumb to generate the power

🔥Advanced🔥

If you want to increase the complexity of the drill you can occasionally add a lift in behind for one player to move back and smash before continuing the Drives. 

While performing Drives, one or both players can occasionally Lift the shuttle in behind the player. 

The player must then move back quickly and Smash the shuttle, before moving back and continuing the driving rally. 

This will encourage you not to stay static and practice your quick movement backward to retrieve the Smash.

Remember if you are struggling to get back for the Smash, don’t try to hit the Smash as hard as you can back. Control it back over and continue the rally. It is much more important to play a controlled, successful Smash that keeps the attack than putting everything you have into the net. 

Practice this drill for 2 minutes before moving on to the next drill. 

💡 Expert Tip

When practicing your Drives try to think about these three things

  1. Have a short racket swing – you want a controlled shot.

  2. Take the shuttle out in front of you – if it’s behind or next to you it is harder to hit a straight shot and it allows you to be ready for the next shot.

  3. Make sure your foot lands at the same time as you hit the shuttle – this allows you to come onto the shuttle giving your shot extra momentum. It also allows you to adjust your body to any last-minute changes like a net cord but make sure that you don’t hit the shuttle before you land as contact with the ground gives your body the stability it needs to play the Drive.

13) Rear and Mid-court Control
(Pair Drill)

A similar drill to Consistency, Rear and Mid-court Control requires the Player to control the shuttle back from the Rear and Mid-court ensuring that the shuttle is hit in a downward direction at all times to maintain the attack.

Controlling the shuttle back in this drill is advantageous as it can help you practice moving at full speed around the court whilst still maintaining a high-quality of shot execution. It helps with movement around the court too which is always a good thing.

Sometimes, when you are caught off-guard or when your opponent gets a shot in behind you, it is good practice to be able to move fast and play a controlled shot back, allowing you to get back in the rally without giving the attack straight to your opponent. 

To perform Rear and Mid-court Control:

  • The Feeder should stand around the service line on one side of the court.

  • The Player should start in the middle of the court.

  • The Feeder should play a variety of shots to the rear and mid-court.

  • The Player should play the shuttle back to the Feeder in a controlled manner.

Practice this drill for 2 minutes and then swap with your partner before moving on to the next drill.

14) Smash-Block-Lift
(Pair Drill)

The Smash-Block-Lift routine is a good drill to practice the Smash motion, movement and timing. Plus the later levels are great for fitness!

When performing this drill, make sure you focus on getting the right timing for your Smash as well as proper footwork to enable yourself to get into the proper position to perform the best possible Smash.

To perform the Smash-Block-Lift routine:

  • Player 1 begins by Lifting to the back of Player 2’s court. 
  • Player 2 then plays a Smash to Player 1.
  • Player 1 then blocks the shuttle back. 
  • Player 2, after recovering from the Smash, plays the shuttle back to Player 1. 
  • Player 1 then Lifts to the back of Player 2’s court again. 
  • The routine repeats like this.

Level 1

On a half court, Player 2 stands in one position and plays a smash to one place. Player 1 can block the smash back to Player 2, who can then gently play the shuttle back to Player 1, so they can lift the shuttle again. This pattern is then repeated. Level 1 is good for practicing the smash motion. 

Set a timer for 5 mins and then swap with your partner. Repeat the routine for 3 rounds each.

Level 2

Instead of standing in one position, this time Player 1 should alternate which corner they lift the shuttle to. Player 2 should smash straight to the middle. Level 2 is good for adding movement into the smash. 

Set a timer for 5 mins and then swap with your partner. Repeat the routine for 3 rounds each.

Level 3

Very similar to Level 2, except now Player 1 can play a lift to any side they choose. Two lifts to the same side, then switching to the other side. At level 3, Player 2 never knows where it is going to go. Level 3 is good for adding movement into the smash with more unpredictability. 

Set a timer for 5 mins and then swap with your partner. Repeat the routine for 3 rounds each.

Level 4

Beat the feeder. Instead of playing it back to Player 1, Player 2 can smash it wherever they like, to try and beat the feeder. Like level 3, Player 1 can still play their lift to any side they wish.

Play to 11 points. Play it like a game with a point for every rally. Player 1 can block and defend the smash to wherever they like.

The Smash-Block-Lift Routine can be practiced using both for a standard or stick smash.

15) 2-on-1
(Pair Exercise)

This drill is simple, 2 players vs 1. The 2 players should defend/lift everything and the player working should smash everything.

Level 1

The working player can be half court, smashing into a full court. 

Play to 11 points. Play it like a game with a point for every rally and then rotate round so each player can have a turn. Repeat the routine for 3 rounds each.

Level 2

Both sides use a full court.  

Play to 11 points. Play it like a game with a point for every rally and then rotate round so each player can have a turn. Repeat the routine for 3 rounds each.

A schematic showing Level 2 of the 2-on-1 drill to practice smashing

The 2-on-1 exercise can be practiced using both standard and stick smashes.

16) Jump Outs
(Feeder drill)

The Jump Outs drill is great for practicing your stick smash. Similar to the Multi-shuttle Smash Drill, you will need someone to be able to feed multiple shuttles. With the working player standing in the center of the court, the feeder will lift a shuttle so that the working player can jump out and smash the shuttle. The working player should not have moved toward the back of the court without more than that one jump. The working player must move back to the middle after the smash. 

Get ready, this workout makes your legs burn!

We have broken the drill down into 3 levels for you to work through.

Level 1

To perform this level the feeder should just feed to one side.

Play 3 x 20 shuttles for 1 round and then swap with your partner. Repeat the routine for 3 rounds each.

Level 2

To perform this level the feeder should alternate which corner they play the shuttle to. The player working can smash to wherever. 

Play 3 x 20 shuttles for 1 round and then swap with your partner. Repeat the routine for 3 rounds each.

Level 3

To perform this level the feeder can play the shuttle to whichever corner, they do not need to alternate. The player working can smash to wherever. 

Play 3 x 20 shuttles for 1 round and then swap with your partner. Repeat the routine for 3 rounds each.

For lifts played to the backhand side, make sure that you jump out and take the shuttle as a forehand smash by going around your head.

Here are three more variations that you can use in Jump Outs to enhance your training. These three variations can be applied using the same recommended 3 Levels for each one with the same recommended structure. All you have to do is apply the altered shot patterns.

⚡Jump Outs to Mid-court Attack

Refer to the instructions for Jump Outs for the Smash.

After the Player has performed the Smash, the Feeder should then play a shot to the Mid-court for the Player working to attack in the Mid-court. This simulates Smashing and moving forward to keep the attack.

The shot from the Feeder can be varied in height, trajectory, and location (Forehand or Backhand) to keep the Player on their toes.

⚡Jump Outs, Drive, Kill

Refer to the instructions for Jump Outs for the Smash.

After the Player has performed the Smash, the Feeder should then play a shot to the Mid-court for the Player working to play a Drive, then the Feeder should play a shot to the net for the Player to Kill the shuttle at the net. This simulates Smashing and moving forward to keep the attack.

The shot from the Feeder can be varied in height, trajectory, and location (Forehand or Backhand) to keep the Player on their toes.

Swap the number of shuttles played to either 18 or 21 shuttles as we now have 3 shots played during the drill pattern.

17) Hit the Tube
(Feeder drill)

A good fun drill to practice smash placement. Take a shuttle tube and stand it up on the feeder side near the tram lines. The aim of the game is to try and hit the tube with your smash. Let’s see who hits it the most!

We have broken the drill down into 3 levels for you to work through.

Level 1

To start with, let’s use two shuttle tubes to set a zone for you to aim for to practice aiming your smash. Try and hit as many shuttles as you can between the two tubes. 

Play 3 x 20 shuttles for 1 round and then swap with your partner. Repeat the routine for 3 rounds each.

Level 2

Now that you are getting better at aiming your smash, let’s just have one tube for you to aim for. Let’s get really precise with your smash.

Play 3 x 20 shuttles for 1 round and then swap with your partner. Repeat the routine for 3 rounds each.

Level 3

Now that your smash has pin point accuracy, let’s bring the power level of your smash back up and try to knock the tube over with your accurate smash. 

Play 3 x 20 shuttles for 1 round and then swap with your partner. Repeat the routine for 3 rounds each.

Hit the Tube can be practiced using both standard and stick smashes.

18) Half-Court Singles without Smashing
(Pair Exercise)

Play a game of half-court singles, but nobody can play a Smash. This is a fun way to practice getting your Drop shot as tight as possible, as your opponent knows it’s coming! This can also be a good lesson in working to make an opening in the rally. 

19) Footwork
(Solo Drill)

Movement around the court is such an important part of your game. Have you ever watched the professionals play and wondered how it is so easy for them to get back seemingly impossible shots, well it is because their footwork around the court is exceptional! When practicing your badminton footwork, you’re improving every area of the game from helping you reach the shuttle quicker to returning to the middle of the court faster.

One way to practice Footwork is the Badminton Court Clock.

Move to each point around the court using good badminton movement. If you have a partner, they can point to where they want you to move to. If not, just decide for yourself. This drill can be performed with or without your racket.

Perform movement for 5 continuous rounds. 1 round is 1 minute on, 30 seconds off. 

Want some more tips for improving your Footwork, then check out our article 15 Quick Tips to Improve Your Movement.

Conclusion

In conclusion, these are the best Routines and Drills that have helped me to improve my Badminton ability. If you use these routines and drills in your training you will definitely begin to see results, but don’t be afraid to experiment and find the drills that work best for you. 

Consistency is the way to improve. Don’t just train once and think that you should improve. The professionals are out there training for hours each day.

But remember that you are playing badminton because its fun, so don’t lose sight of that.

Remember to have fun and keep practicing!

If you want 100s more drills, check out our Complete Collection of Badminton Drills and Routines!

Want out Compete Collection of
Badminton Drills and Routines

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