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It is believed that in badminton 50% of winning depends on player footwork but unfortunately it is very common in beginners as well as in intermediate player that they are not much explosive on court but don’t worry this guide will help you to understand the most important thing which is going to help you move faster on court , SPLIT STEP(or also known as prep jump).

What is Split step or prep jump in badminton?

Split step in Badminton

It refers to a little jump which player takes just before the opponent hit the shuttle and lands on the ground with the shuttle is hit by opponent as you can see in the  picture, player is doing the split step, even though his opponent has not hit the shuttle but it is all about the timing.

Why is it so important?

Badminton is one of the fastest sport in the world and it is necessary for a player to keep his movement fast to match with the speed of shuttle (can reach over 400km/h) and bad footwork technique can cause an injury .

Often players are doubtful about the benefits of a split step, because it seems like you’re adding an extra movement, and you might think that would take longer, but a split step is absolutely essential.

Without it, you are not ready to move quickly in different directions, this can be demonstrated by comparing movement under pressure, with and without a split step. Once you see the difference, it’s obvious why a split step is needed.

Technique of executing the split step in badminton

Before you get too excited about this thing first master these techniques, to not look like a player who is jumping unnecessarily on court .

The split drop involves widening your base (the split) and lowering your base (the drop) at the same time.

  1. Start in the ready position.
  2. Now push upwards slightly to get your feet just off the ground.
  3. As your feet are coming off the ground, widen your legs so that you land with your feet farther apart.
  4. As you land, bend your knees so that you land in a slightly lower posture than before (with the knees bent more).
  5. A casual observer would not even realize that you momentarily took your feet off the floor.
  6. Your feet barely leave the surface before you land again.
  7. The whole process takes a mere instant, and then you are ready to push off and move to the shuttlecock.

What is the perfect timing for performing a split step?

One of the most common question beginner have in mind when it’s come to split step, when do I jump? But that’s the wrong question because you cannot tell whether you timed your split step correctly based on your jump you can only tell that you have timed your split step correctly based on your landing , because when you land you will feel if you are able to push off in the direction of the shuttle well, so you will feel that the split step actually help you react faster because your legs loaded they are like spring and then you pushed off in the direction of the shuttle and that’s how you will be able to tell you that you have timed your split step correctly.

But the basic technique which need to be followed for timing is as follows:-

You should start your split drop just as the opponent is hitting the shuttlecock, so that you complete it just after you see where the shuttlecock is going, it all comes down to timing.

If you split too late, your movement is delayed; but if you split too early, you lose the bouncing effect.

Practice timing your split drop so that you can move off immediately after seeing where the shuttlecock is going.

Jumping too high

One thing to keep in mind avoid high jump during split step now you might be thinking the higher you goes the more time you will get to make your body ready in the air for next shot of your opponent, but jumping to high if that is only small centimeter it will affect your speed on court.Badminton is a very fast sport and a fraction of second delay can impact your play during a match so in movement efficiency is very much necessary.

If you are jumping too high than you are unnecessarily wasting your energy sometime this mistake can be seen even by professional players like tommy sugiarto.

Landing on the ground after split step

In badminton a lot of forward and backward movement is present so it is necessary to mostly land on the foot which is opposite to the direction you want to go. This will help you to get that explosive push from the ground.

On the toes!

Now as I mentioned previously watching Lee chong wei videos will help you tremendously in improving footwork, if you closely watches his feet he always tries to move on toes, now other most of the top players are also doing it but it is barely visible because the elevation of their heel from the ground is not that much as compared to Lee Chong wei. Moving around on the quote with doors will help you in reducing wastage of movement and more as quickly as possible.

So Always be on your toes except while doing a lunge and when you hit a smash your racket foot follow through.

Some Exercise/drills to improve split step

How can you practice for well time and effective split step?
Jumping with jump rope is one of the best exercise you can do that will give you that feel of very short contact with the ground and a quick push off, do not underestimate the power of the jump rope I guarantee you that every top badminton player has done thousands of jumps with the jump rope.
You can also perform agility exercise bike jumping Jacks or ladder drills one of them which I would recommend to improve split step is “2 feet out, 1 feet in” you can search on YouTube about different ladder drills.

Learn from great player

Watching videos of top class players can help you in learning these things much faster , because there you are watching how a player is applying these basic Movement in a real time situation, I personally would recommend you to watch videos of Lee Chong Wei, in my opinion his footwork is just too perfect, I mean everything is on point all those basic that you learn as a beginner he is applying everything in his game that’s why he is so good at footwork. In another word Lee chong wei is the most mechanically skilled player I have ever seen.

After completing this article go watch a video of lin dan or lee chong wei match and try to observe their split step. This will help you to know when to take that prep jump.

And lastly

And last make sure that you are moving before making a split step many time player hits the shuttle and they are just standing still because they are observing the shuttle, don’t observe your shot, don’t be an observer be a player as soon as you make your shot you need to get back to playing by that I mean you are mentally alert and ready to go for any type of shot that you opponent might play.

The idea is to quickly move to take the shuttle and then quickly return to your base. Agility is important, but body balance is equally important.

If you do not have good body balance, you’ll lose time trying to stabilize yourself — in turn this gives you less time to return to your base. All the above is merely a guide There are no BEST ways for badminton footwork, you should move in a way you are comfortable with and keep practicing.

If you have any other question feel free to ask in comment section

Remember if you face any problem in your badminton career.

Thank you for reading…….

Categories: Improve your game


Kailash S · at

Great Knowledge ,Very useful to all beginner to start the practice , Hartley Thanks to share this Information.

    Sahil · at

    Thanks for feedback, Share this to help others.

Sunil Saraswat · at

Sir, which time I start split jump, when aponent touch the shuttlecock or after touching the shuttlecock

    Sahil · at

    Split second before opponent hit the shot.
    Share on Social media if it helped you 🙂

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