Badminton Strokes – Definition & Types

Badminton strokes are part of the foundation of badminton. Without proper knowledge of badminton strokes, your progress in the game will be impaired. In this post, I am going to explain everything there is to know about badminton strokes, starting with the definition and ending up with the types of strokes. Ready, let’s get started!

Ready to bring your badminton to the next level? Click here to learn how Badminton Famly+ will help you improve your game.

What is a badminton stroke?

A badminton stroke is the movement of the player’s racket with an intention to hit the shuttle.

It is important to note here that only the intention of hitting the shuttle is already considered a stroke. So, you could do a stroke and fail to hit the shuttle and that would still be considered a stroke.

The strokes are not about what happens after you have hit the shuttle, that is what the shots are. The strokes are about what happens before you hit the shuttle, how do you hold your racket, how do you swing it, and in which location.

What are the different types of badminton strokes?

It is generally accepted to divide the badminton strokes into four types:

  • Under-chest forehand stroke
  • Over-chest forehand stroke
  • Under-chest backhand stroke
  • Over-chest backhand stroke

You will find slightly different names in different sources, but the general idea is the same. I use the chest as a reference because it is roughly the location where the net is. As the net usually defines what trajectory is possible for the shuttle, I think this is a very useful distinction.

Excellent video from KC Badminton that explains the difference between forehand and backhand grips and strokes.

For example, whenever a stroke is an over-chest stroke, you know you can give the shuttle a downwards trajectory if you want. Whenever a stroke is an under-chest stroke, though, you know you are forced to give the shuttle an upwards trajectory.

In the image below you can find a representation of the area that these four different types of cover.

Badminton_Basic_Strokes
The four basic strokes of badminton by The Badminton Guide

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

Under-chest forehand stroke

The under-chest forehand stroke is a stroke that, as the name suggests, is performed with the forehand grip and it is performed below the level of the chest.

Quick tip: If you want to learn more about what a forehand grip is, check our Badminton Grip Guide, where we explain the different types of grips and how to perform them.

The under-chest strokes are usually defensive in nature because the shuttle needs to start with an upwards trajectory to go over the net. The most common shots that are an under-chest forehand stroke are the following:

If you are interested in learning a bit more about these shots, click the links above that will direct you to specific articles where these shots are explained.

Over-chest forehand stroke

The over-chest forehand stroke is a stroke that, as the name suggests, is performed with the forehand grip and it is performed above the level of the chest.

The over-chest strokes tend to be offensive in nature because the shuttle can have a downwards trajectory to go over the net. The most common shots that are an over-chest forehand stroke are the following:

If you are interested in learning a bit more about these shots, click the links above that will direct you to specific articles where these shots are explained.

Under-chest backhand stroke

The under-chest backhand stroke is a stroke that, as the name suggests, is performed with the backhand grip and it is performed below the level of the chest.

Quick tip: If you want to learn more about what a backhand grip is, check our Badminton Grip Guide, where we explain the different types of grips and how to perform them.

The under-chest strokes are usually defensive in nature because the shuttle needs to start with an upwards trajectory to go over the net. The most common shots that are an under-chest forehand stroke are the following:

If you are interested in learning a bit more about these shots, click the links above that will direct you to specific articles where these shots are explained.

Over-chest backhand stroke

The over-chest backhand stroke is a stroke that, as the name suggests, is performed with the backhand grip and it is performed above the level of the chest.

These over-chest strokes are not as offensive as their forehand counterparts because the backhand shots tend to be weaker. However, this is only a limitation that people have and if you have a very powerful backhand, they can still be offensive shots. The most common shots that are an over-chest forehand stroke are the following:

If you are interested in learning a bit more about these shots, click the links above that will direct you to specific articles where these shots are explained.

What is the difference between a stroke and a shot?

Sometimes I am seeing these two concepts used interchangeably, so I think it is important to distinguish them.

As I said at the beginning of this post, a stroke is the movement of the player’s racket with an intention to hit the shuttle.

A shot, on the other hand, describes the movement of the racket, the location of the player when hitting the shuttle, and the trajectory of the shuttle after the racket has hit it.

So, you could perform a stroke without hitting the shuttle, but you would need to hit the shuttle in order to perform a shot.

Moreover, as we have seen in the lists above, within a stroke category there are numerous different types of shots that can be performed.

Final words

And with this clarification, we have arrived at the end of this post. Do you still have questions about badminton strokes? Then let me know in the comments below.

If you liked this post and would like to learn other basic principles from badminton, be sure to check our Badminton Basics post, where I explain all the basics of badminton.

Licence for featured image

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

Attribution: Bryan Allison, Flickr, CC BY-SA 4.0

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *