Biomechanics in Badminton

A key aspect in attempting to improve and perfect ones sporting skills is to understand the biomechanics that are involved. Biomechanics is the study of how the body moves and the efficiency of movements (INCLUDE TEXTBOOK REFRENCE). By understanding the principles underpinning an athlete’s performance using biomechanics, it enables you to detect errors easier in the technique and adjust the athletes’ performance accordingly. Good morning my name is Melyssa and today I will be analysing the footage of a smash recorded from a game of badminton. Badminton is a game with rackets in which a shuttlecock is hit back and forth across a net (Random House Dictionary, 2014). I will identify both the strengths and weaknesses of this shot and using biomechanical terms, justify possible modifications that could potentially be made in order to improve the athletes skill.

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Biomechanics is a useful tool used when analysing an athlete’s performance. It is defined as the study of the mechanical laws relating to the movement or structure of living organisms (Random House Dictionary, 2014). The biomechanical principles that will be discussed in this presentation are stability, balance, summation of forces, and projectile motion. They pin point the strengths and/or weaknesses of the player to help the players to improve their performance.


The objective of a smash in a game of badminton is to produce a fast downwards shot, aimed at the opponents’ court resulting in an immediate point. After analysing my badminton smash and comparing it to professional, my strengths and weaknesses are clear. The video shows that the athlete successfully moves to position themselves under the shuttlecock and successfully used their front arm to balance the racquet arm. Although, the athlete failed to perform certain subroutines that are vital in order to perform a successful smash. The athlete also fails to position their body side on to the net and instead remains facing forwards. This impacts the force behind the shot and results in a reduced projectile motion of the shuttlecock. The first weakness identified in the video is in relation to the athletes balance as a result of an incorrect centre of gravity.

Having a correct centre of gravity is a very important aspect of the badminton shot as it can lead to incorrect levers and result in an incorrect trajectory of the shuttle, resulting in a failed smash. The athlete should have their body mass spread evenly, allowing for the best possible centre of gravity. The base of support should be wide, to enable for maximum balance. Your centre of gravity will change when you stretch up into the air to hit the shuttle. The video shows that the athlete fails to position their weight on their back foot when positioning themselves for the smash, resulting in an inadequate base of support. This can ultimately affects their balance and has a negative effect on their overall smash.


Another weakness in the athletes smash is their failure to successfully extend their arm to maximum length when making contact with the shuttle. This impacts their performance by restricting the amount of projectile motion used in the shot. Projectile motion refers to when A projectile object upon which the only force is gravity (physics classroom, 2008). Two major components of projectile motion include angle and height of release. By bending your arm during the smash it limits the athletes’ height of release, as this escalates its peak angle of release declines. This causes…. This is evident in the images shown. In order to complete a successful badminton smash, the height of release needs to be considered, when formulating the angle of release, as when the height increases the angle of release decrease.

This is because it requires the athlete to stretch and jump in order to hit the shuttle from a higher point, resulting in a decreased angle. This means her smash does not… what the video shows…. Their arm was also bent when making contact, resulting in a loss of force due to failing to straighten their arm, affecting the angle of release and again the amount of force put behind their shot. The angle of which the racquet makes contact with the shuttle cock, will determine the angle of release and therefore the height and distance it will travel. With force summation, the shuttle cock will receive a certain amount of speed upon release. The greater the force used in the shot, the greater the speed or release will be. The follow through will also help to determine the final path it will travel. If the athlete hits the shuttle cock higher in the air and angles it downward it will go downwards.

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