Sports & Wellness

A Beginner's Essential Guide on How to Play Badminton

16 May 2022

Interested in a new sport? Badminton is great exercise and something you can play at any age. Read our guide on what is badminton and how to play it.

Think about the most popular sports in Britain. What can you remember? Football and cricket may come to mind. 

You should also think about badminton, though. The government is funding the 2024 Olympic badminton team with more than £3.1 million. This statistic offers just a snapshot of the money and resources behind the UK's badminton clubs. 

Yet many people decline to play badminton, thinking the game is too difficult. In reality, you can learn how to play badminton in just a few minutes. 

What is badminton, and at what age can you play badminton? What are the rules you need to follow? How can you hone your skills over time? 

Read our article and you can become a fit and trim badminton player in no time. Here is your quick guide.


The Basics of Badminton

Badminton is a racquet sport similar to tennis. Two or more players use racquets to strike a shuttlecock, trying to pass it over a net. A player scores a point when they hit a shuttlecock with their racquet and it lands on their opponent's side of the court. 

A shuttlecock has a rounded base with an open cone made of feathers or plastic. This makes the shuttlecock lighter than a tennis ball. However, the feathers can skew how the shuttlecock moves through the air, making its trajectory a little unpredictable.

People of all ages can play badminton, and classes for beginners are open at many athletic clubs. You can play with one other person, or you can play in teams of two. 


Badminton Rules

A badminton court is 13.4 meters (44 feet) long and 5.2 meters (17 feet) wide. During doubles games, the width can be expanded to 6.1 meters (20 feet) to accommodate the extra player. 

White lines mark the perimeter of the court. If you hit the shuttlecock and it falls outside the perimeter, your opponent scores a point. You can step outside the line without incurring a penalty.

A coin toss decides who gets the first serve. The serving player stands to the right of the court's midline while the other player stands to the left. The players switch sides after each point.

You score a point when the shuttlecock lands inside your opponent's court or hits any part of their body. You also score if your opponent strikes the cock multiple times with their racquet. 

The first person to 21 points wins, but they must win by two points. At 29-29, the player that scores their 30th point wins the game. A standard match has three games, and the player who wins two games wins the whole match. 

A fault or foul occurs when a player violates the rules in some way. If they touch the net with any part of their body or jump into the air, the umpire can call a foul and give a point to the opposing player.


Benefits of Badminton for Fitness

Badminton is one of the best sports for fitness. A 2018 study found that badminton players live 6.2 years longer than people who do not participate in sports.

It is a cardiovascular activity, with players running around the court to strike the shuttlecock. The running is short in distance and duration, making it more akin to sprinting than marathon running. This allows people who struggle with endurance to play and improve their heart health. 

Badminton also improves muscle strength. By swinging the racquet, you use the muscles in your arms, shoulders, and lower back. You build your core and leg muscles by running and manoeuvring your body to hit the cock.

Swinging the racquet helps you improve your flexibility and hand-eye coordination. You must manipulate your muscles in a precise fashion in order to knock the shuttlecock where you want it to go. 

Badminton can have some mental health benefits as well. You need to concentrate and remain alert while you are playing the game. You have to make quick decisions, especially during doubles matches, where you have to determine if you or your partner should hit the cock.


Tips for Badminton Players

If you are new to badminton, you should start developing your skills by working on your grip. Most new badminton players use a forehand grip, putting the handle on their palm and gripping the handle with all five fingers. But you can experiment with other grips if you have trouble coordinating your fingers. 

To swing adequately, put your right foot behind you and use your elbow as your axis. Pivoting with your elbow and not your shoulder will let you hit the shuttlecock off to the side. 

When you are receiving the shuttlecock, you should adopt a ready stance. You should put your left leg in front of you and your right leg behind you. If the cock is approaching you from above, you can lift the racquet upward in order to connect with it. 

All of these skills take time and effort to learn. You can hire a badminton coach and participate in exercises so you can get the essentials down. You can also learn fun warm-up exercises so you are ready to play a game. 

Try to find the right shoes so you have a good grip on the court. You should also get a racquet that you can grip comfortably and twist in your hands.

Learn to Play Badminton

Learning how to play badminton isn't difficult. Badminton is similar to tennis, but it uses a lightweight shuttlecock instead of a ball. To win the game you have to hit the cock onto your opponent's side of the court and score 21 points. 

Both young and old people alike can play. It is extremely good for you as it builds both heart and muscle health. Start by learning how to grip a racquet, then practice your swing and stance.

You don't have to play badminton on your own. At Sport Session you can find a badminton coach who can teach you all the aspects of the game. Choose your coach now and get your racquet ready.

Name your sporting or fitness goal - we'll help you smash it. Personal Training, Yoga, Pilates, HIIT, Boxing and SO MUCH MORE. With an irresistible 30% OFF your first session!


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