The badminton lift shot is played from the front of the court on one side to the back of the court on the other side, with an upwards trajectory. It is often played to reset the rally or to move the opponent.
To play a good badminton lift, you need to have a strong, controlled lunge, keeping your torso upright and core strong. You should land your lunging foot just before you strike the shuttle. For singles, the racket shaft should be more vertical and for doubles, it should be more horizontal.
We’ll now go through:
There are two key reasons why you might play a lift in a rally:
1. To reset the rally – when you’re under pressure and feel like you can’t play any other shots without putting yourself into more trouble. Lifting will allow yourself the time to get back into a good position and reset the rally.
2. To move your opponent – which puts their speed and footwork under pressure, either tiring them out, or forcing them to play a bad shot that you can then take advantage of.
Even though the lift can often be seen as more of a defensive shot, and therefore less ‘exciting’ to play, it’s common to see players making unforced errors by hitting lifts either short or out.
BUT, no matter what level you play at, improving your lift shot accuracy and consistency will help take your game to the next level. It’s also a great feeling when you force an error from your opponent with a really accurate lift!
This footwork is the same no matter if you’re moving sideways or directly forwards (for example from a side-by-side defensive position in doubles).
Lastly, there are a 3 key points that are ESSENTIAL to get right when moving to hit a lift shot:
Your racket preparation depends on whether you are playing singles or doubles:
As well as this, there are 2 more important points about racket preparation:
What grip should you use for the lift? You should use a forehand grip for a forehand lift, and a backhand grip for a backhand lift!
This sounds straight forward but we often see players struggle with lifting on their backhand side in particular due to them having the wrong grip. So in this instance, it’s important to try and get used to just using your thumb to generate power.
So putting it altogether with your good footwork, racket preparation and grip, you want to have a short swing, using your thumb and fingers to hit the shuttle in the direction you want it to travel.
A large percentage of the lift power should come from the squeeze of the fingers (and thumb on the backhand side) because if you use your arm too much you will lose both your power and control.
To get better at anything, you need to practice it! So in this list, each practice progresses from the one before to help you go from getting the technique right, to being able to use it effectively in a rally.
2. Racket Feed
3. Out of position
4. Single Shuttle
Now that we’ve gone through why the lift is important, when you should play it, the footwork, technique, and practices, we hope that you’ve learned how to play a basic lift!
If you’re interesting in learning more you can check out our Advanced Lifting Tutorial where we take an in-depth look at lifting and how you can utilise this shot in an offensive rather than defensive way! Specifically, we show you the technique and tactics of using both flat and high lifts for doubles and singles as well as some routines to practice these.
And if you’d like to watch our YouTube video on how to perform the badminton lift which includes more visual explanations, you can do so below.