Skip to Content

How To Hold a Badminton Racket The Right Way: Complete Guide

With an estimated 220 million participants worldwide, badminton ranks as the second-most popular sport in the world, behind only soccer. Its roots can be traced to late 19th century India and British soldiers returning home brought the sport with them back to Europe where it was warmly embraced. Eventually, it became an Olympic sport in 1992 and badminton continues to flourish to this day.

A couple of reasons why badminton is so popular is because it is so accessible and easy to pick up. But as with all sports, it is important to master the fundamentals, and for badminton, it all starts with studying the proper techniques for holding the racket and getting comfortable with the basic grips. A few key principles are all you need to learn so keep reading to get started on your new badminton journey.

How To Hold a Badminton Racket: The Right Way

Learning how to hold a badminton racket the right way actually consists of two equally important parts. First, there is the process of mastering the proper techniques for grasping the racket in your hand.

This entails correctly positioning the fingers and the palm of your hand around the racket handle and gripping it with just the right amount of pressure.

Grasping a badminton racket with proper form is essential to advancing to the second part of holding a badminton racket, which is learning the different ways to grip the racket handle to perform certain types of shots.

Only once you are comfortable with holding a badminton racket can you then learn the various grips that are needed to play the game at a proficient level.

Here’s a basic overview of holding a racket with more grips and styles below:

We got our Baden Badminton Set Here on Amazon for a good deal and it’s put up with a good beating and still works for us. I recommend starting your search there.

Holding a Badminton Racket Is Like Shaking Someone’s Hand

There is far more to playing badminton than picking up a racket, grabbing the handle, and swinging away. To play at any level, be it recreationally with friends and family or on an organized, highly competitive stage, the first step you must take is learning how to hold the racket handle in your hand.

A badminton racket handle has a series of alternating wide and narrow sides that are known as bevels. In fact, if you look at the handle from its end you will see that the bevels form an octagonal shape and it is this unique design that enables a badminton racket to be held and used with a tremendous degree of control and agility.

Here are some key tips for holding a badminton racket handle the right way:

  • Of the five fingers on your hand, only the thumb, index, and middle fingers are used to control the racket
  • Your ring finger and pinky should grasp the handle so as to counterbalance the badminton racket’s weight
  • The bottom of the handle should align with the base of your palm
  • It is the combination of finger and wrist action that generates power in a badminton shot and not necessarily the bicep and shoulder muscles

A popular method for beginners to familiarize themselves with the proper way of holding a badminton racket is to imagine that the handle is someone’s outstretched hand and you are about to engage in a friendly handshake (source).

In this manner, the racket handle should come across your hand at an angle starting at the base of your index finger and ending at the bottom of your palm where it meets your wrist.

Once you become familiar with the fundamentals of holding a badminton racket the right way, you can then learn the core gripping techniques that will enable you to play the game in the manner that it is meant to be played.

How Hard You Hold a Badminton Racket Matters

Although highly skilled players are capable of performing jaw-dropping shots that combine power and athleticism, badminton is at its core, a game of finesse. And this is perhaps no more evident than in the way that a badminton racket is held.

Generally speaking, the key to learning the various grips and performing a myriad of shots, is applying the correct amount of pressure when holding the racket.

When it comes to holding a badminton racket with the right amount of firmness (source), these are the key things to know:

  • Generally speaking, a badminton racket should be held with a mild degree of firmness to encourage the greatest amount of agility and flexibility in the wrist (this is where most of the power in a badminton shot comes from)
  • If the racket handle is grasped too firmly then the wrist will tighten up and its movement will be limited thus leaving shots underpowered and poorly executed
  • Gripping a badminton racket too hard can also lead to injuries
  • When not swinging, the proper amount of pressure to apply when holding a racket should be relaxed and agile
  • For smash shots, your grip pressure should be tightened just before the moment of impact as you generate shot velocity while swinging through and striking the shuttlecock

There is more to holding a badminton racket the right way than positioning your hand and fingers in a certain manner. Gripping the handle with the proper amount of pressure and knowing when to tighten your grip before making a shot are essential techniques that may be challenging to learn at first but can become second nature with patience and practice.

Here’s a quick video showing 4 popular ways to hold a racket, with more grips below:

We got our Baden Badminton Set Here on Amazon for a good deal and it’s put up with a good beating and still works for us. I recommend starting your search there.

How To Do the Forehand Grip in Badminton

One of the fundamental ways to hold a badminton racket is known as the forehand grip. From this grip position, you can perform virtually any number of forehand (i.e., swinging the racket across your body with your hand moving palm-first toward the target) shots.

Follow these steps to correctly hold a badminton racket in a forehand grip:

  • The correct racket orientation when preparing to do a forehand grip is with the racket face perpendicular to the ground (in other words, the edges of the racket face are pointing up and down and the strings are only visible when viewed from the sides)
  • Grasp the racket handle using the handshake approach
  • When looking straight down at your hand holding the racket your thumb and index finger should form a v-shape
  • Your index finger should be bent in the shape of a hook with the first and second joints nestled on the underside of the handle and your thumb off to the side
  • Remember that your ring and pinky fingers are providing the primary gripping action to grasp the racket and prevent it from slipping out of your hand during play

In many ways, the forehand grip serves as a gateway to other gripping techniques. By mastering this one first the other methods of holding a badminton racket will come naturally.

How To Do the Backhand Grip in Badminton

Another commonly used gripping style in badminton is the backhand grip. As the name suggests, this grip is primarily used when executing backhand (i.e., swinging the racket so that the back of your hand is moving toward the target) shots.

The basic structure of the grip is similar to the forehand grip but there are significant differences.

This is how you do a backhand grip:

  • When gripping the handle, the racket should be oriented with strings facing up and down (i.e. toward the ceiling and ground)
  • The racket is essentially positioned so that the strings and back of your hand are perpendicular to each other
  • Your thumb should rest on one of the wide bevels to provide maximum racket stability and control
  • It is a common technique when doing a backhand grip to move the hand up on the racket handle (closer to the shaft) to increase responsiveness and control on certain shots, particularly those made from the forecourt and midcourt areas

The variety of shots that can be made with a backhand grip are wide-ranging and include drives, lifts, shots at the net, and even serves. If you want to develop into an all-around badminton player, this is one grip that you must have in your arsenal.

How To Do the Neutral Grip in Badminton

One of the most important badminton gripping techniques is the neutral grip and its importance relates not so much to the types of shots it is used to make (which are not very many), but rather, to the way that it enables you to switch between different gripping styles.

In other words, the neutral grip is a method for transitioning quickly from one type of grip to another in the midst of play.

Here’s how you do it:

  • The finger and palm positioning is the same as the forehand grip but the racket face is pitched slightly (less than 45 degrees) toward the backhand
  • Many players find it useful to position the racket handle slightly more toward the fingertips so that it can be more easily and quickly rotated from one grip orientation to another
  • The placement of your thumb is also important and it should be oriented with the side of the thumb tip nestled against the bevel as opposed to the thumb resting entirely on the handle
  • Because the neutral grip is utilized to switch from one grip to another it may be useful to position the index finger higher up on the grip (toward the shaft) so that along with your thumb, the racket handle can be easily rotated between these two fingers using a back-and-forth rocking motion

Badminton can be a fast-paced game, particularly when skilled players are participating. With the variety of shots that are required, mastering the neutral grip will ensure that you are ready to execute whatever shot is necessary to win the rally.

How To Do the Panhandle Grip in Badminton

The panhandle grip is another popular technique for holding a badminton racket and it is also one of the most intuitive and natural grips to use.

An easy method for doing a panhandle grip is to lay your racket flat on a table and then pick it up by the handle as if it were a frying pan. Your thumb and fingers should naturally wrap themselves around the grip in the proper positions.

Here are the particulars of this grip:

  • The panhandle grip is essentially the forehand grip with the racket face rotated 90 degrees, so that instead of the strings facing sideways, they are facing up toward the ceiling and down toward the floor
  • The typical ready position for this technique is to raise your arm, bend your elbow and cock your wrist back so that the racket strings are facing the net and the back of your hand is facing you
  • This grip can be used for a variety of shots, including forehands at the net
  • As with the other techniques for holding a badminton racket, the proper amount of grip pressure is gentle and lively as opposed to stiff and tight

Many beginners gravitate toward the panhandle grip because it is so easy to learn and use right off the bat. It is important, however, to learn the proper techniques for using this and other grips to avoid picking up bad habits and diminishing the level of your play.

How To Do the Bevel Grip in Badminton

The bevel grip has elements of the neutral grip and the backhand grip and it is primarily used for backhand shots from the rearcourt area. The finger and palm positioning are similar to the neutral grip but with one primary distinction being the placement of the thumb on the diagonal (e.g., narrower) bevel.

Other characteristics of the bevel grip include:

  • Only the tip of the thumb should rest on a diagonal bevel (as opposed to the entire finger) – there should be a gap of roughly ¼” to ½” between the lower half and base of the thumb and the racket handle
  • A common technique used by advanced players when using the bevel grip is to move the index finger down on the handle so that it is positioned closer to the middle finger
  • The ready position for using this grip to execute rearcourt backhand shots begins with the racket arm and hand in a “thumbs-up” position (the elbow is bent and the wrist is cocked with the thumb pointing straight up)
  • In this manner, the forearm can pivot back and forth to generate racket face speed and accuracy when striking the shuttlecock
  • The primary types of shots that the bevel grip is used for include clearing shots and drop shots

While its use may not be as prevalent as the forehand and backhand grips, the bevel grip is an indispensable technique for badminton players looking to advance their game.

We got our Baden Badminton Set Here on Amazon for a good deal and it’s put up with a good beating and still works for us. I recommend starting your search there.


As millions of participants can attest, badminton is an exciting and social way to get some exercise. It can be extremely competitive, and best of all, players of all skill levels can get in on the fun.

But it is important, particularly for newcomers to the game, to learn the basics and this starts with learning how to hold a badminton racket the right way.

With a bit of patience and a lot of practice, you can master the fundamentals and be on your way to playing one of the world’s most popular sports.

Sharing is caring!