Man waiting to receive a shuttlecock to hit

In this article, we’ll have a detailed look at the different types of clears in badminton and how you can perform them.

A clear is a badminton shot that is hit close from your baseline towards the opponent’s baseline. Clears are hit high and deep and are mostly a means to prolong the rally.

Now that you know what clears are, let’s discuss how to execute them on the badminton court.

Key Takeaways:

  • There are three types of clears in badminton: forehand overarm clears, backhand overarm clears, and underarm clears.
  • Both the overarm clears are hit in an attempt to create space for you in the middle or front of the opponent’s side of the court.
  • The underarm clears are attempted from the front of the court when you’re off-balanced or feeling under pressure.
  • To hit proper clears, use your wrist to generate power for the shot and hit the shuttlecock with a flat-face racket.

1. Forehand Clears

Forehand clears are made from the back of the court with a forehand grip on your badminton racket.

If executed properly, a forehand clear will create space for you in the middle or front of the opponent’s side of the court. You can then exploit this space to try and win a point.

A properly hit forehand clear will also give you enough time to return to your base position in the center of the court. In doing so, it will deny your opponent the opportunity to catch you off-guard.

How to Hit Forehand Clears in Badminton

  1. Get yourself in a position in which the incoming shuttle will land right in front of your non-racket leg. In this position, you’d be able to impart maximum power to your clear.
  2. Shift your entire weight to your racket/dominant leg. Pull back your racket arm and stretch it as back as you comfortably could. In the meantime, your non-racket arm should be pointing upwards (towards the shuttlecock).
  3. As soon as you sense that the shuttle is there for the hit, bend your back leg slightly while pushing your front leg forward. At the same time, hit the shuttlecock as if you’re throwing a ball toward the opponent.
  4. Complete the arm movement by following through the motion before returning to the base position in the middle of the court.

2. Backhand Clears

As the name implies, backhand clears are played using a backhand grip.

Backhand clears are more difficult to execute than forehand clears, which is why many beginners struggle to hit them properly.

Yet, if you want to become an all-round badminton player with no apparent weakness in your game, you have no choice but to learn how to hit backhand clears properly.

Otherwise, your opponent will keep targeting the area on your backhand side of the court, forcing you to lose some precious points.

Related article: Top 10 Badminton Tips for Beginners

How to Hit Backhand Clears in Badminton

  1. The first thing you need to know to execute a backhand clear is how to hold your badminton racket for this type of shot. You want to forego the V-grip (used for forehand clears) and instead opt for the panhandle grip.
  2. Once you have a backhand grip over your racket, it’s time to drop the racket on the side of your non-racket leg. This is done to make sure that you’re holding the racket with nothing but your fingers.
  3. Maintain a loose grip over the racket and raise your elbow above the chest. Keep your knees slightly bent and wait for the shuttlecock to reach the point from where you can hit it.
  4. As the shuttlecock enters your hitting zone, place your non-racket hand just above your stomach area. Next, hit the backhand clear with a twist of the wrist.
  5. Return to your base position after hitting the clear.

3. Underarm Clears

Underarm clears are usually played from your frontcourt towards the opponent’s baseline. There are two possible scenarios in which underarm clears might come in handy.

The first is when you’re off-balanced or under pressure and hitting an underarm clear might get you off the hook. An underarm clear might be your most potent shot if your opponent has weak smashes.

By constantly forcing them to go back to the court and expend all their energy on (weak) smashes, you’ll be waiting for them to make a loose shot, which you can pounce on to win a point.

Underarm clears come in two types: Forehand and backhand. Let’s look at these in more detail.

Forehand Underarm Clear

A forehand underarm clear is made using the same grip which you used in the aformentioned overhead forearm clear. Here’s how:

  • Step 1. While maintaining a forehand grip on your racket, extend your non-racket leg forward and lunge towards the net.
  • Step 2. Extend your racket arm and hit the shuttlecock just before it hits the ground. If you were able to get into position early, you won’t face much trouble directing your shot wherever you want.
  • Step 3. After executing the forehand underarm clear, quickly return to your base position.

Backhand Underarm Clear

A backhand underarm clear is made with the same backhand grip used in the above overhead backhand clear. Here’s how:

  • Step 1. After placing a backhand grip on your racket, extend your racket leg forward to lunge towards the net.
  • Step 2. As soon as the shuttlecock crosses the net, draw your racket back before moving it forward and hitting the shuttlecock just before its hits the court. Use your wrist to generate power for your shot.
  • Step 3. After playing the backhand underarm clear, quickly return to your base position.

Mistakes to Avoid while Hitting Clears

One of the most common mistakes beginners make while hitting clears is using their shoulder to impart power to this shot. Instead, what you should be doing is using your wrist to generate power for your clears.

Another common mistake is hitting the clear with the face of the racket slightly bent. This error prevents you from transferring maximum energy to the shuttlecock. Always hit the shuttlecock/clear with a flat racket face.

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