Date of Award


Degree Type

Thesis - ECU Access Only

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


School of Medical and Health Sciences

First Advisor

Ken Nosaka

Second Advisor

Jodie Cochrane Wilkie


typical singles badminton match is less than 60 minutes, in which various high-intensity movements are performed. Smash and net shot are the most frequent shots to gain points from rallies, and they are often performed in succession. However, little is known about the smashlunge sequence performed in a badminton singles match, and how this movement sequence contributes to overall badminton performance. Another key movement is the lunge, which accounts for approximately 18% of all movements executed in a singles badminton match. Although some studies investigated lunges in badminton, no previous study has focused on the lunge in relation to an offensive net shot. Therefore, the purposes of this PhD research project were to 1) analyse male singles elite badminton matches to examine the smash-lunge sequence movement in relation to overall performance (Study 1); 2) develop and investigate badminton lunge tests to assess the badminton lunge ability in relation to an offensive net shot (Study 2); and 3) investigate physical factors affecting the badminton lunge ability (Study 3).

Study 1: Semi-final and final match videos of the Olympic Games, Grand-Prix, and World- SuperSeries in 2016, played by 20 of the top 50 ranked badminton players in the world, were analysed. Points won from smash and smash-lunge in a game as well as entire match were counted, and the number of lunges, smash and smash-lunge were compared between the winners and losers. Analyses were also undertaken to determine whether points won from a smash-lunge sequence occurred immediately, within three rallies or more than three rallies. Game winner and loser scored 4.8 ± 1.9 and 3.5 ± 1.3 points from a smash, and 4.0 ± 2.8 and 1.7 ± 1.6 points from a smash-lunge sequence, respectively. Match winner and loser scored 11.0 ± 2.6 and 8.2 ± 3.0 points from a smash, and 7.4 ± 4.8 and 5.5 ± 3.7 points from a smashlunge sequence, respectively. The shot frequency of the smash and smash-lunge sequence did not differ for the match winners and losers. However, the game and match winners won significantly (p < 0.05) 5-10% more points from performing the smash and smash-lunge sequence than losers. Among the points relating to smash-lunge sequence, 60% of the points were won immediately after the smash-lunge sequence. These results suggest that offensive shots were important in badminton and winners were more effective at winning points immediately off the smash-lunge sequence.

Study 2: Sixteen state-level male badminton players in Western Australia (14-35 years) performed three badminton lunging tests; single step lunge (SSL), single step lunge back to base (SSLBB), and base to base (BB), that were assumed to represent the badminton lunge ability. Time to complete each test was recorded, along with vertical ground reaction force and lower limb joint angles, collected via force plates and a XSENS suit during the lunge phase of the tests. Comparison on the time to complete each test between higher- and lower-rank players was made. The lunging tests were also performed before and after 220 repeated lunges to investigate effects of fatigue on the tests. All lunging tests were reliable (ICC=0.86-0.91, CV=5.1-9.3%) and correlated (p < 0.05) with each other (r=0.69-0.79). The mean time to complete the SSL (0.45 ± 0.04 s vs 0.54 ± 0.03 s), SSLBB (1.57 ± 0.11 s vs 1.80 ± 0.14 s) and BB (2.33 ± 0.09 s vs 2.63 ± 0.11 s) was faster (p < 0.01) for the higher-rank (#1-6) than the lower-rank (#11-16) players’ group. The duration to complete the three lunging tests increased (p < 0.01) after the repeated lunges, with the greater increase noted for the SSL (p < 0.01) for the lower-rank players (15.0 ± 8.6%) compared to higher-rank players (0.8 ± 7.9%). These results showed that the lunge tests could be used to assess badminton specific lunging ability and differentiate between lower and higher ranked players and effects of fatigue.

Study 3: The same group of participants as those in the Study 2, performed three badminton lunging tests; SSL, SSLBB, and BB, and other measurements consisting of maximal voluntary isometric, concentric and eccentric contraction torque of the ankle, knee and hip extensors, a badminton specific agility test, the RSI in a drop jump test, and dynamic balance in the mSEBT. Correlations between these measures and the three badminton lunging tests (SSL, SSLBB, BB) were analysed by Pearson correlation coefficients. Linear mixed effect model was also used to identify the variables that were associated most with the badminton lunge performance. Strong correlations (p < 0.01) were found between the maximal voluntary isometric and eccentric contraction torque of the knee extensors and the time of SSL (r = -0.70 and r = -0.82, respectively), SSLBB (r = -0.73, r = -0.78) and BB (r = -0.86, r = -0.79). The agility (r = 0.75 – 0.85) and balance tests (r = 0.58 - 0.66) also showed significant (p < 0.05) correlations with the three badminton lunge tests. The linear mixed effect model results indicated that both agility and balance were good predictors for the BB (F-value= 89.6 – 113.5, p < 0.05). It was concluded that the eccentric and isometric knee extensor strength, along with agility and dynamic balance, were most associated with the badminton lunge ability.

The significance of the smash-lunge sequence and lunges on badminton singles match performance was clarified from these studies. The smash-lunge sequence appears to be a vital movement that could increase the likelihood in winning games and matches. The lunge application appears to be of great importance due to its large number of executions in a badminton singles match and its contribution to the application of the smash-lunge sequence. Although all badminton lunge tests were reliable and strongly correlated with each other, the SSLBB and BB lunge tests were more likely to represent the badminton lunge ability than the SSL, since they included the movements in a badminton game situation. Moreover, the badminton lunge ability was compromised after repeated lunges, which suggests that the lunge ability is reduced by repeating lunges in a match. As the eccentric and isometric muscular strength of the knee extensors was highly correlated with the badminton lunge test performance, resistance training to increase these strength qualities may be beneficial in improving overall badminton performance.


Author also known as Ryan Lin

Access Note

Access to Chapters 2, 3 & 4, and Appendix F of this thesis is not available.

Some images are not available in this version of the thesis due to copyright considerations.