Review of the StrengthPro Badminton Training Rackets

Once in a while a new product is launched in the badminton world which helps players improve their game.

Recently I was sent two “training” racquets for evaluation, which is something I rarely do. However, I’m always open-minded and like to test new training tools as attendees at my residential training weekends will testify. The question is, do these training racquets really work or are they just another flash-in-the-pan product? Read on…

The training racquets in question are the StrengthPro 140 and 160. Bearing in mind they are training racquets, my review will be slightly different to my usual standards as I have no wish to rate these racquets alongside the best that Yonex or Victor have to offer.

Readers of my blog will know that I’m an advocate of training tools to help you the player achieve more in badminton. I’ve written a number of articles and recorded videos on ways to improve the power in your wrists and forearms. The principles from these i.e. overloading specific areas of the body to make them do more work certainly apply to these training racquets.

So let’s take a closer look…

StrengthPro 140 Badminton Training Racket

StrengthPro 140 is a standard looking white badminton racquet with relatively plain graphics which is a nice change. It looks like any other badminton racquet in terms of dimension etc. Grip size feels bigger than Yonex G4 and is possibly a G2 but I can’t be sure. The grip itself is a Karakal PU grip – very nice.

What makes this racquet different is the weight. Most racquets I test weigh around 80-90 grams. This racquet weighs a whopping 140 grams – wow! As you can imagine it feels heavy compared to my Voltric 80 so technically it should give me a good workout. The racquet can be strung up to 32lbs tension which means you can string to your required tension to get the closest feel to your existing racquet.  That’s a plus point in itself.

StrengthPro 160 is available in yellow or orange with plain graphics. It has similar features to 140 except that it weighs in at 160 grams! So, if you really want to take your workout to extreme levels then perhaps this will be the training racquet for you.

It’s hitting time…

StrengthPro 160 Badminton Training Racket

With standard stringing I felt the stringbed was a bit springy for my tastes. So my first tip would be to have this racquet re-strung to your preferred tension. This I have now done.

What was interesting was the short amount of time it took to feel tired using these racquets. Clears were relatively easy and being a fan of head heavy racquets I loved the extra weight to really feel where the racquet head was travelling. In fact I feel the racquet helps tremendously in developing awareness of your racquet and what it is doing in so many situations. It also gives you a really good endurance workout!

The racquets were mainly tested in defence and net situations as these were the areas I was training my students at the time. I must confess both me and my students really struggled with the racquets initially because we weren’t used to them. Prior to receiving these racquets I always used an old squash racquet when overloading defence so it was great to have a better alternative.

During my training sessions I had my students smashing shuttles at me and I had to respond with different returns. So I had to lift, drive and block shuttles that were being hit very hard indeed. I struggled most with SP160 which stands to reason because it’s the heaviest of the two racquets. However, the training racquets did exactly what I wanted  – they initially slowed down my response to the incoming shuttle until I focussed and worked harder to find my form. As a result, when I swapped the racquets for my Voltric 80 I was so quick “on it” that the quality of my returns improved considerably.

Summary

I purposely haven’t prolonged this review because of what these racquets are meant to do. What I can confidently say is that these racquets are absolutely brilliant! They really help you develop as a player because you have the chance to have a good technical workout by simply overloading the key areas for technique i.e. hands and forearms. These racquets force you to improve your technique and you also get an endurance and strength workout at the same time.

In addition I used these racquets at home doing myarmchair exercises and again they added another dimension. For serious overload try placing the old racquet cover and book on one of these and see how difficult the exercise becomes!

All of my students commented how good these racquets are and I can only echo their sentiments. If you’re a serious student of badminton and looking to reach the top then you MUST have one of these racquets in your bag.

Coaches, you should also have one of these in your bag because you never know when this could be the answer to solving a technique issue or just training good players.

I can honestly say that StrengthPro Training Racquets are one of badmintons best kept secrets. They really do a superb job of training the player and that’s exactly what they’re for.

As a result of this test I now carry both the StrengthPro 140 and StrengthPro 160 in my bag at all times and wouldn’t consider leaving them behind for a minute. I’m glad to say my old squash racquet will have to find another home as there’s no room in my bag now that I have the StrengthPro racquets.

RRP for these racquets is only £65. If you go to the StrengthPro website you can probably get a better deal than this as they do have offers from time to time, although to me they’re certainly worth the money.

8 Comments

  1. FeatherBlaster November 21, 2014 at 12:13 am

    Wouldn’t you say these training rackets are a bit on the heavy side (140/160 grams)?

    If you look at Forza’s line up of power trainers for comparison, they come in 3 weights: 115, 130 and 150 grams, recommended to train “tournament”, “elite” and “professional” players respectively.

    I mean, if an average club player picks up the 160 grams tool here, chances are he’ll hurt himself, rather than achieve the results he’s hoping for. Especially if we’re talking junior players (boys at age 13-16 are often eager to get “more power” – the same kind of players that are going for too high string tensions for the wrong reasons).

    —–

    Are these rackets shipped with instructions or examples (how to be used)?

    • Paul Stewart
      Paul Stewart November 24, 2014 at 4:15 pm

      Training rackets have a part to play for any enthusiastic player. However they have to be used correctly. I’ve no idea who decided on the weight of these rackets and as you say there are lighter versions available.

      I used my training racket sparingly and only for specific exercises. Also, i do not use for long periods of time.

      At the moment I am working with the Strength Pro team to devise a series of exercises which are both safe and useful for all players.

      Paul

  2. AlexLaw February 27, 2014 at 7:12 am

    I usually use the Z force (3u) to fight people in doubles on the court. The only move in my repertoire is the smash, so I wouldn’t call myself weak deltoid/forearm wise.
    One unfortunate day, I tried the 160 gram brick. Did several clears which was much more difficult than the z force, then launched mid air and used all my power to do a jump smash…

    result: No badminton for two weeks. my deltoids were destroyed.

    so if you guys are gonna go for the racket, SMASH WITH CAUTION!!

    • Paul Stewart
      Paul Stewart February 27, 2014 at 9:09 am

      As with all training equipment, you need to understand how to use with safety in mind.

      Paul

  3. dlp September 15, 2011 at 12:41 am

    Good review. I would advise a lot of caution in smashing with these rackets, while it certainly can benefit players the stress on the muscles which decelarate the racket /arm in smashing is quite extreme. To give some perspective on levels the top senior players (former national top 10 doubles) that I coach can out hit me (average county level ! ) on driving , when they have a 160 and I have a normal racket the first time they tried them. International U17 juniors can lift back full smashes constantly to the baseline with the 160. But using heavy rackets over the years only played a small part in these players achieving that level, good technique being the first part.

    ALternating heavy racket with normal racket provides a great form of contrast training (like for instance squatting with weight then jumping) but the player is often not aware of the overload until couple days later and can easily overtrain/injure

    • wristskills August 3, 2012 at 10:36 pm

      Since a couple of days ago I ordered the SP160 and I am very glad with it… I have email strengthracketspro and asked how to use the racket in combination with your ‘lighter game-racket’….. He said it should be used for a couple of minutes, no longer than 5 and then switch to your lighter racket… Only my plan was to use the rackets for smashes,clears and ‘above hips’ shots!!! How can I practice this, I am a sublevel player in the Netherlands…. Only two levels lower than premier league!!

      Then there is another thing you and paul can help me with…. How should I train with a weightvest….I have contact with coach Lee Yae Bok and he recommended me shadowtraining with weightvest for powerful and quick movements!! But in your second part you had an interesting notice about not being aware of the overload and maybe can overtrain your muscles!!!! I am 34 years old: can I still do this?? Because I indeed had a couple of sore knees/legs after the first days of working with the weightvest!!! But how can you train this because you must feel the difference with weighttraining but where is the border that you overtrain yourself?? You must start somewhere, it is difficult because I still want to be quick and explosive on court….I have 3/4 hours training a week and 2 hours of free playing on court, and I have physical work with walking a lot of stairs in my sneakerstore?? It is hard to recover my muscles but I do not want to train less because I am affraid I will lose form and power/speed on court!!!

      Thanks for reading, can somebody give me advice about the racket and weighttraining,weekplan of badminton for my age and situation a still a high level of badminton!!! Thanks!!!! I love this site by the way!!

      • Paul
        Paul August 4, 2012 at 9:21 am

        The big issue here is using common sense.

        I don’t believe any reader would walk into a gym having not trained before, and pick up the heaviest weights – trying to do many reps. It just doesn’t work. You have to build up slowly.

        In your case, I think you’re trying too hard to get results too quickly.

        Using the SP160 for 5 minutes is a good workout. What Matthew from Strengthpro is saying is use the SP160 for 5 minutes then rest by using your racket. Your muscles are tired. The fact you continue to play after that means you are developing endurance. You could do 5 miunutes with SP160, switch to your racket for 10 minutes, switch to SP160 for 3 minutes, switch again for 10 minutes, switch to SP160 for 1 minute. But build up to this. Then consider extending the time. Matthew is trying to protect you from develop an injury through overuse.

        With all exercise, you have to think in terms of gradual improvement rather than immediate, so set a few goals.

        Regarding the weight training vest, you appear to have overtrained a little if your knees were sore. I would agree with Lee Jae Bok, that shadow work would be useful. I would also spend time doing split jumps and the first push off so that you are developing explosion. you won’t need to spend too long on this because you will get tired.

        If you are going up and down stairs all day, why not try wearing your weightvest for 10 minutes every hour. this way your legs are getting a workout. So, 10 minutes on – 50 minutes off. It may be you begin with a lesser time and work up to 10 minutes.

        I would say that if you are having coaching every week, you should be able to trust your coach to give you more information on training. Why not take time with them to develop your program? Perhaps you also need to agree the areas you need to improve most because it is possible that what you believe you need to work on differs to what your coach believes you need to work on.

        to your success

        Paul

  4. gingerphil79 September 13, 2011 at 2:42 pm

    I 100% agree with Paul. I also tested the sp160 racket last night. You are very aware of the racket with each movement because of the weight. It makes all shots harder. I found smashing hard was difficult with this racket because its harder on the muscles. and general movement was slower which is all good. My arms were tired quickly after hitting against a wall for 3/4 mins!!

    When switching back to my yonex arcsaber 7 racket, I felt like I was holding a feather. All my shots becaome stronger and faster and with ease.

    I have no doubt constant use of this racket with improve all round power and timing.

    A must buy for the serious badminton player

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