There are three basic patterns of footwork to the forehand rear corner: the arc step, the jump-out, and the step-out.
Each is useful in different situations.
The arc step
Use this footwork pattern when you have time to get behind the shuttlecock.
The idea of the arc step is to position yourself directly behind the shuttlecock, in a fully side-on hitting position, so that you can threaten to play a full-power smash. By contrast, the other two footwork patterns place you diagonally into the corner (the fastest way).
Pattern summary: split, arc step, scissor jump.
1) Split drop
From the ready position, make a split drop. As you land, shift your weight slightly onto your left foot (because you are about to push off to your right).
If you anticipate your opponent’s shot, then you can complete your split drop with your right foot behind your left foot, so that your feet are already angled into the corner. This makes the next movement easier.
2) Arc step
This involves moving sideways and backwards while turning your body to a side-on, aggressive hitting position. You do not move directly into the corner (a diagonal movement), but rather you make a slight arc, in order to achieve the side-on position.
You can think of the arc step as a turning chassé, where the chassé movement is initially to your right, but then smoothly changes into a backwards movement as you turn your body part-way through.
Sometimes, however, it’s more of a turning jump than a turning chassé. For example: when you have not anticipated your opponent’s shot, your split drop will finish in the standard position of right foot ahead of the left foot. In this case, you may need a jump to begin the arc step.
3) Scissor jump
Finish with a scissor jump. This jump should take you backwards and somewhat upwards; hit the shuttlecock while you are in the air.
If you have time to spare, however, get fully to the back (use an extra chassé or step if necessary) before jumping straight upwards (rather than backwards). This will improve your recovery for the next shot.
Use this footwork pattern for intercepting the shuttlecock when it is travelling behind you.
For example, you can often use a jump-out to intercept a shallow lift, allowing you to play a winning half-smash.
Pattern summary: split, chassé, block jump.
1) Split drop
If possible, finish your split drop with your right foot behind your left foot, so that you are already in a side-on position and prepared to move back and jump.
This is different from the standard (generic) position, where your right foot is slightly ahead of your left foot, in a stance roughly square-on to the net. If you finish your split drop in this standard position, it will be much more difficult to perform a jump-out.
2) Chassé (or hitch)
Normally you will need to make a short, fast chassé backwards before you jump. Sometimes you will need an even shorter, faster movement: use a hitch instead.
Occasionally you will skip this part entirely, and follow your split drop directly with a jump, in order to make an immediate interception.
3) Block jump
Finish with a block jump, jumping backwards and upwards to intercept the shuttlecock and hitting while in the air. Remember to land on both feet together.
Use this footwork pattern when the shuttlecock has already travelled behind you, and you are unable to intercept it with a jump-out.
Pattern summary: split, left, right.
The step-out is similar to the jump-out, in that you are taking the shuttlecock from behind your body.
1) Split drop
One advantage of the step-out is that, unlike the jump-out, it is easy to perform regardless of your foot position after the split drop.
Landing with your right foot behind still makes this movement easier, but it’s nowhere near as dramatic an advantage as for the jump-out.
2) Step with your left foot
Take a step with your left foot towards the corner. Your left foot will normally cross behind your right foot during this step.
3) Step with your right foot
Step with your right foot towards the corner.
When you are taking the shuttlecock very late, this last step can become a lunge. If this happens, remember that you must point your foot in the direction of the lunge so that the knee and foot remain in alignment.
The deeper the step-out, the more lunge-like it becomes, and therefore the leg (and foot) must point more towards the corner.
When you are taking the shuttlecock earlier, however, you should make every effort to push up off the ground for a higher impact point. This is like a very weak jump-out. In this case, the right leg (and foot) will land pointing sideways and perhaps slightly forwards.