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Tennis Grips


In this video, I want to explain the fundamentals
of the different tennis grips to you. The grip is actually a lot more important
than most players realize because it influences the angle of your racket face. It influences
how open or how closed your racket face is and it therefore influences your ideal swing
shape. Now in order to describe the different kinds
of grips, players and coaches often use terminology like the Continental grip, the Semi-Western
grip, or the Western grip. What I found is that this terminology actually confuses people
and there’s a better way to look at tennis grips. Okay, so the grip actually has eight
sides to it. I’ve put some numbers on here and you can see the top bevels right here:
number 1, number 2, number 3, and number 4. Those are all the bevels we’re going to worry
about for now. For the left-hander, it goes the other way. Bevel number 1 is the same,
number 2, and number 3 here on the side. Now we need to measure the relation of our hand
to the grip. In order to do that, we’re going to look at the index knuckle and the heel
pad of the hand. Let’s have a look at some forehand grips.
We’re going to focus on the index knuckle right here as a reference point. The index
knuckle is the most important reference point and the one that I use most of the time. Usually,
if you get the index knuckle right, you don’t have to worry about the heel pad. What you
can see here is that my index knuckle is on bevel number 3 which is often called an Eastern
Forehand grip. If I moved down a little bit further, right now I’m on 3.5 which is the
edge between 3 and 4. Going down even further to number 4 and now what is often called a
Semi-Western grip. Anything further down is called a Western grip, 4.5 or even 5. These
are very extreme grips that I do not recommend any of you guys use. Ideally, you want to
stay in the 3 to 4 range with your forehand grip. Anywhere in between there should be
fine. Okay, let’s have a quick look at the grips
for the One-Handed Backhand at the possible ranges here. The range is actually very small
that I recommend. As you can see right now, my index knuckle is on bevel 1.5 just between
bevel 1 and bevel 2 on the edge. This is the grip that I would that you guys start out
with. Now if you’ve been playing for a while, you can move over to bevel number 1 which
is going to help you deal better with topspin shots and high-bouncing balls.
Now let’s have a look at the grip that I recommend for the Two-Handed Backhand. As you can see
here—my right hand—the index knuckle in on bevel number 2 over to the right side of
the grip. Now I’m going to put the left hand here on bevel number 3, counting the other
way for the left-hander. So the grip’s going to look like this: bevel number 3 for the
left hand going the left way and bevel number 2 for the right hand.
Last but not least, let’s have a look at the grip for the serve. As you can see, my index
knuckle is on bevel number 2. This is called a Continental grip and is the grip that I
recommend for the serve. Only if you’re a beginner, it might make sense to start it
off a little bit further to the right on bevel 2.5 or 3. That’s going to make it easier to
get the ball in the court in the beginning but as soon as possible, you want to try to
move to a grip on number 2. Alright! So much on the basics of tennis grips.
Now, good grips are an essential part of good tennis strokes so go ahead and check out on
your own grips.

David Frank

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100 COMMENTS

  1. Online Tennis Instruction with Florian Meier Posted on June 12, 2013 at 6:26 pm

    That really is a matter of personal preference. Try them out and then see what works best is my advice!

    Reply
  2. JERRY TU Posted on June 13, 2013 at 1:33 am

    Love your video !

    Reply
  3. Alessandro Vidonis Posted on June 24, 2013 at 7:25 am

    Thanks

    Reply
  4. silvermark04 Posted on June 26, 2013 at 3:43 pm

    Best video on grips. Thanks for clearing up this topic.

    Reply
  5. Floris Van Der Burg Posted on June 28, 2013 at 11:23 am

    Very good video, really clear. Thanks a lot!

    Reply
  6. Naibafer Posted on July 1, 2013 at 5:41 pm

    Schön beschrieben, allerdings vermisse ich den generellen Hinweis, welche Griffgröße man wählen sollte. Meiner Erfahrung nach wird heut zu tage im Schnitt zu viel zu kleinen Griffgrößen geraten. Ich habe selbst Jahre lang mit einem zu kleinem Griff gespielt. Seit dem ich auf L5 gewechselt bin habe keine Armprobleme mehr und mein Spiel hat einen Leistungssprung gemacht.

    Reply
  7. PRiKoL1ST1 Posted on July 26, 2013 at 4:19 am

    I thought german player Florian Mayer made his own tennis video)))

    Reply
  8. Sam Lam Posted on July 27, 2013 at 6:45 am

    Clear and concise video~ I found comfortable to play the windshield wiper forehand with a semi-western grip.

    Reply
  9. Fantomas Posted on July 30, 2013 at 6:01 am

    Is it good enough for beginner ?Wilson Match Point L3 Tennis Racket.
    $20 in Wallmart
    what is the difference between 150 and 20 dol. raquet?

    Reply
  10. jermaineonealnumber7 Posted on August 7, 2013 at 8:41 pm

    Durability & lifespan, materials, weight distribution technologies and ofcourse the overall weight of the racket. Cheaper, beginner rackets are very lightweight.
    Go ahead with that Wilson model, they are more than decent, don't worry.
    Be sure to take your time when choosing your model, specially when it comes to weight.
    Hold the racket and swing a couple times L to R using only your wrist.

    Reply
  11. jermaineonealnumber7 Posted on August 7, 2013 at 8:44 pm

    Good advice, so is the choice for string kg/lbs. Normally lower tension is more power and higher tension is more control.

    Reply
  12. jermaineonealnumber7 Posted on August 7, 2013 at 8:56 pm

    I'd go for heavy. Personally, as a 1-hander I've played with Yonex & Wilson Pro Staffs. They both are excellent, maybe go for bit heavy with low tension for power or high tension for control. Depends on what you are looking for exactly. I'd recommend Wilson Pro Staff, can't go wrong with those.
    Head too.

    Reply
  13. JAFrk Posted on August 16, 2013 at 11:12 pm

    This video rocks, easy to understand, really informative

    Reply
  14. Rupal Chawla Posted on September 1, 2013 at 10:42 pm

    Thanks man, this is very helpful

    Reply
  15. Hazy Davy Posted on September 21, 2013 at 5:20 pm

    Thanks, but what about volleys? Also, Western grips are commonplace these days…

    Reply
  16. Muhammad Adil Riaz Posted on October 5, 2013 at 3:28 pm

    You will understand that irritating situation when your brother's friend (who's been a loser permanently, incidentally) gets an incredible girl to fall in love with him in a couple of weeks?! God, that occured. I understand I ought to think well done, but I would prefer if it was me. He smiled as he told me he learned from the Cupid Love System (Google it). I want to disappear inside of a cave at this point…

    Reply
  17. tennisislandtv Posted on October 11, 2013 at 5:51 pm

    Great video. I like it a lot. Basic things with simple explanation

    Reply
  18. UFG8tersKJ317 Posted on October 17, 2013 at 7:01 pm

    Florian you look JUST LIKE MARTIN "The Hitman" Kampmann

    Reply
  19. Appregator Posted on October 27, 2013 at 6:13 am

    Best video I have seen describing tennis grips. I have played tennis for 40 years and the tennis jargon of Continental, Eastern, Western grip description is something I have avoided ever using.

    Your system is far superior and the old tennis jargon descriptions should be relegated to the dustbin.

    Reply
  20. seyhunhep Posted on January 12, 2014 at 1:32 am

    Thank you very helpful

    Reply
  21. Slave of God Posted on January 18, 2014 at 10:24 pm

    Nothings better than western grip

    Reply
  22. Michael He Posted on February 7, 2014 at 1:00 am

    So is the 3/4 western grip on bevel 4.5?

    Reply
  23. sal joe Posted on March 25, 2014 at 8:55 pm

    Many thanks for the clear explanation and advice.

    Reply
  24. Ricky Maldonado Posted on March 30, 2014 at 8:54 pm

    Thank you SO MUCH

    Reply
  25. fabulousfriend Posted on March 31, 2014 at 11:54 pm

    THANK YOU SO MUCH!!! YOU MADE MY LIFE MUCH EASIER!

    Reply
  26. davis mah Posted on July 2, 2014 at 9:16 am

    That was excellent
    Ok question I hit with guys that say index to be on number 1 to serve is this true
    Feels way off
    I like your way much better
    Are they wrong ?

    Reply
  27. Max Jones Posted on July 6, 2014 at 11:54 pm

    thank you so much for the explanation. You've made it much easier

    Reply
  28. aaron peña Posted on July 14, 2014 at 5:57 pm

    excelente explicación, la mejor que ay, talvez seria bueno en los gráficos incluir los nombres de las empuñaduras, aunque lo dice con la voz, pero escribirlo seria muy bueno, para los que nos cuesta un poco el ingles, saludos y nuevamente gracias.

    Reply
  29. Steve Caron Posted on August 5, 2014 at 2:16 am

    An excellent explanation –easy to remember.

    Reply
  30. Jacob McLein Posted on August 7, 2014 at 1:11 pm

    Thanks for ditching the terminology and using a easy to understand visual representation with numbers! I am a visual learner so that made it a LOT easier to understand!  Going to watch the rest of your videos!  I hope the rest use this same style.  Great work!

    Reply
  31. Baby Palacio Posted on August 28, 2014 at 1:43 am

    best vid on grips ive ever seen.  so much easier to comprehend than the western, semi-western, etc

    Reply
  32. Daniel Bui Posted on September 13, 2014 at 4:30 am

    I use a full western forehand. Why is the western grip bad?

    Reply
  33. Pablo Prado Posted on October 18, 2014 at 11:20 pm

    the western grip it is bad because it is very dificult
    a to deal with high bouncing balls  with the W grip you shoul hit the ball at shoulder level

    Reply
  34. PK Ma Posted on November 4, 2014 at 7:04 pm

    Hello Florian, I watched your analysis of RF's forehand volley video today. You mentioned he's using a 2.5 index knuckle on his volley grip. Is it some coaches call the weak Continental grip? Look forward to hear from you. Thank you.

    Reply
  35. CowIsNoHow Posted on December 15, 2014 at 6:28 pm

    Love using a semi-western (4) grip…. I like having the ability to be balanced in both top spin, and in addition the pacing of the ball during play.

    Reply
  36. Mark Oglesby Posted on December 23, 2014 at 3:55 pm

    The only reason ball goes into net is racket is not under ball. You can get 2 feet from net with racket face down and get ball over net and in court. Try it.

    Reply
  37. Areima Posted on January 20, 2015 at 3:32 am

    I like how easy it was to learn these grips. For a two-handed Forehand, what bevels do I put my hands on? Would it be my right hand on bevel 3 and left on bevel 2? Or is it the same as a two-handed backhand? Thanks for the video~!

    Reply
  38. NotSoHandyTim Posted on March 20, 2015 at 10:03 pm

    Sorry dude, my grip bevels are not numbered. What are you going to do..say use bevel 3 as they look at you like a deer in the headlights.

    Reply
  39. Mr. Pink Posted on August 2, 2015 at 1:10 am

    this was one of the best, most concise explanations for grips.  Thanks

    Reply
  40. thomas destry Posted on August 13, 2015 at 3:10 pm

    Thank you! Thank you!

    Reply
  41. James r3 Posted on August 18, 2015 at 6:02 pm

    I love my western grip

    Reply
  42. William Makoto Posted on October 19, 2015 at 3:19 am

    Currently for my one handed backhand, I have my grip as one that is opposite that of a continental grip, I find that it is very easy to generate topspin. Do you think that it would be detrimental to my playing as I advance in tennis? Do you recommend my changing to another grip? Thanks, and as always, great videos!

    Reply
  43. Kachinga Sinkala Posted on November 23, 2015 at 2:56 am

    have just learned abt grips great idea thanks so much wth the idea of number.

    Reply
  44. Ahmed Zuhaili Posted on December 10, 2015 at 11:53 am

    very useful and nice thanks a lot

    Reply
  45. Prateek Posted on February 15, 2016 at 5:26 pm

    Superb !Crisp,easy & short ..All nailed it bad..Thanks a lot!!

    Reply
  46. Nancy GyeeMau Posted on February 29, 2016 at 4:26 am

    i have a question… why not backed extreme grip . I know what these techniques do make the ball spin…why I ask because I have familiarized with the game of tennis.

    Reply
  47. Tennis Haus Posted on March 1, 2016 at 3:42 am

    Super video I like it a lot, keep that work up its good stuff

    Reply
  48. David Tran Posted on March 8, 2016 at 12:24 am

    I love numbers for grips, it's easy to remember and manage! Thanks

    Reply
  49. Lucas Alvarez Posted on April 16, 2016 at 3:12 pm

    why is it bad to use full wetern grip? i use it

    Reply
  50. mayank bansal Posted on May 11, 2016 at 4:33 pm

    its very very awesome i love this video but it doesnt generates speed that much but ball is now started getting in from the last one grips

    Reply
  51. alloneword154 Posted on June 8, 2016 at 12:55 am

    Nice video.

    Reply
  52. Peter Foglia Posted on June 23, 2016 at 1:07 pm

    Great job! Thank you.

    Reply
  53. Gregory Auger Posted on July 19, 2016 at 3:26 am

    Well put together, and a great explanation. Thank you.

    Reply
  54. fred chittenden Posted on August 5, 2016 at 6:29 am

    Decent review of grips. However, IMHO it perpetuates a common teaching flaw that may create a lot of confusion and problems for many players. I was one such player…

    The problem is usind the index finger's hand knuckle used as a grip guide provides very limited feeling of how the racquet is oriented during actual play. This is because many times during play this knuckle may only be barely touching or not touching the racquet — how's that supposed to help folks get the racquet grip oriented? Furthermore, bringing this knuckle into the tight contact with the racquet may result in the grip of death that sucks away power and touch, while perhaps also promoting tennis elbow problems.

    For me, using the position of the index finger's second knuckle on the racquet is a lot easier to feel and track while playing and when flipping between various grips during fast play. This knuckle is opposed by the thumb's first knuckle on the opposite side of the grip — this duo defines the plane of least resistance (and most easily attained direction of power) that a racquet might take when executing a proper swing pattern for that particular grip. It's also a relatively light grip — it's purpose is TO GUIDE racquet swing orientation, NOT provide racquet POWER. Yes, the swing path is also the same path the wrist bends in — go figure.

    For example, for a continental grip, the thumb's first knuckle is on the top flat edge of the grip while the index finger's second knuckle is on the bottom of edge of the grip. This puts the head of the racquet perpendicular to the ground. Rotate the grip points to the next flat spot for the next grip position, etc… It's also possible that for some hand and racquet sizes, the index finger's second digit and/or the thumb's first digit might be easier reference points than the knuckles.

    Also, I'm using an "OK" grip with the edge of the thumb pressed to the top edge of the middle finger forming an 'OK' sign. Held with modest tightness, this simple OK ring creates an axis ring for the racquet to rotate around to pass the maximum power of the whipping action created by proper stroke mechanics to the racquet head at ball contact along with the fine tuning guidance of the other fingers — aka, no power sucking death grip. The OK grip also creates a slight diagonal orientation of the fingers over the racquet handle, which is what top players use for most strokes for ergonomic reasons noted above.

    Thanks for reading. Now I'll retire to my closet to dream up other alternate world realities and confusion…

    Reply
  55. Satyan S Posted on August 15, 2016 at 4:47 pm

    Thank you very much

    Reply
  56. cosmopolitan Posted on August 24, 2016 at 8:46 pm

    Hi Florian, what racket do you recommend to me for one handed backhand?

    Reply
  57. gumbo Posted on August 28, 2016 at 1:03 am

    3.5 FH is an extreme eastern FH, IMO the best grip.

    Reply
  58. San Writes Posted on August 28, 2016 at 1:03 pm

    When you say knunckle is on 1 where should the heel pad be? Should heel pad also in 1(always a straight line) ? If it varies then why is it not mentioned by trainers?

    Reply
  59. Harsh Rahal Posted on September 26, 2016 at 8:34 am

    thanks for the video sir, I am beginner at tennis and this video just provided a great clarification to my understanding of holding a racket. thank you so much. 🙂

    Reply
  60. Meko Joy Posted on October 11, 2016 at 3:58 pm

    Very helpful video. The numbers make it easy to identify the grip I need for each shot.

    Reply
  61. Scott Lauer Posted on November 6, 2016 at 3:39 am

    great video and very helpful.

    Reply
  62. Jose Xavier Calderon Campaña Posted on November 29, 2016 at 4:26 am

    Thanks excellent explanation

    Reply
  63. Brooks Bevins Posted on December 12, 2016 at 7:28 pm

    This was exactly what I needed. Thanks so much!

    Reply
  64. Peter13 Posted on February 14, 2017 at 7:46 pm

    THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THIS VIDEO!
    Maybe you should make a video for PING PONG players who want to take tennis seriously.
    After seeing this video, I realized why I made so many easy mistakes, in spite of succeeding some very tricky shots just like the top ATP players in Grand Slams. I am a very good amateur table tennis player and some shots work just like in table tennis but others… oh, not at all. Grip is sooo important, go figure! I never thought about that. I was holding the tennis racquet just like the ping-pong bat and tried too many from up to down kill shots that went in the bottom of the net. That doesn't work like in ping-pong! 🙂
    But understanding spin better than some helps me a lot, though. I understand, succeed and love the slice serve, for example. Also, the slice forehand Monica Niculescu style make my opponents go crazy, when the strings are new. Not so much after a few hours. Tennis strings go bad so quickly, they need to be replaced too often to maintain heavy spin! Expensive sport for the average Eastern European…

    Reply
  65. pratap rao Posted on February 15, 2017 at 4:46 pm

    The best video on tennis grips by far!

    Reply
  66. vinny1995 Posted on February 22, 2017 at 12:25 am

    I came here to comment on your annoying 1+ minute video ad that I was required to view in its entirety when trying to watch tennis videos. My comment? It's very annoying that I have to watch your whole ad video.

    Reply
  67. A B Posted on April 14, 2017 at 3:50 pm

    Superb, helped me a lot

    Reply
  68. Ravi MG Posted on May 15, 2017 at 1:30 pm

    After seeing this video I have improved in serve,forehand and backhand

    Reply
  69. Sterling Whipple Posted on June 4, 2017 at 3:37 am

    Great video. I've been playing tennis for 17 years and coaching for 7, and this will assist me in being a better coach.

    Reply
  70. EL Mehdi Benlabsir Posted on July 18, 2017 at 12:28 am

    Very helpful thanks !!

    Reply
  71. Daniel Colorado Posted on August 29, 2017 at 7:01 pm

    Far the best video about grips on youtube.

    Reply
  72. Bora STAN Posted on September 2, 2017 at 2:57 pm

    have been struggling to tell the differences. very helpful video instruction. thanks !

    Reply
  73. Sinan Posted on October 21, 2017 at 6:35 pm

    Clear enough and useful great!

    Reply
  74. Paul Mwanyasi Posted on February 15, 2018 at 11:47 am

    Amazing one, i love it! for a wide elaboration i have cover it in my HOW TO GRIP A TENNIS RACKET PROPERLY article http://tennisracketpro.com/how-to-grip-a-tennis-racket-properly/

    Reply
  75. Griffin Martin Posted on May 6, 2018 at 10:39 am

    thank you
    i just improved my forehand my grip now is Eastern thanks a lot☺☺☺

    Reply
  76. Ab Adaba Posted on July 3, 2018 at 10:13 pm

    I miss in the net a lot and use semi west. Should i give up and go to east?

    Reply
  77. Aditya Sharma Posted on July 19, 2018 at 8:11 am

    Best video so far for the grips.. Thank you..

    Reply
  78. oldfrend Posted on August 12, 2018 at 10:58 pm

    semi western is best! allows you to flatten out a shot if you need to, and hit heavy top spin if you have strong enough hands, which most experienced players will have anyway.

    Reply
  79. Peedor Posted on October 3, 2018 at 6:42 am

    As a new player, how would you switch from forehand to backhand quickly and knowing where the index is

    Reply
  80. JE Ted Krug Posted on October 25, 2018 at 3:27 pm

    TRhank you for this very clear explanation Ted

    Reply
  81. Kenneth Silvestri Posted on November 30, 2018 at 5:56 pm

    ROOKIE! works for ME! THANKYOU

    Reply
  82. Edward Supertramp Posted on February 5, 2019 at 10:28 pm

    anyone play with the 3.5 grip?

    Reply
  83. Marleise Rashford Posted on March 30, 2019 at 11:18 am

    Thank you. Best grip video I have seen. Explanations PERFECT.

    Reply
  84. Shahmeer Rafiq Posted on April 25, 2019 at 10:47 am

    Thanks mate for the best video I have ever seen on grips. You have made it so much easier to understand different types of tennis grips.

    Reply
  85. Y Ch Posted on May 21, 2019 at 8:19 pm

    Wow i learned so much in a short period of time. Sweet and to the point!

    Reply
  86. dasglasperlenspiel10 Posted on June 2, 2019 at 6:07 pm

    Very clear, and helpful!

    Reply
  87. TubroFast25 Posted on June 6, 2019 at 4:56 am

    Says to not use Western Grip

    Me: Uses Western Grip

    Reply
  88. Mahtab Naim Posted on June 18, 2019 at 7:55 pm

    Your explanations are very easy to understand

    Reply
  89. MoLetalis Posted on June 23, 2019 at 11:48 am

    Why would you number the left hand in a double-handed backhand? It's just there for support.
    Also, all grips are useful. It really depends on what type of swing you want to make.

    Reply
  90. T JKU5 Posted on July 20, 2019 at 3:47 pm

    Great grip instructions and video!

    Reply
  91. Alexandre Gregianin Posted on July 22, 2019 at 2:21 am

    Perfect explanation!

    Reply
  92. Mushtaq Aliabbood Posted on July 27, 2019 at 3:24 pm

    It is the most magnificent video about grips.

    Reply
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