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View Full Version : How much overhang of the handle with various grips


Eph
01-20-2012, 06:34 PM
Hi, I keep getting a blister on my hand and I want to know if it could be because I have considerable overhang from where I hold my racquet in my hand. I don't know if the fact that I haven't played in awhile is causing the blister, but the blister occurs exactly where the racquet handle "rotates" during the swing.

I just started playing again after a year due to ankle surgery, so I forgot my bad habit of hitting flat, and usually long, forehands (using an eastern grip). Now I am swinging up and through the ball, creating lots of spin and for the first time since I started playing tennis a few years ago, I can have rallies!

I want to make sure I am holding the racquet properly for the semi-western forehand grip so I don't create new bad muscle memory.

Can you please make a suggestion for how to hold the racquet's handle while hitting a forehand with the semi-western grip?

Thank you!

Here is the way I am currently holding the handle. As you can see, my hand hangs off the handle considerably. (http://dl.dropbox.com/u/8494936/Tennis/current.jpg)

Here's the blister (it didn't break last night but if I continued playing, it would have ripped open. Red dots circle around the blister. This blister forms in exactly the spot where the handle rotates when swinging through with the semi-western forehand grip. (http://dl.dropbox.com/u/8494936/Tennis/blister.jpg)


Is this the proper way to hold it, with the butt of the handle holding the palm of my hand, and the palm of my hand not passing the butt of the handle? This way I assume won't cause a blister as when I tried this it didn't hurt the blister that was forming, but it doesn't feel as natural as my hand in the first picture. (http://dl.dropbox.com/u/8494936/Tennis/proper.jpg)


Can someone help me figure this out? Thanks!

LeeD
01-20-2012, 06:38 PM
Everything you mentioned contributed to the blister.
Lack of recent play.
No recent shovelling or digging holes.
Racket pivoting at the spot of your blister.
Allowing the racket to pivot right there.
Get tackier grip.
Grip higher for now, same SW grip.
When blister's heal, experiment back to low grip, but squeeze a hair tighter, to limit the pivoting action which causes the rubbing which causes the blister.

Fearsome Forehand
01-20-2012, 08:18 PM
Let the blister heal completely. Otherwise, you just keep opening it up and it never gets better. Probably will take a couple of weeks to heal over completely.

Make sure you have the right grip size. Too small a grip will cause the racket to twist in your hand and can lead to blisters.

Rough overgrips can also cause blisters. Wilson Pro Wraps and Yonex Super Graps are two of the nicer smooth tacky overgrips.

Your grip looks okay. I grip the racket in a similar manner with the end of the butt up in my hand. The V between your thumb and forefinger should be somewhere on the top plane if you are using a SW grip.

BU-Tennis
01-20-2012, 09:08 PM
I would choke up on the racquet for groundstrokes, for serve some overhang is fine.

I can't think of any pro who has such a severe overhang, and that type of grip will cause loss of control with the racquet head which, imo, will offset any potential speed increase gained.

ace_pace
01-21-2012, 01:56 AM
Yeah I found I used to do that too, it gave me more spin and power. It was great for serves but it felt like my groundstrokes suffered because of it. I tended to frame a lot.

What I did to fix it was to serve holding the racket properly (with no overhang). i felt that since my serve has an overhanging grip, I tend to get lazy and shift my grip to semiwestern while still having and overhanging grip.

If you dont want to do that you could always slowly introduce it i.e. hold the racquet slightly higher than normal and as you get used to it, raise it up further. For me, my racket is still pretty overhanging, my pinky finger is at the very end of the racket.

phnx90
01-21-2012, 02:21 AM
Doesn't Rafa (and sometimes Federer) have a bit of overhang?

I hold my racquet exactly the same as you, btw but I don't get blisters...hurts a little after a few hours' hitting though, but I don't play nearly so often for it to be a problem...

I didn't always hold it with an overhang though, but my groundies improved once I started holding it the way I do now! Much heavier spin + power without loss of control (for me)...now must work on footwork, straighten up my arm and hit a bit early + in front...

j00dypoo
01-21-2012, 02:28 AM
That gray grip looks harsh. Try getting a wilson pro or gamma supreme grip. The yonex are a bit rougher and therefore harsher.

Eph
01-21-2012, 04:16 AM
Thanks all. I'll post more later. I primarily use a Tournagrip original, but I replaced it and that's all that was available at the courts when I was playing, because the Tournagrip was worn down in that area and I thought if I replaced it, my hand, in that area, wouldn't hurt as much.

I did hit for about 15 minutes 4-6 weeks ago, which I forgot about. The blister in that photo opened during play and is still healing, I guess...

Are the Tournagrip originals a good overgrip?

j00dypoo
01-21-2012, 11:19 AM
Thanks all. I'll post more later. I primarily use a Tournagrip original, but I replaced it and that's all that was available at the courts when I was playing, because the Tournagrip was worn down in that area and I thought if I replaced it, my hand, in that area, wouldn't hurt as much.

I did hit for about 15 minutes 4-6 weeks ago, which I forgot about. The blister in that photo opened during play and is still healing, I guess...

Are the Tournagrip originals a good overgrip?

They're good grips for hot, humid conditions in which your hands sweat a lot. Otherwise, they aren't the best. They are more cloth-like rather than the softer and smoother grips like wilson or gamma.

rkelley
01-21-2012, 12:03 PM
I think there's a lot of variation among the pros.

I'm personally between the two extremes in your photos. All of my fingers are on the grip, including my pinky. My pinky is right at the very end of the grip however. The heel of my hand overhangs the grip.

I also flair my fingers out on all my strokes except my 2hbh, not keep them all tight together. My index finger especially is separated from the other three fingers and acts as kind of my control finger.

My son chokes up a bit more. The end of the racquet sticks out from his hand, more like in your "proper" photo.

Ducker
01-21-2012, 06:20 PM
The answer here is very simple. You need time. Just like doing anything else strength does not come over night.

In this case you will need many months of playing in pain and eventually you will earn the tough skin and calus that will protect you hand and allow you to perform with out pain and at a higher level.

Trust me I went through the same thing when I first started tennis. Eventually you will overcome this but it is a natural part of something new and foreign to your body.

mad dog1
01-21-2012, 07:26 PM
it's normal. with more play, your hands will develop callouses. if you play alot, your callouses will be so thick and rough they can sand down wood. in the meantime, get some New Skin liquid bandage to apply on the blister. i've found that New Skin helps blisters heal quicker. you can still play with the blister. just get some moleskin. cut a square that covers the blistered area and apply. go hit the courts. i use Johnson & Johnson Zona finger tape and moleskin often. in fact, so often that i carry rolls of the stuff in a ziploc freezer bag that sits in my tennis bag. now blisters are a thing of the past and even when i get them, i can play on.

Eph
01-22-2012, 10:46 PM
So the amount of overhang I have is normal and okay? It seems that some say yes, some say no. Can someone elucidate? Thanks

Netzroller
01-23-2012, 12:20 AM
So the amount of overhang I have is normal and okay? It seems that some say yes, some say no. Can someone elucidate? Thanks
I think all the fingers should be on the handle. This just makes more sense in terms of holding the racket effectively. I don't think gaining 1cm reach is worth having a worse hold on the racket. And I don't know of a single pro who does it like that (many have an overhang with their palm (Federer...) but not with their fingers).

As for the blister, I think Leed already gave you the answer. If I haven't played for a long time and don't hit the ball not very well, I tend to get a blister at the same spot. But yeah, it might happen even faster if you hold the racket the way you're doing it.

thug the bunny
01-24-2012, 12:13 PM
I think there's a lot of variation among the pros.

I'm personally between the two extremes in your photos. All of my fingers are on the grip, including my pinky. My pinky is right at the very end of the grip however. The heel of my hand overhangs the grip.

I also flair my fingers out on all my strokes except my 2hbh, not keep them all tight together. My index finger especially is separated from the other three fingers and acts as kind of my control finger.

My son chokes up a bit more. The end of the racquet sticks out from his hand, more like in your "proper" photo.

Exactly the same for me. Pinky at the end, with palm overhanging a bit.