Extended Two-Hand Backhand

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by ext2hander, May 9, 2011.

  1. ext2hander

    ext2hander Rookie

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    ref: Extended Two-Hand Backhand

    Twenty years ago, a bad case of tennis elbow forced a switched from my beloved one-hand backhand, to the two-hander backhand. The two-hander always seemed constrained, even if the racquet was whipped up and around the shoulder on finish. Power was ok, but not really great.

    In 2006, I started experimenting with how to convert my two-hander into a weapon-of-choice, one that offers not only a more fluid, smooth, and graceful stroke, but also with significantly more controlled power and less muscular effort. Being a righty, the left hand is slid down nearly to the racquet butt with an Eastern Forehand grip. This forces the right hand to extend beyond the racquet end, using just two fingers to grip. The right-hand thumb is aligned on the top flat of the racquet butt, and forefinger wrapped around the bottom flat and bevels. It really works!

    I call the right-hand grip the "Stabilizer Grip." The new backhand stroke is called the "Extended Two-Hand Backhand."

    A conventional two-hand backhand can be hit with left-hand forehand dominance, with 90% left and 10% right hand strength. Many players may elect other force balance, as self taught.

    The Extended Two-Hand Backhand is force balance is ~98-99% left, and 1-2% right hand, more extreme than conventional stroke. The stroke really is an Eastern Forehand, with a smidgeon of stabilization and guidance from the right hand Stabilizer Grip.

    With the Extended Two-Hand Backhand, the stroke is much looser. Both arms remain slightly flexed with firm wrists, and both legs also remain flexed to adjust spin and power. Use of straight arms or legs is not desirable, or recommended. I found the new stroke to be extremely powerful. It gives ability to control pace, direction, and topspin, without extreme muscular effort or upper body rotation. No need to jump off the ground for the power shot.

    It complements well with my renewed one-hand backhand, which I still find more versatile for varied spin control, when up against opponents who hit all types of slice or crazy shots. But when the ball sits up a little bit, the Extended Two-Hander can be used to overpower your opponent, or to outlast in deep cross-court baseline rallys. One can learn to lightly cup your left hand over the right on service returns, to be able to quickly switch to the two-hander. Naturally, the grip change is slightly faster with the one-hander, and one has to decide when to switch.

    My belief is the >40 players benefit most, by freeing up their stroke, and away from a rigid or robot-like two-hander. Younger players are extremely loose, and can rotate their body super quick and to extreme angles, up to 270 degrees or so, and likely have a grooved stroke already. On the other hand, the Extended Two-Hander requires only 90 degrees upper-body rotation: -30 degrees away from sideways on backswing, and +60 degrees forward rotation to open up the shoulders on the follow-through. The stroke offers great potential for older folks, as we are not so quick and flexible, and prefer to stay grounded!

    See the reference web page above, for pictures and stroke details and comparing with Nalbandian's excellent two-handed backhand, with excerpts from R. Lansdorp's 2006 Tennis.com article.

    Experiment and try the stroke. Start by shifting your left-hand in increments toward the racquet butt, until you get comfortable. Its also recommended you develop a full backswing, and unrestrained follow through up and around your shoulder. Once comfortable, the grip will feel right, and you can begin refining your overall stroke to desired power level and spin control -- and using the new stroke in match situations. Good Luck!

    - Darryl Chong, San Jose CA

    "There is nothing else like it. You won't find it anywhere else!"
     
  2. jigar

    jigar Professional

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    This is nothing new. All most all top pros use it, specially who has the best 2HBH.
     
  3. ext2hander

    ext2hander Rookie

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    All the top Pro's use a 2-hand backhand. But they all have both hands on the racket handle -- for righty's their left-hand is choked up the upper-end of the grip, and right hand firmly planted on the lower-end of the grip. Let me know if you've seen anyone with a grip similar to the one I have been using, using just two right-hand fingers for stabilization. Thanks, D
     
  4. ext2hander

    ext2hander Rookie

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    Extended Two-Hand Backhand GRIP

    see following post, for repaired image links.
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2011
  5. ext2hander

    ext2hander Rookie

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    FRONT VIEW OF LH GRIP, before adding RH Stabilizer Grip

    FRONT VIEW OF LH GRIP, after adding RH Thumb along top flat

    FRONT VIEW: shows RH Thumb aligned along top flat, Forefinger wrapped around bottom flat and bevels.

    BACK VIEW: note Three Fingers of RH are simply tucked in the palm, just beyond the end of the racquet butt.
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2011
  6. ext2hander

    ext2hander Rookie

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    Apologies, the Zymic web site does not allow linking to images. See my referenced web page at top of initial post for the actual grip (near bottom of the web page)
     
  7. Xizel

    Xizel Professional

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    I've seen people do this to train their non-dominant arm, but I wouldn't think about doing this "extended" grip. After all, the right arm IS my dominant arm and I'm not too ambidextrous, either.
     
  8. ext2hander

    ext2hander Rookie

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    I'm naturally right handed, and used to hit only one-hand. I had a pretty good topspin backhard until tennis elbow years ago, likely from too many late hits. When I started the two-hand backhand, I assumed it would still be right-hand dominant. That is, until I heard that one should try to become left-hand dominant for two-hander for improving stoke smoothness and power. It did not, but still seemed to be rather cramped, even with whipped follow-though. That's when I experimented with shifting increasingly to left-hand, until I migrated the left-hand to the bottom of the racket, and right hand exerting very little power -- just guidance and stability. You'd be surprised how little right-hand strength is needed, once you have the long, loopy stroke to use racquet speed to power the ball, saving greater muscular effort for when you really need maximum boost. Its learned comfort and stroke pattern.
     
  9. ext2hander

    ext2hander Rookie

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    Correction to last post/reply. Switching to more left-hand dominant for my old two hander DID improve the two-hander SLIGHTLY -- but it was still not the greatest for me. Moving the left-hand all the way down the handle forced me to become 98-99% left-hand, no thinking about which hand dominates, and all of a sudden the stroke became to greatly improved in smoothness and power.
     
  10. TenFanLA

    TenFanLA Hall of Fame

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    I'm now into my 40's and I have a hard time hitting powerful 2HBH consistently. I also suffer from TE. So I tried hitting 2 FH's and no BH. But the grip change takes too long and my lefty FH is not as consistent as my righty 2HBH. Let's say that the extended 2HBH is just as good as the regular 2HBH. What about the grip change to FH, and back and forth? Wouldn't that take too much time?
     
  11. ext2hander

    ext2hander Rookie

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    That's why I also rejuvenated by old one-hand backhand, mainly for backspin or slice returns, as my one-hand topspin is still not match ready. I find the E2HBH is really consistent, for generating power and spin.

    When facing good serves, I use the one-hand slice/backspin return. But I'm mentally ready for their 2nd serve to attack with E2HBH. At the net, one-hand works best, except when their hit a weak return that sits up -- then pounce. The grip change is actually fairly quick, if you cup your left hand lightly over the right hand when awaiting serves, just switch positions quickly. For ground strokes, there is plenty of time to switch back-and-forth, unless you are playing against a big hitter. Overall, I find the grip change time to be similar for 2HBH and E2HBH.

    I favor the backhand side, and everyone knows it, yet they still het a high percentage to my backhand side! that alone can force errors trying to hit towards my weak forehand side. Guess what, I'm two decades older than you know, and the E2HBH has done wonders for my groundies. I was at your age, when I got TE really bad, and after a layoff, forced to develop the ordinary 2HBH. I tried whipping the racquet up and around shoulder and neck for more pace, but I think our age limits how much power we can get by fast, loose body rotation and rotation angle. That's where the E2HBH changes the requirements. If you can rotate and flex to hit a modest 1HFH, and can learn to do same rotation on left side, that's all the flex that is needed. 90 deg max upper rotation, not 180-270 deg! No need for one straight arm to avoid wristy, or straight leg to apply final thrust. E2HBH is best with ground contact, and rear foot toe-tip to release final element of power.

    No longer does my two-hander feel all bound up, or somewhat stiff in form. Its now really loose and free, and allowed moving to a heavier pro-style modest-flexible racquet. The heavier racquet also required revamping my serve, which now works better than ever with a very loose motion, starting very slow and speeding up at final motion and pronate. You are definitely not too old to try the E2HBH!

    My LH by itself cannot hit a pure one-hand forehand really hard, only modest topspin returns and lobs with only LH, but with the stabilizer RH grip, extreme muscular effort is not required, but only fast racquet speed and proper alignment of racquet for LH wrist layback. Its amazing what those RH two fingers can do, so its not about LH strength, its all racquet speed, hitting in front, and wrist LH layback. Keep everything flexible, arms and legs. I rate the E2HBH with extreme power, vs my modest power with my old 2HBH. Its amazing no one else uses this.

    Note that Coach Kyril showed how to use just two RH fingers (Kyril video) for the 2HBH. Only difference was he left the LH in the usual 2HBH position. His point was that the 2HBH ought be dominated by LH, with minimal right hand strength. He almost had it "right". See bottom of my web page for E2HBH. Darryl
     
  12. TenFanLA

    TenFanLA Hall of Fame

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    What do you think about going one step further than E2HBH by hitting with LH FH? Even coach Kyril said that there will be a pro level player with 2 FH's one day. Obviously it would take more training and practice but I think it's doable. I am about 60% there (compared to my RH FH.) Also hitting 2 FH's gives me more reach, less stress on the body and insane angles and topspin (a la Rafa) to my opponents' BH.
     
  13. ext2hander

    ext2hander Rookie

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    For the backhand side, the E2HBH is simply so powerful, there is no sense to give it up. I would rather add a reliable topspin pass to my backspin/slice one-hand backhand -- or improve my RH forehand. BTW, I already to use the LH FH on the run to the extreme left, and return either topspin forehand or topspin lob. The LH topspin forehand is reliable, but used more to place the ball and get out of trouble. For reaction shots at net to the left side, I'd use a simple LH forehand to flip it back or over. The LH forehand seems more natural, after hitting thousands of balls with the E2HBH. After all, its just those two RH fingers that were added to stabilize and steady the LH wrist layback. I'm now mid 60s, and if you saw my videos of the stroke, its not akin to old guys to hit big sweeping two-hand backhands.
     

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