Even though I have seen the terms “pistol grip” and “hammer grip” used to describe how the racquet rests in your hand, I’ve been told that not everyone is on the same page with them. I just wanted to host a little talk about the two most popular ways to hold the tennis racquet, as seen below.
First of all, if “pistol” and “hammer” are not official terms for the two most common ways the racquet is held in the hand, then what are? I definitely see where pistol and hammer came from, the only difference really is just the index finger. My knuckles are lined up the same exact way for both grips, I hold the same part of the racquet, the only difference is the index finger.
I naturally hit a “pistol” grip SW forehand, but I recently have been trying to change where I hold the grip - now I'm holding it (at least trying to) further down the racquet so that the pinky is flush or close to flush with the base of the butt cap. I have no problem using the pistol grip at this hand position, but this week I gave the hammer grip a try. It is more than easy to feel the difference. At first, it felt like my pointer finger had been amputated, so the balance of the racquet instantly changed a lot and that effected my timing. I do think that I got used to it a bit after a while, and since I am focusing on increasing the utilization of the SSC in my stroke, I think I felt an increased "looseness" in my wrist on forehands. I imagine it's because the area of how much my hand extends throughout the grip (because of the pointer finger) was decreased (and positioned lower on the grip) which decreased the wrist's and/or hand's ability to get in the way, therefore increasing the angle of how far the racquet would naturally bend back. Has anyone experienced this?
I saw that toly was creating figures of how the pistol grip uses the spread out index finger as leverage, can someone please go into detail on that? How it works, the advantages/disadvantages, etc.