2HB Grip

#1
In the video below, he describes using what is most commonly called a hammer grip as opposed to the normal continental grip which spreads the knuckles out across the bevels. With the this grip all the knuckle pads are on or very near bevel 2. This closes the racket face, and also lags the head, which in theory allows for easier access to spin and a longer swing for more power. All without making the swing any more handsy.

In researching this, Jack Sock uses this grip and Nadal is pretty close to this. There are pictures of Djokovic in this grip sometimes. Clearly, not everyone uses it. There's a video of a guy criticizing Sock for this grip but I don't think he gets the point. I also see that one handers use this grip sometimes as well.

I tried this yesterday for the first time, and it worked well. One obvious drawback is you now have to manage an extra grip. You can't really slice with this grip, or hit a forehand volley. Anyone else use this, or have thoughts on it?

 
#2
I like Clay's videos, but I don't agree with this one. Continental bottom hand does not work against lag.

Hold your racquet with cont/eastern 2hbh straight in front of you (torso), racquet parallel to the ground. With only your relaxed wrists, move racquet head back and then forward ... racquet parallel to the ground ... Edit: butt cap staying in same spot). That is the lag. When I do this shadow swing/test ... when the rh goes back my right arm is pronating and left arm supinating, and then reverse going forward. (maybe isr/esr ... doesn't matter ... relaxed arms and hands working together to create lag).

Now ... with rh back, let rh drop below hands. Note the bow in the right hand you see with the pro 2hbhs. The combination of rh low and back bows that right hand.

My 2 cents anyway.
 
#3
In the video below, he describes using what is most commonly called a hammer grip as opposed to the normal continental grip which spreads the knuckles out across the bevels. With the this grip all the knuckle pads are on or very near bevel 2. This closes the racket face, and also lags the head, which in theory allows for easier access to spin and a longer swing for more power. All without making the swing any more handsy.

I tried this yesterday for the first time, and it worked well. One obvious drawback is you now have to manage an extra grip. You can't really slice with this grip, or hit a forehand volley. Anyone else use this, or have thoughts on it?
Tricky business when sorting out a grip - or should we say grips, since two hands are involved? - for the two-hander that works for a specific player. It seems that several different combos can work great as long as they don't put either wrist in a dangerous orientation. If you find a natural feeling position for both hands that gives you decent results, it may be "right" for you even if it isn't exactly somebody's recommendation.

I have to say that I've seen some people refer to the same grip position as both continental and hammer. I'm going to dig into this issue a little more just to see how a group like the USPTA likes to distinguish among all these grips that have nicknames like pistol, etc.

In terms of whatever two-handed backhand grip you get success with, I want to point out that it probably should be different from the grip you use to hit either a slice or a forehand volley. Both of those shots should be continental and you'll have your own subtle version of continental that works for you. But the slice and the forehand volley are shots where the racquet doesn't "release" the same way that it does with a ground stroke. You might use more of a firm grip for the slice or forehand volley where the grip is buried more in your palm. The strokes may be more free to swing with the racquet a little more out in your fingers.

I haven't watched the video yet, but I will later on. I just wanted to throw these ideas in here to hopefully encourage you to trust what you find helps you out. Once you get enough proper practice under your belt with certain shots, the necessary grips for those shots will naturally happen for you, too. Don't worry about having to "manage extra grips". They'll fall into place just fine with some repetition.
 
#4
I agree with both of you. I think the difference he’s describing is between a true conti with the knuckle pad at the base of the index finger on bevel 2 and the heel pad of the palm also on bevel two, and a hammer grip where all of the knuckle pads at the base of the fingers are on bevel two. I think you’ll see that the second grip will close the face and lag the head more than the first swing.

I’ve heard 1hbers use this grip for topspin but I don’t know since I don’t hit that shot.
 
#5
I agree with both of you. I think the difference he’s describing is between a true conti with the knuckle pad at the base of the index finger on bevel 2 and the heel pad of the palm also on bevel two, and a hammer grip where all of the knuckle pads at the base of the fingers are on bevel two. I think you’ll see that the second grip will close the face and lag the head more than the first swing.

I’ve heard 1hbers use this grip for topspin but I don’t know since I don’t hit that shot.
"I think you’ll see that the second grip will close the face and lag the head more than the first swing."

I don't think rf orientation (grip) determines lag. Fed hits a Eastern fh with huge lag. Sock hits a freak show Western fh with huge lag. Probably get there differently ... extension/flexion vs ulnar/?.

But I think I see why Clay thinks there is more lag. If I hit a bh eastern/sw instead of my cont/east and look at my forearm/racquet angle ... cont is arm and racquet in line. BH eastern has forearm/racquet angle. But lag means an angle of release. If at contact I hit with that same bh east forearm/racquet angle, the initial angle didn't add to lag/release.

Then you have to ask, why would a hammer grip allow you to add "additional" angle over the continental? I don't think it would.

That's not the most important thing anyway. We are rec players, if we have any lag in our 2hbh we are in a small percent of rec players. It is much more important to use the grip (and arm positions which is more important imo) that you prefer. Your swing path and lag will accomodate your choice. The amount of lag was being discussed in another thread. Hewitt had almost no lag, and Ferrer's is fairly moderate. I don't think max lag is probably our best goal. I would say hitting with a straight left arm, low to high with good extension is a bigger plus than huge lag.

All just my 2 cents of 2hbh. :cool:

We should all swear to not corrupt the beautiful 2hbh with all that atp fh isr/esr/yada yada yada. I should go delete that supination/pronation stuff from my previous post. :confused:
 
#6
"I think you’ll see that the second grip will close the face and lag the head more than the first swing."

I don't think rf orientation (grip) determines lag. Fed hits a Eastern fh with huge lag. Sock hits a freak show Western fh with huge lag. Probably get there differently ... extension/flexion vs ulnar/?.

But I think I see why Clay thinks there is more lag. If I hit a bh eastern/sw instead of my cont/east and look at my forearm/racquet angle ... cont is arm and racquet in line. BH eastern has forearm/racquet angle. But lag means an angle of release. If at contact I hit with that same bh east forearm/racquet angle, the initial angle didn't add to lag/release.

Then you have to ask, why would a hammer grip allow you to add "additional" angle over the continental? I don't think it would.

That's not the most important thing anyway. We are rec players, if we have any lag in our 2hbh we are in a small percent of rec players. It is much more important to use the grip (and arm positions which is more important imo) that you prefer. Your swing path and lag will accomodate your choice. The amount of lag was being discussed in another thread. Hewitt had almost no lag, and Ferrer's is fairly moderate. I don't think max lag is probably our best goal. I would say hitting with a straight left arm, low to high with good extension is a bigger plus than huge lag.

All just my 2 cents of 2hbh. :cool:

We should all swear to not corrupt the beautiful 2hbh with all that atp fh isr/esr/yada yada yada. I should go delete that supination/pronation stuff from my previous post. :confused:

Well I'm guilty of monkeying around with my swings too much, especially the backhand because it's just not as reliable as my forehand. If I can close the gap somehow then I'm willing to try. I think what happens with this grip is that it creates an angle between the forearm and the racket. With a true conti grip the racket is more or less in the same line with the forearm, but with the hammer grip it's not any more. I agree with you that lag comes from different sources, but from the limited experimenting I've done this grip does seem to allow for a longer swing and easier access to spin, which so far has helped create a more reliable shot because I can get a little more spin to bring the ball down into the court without losing power and without making the shot handsier which reduces repeatability.

I guess I'll try it and see, I've thought I have found a better way before only to have it not work out, this might be one of those situations too. Time will tell.
 
#7
Well I'm guilty of monkeying around with my swings too much, especially the backhand because it's just not as reliable as my forehand. If I can close the gap somehow then I'm willing to try. I think what happens with this grip is that it creates an angle between the forearm and the racket. With a true conti grip the racket is more or less in the same line with the forearm, but with the hammer grip it's not any more. I agree with you that lag comes from different sources, but from the limited experimenting I've done this grip does seem to allow for a longer swing and easier access to spin, which so far has helped create a more reliable shot because I can get a little more spin to bring the ball down into the court without losing power and without making the shot handsier which reduces repeatability.

I guess I'll try it and see, I've thought I have found a better way before only to have it not work out, this might be one of those situations too. Time will tell.
Agreed ... sometimes it just takes experimenting. I got lucky on 2hbh grip early ... so I experiment on other parts of 2hbh.
 
#9
Well let me know what works, because based on your posts I think have very similar ideas about the shot
Remind me how long you have been hitting the 2hbh. I am in my 3rd summer ... probably 15,000+ ball machine reps, so been at it a while. I just don't have many match hours with it ... I kept reverting back to 1hbh slice for singles. Then injuries ... hopefully at least doubles soon and I will stick with the 2hbh. I don't care about winning friend doubles ... I do with singles. :D
 
#10
Remind me how long you have been hitting the 2hbh. I am in my 3rd summer ... probably 15,000+ ball machine reps, so been at it a while. I just don't have many match hours with it ... I kept reverting back to 1hbh slice for singles. Then injuries ... hopefully at least doubles soon and I will stick with the 2hbh. I don't care about winning friend doubles ... I do with singles. :D
I’ve been playing about 3 years, didn’t play as a kid, and have always used a 2hb. I play 3 or 4 days a week and am a low level 4.5. My backhand is improving but not as fast as my forehand so the gap seems to be growing. I don’t have much match experience, but that’s coming along.
 
#11
@Dan R ... it finally hit me why Clay's video didn't make sense to me. It's @00:44 ... where he shows his arm extended representing a contact position. That's not where most cont/eastern will make contact, but rather a little in front of right foot (Djokovic, etc). I like the contact there ... feels solid to me, and flexible contact point for drives or topspin. I would think the hammer grip amounts to something like a bh eastern ... and you would hit a little more in front. Just fyi ... thought of it looking at my right arm/hand position at contact point with a shadow swing. When contact is near front foot, you don't want much/and right forearm/racquet angle at contact.
 
#12
@Dan R ... it finally hit me why Clay's video didn't make sense to me. It's @00:44 ... where he shows his arm extended representing a contact position. That's not where most cont/eastern will make contact, but rather a little in front of right foot (Djokovic, etc). I like the contact there ... feels solid to me, and flexible contact point for drives or topspin. I would think the hammer grip amounts to something like a bh eastern ... and you would hit a little more in front. Just fyi ... thought of it looking at my right arm/hand position at contact point with a shadow swing. When contact is near front foot, you don't want much/and right forearm/racquet angle at contact.

I had inadvertently been using this grip, or something pretty close to it, when I served, which resulted in a very closed and twisted racket face at the top. I had to make a waiter's tray move to get the racket square. I've worked that issue out, but maybe the experience helped me feel comfortable with this grip on my 2HB. I've continued to use it and I feel like I can more easily control how much pace or spin I put on the ball. I've been hitting it better and don't really see a down side at this point.
 
#13
I haven't watched the video or had time to read all the posts but I believe the best grip for a two handed backhand for a right handed is:
RH - Continrntal
LH - Eastern
Yes there are variations to this depending on the individual that work for that person only and nobody else. There are some people who go LH semi western, some as RH - eastern backhand, some even double eastern for both hands, none of what I teach but it works for those players.
 
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