Big muscular guy 2hb or 1 handed?

Gncarv

New User
Hello,
I'm 35 and wife and I wanted to start learning a sport that whe could both do, and whe started tennis, 2 months ago, whe still suck in every aspect of the game. Heheh
I have a background in all kind of sports I played football basketball martial arts and the last 7/8 years did crossfit /weight lifting. I'm 185cm and around 95/96 kg.
The question here is my coach got us to do the 2hand back hand but it always seams awkward to me, there's no space (big upper body) for the arms and the full rotation just is uncomfortable for me, should I go the 1 hand backhand path? Everywhere I read says it's the hard way and 2 hand is the way to go..
Or this is just an adapting thing I should keep to 2hb and it will get more natural?
On the other way 1hb seams easier (the movement) to me
Keep in mind that I suck at both movements but one just seems more natural to my body, don't know if I make any sense.
I don't want to be a pro not eaven close just want to play casual with friends and wife and do something sporty with wife.
Any advice?
(sorry for errors/grammar I'm Portuguese)
 

movdqa

Talk Tennis Guru
Hello,
I'm 35 and wife and I wanted to start learning a sport that whe could both do, and whe started tennis, 2 months ago, whe still suck in every aspect of the game. Heheh
I have a background in all kind of sports I played football basketball martial arts and the last 7/8 years did crossfit /weight lifting. I'm 185cm and around 95/96 kg.
The question here is my coach got us to do the 2hand back hand but it always seams awkward to me, there's no space (big upper body) for the arms and the full rotation just is uncomfortable for me, should I go the 1 hand backhand path? Everywhere I read says it's the hard way and 2 hand is the way to go..
Or this is just an adapting thing I should keep to 2hb and it will get more natural?
On the other way 1hb seams easier (the movement) to me
Keep in mind that I suck at both movements but one just seems more natural to my body, don't know if I make any sense.
I don't want to be a pro not eaven close just want to play casual with friends and wife and do something sporty with wife.
Any advice?
(sorry for errors/grammar I'm Portuguese)
Nadal and Isner are two pretty strong guys and they use 2-handed backhands. There are lots of big and strong guys that use one-handed backhands too.

I'd suggest watching videos of guys that have great backhands of both so you can do some comparing as to what you might like to do. It would allow you to visualize what you'd like your backhand to look like down the road.
 

Gncarv

New User
Already spent hours viewing 1h 2hb and I just got the feeling that for learning 1h will be harder but it feels better for my body? Does it make sense?
The rotation for finishing the blow with the racquet? (Don't know the term in English) behind your back is completely uncomfortable for me, can it be a thing of lack of practice or should I go 1hb because you don't go with the racquet behind your back when finishing the movement (I think it's a lack of mobility issue)
 

movdqa

Talk Tennis Guru
I have a 1HBH so I'm biased. I have tried the 2HBH but it felt restrictive but there are tricks that you can do to compensate for that. It's easier to hit an open stance 2HBH but you don't have as much reach. It's easier to flick the ball with a two-handed backhand but it can be done with a one-hander with timing and some muscle.

For a long time, 2HBH was the overwhelming choice on the ATP and even more for the WTA. There are more new ATP players with 1HBHs and these are big, strong guys. You can always change your mind too or even go with the option of both. The 1HBH does take more effort but I think that you can be more open and free with the stroke.
 
It seems that backhands and forehands
1) Turn the uppermost body back and then forward. (Uppermost means the shoulder girdle area, as shown by a line between the shoulders).
2) Use arm and shoulder muscles also.

Shoulder muscles may be used later than the muscles that perform trunk twisting.

I'd say there is a tendency to use more of #2 and less of #1 especially if you have stronger shoulders and using shoulder muscles seems easier than torso muscles for beginners.

I'd suggest that when you watch TV observe how the uppermost body turns for professional players. Learn also what "separation" and "separation angle" are. Separation is easier and safer if you are flexible. Djokovic uses more separation than most and is very flexible.

If your body is thicker in the trunk and less flexible that may be an issue for separation. ?

For separation, consider a line between the two shoulders and a line between the two hips. On the take back the shoulders line turns back farther than the hips line ( as viewed from above). These two lines form an angle, the separation angle. On the forward swing the hips line may precede the shoulders line to start the forward swing. The purpose of separation is to stretch the abdominal muscles (obliques) so that they can rotate the uppermost body and also to adjust the range of motion. Search: stretch shorten cycle.

Separation involves twisting the spine. That may be a safety risk for some people.

Anyhow, give some thought to the use of separation and the use of the shoulder muscles - the mix - for your ground strokes.
 
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Dragy

Hall of Fame
The biggest challenges for you as a big strong guy is to:
- move very well, get to the balls, adjust for the strokes you intend to hit;
- fight the urge to use upper body muscles but produce strokes from ground up with torso rotation based on solid leg drive/foundation.
Well, those are actually same challenges for any player, just that slim ones have no other option to produce decent power, while stronger athletes can to some extent substitute full body utilization by upper body effort.
What I’m trying to say, both shots rely on techniques, big body parts involvement, timing and sequencing. I’m afraid when you say 1hbh seems more natural you refer to short arm swing, not a full coil (showing some back to your opponent) and uncoil stroke.
Meanwhile, if 2hbh feels alien to you after some time of training it might be worth it to try to learn 1hbh. I’ve seen more natural adoption of 2-hander, if you are not in the group you should try other things.
 

Gncarv

New User
Your actually spot on, I use most of Shoulder upper body to hit hand most of the time I don't go low enough, and allot of balls go Bolling alley (it's next to the court) probably the ''sence of being easy' 'the 1hbh it's because I only use upper body, probably should insist in 2hbh more, but is like movdqa said not enough rotation.
I'm still learning just didnt want to make myself learn a shot when I could learn a better easier for me.
 

Dragy

Hall of Fame
I'm still learning just didnt want to make myself learn a shot when I could learn a better easier for me.
I suggest that you don’t try to think it through. Just either keep with 2hbh or try to go for 1hbh, with support of your coach for sure. Then relax and don’t look back. Any option is valid, you are not cutting off a piece of your tennis personality by choosing either.
 

Dan Huben

Semi-Pro
I am also larger than most when normal 44L when working out can get up to 48L suits. I’m a one hander. When I started a few years ago coach showed my wife and I both and suggested about the fifth lesson that I choose one. I already had chosen the 1h as it felt more natural

Pluses are when I hit it, it’s a harder to hit it back than my fh, but it’s like panther blood, 60%of the time it works 50%

As another poster said it’s not about the swing but it’s getting the rest of my body to a place where I can step into the shot. I’m not athletic I can run fast in a straight line after ample runway.

If you take it on commit to it


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
 

JohnYandell

Hall of Fame
Go with the one-hander, probably. At lot of tall pro players have huge technical problems with their two handers. Isner the most obvious. But also Sock. They just look like natural one handers. I have seen Sock hit gorgeous one-handers in practice. Jo Willie is another. Robert Lansdorp once said if you want a one hander hit one.
A big factor in development though is whether you have a natural slice. I've showed dozens of adult males the model for the one-handed drive--then stepped back and watched what happened. Maybe half then hit natural slices. If you do that's the clear sign. All one handers should learn the drive but especially in the early stages the slice is far easier to use--if you have that natural proclivity.
 
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Gncarv

New User
I've showed dozens of adult males the model for the one-handed drive--then stepped back and watched what happened. Maybe half then hit natural slices. If you do that's the clear sign. All one handers should learn the drive but especially in the early stages the slice is far easier to use--if you have that natural proclivity.

Before I started learning, the back hand shots where all slices when I played with friends, is it a sign that I should use 1hbh?
 

movdqa

Talk Tennis Guru
Before I started learning, the back hand shots where all slices when I played with friends, is it a sign that I should use 1hbh?
Not necessarily.

One interesting guy to look at is Karlovic. He's definitely a big guy and most of his backhands are sliced.
 

blablavla

Professional
Already spent hours viewing 1h 2hb and I just got the feeling that for learning 1h will be harder but it feels better for my body? Does it make sense?
The rotation for finishing the blow with the racquet? (Don't know the term in English) behind your back is completely uncomfortable for me, can it be a thing of lack of practice or should I go 1hb because you don't go with the racquet behind your back when finishing the movement (I think it's a lack of mobility issue)
spot on.
Learning the 1H backhand is more difficult.
It as well might put more effort on you while in play. Let's say when you face a top spin that you have to hit at the shoulders level or higher.

But, if it fits you better than 2H backhand - give it a try.
At the end of the day, you can look at guys like Karlovic, who slices a lot. You can look at Del Potro, who used to have an amazing 2H backhand before the wrist surgeries, but now again slices a lot from BH wing.
Or perhaps you can master the top spin, and then you can look at guys a-la Tsitsipas, Shapovalov, Wawrinka, Federer, etc.
 

Rattler

Professional
Hello,
I'm 35 and wife and I wanted to start learning a sport that whe could both do, and whe started tennis, 2 months ago, whe still suck in every aspect of the game. Heheh
I have a background in all kind of sports I played football basketball martial arts and the last 7/8 years did crossfit /weight lifting. I'm 185cm and around 95/96 kg.
The question here is my coach got us to do the 2hand back hand but it always seams awkward to me, there's no space (big upper body) for the arms and the full rotation just is uncomfortable for me, should I go the 1 hand backhand path? Everywhere I read says it's the hard way and 2 hand is the way to go..
Or this is just an adapting thing I should keep to 2hb and it will get more natural?
On the other way 1hb seams easier (the movement) to me
Keep in mind that I suck at both movements but one just seems more natural to my body, don't know if I make any sense.
I don't want to be a pro not eaven close just want to play casual with friends and wife and do something sporty with wife.
Any advice?
(sorry for errors/grammar I'm Portuguese)
Go with the one handed...it’ll make more physiological sense to you...

..come to the dark side of the one hander
 

Rattler

Professional
do you have cookies? :)
Yes...filled with sugar, gluten and non-keto friendly deliciousness.

Seriously though, a one hander would be better for your body type.

And provided you move well and learn the technique that works for you...you’ll rip them

A weaponized backhand is a huge asset in tennis
 

Gncarv

New User
Tried in the practice today, the 1hbh, still very clumsy but when I hit them just right it felt really good, and wen I hit with 2hbh feels like I am hitting with a baseball bat.
So for now keeping with the 1hbh.. Thanks for all the input really helped me
I feel welcomed in the darkside.. It has gluten got me there
 

Rattler

Professional
Th
Tried in the practice today, the 1hbh, still very clumsy but when I hit them just right it felt really good, and wen I hit with 2hbh feels like I am hitting with a baseball bat.
So for now keeping with the 1hbh.. Thanks for all the input really helped me
I feel welcomed in the darkside.. It has gluten got me there

Go play disc golf...not joking...it will help you form and rotating your arm at the deltoid..also emphasizes keeping the arm straight and torso balanced
 

Gncarv

New User
Há very nice advice but disc golf is not a thing here in Portugal, but I can see what your saying, the position is similar
 

Pitti

Rookie
Whatever you like the most. 2HBH is typically easier to learn than 1HBH. It also gives you a more comfortable position to hit higher bouncing balls. But 1HBH gives you a bit more reach. I was the only one in my kids tennis class who decided to try the 1HBH. I had to spend 4 years to get a decent backhand. But it is completely worth. It’s the most natural and beautiful strike in tennis.
 

Gncarv

New User
Another question in 1hbh the off hand/arm does '' nothing '', should I workout more directed at off arm with weights, to correct body imbalance?
 

chatt_town

Hall of Fame
Hello,
I'm 35 and wife and I wanted to start learning a sport that whe could both do, and whe started tennis, 2 months ago, whe still suck in every aspect of the game. Heheh
I have a background in all kind of sports I played football basketball martial arts and the last 7/8 years did crossfit /weight lifting. I'm 185cm and around 95/96 kg.
The question here is my coach got us to do the 2hand back hand but it always seams awkward to me, there's no space (big upper body) for the arms and the full rotation just is uncomfortable for me, should I go the 1 hand backhand path? Everywhere I read says it's the hard way and 2 hand is the way to go..
Or this is just an adapting thing I should keep to 2hb and it will get more natural?
On the other way 1hb seams easier (the movement) to me
Keep in mind that I suck at both movements but one just seems more natural to my body, don't know if I make any sense.
I don't want to be a pro not eaven close just want to play casual with friends and wife and do something sporty with wife.
Any advice?
(sorry for errors/grammar I'm Portuguese)
It's a matter of preference, but I will tell you this. I had never heard of a 1hbh or 2hbh...and a guy like my first day tried to show me the two hand grip...Like you it was akward, not because of my size(relatively small) but it felt like I was batting left handed(I was trying to find a replacement sport for baseball) and I just asked the guy can I do this(and took my left hand off the raquet and swung with one hand and it(start of my 1hbh) was born. So if it feels strange, change it now. Many coaches tend to teach what they would like and not what the player would be better at. come on over to the one hander side brother...you'll love it.
 

Fairhit

Semi-Pro
When I first started like two years and a half ago I asked my then coach the same question, I used to play squash so I figured that a 1hbh should be more natural, he declined to teach me, he said that a two hander was the way to go, I read online and it is easier to learn, easier to time, easier to direct so a learnt it, in practice I used to put those 2hbh's away, I wasn't bad with it but as soon as I started playing a match the backhand just fell apart, I couldn't pass one that wasn't a very high moonball, I wasn't comfortable with it at all and my coach still refused to teach me the 1hbh (he wasn't very good) so I learnt it from YouTube videos, best decision ever, the 1 hbh feel natural and it is in fact a steeper learning curve but totally worth it, once you have it dialed in it is the most satisfactory shot to make, I love hitting a 1hbh perfectly in the middle of the sweetspot and rip that ball passing my opponent for a winner.
 

blablavla

Professional
When I first started like two years and a half ago I asked my then coach the same question, I used to play squash so I figured that a 1hbh should be more natural, he declined to teach me, he said that a two hander was the way to go, I read online and it is easier to learn, easier to time, easier to direct so a learnt it, in practice I used to put those 2hbh's away, I wasn't bad with it but as soon as I started playing a match the backhand just fell apart, I couldn't pass one that wasn't a very high moonball, I wasn't comfortable with it at all and my coach still refused to teach me the 1hbh (he wasn't very good) so I learnt it from YouTube videos, best decision ever, the 1 hbh feel natural and it is in fact a steeper learning curve but totally worth it, once you have it dialed in it is the most satisfactory shot to make, I love hitting a 1hbh perfectly in the middle of the sweetspot and rip that ball passing my opponent for a winner.
the only problem with it, too many people fail to master it...
to the level that when I play vs lower level players in my club, I am forced to play to their forehand, as otherwise the rally ends up at the first / second / third ball to the backhand. And I am not talking some hard balls, I am talking about simple balls aimed at keeping the rally ongoing.
 

Fairhit

Semi-Pro
the only problem with it, too many people fail to master it...
to the level that when I play vs lower level players in my club, I am forced to play to their forehand, as otherwise the rally ends up at the first / second / third ball to the backhand. And I am not talking some hard balls, I am talking about simple balls aimed at keeping the rally ongoing.
It's the hardest to master.

I used to think that I should use the 1hbh for rally and low bouncing balls and the 2hbh for high and net balls, a new coach just told me to keep improving my one hander and a I did just that, today I can handle high balls and can rip it at the net, I had to put the work in.
 

Pitti

Rookie
When I first started like two years and a half ago I asked my then coach the same question, I used to play squash so I figured that a 1hbh should be more natural, he declined to teach me, he said that a two hander was the way to go, I read online and it is easier to learn, easier to time, easier to direct so a learnt it, in practice I used to put those 2hbh's away, I wasn't bad with it but as soon as I started playing a match the backhand just fell apart, I couldn't pass one that wasn't a very high moonball, I wasn't comfortable with it at all and my coach still refused to teach me the 1hbh (he wasn't very good) so I learnt it from YouTube videos, best decision ever, the 1 hbh feel natural and it is in fact a steeper learning curve but totally worth it, once you have it dialed in it is the most satisfactory shot to make, I love hitting a 1hbh perfectly in the middle of the sweetspot and rip that ball passing my opponent for a winner.
Your story reminds me of another coach that didn’t like my 1hbh trials. I first liked the 1hbh at my first class at around 10 or 11. I had a coach that was really patient and great with children and he didn’t mind my trials. Then, at 13-14 when I started to become a bit more serious about tennis the other coach at my club was really pissed at my 1hbh. He forced me to hit 2hbh, and I soon started getting them in. I hated to admit he was right so I started hitting 2hbh only when he was looking at me, and continued with my 1hbh fails when he didn’t.

Obviously, he soon discovered it and didn’t like it. Since then, I just started hitting sliced backhands. Eventually, a year or two after that something clicked in my brain, and I started getting all of my 1hbh in, with confidence and power. Today, after a 10 year hiatus out of tennis... I still get them in with nice confidence, and it’s the stroke I’m most proud of!
 

blablavla

Professional
It's the hardest to master.

I used to think that I should use the 1hbh for rally and low bouncing balls and the 2hbh for high and net balls, a new coach just told me to keep improving my one hander and a I did just that, today I can handle high balls and can rip it at the net, I had to put the work in.
I know, and that was the starting point in my first answer.
It is a thing of beauty, and one can theoretically do incredible things with 1 handed backhand, but it is so difficult to master.
This is why many coaches tend to teach these days 2 handed backhand.
 

movdqa

Talk Tennis Guru
Just enjoying this match and I noticed that Kyrgios hits a one-handed topspin backhand and then followed it into the net. Big guy with a 2-hander using a 1-hander for this stroke. The point starts at 3:15.

 
"Inner Game of Tennis" is the bible for tennis instruction and the genesis of sports psychology. If you dont read it, which all of us should, best nugget is this: when teaching tennis or sports, the brain of the student can only accept 3 or 4 specific instructions, the instructor should give the student a goal, such as hit the ball over there, and let the student's body work out how it wants to accomplish this.

So, I would say you should use a 1 hander... your body already seems to prefer this based on your post.

If you had aspirations of college tennis or pro tennis you might debate the 2 hander, but that isn't the case. Warning though, some instructors have tunnel vision on the 2 hander and really are biased toward it.
 

movdqa

Talk Tennis Guru
"Inner Game of Tennis" is the bible for tennis instruction and the genesis of sports psychology. If you dont read it, which all of us should, best nugget is this: when teaching tennis or sports, the brain of the student can only accept 3 or 4 specific instructions, the instructor should give the student a goal, such as hit the ball over there, and let the student's body work out how it wants to accomplish this.

So, I would say you should use a 1 hander... your body already seems to prefer this based on your post.

If you had aspirations of college tennis or pro tennis you might debate the 2 hander, but that isn't the case. Warning though, some instructors have tunnel vision on the 2 hander and really are biased toward it.
I've heard that some instructors only teach the 2-hander as that's all they know how to teach.
 

Dragy

Hall of Fame
I've heard that some instructors only teach the 2-hander as that's all they know how to teach.
I think you should own the stroke to teach it, which limits many instructors who are ex-players with no dedicated education/development for coaching. I have faced some great guys who know a couple of ideas regarding 1hbh, but clearly no full understanding.
 

Mountain Ghost

Semi-Pro
A 1HBH has a less restricted flow ... but will take much longer to perfect ... PLUS ... you would really need the help of a good pro to fine tune it ... ... ... which leads to the biggest issue ... ... ... VERY FEW teaching pros have a CLUE as to how to teach ... or fine tune ... a 1HBH.

I would advise starting with 1HBH if you have any inclination to do so. The biggest advantage of a 2HBH is it may give you more "usable" backhands quicker ~ MG
 
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