how do people decide between 1hbh and 2hbh?

Chas Tennis

G.O.A.T.
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One trick to solve the weakness issues on 1HBH is … to use your off-hand as you start propelling your arm and racquet with torso rotation, and only split hands later:
Dragy, not for argument but there are problems on using tennis terms.

Twisting vs Rotating Semantics

The body above the waist can rotate/turn as a whole or it may twist so that the 2 hips and 2 shoulders move independently. Twisting is covered under the subject called separation for tennis strokes.

In tennis ground strokes, trunk twisting is used. But does the upper body ever rotate as a whole, in other words, rotate as a barn door does? You do see videos of posters somewhat rotating their whole upper bodies together like a barn door. (upper body is defined as the body above the waist, it can rotate all together or twist).

1) Misleading or ambiguous terms
body rotation (all together or twist?)
upper body rotation (upper body is defined as the body above the waist)
unit turn (what's the unit? It would seem to rotate all together.)
shoulder turn (usage may be OK?)
shoulder rotation (ambiguous because of already defined shoulder joint motions)
torso rotation (all together of twist?)


2) More specific term (some better terms are needed)
uppermost body turn (seen by the line between the two shoulders, various motions below the uppermost body can cause what is seen)
trunk twist

3) Defined joint motions. But to describe all joint motions involved in the uppermost body turn that is observed, would be too cumbersome.

This is important because so many tennis players are thinking of tennis strokes based around remembering a few words (popular tennis terms).

The Thiem picture shows that his torso is twisted at that instant. If we watched a video, he does no whole torso rotation, he twists.

See high speed videos for twisting.
 
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Pitti

Rookie
The story about strength needed to hit 1HBH is mostly related to speeding up the racquet, isn’t it? By the moment it is accelerated enough and swings around to meet the ball, it’s flowing and rolling.
One trick to solve the weakness issues on 1HBH is … to use your off-hand as you start propelling your arm and racquet with torso rotation, and only split hands later:
It’s a matter of technique, of course. And it’s completely worth the effort learning it.
 

Chas Tennis

G.O.A.T.
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One trick to solve the weakness issues on 1HBH is … to use your off-hand as you start propelling your arm and racquet with torso rotation, and only split hands later:
Is this use of the off hand in this video at 31 sec? Is it elsewhere in the video?
Love Tennis video.
 
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Dragy

Legend
Is this use of the off hand in this video at 31 sec? Is it elsewhere in the video?
Love Tennis video.
Yes, evidently: he holds the throat as torso starts rotating, and lets it go after hitting arm picked up some velocity.

PS for purpose of this element I don’t think it’s significant what exactly happens with torso. Chest and shoulders rotate carrying arms with them.
 

Chas Tennis

G.O.A.T.
Yes, evidently: he holds the throat as torso starts rotating, and lets it go after hitting arm picked up some velocity.

PS for purpose of this element I don’t think it’s significant what exactly happens with torso. Chest and shoulders rotate carrying arms with them.
From your post #147.
"One trick to solve the weakness issues on 1HBH is … to use your off-hand as you start propelling your arm and racquet with torso rotation, and only split hands later:"

Is this something that you do but maybe the pros don't?

At about the time that the video shows 30 sec and then switches to 31 sec -

I don't see any use of Thiem's hand.

Do you see any off hand use at 30 to 31 seconds?
 

Crazy Finn

Professional
Anyone else use to have a 2 handed backhand but then took an extended break and then can't do a 2 hander anymore? After a 7 year break I now use a 1 handed backhand because 2 handed feels very uncomfortable and unnatural to me now even with help from my friends
Nope. Took about a decade off and it came back fine.
 

Dragy

Legend
From your post #147.
"One trick to solve the weakness issues on 1HBH is … to use your off-hand as you start propelling your arm and racquet with torso rotation, and only split hands later:"

Is this something that you do but maybe the pros don't?

At about the time that the video shows 30 sec and then switches to 31 sec -

I don't see any use of Thiem's hand.

Do you see any off hand use at 30 to 31 seconds?
Maybe it’s something you don’t get because you actually don’t try with any success what pros do? :laughing:

I can clearly see Thiem holding the throat of his racquet while starting his uncoil/torso rotation/whatever you call it. It provides support for the dominant arm and racquet as it starts being propelled forward (against the scene, not against the body).
 

sredna42

Hall of Fame
A top tier 2hbh where the player is in complete control, and can hit with aggressive spin, roll short angles, smash a jumping drive, its a rare thing of beauty. There are less god-tier 2hbh than there are god tier 1hbh.
 

Bender

G.O.A.T.
1hbh:
easier topspin
better angles
federer hits 1hbh
Tbh, most players lack the strength, technique, or timing to make use of the first two, whereas the third is sort of like a mental happy meal that comes pre-packaged with the shot itself.

As others have mentioned in this thread, it seems like the majority of rec players I come across have 1HBHs, with the vast majority of them citing topspin and angles as reasons for why they chose the 1HBH, and yet I can't really think of any rec player I've met who can actually hit 1HBHs with topspin or angles.
 

Chas Tennis

G.O.A.T.
Maybe it’s something you don’t get because you actually don’t try with any success what pros do? :laughing:

I can clearly see Thiem holding the throat of his racquet while starting his uncoil/torso rotation/whatever you call it. It provides support for the dominant arm and racquet as it starts being propelled forward (against the scene, not against the body).
I don't see evidence of forward forces from the off hand at that time in the Thiem video.
 

WYK

Hall of Fame
Tbh, most players lack the strength, technique, or timing to make use of the first two, whereas the third is sort of like a mental happy meal that comes pre-packaged with the shot itself.

As others have mentioned in this thread, it seems like the majority of rec players I come across have 1HBHs, with the vast majority of them citing topspin and angles as reasons for why they chose the 1HBH, and yet I can't really think of any rec player I've met who can actually hit 1HBHs with topspin or angles.
WHen I played in University, I would say at the time(this is 25 years ago now) it was about half and half. With the one-handers definitely having much more spin than two-handers, especially on defense. But I would say the two handers hit flatter - which made passing shots seem harder hit whether they were or not.
I think you want to develope whichever one you are good at. If this debate was held 10 years ago, I think you could argue one better than the other, but the top 50 have a load of one-handers in it once again, and the last few years many have made it to slam finals. Wawrinka won his French Open title literally with a one-hander down the line.
 

stockboy

New User
tried the 1hbh for a few weeks. now the 2hbh feels easier lol.

Timing is definitely harder to do on the 1hbh. for slow shots where I have more than enough time to prepare, and barely have to make any adjustments, the 1hbh feels great. But anytime my opponent hits with good pace, or a high ball, my form is gone, and the ball gets shanked. I'm sure with some practice, I can make it work. But the 2hbh is the more stable shot and much more confident to use it on the returns. Might play around with it a little more, for fun or something. But probably going back to 2hbh as the default shot.

since competition isn't a priority, might just continue to use both for a while longer.
 

Chas Tennis

G.O.A.T.
tried the 1hbh for a few weeks. now the 2hbh feels easier lol.

Timing is definitely harder to do on the 1hbh. for slow shots where I have more than enough time to prepare, and barely have to make any adjustments, the 1hbh feels great. But anytime my opponent hits with good pace, or a high ball, my form is gone, and the ball gets shanked. I'm sure with some practice, I can make it work. But the 2hbh is the more stable shot and much more confident to use it on the returns. Might play around with it a little more, for fun or something. But probably going back to 2hbh as the default shot.

since competition isn't a priority, might just continue to use both for a while longer.
There are two separate techniques to initially power the forward swing of a one hand backhand:
1) use the muscles of the shoulder joint. OR
2) use the uppermost body turn first to start the forward swing and let the arm lag.

High speed videos show that nearly all ATP one hand backhands use method 2). Federer does not.

Be skeptical of the information that you read on the internet. Do consider the evidence that is presented, such as high speed video evidence.


Video evidence identifies the sub-motions in the best ATP one hand backhands and Justine Henin's backhand. Read posts #1, 51 and then the rest of the thread as several sub-motions are identified and the video evidence is presented.
 
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HuusHould

Professional
Usually whoever is teaching you tennis decides for you. If no one is teaching you, it doesn’t matter what you pick as your BH will suck anyway.
I play a guy who claims to have never had a lesson and he has one of the best single handers I've played against. The control he has, his ability to angle the shot and hit the off bh and half volleys is more like a double hander and the pace he generates on the slow balls would be difficult to achieve with a double hander, but he's the exception to the rule. It's like golf swing technique, I know a guy (who was actually a better tennis player than golfer Id say), who got to +1 handicap without having a lesson. I'm off 12 and would never have gotten below about 18 without lessons. Some people can work it out for themselves others have from little to no hope of doing so.

from what I've read, 2hbh is more common primarily because most pros use it, and that was because when they start out as juniors, their coaches had them use 2hbh. But this doesn't make 2hbh a superior shot , so I wonder how people should decide choosing between 1hbh and 2hbh.
It's by far and away the most important decision you'll make technically early in your tennis career. (grips being the next most important) Most people will either try and imitate their favourite pro or the number 1 in the world or in their country or take advice from their teaching pro. I remember one of my early coaches saying "it'll be easier for me to teach you the single hander because I'm single handed", All varying degrees of invalid premises for making the decision. I'd say trial and error as early as possible in your career is a better method, also learning the characteristics of both and matching them with the sort of gamestyle you want to play.
 

Morch Us

Professional
I've been using 2hbh, but the 1h feels so much more natural
As an adult, it is not much of a surprise that you don't feel 2hbh natural. This is purely because your domnant side preference.

I wonder how people should decide choosing between 1hbh and 2hbh
As an adult? Purely based on interest level. When someone started tennis as an adult, there is a very good chance that 2hbh won't come natural to them and they start using 1hbh (arguably not because it is natural to them as a tennis shot, just because the alternative looks wierd/foreign to them). At this point it does not matter much, since the key is to somehow get the ball across the net.


I play at the 3.5-4.0 level. and I wonder if 2hbh has the advantage at higher levels, when people hit with more pace
Yes it can. If you don't naturally have excellent ball prediction skills (naturally talented). Once around 4.0 level, you will see that a 2hbh can get the results easier even without natural talent, but by that time it maybe too late, and you may not have enough motivation to build up a good 2hbh from scratch. So many players end up with an "adjustment" with either an error prone but powerful 1hbh or weaker but consistent 1hbh. You will see many 2hbh players even if not that talented, develops their 2hbh into a more dependable shot (sometimes even more dependable than forehand, even if not that powerful).

In summary, once you pass the begginer intermediate stage, 1hbh requires natural talent to be competitive enough. But for those players infact 1hbh provides more power (more space for fluid racket head acceleration) and more spin. But for vast majority of not that talented players, a 2hbh will provide more dependable shot.

In the end, arguably even at 4.5 level of tennis, you can develop your other strokes and still manage with a not that great backhand.


My suggestion would be that, since you think you can naturally hit a 1hbh, why not just learn a new skill now, a 2hbh and see how it goes. Once you reach 4.0+ level (in around a year or so), you can re-analyze and at that time if you want to switch back to 1hbh, switch back.

Since you don't know how to hit a 2hbh at all, you are not really in a situation to compare the options properly to determine what is better for you.
 
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