Is a 2nd-handed backhand harder on the knees?

I hit a right handed, one-handed backhand but I was considering switching to a two-hander. My left knee is the probably the weakest part of my body that I know of. I get tendinitis (aka jumpers knee) when I do lunges or have to take the stairs at work if the elevator is down (an old government building). As I've been messing around with it, it seems to aggravate my back leg which is my left knee. Not sure if this is a coincidence or not?
 

Nellie

Hall of Fame
A 2-handed BH should not be hard on your knees. It is hard to answer definitively without seeing your stroke, but I would guess that you are hitting off your heels so that your feet are locked to the ground and torqueing your knee when you are hitting the stroke. Try to keep light on your feet by being on your toes and lift your left foot on the follow-through so you can rotate along your right knee.
 

cortado

Professional
I've also been messing around with shadow-swinging a 2hander as I've been wondering if it would be easier on my hitting arm.
I'm right-handed and have also had the odd bit of discomfort in the left knee. However, this is me doing it in socks on carpet, might be different in tennis shoes with proper foot placement.
 

zaph

Professional
Compared to SLICE 1hbh.
It depends if you play it properly. The thing about the slice is you can get away with a bad body position and footwork. You can kind of improvise with your arm, you won't get the same results as you would if you were positioned properly but you can do something with it.

Try the same with the double hander and you will be a world of trouble. Getting yourself in the correct position to hit the ball is critical and if you don't you end up with a right old mess.
 

cortado

Professional
It depends if you play it properly. The thing about the slice is you can get away with a bad body position and footwork. You can kind of improvise with your arm, you won't get the same results as you would if you were positioned properly but you can do something with it.

Try the same with the double hander and you will be a world of trouble. Getting yourself in the correct position to hit the ball is critical and if you don't you end up with a right old mess.
People talk about the 2-hander being easier than 1hander, but is that actually true of the footwork?
Just messing around inside, the footwork doesn't seem any easier for 2hand.
 
1hbh has a narrow range of contact point. You can hit only near your right leg (assuming you are right hander) and your left leg does not become rotation axis.
2hbh has a wide range of contact point. You can hit near your right leg or left leg. When you hit near left leg, your left leg becomes rotation axis and that is hard on your left knee (Look at 2:10 in the video below). If you want to continue 2hbh, I would try to keep contact point front (near right knee).

 

Rosstour

Legend
2H is harder on everything.

1H is the natural, fluid way. That's why most fans/players instinctively like it and gravitate towards it.

It's harder to be consistent with, but the benefits are...everything else. More RHS, easier on hips and legs, better range (laterally), takes less time.
 

socallefty

Legend
1hbh has a narrow range of contact point. You can hit only near your right leg (assuming you are right hander) and your left leg does not become rotation axis.
2hbh has a wide range of contact point. You can hit near your right leg or left leg. When you hit near left leg, your left leg becomes rotation axis and that is hard on your left knee (Look at 2:10 in the video below). If you want to continue 2hbh, I would try to keep contact point front (near right knee).

This post is spot-on. If you contact the ball early always with a closed stance, there shouldn’t be much difference between 1HBH and 2HBH in terms of effect on your left knee. But, one of the advantages of a 2HBH is that you can hit with more of an open stance (helps on defense) and you can also hit it quite late (helps on passing shots). When you do those things, you will put more stress on your left knee. But, I don’t know if it is any more stress than you put on your left knee when you hit crosscourt FHs with a closed stance.
 
I've also been messing around with shadow-swinging a 2hander as I've been wondering if it would be easier on my hitting arm.
I'm right-handed and have also had the odd bit of discomfort in the left knee. However, this is me doing it in socks on carpet, might be different in tennis shoes with proper foot placement.
It's easier on the hitting arm IMO. I guess you have the chance for hurting your left arm. Didn't Kim Clijsters have a tendon tear from her two-hander? But she did use the Pure Drive, Justine may have injured her elbow from the one hander but that was when she used the BLX Tour 95, the same racquet that hurt my arm and I ended up playing lefty for a year or so. My arm feels perfect now with the Wilson Clash Tour.
 

ByeByePoly

G.O.A.T.
@BallChaser and @socallefty got it right.

You can play with 1hbh drive and 1hbh slice and never hit off back leg. I never did ... was closed stance only.

With 2hbh you aren’t doing it right if you don’t have both open stance and closed stance in your arsenal. With open stance you are pushing off with your left leg (your knee question), and rotating around left leg/hip.

I actually think there is a bit more rotation force on the right leg/hip 2hbh closed stance than with the 1hbh closed stance. Or ... at least there can/could be depending on how you hit it. If you watch a pro hit a closed stance 2hbh ... you will often see the back/left leg come around after contact in the rotation. I know my right big toe was stressed more the first summer learning the 2hbh ... but a lot of reps and body learning the stroke. Unfortunately big toe still has some damage.
 

Rosstour

Legend
I'd think that a one-handed backhand would be harder on your right knee (assuming right-handed). You can hit open stance with a 2HBH which should share the stress between the two knees.
it's not, though.

using two hands impedes the natural motion and energy dissipation of the stroke.
 

ByeByePoly

G.O.A.T.
I'd think that a one-handed backhand would be harder on your right knee (assuming right-handed). You can hit open stance with a 2HBH which should share the stress between the two knees.
Well ... like I said, if you are hitting a 2hbh you would be severely limiting the stroke if you didn't hit both open and closed stances. Open stance 2hbhs leg use/weight bearing will vary just like an open stance FHs. Sometimes virtually zero weight on front leg, sometimes more equal, maybe even sometime like a closed stance 100% weight bearing all on front/right leg. Versatile little puppy. 8-B

I never had any knee issues and never felt knee or hip stress from any stance 1hbh or 2hbh. But I think my right big toe issue (hallux limitus ... arthritic joint) happened because of "some" right foot rotation while anchored on right foot. I visually noticed my anchored foot would rotate some through follow through. Now ... I was brand new to working out the stroke, probably didn't have great timing of offloading weight quicker, hit 10,000+ ball machine 2hbhs (all closed stance, never hit open until 2nd year) ... recipe for overuse injury. Even with nagging toe issue ... I got to where there was zero issue hitting closed 2hbhs ... think I just learned to back off anchored rotation while weight toward toes.

Bad Hallux Rigidus is what Hewitt had ... but left foot big toe, and from serving.

 
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ByeByePoly

G.O.A.T.
I'd think that a one-handed backhand would be harder on your right knee (assuming right-handed). You can hit open stance with a 2HBH which should share the stress between the two knees.
btw ... if I had a right knee issue that was painful to load on, and was going to try and play a match today ... you are right: I would hit 100% open 2hbhs with little ir no weight in right leg, hit no 1hbhs drive or slice because I only hit closed stance 1hbhs, and no closed stance 2hbhs. Would be trying to bench that right knee. Maybe even pinpoint serve instead of platform. That said ... if knee prevents a closed stance 1hbh ... probably shouldn't be on the court anyway.
 

LeeD

Bionic Poster
I knew a supremely athletic girl who spiral fractured her left tib/fib in 6 separate fractures hitting a 2hbh with a planted front foot. She had previously sliced 1hbh and was on her 10th day trying 2hbh topspin.
 

ByeByePoly

G.O.A.T.
I knew a supremely athletic girl who spiral fractured her left tib/fib in 6 separate fractures hitting a 2hbh with a planted front foot. She had previously sliced 1hbh and was on her 10th day trying 2hbh topspin.
This is a terrible story.
 

ByeByePoly

G.O.A.T.
Hitting a 2HBH on my knees? Hell yeah that’s harder. I like to be on my feet when I hit most of my tennis shots.

signed,
The guy that just reads thread titles before posting.
Your replies must be brutal in shoulder-hip-separation and nipples-to-the-net threads. :eek:
 

ByeByePoly

G.O.A.T.
And every senior tournament i watch this is the case. Why o why do i keep trying to hit that top spin? watching to many open pro tourney's with young players. (Note to self) Watch senior and super senior tourney's and accept your age
Yes ... but that 1hbh slice is even better when you have a 1hbh drive (flat or topspin) in the bag. I always loved the look on an opponent 's face when they saw my first 1hbh drive (flat) for the first time on a dtl passing shot. There face was saying "didn't know you had that" ... my face was saying "you hadn't asked yet". 8-B 1HBH topspin imo is more work and timing than 1hbh slice or flat drive ... but I think adds to your cc game (angles, cc passing shots). I learned to live without with 1hbh. Ironically ... bucket list 2hbh came with topspin. 8-B
 

LeeD

Bionic Poster
So you can hit through a complete warmup without driving your 1hbh, then thread the needle in a match first try?
Are you sure?
 

ByeByePoly

G.O.A.T.
So you can hit through a complete warmup without driving your 1hbh, then thread the needle in a match first try?
Are you sure?
I guess you are talking to me. 8-B

You show up to a match with the shots you have ... you don't aquire new shots in warmup, and if a shot wasn't hit in warmup it's not broken.

Sure ... I might have hit flat 1hbhs in warmup ... but cooperative warmup ... no passing shots ... dude had forgot that after match slice after slice.

Thread the needle is an assumption ... in my story the net guy didn't close for sh.!.t ... and no threading required. 8-B

Good test though.
 

ChaelAZ

G.O.A.T.
I hit a right handed, one-handed backhand but I was considering switching to a two-hander. My left knee is the probably the weakest part of my body that I know of. I get tendinitis (aka jumpers knee) when I do lunges or have to take the stairs at work if the elevator is down (an old government building). As I've been messing around with it, it seems to aggravate my back leg which is my left knee. Not sure if this is a coincidence or not?

Just curious, why switch?
 

Serve Doc

Rookie
Because the torso is required to be able to pivot to allow for the top hand (particularly in top hand dominant grips)...to be able to drive to full extension on followthrough...if they hit often from the fully closed stances that can increase injury risk with two handed. Essentially the contact is forced to make contact where should be followthrough position..they try to work around issue and horse the finish dealing with a limited strike zone length
 
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movdqa

Talk Tennis Guru
I hit a bunch of two-handed backhands today. I used the Murray style, racquet straight back and racquet more or less straight forward, sometimes with topspin. Very easy shot if you get it lined up. I didn't feel any knee stress at all from hitting it.
 
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