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There are several options for your forehand grip. For example, Roger Federer uses what is called an eastern grip while Nadal uses a full western grip. This comes down to personal preference but most recreational players who have good forehands use an eastern to semi-western grip. Below you’ll learn how to find the best Tennis forehand grip for you.
This is probably the most common Tennis forehand grip. Lots of pros use the eastern forehand grip. It allows for a good combination of power and spin on your forehand. To try the eastern grip, lay your dominant hand out with your palm facing up. Then, lay the racquet in your hand with the strings facing up. Close your hand around the grip, and you’ve got the eastern grip for your forehand. Your palm should be on the side of the grip when you are in ready position – strings facing to the side.
The Semi-Western grip is the next most common forehand grip in tennis. If you want to see a great version check out Andy Murray who has one of the best semi-western forehands in the biz. If you’re looking for more spin than an eastern grip, then this might be the best fit for you. How do you know you’re using a semi-western grip? Start with you’re palm on the right side of the grip, like you have an eastern grip. Then rotate your palm one-eighth of the way around the racquet, towards the bottom of the grip. We find it to be the go-to grip for beginner Tennis players still developing their groundstrokes.
The full western grip is a difficult grip to use for recreational or beginners tennis players. Although it is used by Rafael Nadal and other pros, you need to play a lot of tennis to use this grip because it requires excellent timing and precision. This grip will provide the most spin however, so once you master it, it will serve you well. To grip the racquet with a full western grip, hold the racquet with your left hand at the neck of the racquet with your strings facing down. Grip the side of the racquet. When you make contact with the ball on your forehand using a full western grip, your hand will be under the racquet with your palm facing up. It is awkward for most players, so we don’t usually recommend it, unless it’s a natural motion for you.
The continental grip is almost never used on forehands in today’s game. It used to be the standard, but as more players developed topspin during the late 20th century, the continental grip died out. It is still used by teaching pros to feed balls, but in match play, you almost never see it. To grip the racquet with a continental grip, grab the neck of the racquet with your right hand. Then slide your hand, without rotating the racquet, all the way down to the grip. If you’re hitting a slice forehand then, the continental grip is a great option. It is also used for volleys and the serve, but not recommended for forehand groundstrokes. So it has very limited capabilities but you might still need to use it so it couldn’t hurt to learn it.
Go out on the court and hit several forehands with each grip to see which one you prefer. Typically a more western grip will result in more topspin while an eastern grip will have more power and be a little flatter ball. We don’t recommend a continental grip or a full western for recreational tennis players. The continental grip doesn’t allow for a lot of topspin on your forehand, so you will struggle to make them consistently. A full western grip does allow for topspin but it does not usually have much power, and it is difficult to time the shot.
You also want to make sure your grip doesn’t slip while you swing. The semi-western or eastern grip for most forehands and we expect it will feel most natural for you as well. Happy gripping!
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