In a previous blog, we covered the three tennis backhand grips. Today, we’re wrapping up the ultimate tennis grips beginner’s guide with a quick tutorial on the four essential forehand grips.
But before we serve up our quick tutorial, we want to refresh your memory on what a bevel is on your tennis racquet handle, as this term will be used frequently throughout the rest of the post.
The numbers in the picture above are associated with the eight bevels on the handle of your grip. The bevels guide where your index knuckle should land on your tennis racquet handle. Refer back to this picture if you need to while reading the post, as we’ll be referencing various bevels to help you position your hand.
Below are easy explanations for each of the four forehand tennis grips. Note: Instructions are based on right-handed tennis players. If you’re a left-handed player, reverse the instructions.
The Continental tennis grip can be used for every shot, but is used primarily during serves, defensive shots, overhead shots, slices and volleys. The Continental grip requires you to put the base knuckle of your index finger on bevel No. 1. The “V” created by your thumb and forefinger will now be at the top of the handle on your racquet.
The Continental grip is commonly used during serves and overhead shots because it allows for the natural motion of your forearm and wrist when making contact with the ball.
Eastern Forehand Grip
To get your hand in the right position for the Eastern Forehand grip, you’ll want to pretend like you’re shaking hands with your racquet. Your base knuckle should be positioned on the right side of the racquet on bevel No. 3. The Eastern Forehand grip is helpful when learning how to hit a forehand shot, and is great for transitioning between grips when necessary during a match.
If you’re new to tennis, this is the best grip to master when learning the forehand shot.
Semi-Western Forehand Grip
Your index knuckle will move one bevel clockwise to bevel No. 4 as you transition from the Eastern Forehand grip to the Semi-Western grip. This grip will help you add more topspin to your ball and provide an added layer of safety and control with your shots.
The Semi-Western grip will give you a lot more control on your shot, which is beneficial for lobs and short angle shots.
Western Forehand Grip
The next adjustment of your hand on the racquet will lead you to the Western Forehand grip. Simply move your knuckle one more bevel clockwise to bevel No. 5. At this point, your index knuckle should be at the bottom of your grip and the palm of your hand should essentially be under your racquet.
If you’re looking to add topspin to your ball, the Western grip is the way to go—how your wrist is positioned when holding the racquet forces you to hit the ball with tremendous power.
No matter what type of tennis player you are, varying your grips can help you gain the upper hand on your competition during your match.
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