What Is The Proper Grip On The Racket Called?




What Is The Proper Grip On The Racket Called

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Have you ever wondered what the proper grip on a ping pong or table tennis racket is called? Well, let me enlighten you! In the world of ping pong and table tennis, the proper grip on the racket is commonly known as the “shakehand grip.” This grip gets its name from the way your hand is positioned on the racket, resembling a handshake. It is the most commonly used grip in the United States and is favored by both beginners and seasoned players.

When using the shakehand grip, your index and middle fingers wrap around one side of the racket handle, resembling a V shape, while your thumb rests on the other side for stability. This grip allows for greater control and flexibility, enabling players to execute various shots with precision. It is important to note that while the shakehand grip is the most popular in the USA, there are other grips used by players worldwide, such as the penhold grip. Nonetheless, the shakehand grip remains the go-to choice for many American ping pong and table tennis enthusiasts.

So, whether you’re just starting your table tennis journey or you’re a seasoned player looking to improve your technique, mastering the proper grip, known as the shakehand grip, is an essential step towards success on the ping pong table. Keep in mind that it’s not just about holding the racket correctly; it’s about finding a grip that feels comfortable and natural to you, allowing you to unleash your full potential in this exciting sport.

What Is The Proper Grip On The Racket Called?

Introduction to Racket Grips

When it comes to playing table tennis, having the proper grip on your racket is crucial for success. The grip is the way you hold the racket in your hand, and it greatly affects your control, power, and overall performance on the table. Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned player, understanding the different types of grips and finding the right one for you is essential.

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Why the Proper Grip is Important

The proper grip on the racket is important for several reasons. Firstly, it allows you to have a better feel and control over the ball. By holding the racket correctly, you can easily adjust the angle and direction of your shots, resulting in more accurate and effective gameplay. Secondly, the grip determines the power and speed of your shots. A solid grip allows you to transfer more energy from your body to the racket, generating greater speed and power in your strokes. Lastly, a comfortable and stable grip reduces the risk of injury and fatigue, enabling you to play for longer periods without discomfort.

What Is The Proper Grip On The Racket Called?

Different Types of Grips

There are several types of grips used in table tennis, each with its own advantages and characteristics. Let’s explore some of the most common ones:

Shakehand Grip

The shakehand grip is the most popular and widely used grip in table tennis. It gets its name from the way the hand shakes someone else’s hand. In this grip, the racket is held with the whole hand wrapped around the handle, with the index finger extended slightly along the backhand side of the racket. The shakehand grip offers versatility and allows players to switch between forehand and backhand shots with ease.

What Is The Proper Grip On The Racket Called?

Penhold Grip

The penhold grip is another common grip used primarily in Asian countries. In this grip, the racket is held between the thumb and the index finger, much like holding a pen or chopsticks. The other fingers rest on the backside of the racket handle for support. The penhold grip provides better control over the ball but limits the range of motion for backhand shots. However, variations of the penhold grip, such as the traditional penhold and the reverse penhold backhand, offer different advantages and techniques.

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Eastern Grip

The eastern grip, also known as the “Shakehand Asian” grip, is a modified version of the shakehand grip. With this grip, players slightly rotate their hand counterclockwise (for right-handed players) on the handle, placing the base knuckle of the index finger more towards the backhand side. This slight adjustment provides a more comfortable grip and allows for better wrist action and stronger backhand strokes.

What Is The Proper Grip On The Racket Called?

Western Grip

The western grip, similar to the eastern grip, is a modification of the shakehand grip, but with a clockwise rotation (for right-handed players). It involves moving the base knuckle of the index finger towards the forehand side of the racket. The western grip is commonly used by players who prefer a more aggressive and powerful forehand, as it enables them to generate more topspin.

Seemiller Grip

The seemiller grip is a unique grip developed by American table tennis player Danny Seemiller. In this grip, the racket is held with the middle, ring, and little fingers on the backside of the racket handle. The index and thumb fingers are placed on the forehand side, while the other three fingers are used for stability and control. This grip provides exceptional control and versatility for both forehand and backhand shots.

Varying the Grip Pressure

Apart from the different types of grips, players can also vary their grip pressure during play. The grip pressure refers to the tightness or looseness with which you hold the racket. A tighter grip offers more control and stability but may limit your wrist action and reduce the speed of your strokes. On the other hand, a looser grip allows for greater wrist flexibility and faster shots but may sacrifice some control. Finding the right balance and adjusting the grip pressure according to the situation is crucial for adapting to different playing styles and shots.

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Finding the Right Grip for You

Now that you have a better understanding of the different types of grips, it’s essential to find the right one for you. The ideal grip will depend on various factors, including your playing style, hand size, and personal preference. Experimenting with different grips and seeking guidance from experienced players or coaches can help you determine which grip suits you best. Remember, finding the right grip may take time and practice, so be patient and open to exploring different options.


In conclusion, the proper grip on the racket is a fundamental aspect of playing table tennis. It not only affects your control and power but also plays a significant role in preventing injuries and enhancing your overall gameplay. Whether you choose the shakehand grip, penhold grip, or any other variation, it is essential to find the grip that feels comfortable and allows you to maximize your potential on the table. Experiment, practice, and embrace the versatility of different grips to take your table tennis skills to new heights.

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