Ping Pong Grips | How To Hold A Paddle? (Penhold, Shakehand)

Ping Pong Grips is an awesome game that requires skill, speed, and strategy to play well. What’s more, it’s a great way to stay fit! However, the best ping pong grip is key for beginners and experienced players alike. If you want to be able to keep up with your opponents or even beat them easily every time then make sure you’re using the right grip for your style of play.

Best Ping Pong Grip offers tips on choosing the best grip for your style of play as well as which grips are most popular among different types of players so don’t worry about getting the wrong one! Start playing like a pro today by checking out our blog post intro paragraph on what makes some grips better than others for certain styles of play.

The vast majority of players use a shake hand grip. In this grip, the racket is rested in the dominant hand with the index and middle fingers on top of the handle and your thumb underneath it. The non-dominant hand rests at least partially over and along the base of the blade to help support each shot and give greater control if you hit harder shots.

Ping Pong Grip

If you want to easily return balls that your opponent hits hard then go with a penhold or Chinese, style grip instead. This is when you hold both sides of the racket like a pen so that your palm is facing up when you hold it for hitting shots. Use your non-dominant hand to support the blade and help guide each shot, but keep it free from the handle so that you can more easily change grips during play.

If you don’t want to commit to a full Chinese grip then try gripping the penhold style with only one hand while resting your opposite hand over the racket base for the support! This will let you use your dominant hand for stronger hitting shots while still giving yourself the versatility of changing which side of the racket you hold without having to switch hands or put down your paddle between shots.

You’ll have an easier time returning powerful loops when using this tactic!

Related guide: How Wide Is A Ping Pong Ball? | Dimensions Guide 2023


Why it’s important to choose the right grip?

When you first start playing ping pong, it is extremely important that you choose the right grip in order to be successful. There are many different types of grips available and most professional players use one of these three most common grips: the shake handgrip, the penholde grip, or the inverted (or Eastern) grip.

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The shakehand grip is considered one of the most common grips used today by professional players around the world. Even though it is predominantly referred to as a “shake hand” grip because your index finger rests on top of the racket similar to how you would hold a shake can when drinking soda or beer, this type of grip doesn’t require any special dexterity at all – basically, anyone who has ever picked up a racket before has used this type of grip.

Best Ping Pong Grip

For those who are not familiar with the shake hand grip, your hand position should be rotated slightly inward towards the center of your body within a 45-degree angle with your palm facing down. There are some players that point their racket downwards at an angle or even tuck it behind their back when playing defense to give them more flexibility and power to return shots if they have no other option but to use the backhand side again – this is called hitting “down”. But most often players rotate/turn their body during play so that they can use either the forehand or backhand side without having to turn around. Most professionals will place their hands in a way where it’s easy for them to hit shots using both the forehand and backhand side with minimal effort. This is called “using a neutral grip.”

The most versatile grip in the sport is known as the “shake hands” or “neutral” grip, where both palms are facing each other on either side of your racket, right next to where you would place your thumb if you were using that hand to hold something like a coffee mug.

When rotating/turning their body during play players will often tuck their non-racket arm behind their hips so it’s not visible to anyone else playing. Doing this helps prevent others from knowing what grip they are using by looking at them since they cannot see the position of any of the fingers on a higher non-dominant hand.

For beginners, I recommend an eastern forehand grip (right palm facing up on the bottom of your racket) with a semi-western backhand grip (the right side of your non-dominant hand faces up on the top of your racket),” says Baxendale. “If you play near or at the table, I also recommend using a pinch grip to hold the racket during topspin rallies.”

“The pinch grip is where you turn your hands inward so that your palms are almost touching each other on either side of the handle,” he adds.

Here are some considerations for proper grips depending on how close or far away from the table you are playing:

  • An Eastern Forehand Grip is the most universal grip for players who are not sitting close to the table.
  • A Semi-Western Forehand Grip is good for those who are near the table and hitting hard, flat shots.
  • For Backhand Rallies (hitting only forehands with your backhand), you should use a Pinch Grip to improve racket control. For Backhand Drives (hitting forehands with your backhand), use an Eastern Backhand grip.
  • If you’re playing against opponents who have a strong spin on their shots, it’s okay to lean into your shot slightly – but keep in mind that this increases the speed of your shot – which can be both a good thing and a bad thing – especially if you don’t have a lot of experience.
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Different types of ping pong grips

The Shakehand Grip:

 how to hold a ping pong paddle shakehand grip

The Shakehand Grip is a grip in which the racquet handle is held with one hand. The back of the hand faces upward and the palm faces down. This grip has been tested to be more efficient than other grips because it provides greater control over power output when swinging, especially when playing topspin shots.

The Shallow Shakehand:

shallow shakehand grip

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The Deep Shakehand:

professional way to hold a ping pong paddle

The Deep Shakehand is a hand position where the fingers are curled and the thumb is placed on top of the index finger. The most common use for this grip style in martial arts is to self-defend against punches, but it can also be used for joint locks or throws.

The deep shakehand grip has been developed since ancient times as a defensive stance and attack posture in various forms of martial arts such as karate, taekwondo, judo, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ), and Muay Thai. It’s now an important part of MMA training as well. The grip strength of this hand position is important when you want to block punches or other strikes without the use of gloves, which are usually worn in combat sport competitions.

The deep shakehand keeps fingers free and flexible for grabbing anything that may come your way when it’s not expected, such as when you’re rolling on the ground with an opponent. This grip style also helps you keep your wrist straight, which can be beneficial during grappling.

The Penhold grip:

penhold grip in ping pong

December 10, 1946, saw the birth of a new kind of grip.

The reason for this was that the ping-pong craze in England caused table tennis players to use old broom handles instead of paddles. Because these were not designed for holding, it became necessary to find some other way – thus George Davies invented the penhold grip.

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There are several advantages with the penhold grip which should be mentioned:

The grip can easily be adapted to both long and short play;

  • It is possible to switch from gripping forehand to backhand so as to deceive one’s opponent without moving from one side of the table;
  • As most rackets have rather square shoulders they prevent the wrist from being twisted sideways.
  • The penhold grip has several disadvantages which include:
  • It makes it difficult to play strong forehand loops;
  • The long pips rubber is harder to use than the reverse side of a racket with a sponge;
  • There is no universal way of gripping it – one must learn for oneself what suits best.

The Chinese Penhold:

Chinese Penhold Grip in Pingpong

The Chinese penhold is a style of playing characterized by holding the plectrum between the thumb and fingertips. Players grip the blade with their fingertips, leaving the palm free to stroke the back of the blade.

The traditional grip for penholder players involves grasping the handle near where it enters the head such that when viewed from above, only three fingers are engaged on the handle; these fingers control left-right movement while not permitting full rotation. The use of other grips has become increasingly common among modern players, particularly those using celluloid balls: Xing Jian (an international player who uses a shake hand grip) argues that “the ability to play backhand shots requires elasticity in those joints. The Japanese-Korean penhold grip has become very popular in the United States over the last decade. Players of all levels are enjoying the ease with which they can use this grip to generate pace, spin, and power without having to worry about proper technique. We have seen world-class players switch to using the Japanese or Korean Penhold grip (ex: Andre Agassi and Kim Taek Soo).

Reverse Backhand Penhold:

The penhold grip is a standard grip used in most types of table tennis, except for the shake hand grip. Due to the way it’s held, it’s also simpler than some other grips (e.g., the shakehand grip). As such, this is one of the go-to grips that many beginners start with when learning how to play table tennis.

[Cueball holding racket with the right hand and demonstrating on the left arm.] Cueball: Here we go! Right backhand penhold! [Text below diagram:] The reverse backhand penhold starts like a normal backhand except you turn your hand upside down and use the opposite corner of the racket face for striking.

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