Tennis Grips Everything You Want to Know about Tennis Grips

Please watch this video on how to get rid of tennis elbow. 

Did you know there are several different types of tennis grips that can be used during the game? When playing tennis it is beneficial to understand the general grip of a tennis racket as well as the most common tennis grip size and different types of grips needed to play to better a person’s game. 

To understand the different types of serves you must understand the basics of holding a tennis racket. First the person must identify the two primary landmarks on their hand that will assist in setting up their serve grip. The two primary landmarks on the palm side of the hand is the knuckle at your index finger as well as your heel pad. 

The next thing a player needs to understand before learning the grips is where those landmarks go. The handle of the tennis racket is divided into 8 different sections called “bevels”. The bevels are numbered in a clockwise order starting at the top. Each grip has different placements of your index knuckle and heel pad on the bevels. 

4 Types of Forehand Grips

There are 4 primary types of forehand tennis grips: Continental Forehand, Eastern Forehand, Western Forehand, and Semi-Western Forehand. There are 3 primary types of backhand tennis grips: Eastern Backhand, Semi-Western Backhand, and Two-Handed Backhand.

JOI Tennis GripsImage of a Tennis Racket

Forehand Tennis Grips

Continental Forehand 

With the Continental Forehand tennis grip the player would place their knuckle on the index finger and heel pad on bevel #2. Continental grip is primarily used for serves, overheads, volleys, slices and some defensive shots. Continental grip is used for more power but puts less stress on the arm. Continental grip is not good for forehand shots due to lack of consistency.

Eastern Forehand

With the Eastern Forehand tennis grip the player would place their landmarks on bevel #3. This is the easiest grip to learn when learning forehand grips. Eastern grip is best for attacking the net and fast, flat shots. A benefit of using the Eastern grip is the ability to easily change between the Continental grip and the Eastern grip. Eastern grip is not beneficial for control over high balls or over long rallies. 

Western Forehand

Western Forehand tennis grip is when the player places their landmarks on bevel #5. Western forehand grip is used for top spin shots as well as for balls to bounce higher and faster. With Western forehand grip the point of contact between the racket and the ball will be further out in front of the person. Western forehand grip is not good for returning low balls and difficult to change to and from other grips. 

Semi-Western Forehand

Semi-Western Forehand tennis grip is very similar to Western Forehand grip except the person places their landmarks on bevel #4 instead of #5. Semi-Western forehand grips are still best used for top spin shots, power shots for improved safety and control. 

Backhand Tennis Grips

Eastern Backhand

The Eastern Backhand tennis grip is different than other grips in that the index knuckle and heel pad are to be placed at two different bevels. The index knuckle will be placed on bevel #1 and the heel pad will be placed on bevel #2. Eastern Backhand grip is used mostly for kick serves and to hit the ball with spin. This grip is also used because of the easy transition into volley serve. 

Semi-Western Backhand

Western Backhand tennis grip is when the player places their landmarks on bevel #8. Western Backhand grip is used for striking the ball higher and further out in front of the person with top spin. This is considered an advanced grip and should be avoided when first learning the different grips. 

Two-Handed Backhand

The Two-Handed Backhand tennis grip uses both hands with the dominant hand’s landmarks on bevel #2 and the non-dominant hand’s landmarks on bevel #7 or 8 depending on player’s comfort. The Two-Handed Backhand grip is used mostly for increased control when returning serves, low shots and balls at shoulder level. 


Once a player has a better understanding of the different types of tennis grips they can continue to improve their playing skills. Through JOI’s Rehabilitation Sports Center a player can get an injury risk assessment, performance testing, and video analysis. A player can also have a customized training program based on the results from their testing. Learning the different types of tennis grips can be just the beginning to becoming a tennis competitor. 

JOI Rehab is able to treat all of your tennis injuries. Our medical laser and Graston Technique have proven to help get rid of Tennis Elbow and Plantar Fasciitis.  If you need orthotics for your tennis shoes, we offer this custom fit inserts for $140.

Related Articles: Tennis Tips, What Are The Cause of Tennis Elbow? and Braces For Tennis Elbow

To schedule a Physical Therapy appointment at a JOI Rehab Center for a Tennis Injury, please call 904-858-7045.

By: Jon Stiffler, PTA/Sports Center Manager  

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