How to Hold a Ping Pong Paddle? 2 Types of Grips Compared

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A paddle to ping pong is like a blade in a swordfight.

No matter how fast your senses, preciseness, or reaction are, holding your weapon incorrectly will put you at a disadvantage.

Because of that, mastering the fundamentals of weapon grips is a must if you want to have a chance to defeat your opponents. 

However, this can be a challenging task for newcomers.

In this article, we will introduce you to everything you need to know about ping pong grip, what is the name of the most common grip in table tennis, the importance of grips, how to hold a ping pong paddle and show you several different gripping techniques so that you can choose what fits you best.

Continue reading to find out!

What Is Grip In Table Tennis?

12 crucial advantages and disadvantages of table tennis 02

A grip in table tennis is the method or manner in which players use their hands to control their rackets.

In other words, it’s how you hold the paddle.

There is a wide range of different gripping methods in table tennis that experts and coaches innovate, and each is recommended for different situations and play styles.

Why The Grip Is Important?

Even the most talented players worldwide spend hours on end training and perfecting their gripping techniques.

They understand the importance of grasping the paddle correctly in determining your performance in table tennis matches.

How you hold your table tennis bat directly correlates to your strokes and your racket angle.

These are the elements that control whether the ball will land at your desired destination or not and control the direction, velocity, and spin of the ball.

Understanding different types of grips can also be beneficial in pinpointing your opponent’s playstyle.

By having a basic knowledge of every kind of grip, you will have a clearer idea of how your opponents dribble the ball.

This opens up opportunities for you to create counterplays and pressure on how your opponent will play, gaining an advantage.

Types Of Grip

Now that you understand the importance of table tennis grips, we will go over some common gripping methods.

Afterward, you can choose the most suitable for your style and preference.

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Handshake Grip

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The handshake grip, also known as the Western grip, is one of the most common techniques for table tennis players.

The handshake grip, also known as the Western grip, is one of the most common techniques for table tennis players.

It can be seen utilized by new players, seasoned players, or even professionals.

The basic principle of the handshake grip revolves around simply putting your index finger on the side of the backend paddle and holding the bat with the remaining fingers, including your thumb, creating a circle around the blade handle.

The grip got its name because when players use it, it looks like they are shaking hands with the paddle.

Depending on where you rest your thumb, there are two types of handshake grips, which are:

  • Shallow Handshake: for the shallow version, your thumb will relax on the paddle’s blade, giving more flexibility to your wrist and the ability to hit the ball from both sides of the table.
  • Deep Handshake: In this iteration, the thumb will relax on the rubber, which deteriorates wrist flexibility and provides a firmer hold on the racket, giving more power to the strokes.

Overall, thumb placement in handshake grip will decide how accurate and how hard you will be able to return the ball.

Penhold Grip

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the penhold type is also among the most common ping pong grips in the game

Following the handshake grip, the penhold type is also among the most common ping pong grips in the game.

You might have heard the name of this technique before and wondered: what is penhold grip in table tennis?

Fear not; we are here to satisfy you with an answer!

The penhold grip, or the Asian grip, is mostly used by Asian ping pong athletes.

The method gets the name from its similarity to the act of holding a pen, where the thumb and index finger encircle the paddle handle at the front, while the three other fingers support the weight at the backend, with the blade pointing up.

  • Chinese Penhold: The penhold grip was then modified and found successful by Chinese players, who are dominating the leaderboard. So, how do Chinese hold table tennis bats exactly? What is different about it? Let’s discuss the Chinese penhold!

In the Chinese penhold, instead of pointing up, the signature characteristic of this grip is that the blade is facing the ground, which is more suited to playing near the table.

On top of that, your wrist will act even more flexibly than in the handshake grip, allowing you to put more spin into the ball.

  • Japanese Penhold: Another variant of the penhold grip is the Japanese penhold, where instead of curling the other three fingers to the rubber of the paddle, they are extended and stretched out to give more power and stability in each stroke, allowing for players to stand further to the table.

What Is The Name Of The Most Common Grip In Table Tennis? 

To give you a short answer, the handshake grip is used the most by ping pong players worldwide.

It goes without saying that the handshake grip is the most well-known ping pong gripping method available. 

The grip gained popularity for many reasons, including its natural, straightforward nature, versatility, and beginner-friendliness.

There’s a likely chance you are using it right now without even knowing.

Handshake grip was popularized in the West but had been slowly making its way to Asia.

Now, you know the answer to the question: What is the most common grip in table tennis, right?

Shakehand vs Penhold, Which Is Better?

It’s debatable what is the best ping pong grip as each one has its pros and cons.

In the end, it all boils down to your playstyle and preference.

But we would recommend the handshake as it’s easier to learn than the other grip.

Players using the shakehand grip use both the front and back sides of the paddle, whereas penhold players often use only one side of the paddle (though modern penhold players are now often using the backside as well).


The Bottom Line

12 Crucial Advantages And Disadvantages Of Table Tennis

We have just finished talking about what is the name of the most common grip in table tennis?

How to hold a ping pong paddle?

To wrap things up, every grip has its own advantages and is best suited for different types of gameplay.

Therefore, experimenting and finding the perfect grip for your game is a worthwhile investment. 

You will more likely win a match with the grip you are comfortable with, so work on different grip types and pick the one that enhances your stamina and leaves you comfortable while playing.

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