The Table Tennis Grip

There are two main ways when it comes to the table tennis grip; the pen hold grip and the shake hands grip. I’ve seen the pen hold grip used more by the Chinese but either grip is great for most players but once you get used to one, you’ll find it hard to change later on, so pick the one that you like and then stick with it.

Let’s learn about the shake hands grip first; there are two main variations which are the shallow and the deep. Hold the paddle the same way that you’d shake someone’s hand, that’s the basic shake hands grip. The thumb will rest on the blade and not the rubber for the shallow grip, and your index finger will extend along the back of the paddle where ever is most comfortable. (Make sure through that the index finger doesn’t get in the way when doing back hand shots)

To do the deep grip all you have to do is hold the paddle closer to the blade so that the thumb is resting on the rubber part. You’ll find it easier to control your shots with the deep grip as there is less wrist movement, but you might not be able to get as much power.

OK let’s learn the pen hold grip; there are three main ways of doing this grip. The reverse pen hold backhand grip, the Japanese/Korean grip, and the traditional Chinese grip. Let’s start with the traditional Chinese one first, hold the paddle like you would hold a pen, the head or blade being the point of the pen.

So the index finger and the thumb hold the handle while the other three fingers rest on the back of the blade. With this grip you only use the forehand side of the blade. In order to hit the back hand shot you just move the paddle down and around to the other side by bending your arm.

The reverse pen hold grip is almost the same, the only difference is the way you use the paddle where you use the back of the blade for your back hand shots. Then the Japanese/Korean grip differs in the way that you hold the paddle, the fingers on the back of the blade are flat instead of curled like the traditional way, either wide apart or close together.

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