You are currently viewing Illustrated guide on how to hold(grip) a ping pong paddle?

Illustrated guide on how to hold(grip) a ping pong paddle?

Last Updated on 5 days by Shadman

There are no rules that restrict how to hold a ping pong paddle. In other words, any special way of holding is allowed.

You can hold the pen holder with the shake hand racket and vice versa. Not a few people have their own original way of holding.

This article will talk about different paddle holding methods, how to hold a ping pong paddle, and many more.

Kinds of holds(grips) and how to hold them

  • Standard grip
  • Forehand grip
  • Back hand grip
  • Japanese style pen holder (common name: Japanese pen)
  • Chinese pen holder (common name: middle pen)
  • Shake hand grip

Standard grip

The standard grip is sometimes called “neutral grip” or “balance grip”.

It is a way to hold it so that the middle of the gap between your thumb and forefinger and the side of the racket is exactly aligned. It is said that players hold it like holding a kitchen knife.

The standard grip is often used by beginners to intermediate users. When you start playing table tennis, you can learn the standard grip first.

Since you can strike the forehand and backhand in a balanced manner, beginners who are uncertain about their playing style will be taught to hold with the standard grip first.

However, the standard grip is now popular among professionals.


The advantage is that you can strike the forehand and backhand in a well-balanced manner as described above. Both can be hit comfortably, so there is no need to change the racket.


The disadvantage is that there is no specialized weapon. You can hit the fore and the back safely, but the specialized power does not come out.

Forehand grip

From the standard grip, tilt the racket slightly to the left to use the forehand grip.

As the name implies, it is a way of holding a specialized forehand. It is recommended for people who want to emphasize the foreground.

Players who hold in the forehand grip often hit the fore by wrapping around the ball on the backside.

The disadvantage of “difficult to hit the back” can be alleviated with the thumb. Many professional players, including Mizutani, give a thumb when hitting the backhand.

  • It is easy to hold the grip with force, and it is easy to exert the power of the forehand
  • Since the surface of the racket opens, it is easier to aim at the backside
  • Since the hitting point becomes faster, it is easy to hit
  • Playing drive is easy with the forehand
  • It is a way to hold it for those who want to attack hard with a forehand.
  • It is difficult to hit the backhand (hard hitting / driving)

The biggest disadvantage of the forehand grip is that the backhand is hard to hit. Since the wrist is easily fixed, the back technology that requires the use of a soft wrist is hard to hit overall.

Backhand grip

The backhand grips the racket by tilting it from the standard grip to the right.

As you may have guessed, it is a way of holding that is specialized in the backhand technique. The shape is such that the surface faces the inside of the body. The feature is to hit the ball as if it were involved.

I have summarized the advantages and disadvantages of such a backhand grip.

  • Since the wrist can be used softly, it is easy to hit the backhand
  • Easy to exert the power of the whole backhand
  • It is easy to block the middle ball with the back
  • Easy to drive curve drive with forehand

The advantage is that the backhand is easy to hit. If you hold the backhand grip, the range of motion of your wrist will expand. Therefore, the power of the backhand that hits with the wrist increases overall.

It’s easy to swipe, and it’s easy to use a rotating technique such as a back drive.

  • There are restrictions on forehand technique
  • It is difficult to aim straight at the fore
  • It is difficult to hit the fore in the front

The disadvantage is that the forehand technique is limited. For example, it is difficult to open your wrist when hitting the forehand, so it is easy for the ball to hit cross and it is difficult to aim straight.

It is a way to hold it for those who want to strengthen the back rather than fore.

What is a pen holder grip in table tennis?

What is a Japanese pen holder?

The feature is that cork is used for the grip and it is a protrusion. Also, mainly stick rubber on only one side.

It is often used by players from Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, etc. Although it is declining in the popularity of shake hands, it is also a persistently popular racket due to its unique shot feeling and momentum.

From the surface

Support the racket by sandwiching it between your foreground thumb and back middle finger. In addition to that, place your index finger on the cork extension, and grasp it.

The point is to leave a little space at the base of the index finger. It is standard to put the first joint on the racket for the thumb.

However, depending on the opponent or game, you may hold your thumb deeply or slightly. The strength of hitting the ball and speed of switching fore-back vary depending on how to grip.

A deep grip makes it easier to hit the forehand, and a shallow grip makes it easier to hit the backhand.

We recommend that you try to find a grip that suits you, with the basic grip as the axis.

From the back

No rubber is attached to the back surface of a typical Japanese pen. Gently bend the fingers on the back and align them for grip.

There is an advantage that you can hit the rally strongly by extending your finger, but it is recommended that you bend the finger lightly because it is easier to perform various techniques.

When hitting the backhand, do not turn over the racket but turn your wrist and hit. Putting your thumb gives you more freedom in your wrist and makes it easier to hit.

  • The power of the fore is high
  • Feels light
  • Back is difficult
  • Difficult to switch between fore and back

What is a Chinese pen holder?

The Chinese-style pen holder features a shape like a short grip handle of the shake hand. Many of the blades have almost the same shape and thickness as the shake hand.

There are users in many countries of this hold, including China.

Since the double-sided hitting method of sticking rubber on both sides (pen hand drive type) was completed, Chinese-style pen holders have also been used at the top of the world.

It is also often used for defense.

How to hold the surface

Basically, it is the same as the Japanese pen holder. Hold the racket with your thumb on the front and the middle finger on the back.

Support your index finger with a force that does not interfere with your forefinger, but with a grip.

How to hold the back side

The way to hold the backside is almost the same as the Japanese-style pen holder. Align your fingers and gently bend and hold. As with the Japanese style, the point is to bend your fingers lightly.

In the case of a Chinese pen holder that also uses the backside, the ball hits the finger when the finger is extended.

  • Smooth switching between fore and back
  • Easy to do backside
  • Easy to use in front (processing on the bench)
  • The power is lower than that of the Japanese pen
  • Need to use rackets with thin blades
  • slow speed

What is a shake hand

Shake hand type rackets holdings look like shaking hands. Use by sticking rubber on both sides.

In modern table tennis, it can be said that it is the main racket. Both forehand and backhand are strong and suitable for rallying.

On the other hand, it has the disadvantage that it is more difficult to treat the ball that has arrived in the middle than the pen holder.

In addition, it is necessary to change the way of holding when serving because the wrist is not free.

How to hold the surface

Hold the grip with three fingers, the middle finger, ring finger, and little finger. These three fingers should be slightly inclined concerning the handle. The point is not to squeeze strongly, but to relax and hold your fingers.

Hold your thumb lightly. Grip the racket between the thumb on the front and the index finger on the back, but it is OK to put it on the thumb without putting force.

How to hold the back side

Place your index finger on the back so that it rests on the edge of the racket. The strength of shake hands is basically backhand.

The recommended way is to hold it with your thumb lying down like the image.

  • Fast switching between fore and back
  • Various back technologies
  • Good at rallying
  • Used in the mainstream of modern table tennis
  • Weak to the ball in the middle
  • Need to change when serving
  • Since the rubber is attached to both sides, the total weight tends to be heavy.

Is Penhold better than Shakehand?

I have explained the difference between how to hold the pen holder and the shake hand racket. Every racket has its strengths and weaknesses. What comes to mind here is Which one is better after all?

The first conclusion is that shake hands are overwhelmingly recommended. Personally, if you are new to table tennis, I recommend the shake hand over penhold as penhold is more difficult to learn than shakehand.

Shake hand is recommended for beginners

The main reason for recommending the shake hand is that -the shake hand is the mainstream in modern table tennis.

Many of the top players in the world use shake hands. Of course, some players have pen holders, but there are indeed more shake hands than others.

In an environment with a small number of users, fewer people will teach the pen hold technique.

On the contrary, in an environment where there are many users of shake hands, they will teach you the technique properly. There will be more players to refer to.

So I recommend a shake-hand racket.

If you are a beginner who is about to start playing table tennis, I recommend the shake hand first.

Why shake hand is recommended

  • Shake hands are the mainstream in modern table tennis
  • Many players are there to help
  • you can learn it easily on youtube

The pen is not inferior to the shake

I totally recommend the shake hand, but the pen holder is not inferior to the shake hand.

Pen holders continue to shrink, driven by the share of the shake hand, but the pen has its advantages. For example, a lateral rotation serve is much easier to rotate with a pen than a shake.

Both the shake and the pen have advantages and disadvantages. We recommend that you select a racket that suits your playing style after understanding the characteristics of each.

How to hold a ping pong paddle

Now we are going to talk about how to hold a ping pong paddle properly.

How to hold a normal racket

How to hold the racket described below are just a few options. You can hold the racket your own way.

However, it is definitely a way to hold it for beginners of table tennis.

Especially, I would like to recommend it to those who are worried about being unable to spin the serve.

The way to hold the racket during a normal rally is shown in the image above. As the name of Shakehand is, hold the racket like a handshake.

Hold the racket between your thumb and forefinger, and hold the middle finger, ring finger, and little finger so that they are attached to the grip of the racket. For three fingers, do not hold it firmly, but relax and support it.

The point of the usual way of holding is that “it is sandwiched between your thumb and forefinger.” You will mainly be holding a racket with these two fingers.

How to hold a racket when serving

The above image is how to hold the racket when serving. Hold the racket with your thumb and forefinger and do not hold the grip. Fold the middle finger, ring finger, and little finger like a fist.

Alternatively, you can put only the middle finger on the grip or the middle and ring fingers.

By holding this way, the rotation of the services made by the shake hand is overwhelmingly strengthened.

What is grip in table tennis?

The method of holding the racket is called a “grip.” The development of the game’s technique largely depends on it.

What is V grip?

V grip is simple to learn and easy to control. When a player holds the paddle blade between his/her index and middle finger and makes it look like a V shape is called a V-grip.

The index and thumb almost make an O sign. The rest of the fingers hold the handle.

The standard grip is increasing among professionals

Until a while ago, top professionals like Waldner (Sweden, the world’s number one) switch the racket holding method depending on the game situation.

However, in modern table tennis, the rally is faster. So, fast-changing is needed. We now have to hit the forehand and backhand equally quickly.

Therefore, the number of extreme rackets grips that need to be switched seems to be decreasing. For professionals, both the forehand grip and backhand grip are decreasing.

The standard grip with a well-balanced fore and back is increasing. It feels like you’re spinning around and returning to basics.

You don’t need to change the way you hold it and you can hit it as it is. Because of these advantages, standard grips are popular.

What is the best grips in table tennis?

There are several grips you can learn. But for beginners and due to the number of players or resources available to teach you, Shakehand is the best and recommended grip to learn.

Shakehand is also easy to switch and control.


I personally like to learn how to hold a ping pong paddle with two fingers. Especially, I would like to suggest it to beginners who have just started playing table tennis.

Beginners should apply spin, so it is better to learn how to apply spin by sticking to the basics.

After gaining experience, I think it’s a good idea to explore other ways to hold your own when your playing style and your favorite serve are solidified.

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