The right size grip makes a huge difference in how a racquet performs, and it can save you from a serious case of tennis-elbow.
If you’re not sure of your grip size, here are two simple ways to measure:
Holding an eastern forehand grip (the palm is placed against the same bevel as the string face), you should be able to fit the index finger of your non-hitting hand in the space between your ring finger and palm. If there isn’t enough room for your index finger, the grip is too small. If there’s space between your finger and palm, the grip is too big. A too-small grip requires more muscle strength to keep the racquet from twisting in your hand. A grip that’s too large inhibits wrist snap on serves, makes changing grips more difficult and also requires more muscle strength. Either grip problem can contribute to tennis-elbow.
If you don’t have a racquet handy, you can also measure your grip using a ruler. With your hand open and fingers extended close together, align the ruler with the bottom lateral crease of your palm and measure to the tip of your ring finger.
When people say “feel” they are referring to the adhesive qualities of the grip. In general, grips are called Dry, Tacky, or Sticky. The right grip for you is going to be determined by your willingness to trade blisters for increased traction. For more information, check out the "Feel" section below.
Grip textures are usually categorized as Smooth, Perforated, Embossed, or Ribbed. You can choose the right texture for you by determining your need to switch from forehand to backhand and/or how much you’re going to sweat into the grip. For more information, check out the "Texture" section below.
Q: Does grip sizse really make that big a difference?
A: Absolutely. The grip is one of the most important elements of a tennis racquet and directly affects the amount of control you have over the racquet and your performance on the court.
A grip that is too small will cause the racquet to twist and turn in your hand, while a grip that is too large will decrease your ability to snap your wrists (especially during a serve). Improperly sized grips, whether too large or too small, can also lead to other problems which manifest themselves in injuries and strains in the wrist, elbow and arm.
Be sure you checked out the "Size" section above for how to measure your grip.
Q: Is there anything I can do to prevent tennis elbow?
A: The two primary causes of tennis elbow are improper grip size and string tension. Make sure your racquets are not strung too tightly and make sure you have the right grip size for your hand.
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