How to Hold A Ping Pong Paddle? Paddle Grip

How to Hold A Ping Pong Paddle

How to hold a ping pong paddle? This is the question that has been asked frequently it matters a lot. However, it also makes your game good or bad. Before finding the answer to your question first take a look at what is ping pong and then will talk about the answer to your question.

What is Ping Pong And How to Hold A Ping Pong Paddle:

If you haven’t yet heard the name ping pong, worry not. You may be familiar with table tennis. Ping pong is just another name for it.

There are a lot of things that make you a great ping pong player and holding ping pong in the right way is one of them which sounds quite easy. But there is a lot of technique involved. I myself struggled in holding it right, therefore I thought to do some research on this topic and here I am.

Does The Right Grip Really Matter For How to Hold A Ping Pong Paddle:

Of course, having the proper grip will give you a plus point over your opponent. Ping pong is a very fast game and you need to consider your grip on every stroke. The right grip will provide you control and accuracy in your shots. If you’re just a beginner at ping pong, it’ll be better if you start with having a proper grip and practicing it so you can master it right from the beginning. But even if you’re a non-beginner, you don’t need to worry about your grip as I’ll explain some techniques through which you can improve your grip and ultimately your game.

Why it’s Important to Choose The Right Grip?

However, As you know that the ping pong is a game of speed and split-second decision and you don’t have another chance to think about hitting the ball. All you need to just train your body to respond quickly to the ball without a second thought and the grip on every stroke.

Moreover, as time passes your game will be improved and your grip will be improved too. Above all, the matter is the grip. How to hold a ping pong paddle? This matters a lot. Isn’t it?

So, it is very important to choose your proper grip and train yourself accordingly. Once, if you have to train yourself as a poor body mechanism for your game then it will be difficult for you to train your body. However, when you are changing your grip or try to learn a new grip then it will be good for you but your game is going to get worse at the beginning.

Moreover, it might possible that you will be discouraged about your game and it also possible that you will start your old habits. If you want to be a good player then you should have a good grip on paddles. I hope that you have got your answer about How to hold a ping pong paddle? While there is no single and perfect grip for any of the players.

However, it also depends on how you defend yourself in-game and how you attack the opponent of your game. Ping pong Is all about defending yourself and attacking to get points.

The Shakehand Grip 

Moreover, This technique is considered to be one of the most popular, easiest, and effective ways to hold a ping pong paddle. In this technique, you have to

  • Grip the handle of the paddle as if you were holding a baseball bat
  • Next, you need to extend your index finger against the outside of the paddle as if you were making a gun shape

However, there are two styles you can adopt in the shake hand grip: Shallow and Deep.

Shallow Shakehand Grip

Above all, In a shallow shake hand grip, you should rest your thumb just underneath the rubber part, opposite to your index finger. This style provides equal support to forehand and backhand stroke and helps you have more wrist flexibility.

  • very comfortable and natural feeling in the hand
  • Wrist flexibility.
  • It can be used forehand or it can be used a backhand
  • It takes less power while you attack
  • It has a weak crossover point

Deep Shakehand Grip

In this style, you should place your thumb against the rubber pointing upwards. This grip reduces your flexibility and accuracy but provides you with more stability and power in the shots. Deep shakehand grip mostly recommended for beginners and it is very easy to learn.

  • Easy to learn and practice
  • Very comfortable and flexible
  • Doesn’t require the need of changing the grip between forehand and backhand
  • Add power and also the precision to attack
  • A very old and predictable style
  • Requires time to decide either to use the forehand grip or backhand
  • It has a weak cross over point

Penhold Grip

Penhold grip is another common way of holding a ping pong paddle. As the name suggests, it resembles the way we hold a pen. This technique is mostly used in Asia where it originates from. In this technique, you have to

  1. Hold the handle of the paddle between your thumb and index finger
  2. Grip your thumb and index finger to form a C-shaped position around the handle
  3. Keep your remaining fingers relaxed on the paddle to gain more control and flexibility

Penhold grip is so named because it has the paddle which is held with the blade pointing upward and the paddle surface pointing upward it is like you are holding the pen. It is the most famous grip among the Asian ping pong players. However, this penhold grip k has gained popularity in the West.

Therefore, In the basic penhold grip, the paddles are held like V with your fingers the edge of the blade between and the thumb and the index fingers and thumb are curled around the edge.

Just like the shake and technique, these techniques also have three variations: Chinese and Korean and reverse backhand grip

Chinese Grip

As the name suggests, this technique is originated in China and is more common there. In the Chinese penhold grip, your index finger and thumb finger should be used to hold the paddle while the remaining three fingers are gripped around the rubber on the backside of the paddle with equal distance from each other. This provides more stability and support and allows you to strike the ball with more power.

  • The grip is used as the same paddle side for both forehand and backhand strokes.
  • It is relying on the wrist instead of side to side
  • This eliminates the crossover point
  • Great wrist flexibility
  • Versatile for both attack and defend
  • Difficult to impart backhand spin
  • it has to be played by the elbow raised and also rotating the wrist is physically tiring
  • it decreases the stamina of the body over the course of the game

Japanese/Korean Grip

The only difference between the Japanese and Chinese grip is the placement of your middle, ring, and pinky fingers. In the Japanese variation, you should grip these three fingers more straight and close to each other. Moreover, Some players also prefer these fingers on top of each other. This provides more precision and accuracy.

  • Smooth movement of the wrists in this technique allows you flexibility
  • Provides you more stability
  • Allows the player to move freely and comfortably
  • You can play strokes with more power using this technique
  • It consumes more stamina by allowing you to play strong forehand strokes
  • Backhand topspin may feel uncomfortable due to unnatural bending of the arm

Reverse Backhand Grip

The reverse backhand grip is exactly the same as the traditional Chinese penhold grip. The only difference is that the reverse backhand grip uses both sides of the paddle, unlike the Chinese grips. This technique is hard to learn and is therefore not very popular among players.

  • Allows the player to generate more spin
  • Allows the player to play the attacking game due to flexible wrist movement
  • You can easily switch to the Chinese grip to bring some variations
  • More difficult to learn
  • Increased crossover point
Other Ways For A Ping Pong Paddle Grip:

Apart from the techniques explained above, there are also some other uncommon  ways of holding a ping pong paddle which includes

‘V’ Grip

However, This grip involves holding the paddle between your index finger and thumb in a V shape instead of holding the handle which makes it idle for wide-angle shots.

Pistol Grip

The pistol grip is a modified form of Shakehand grip that resembles the way we hold a pistol. The blade of the paddle is designed like the backstrap of a gun. The pistol grip is not allowed to play in the majority of the tournaments.

Seemiller Grip

In this style of grip, the thumb and index finger are used to grip the sides of the paddle. Moreover, This grip was introduced by the American table tennis coach and former professional player Dany Seemiller and is therefore named after him.

Other Grips

Apart from the techniques mentioned above, there are some other styles that are not very popular but players choose to use them. They include

  • Hammer Grip
  • Pushing

Backhand And Forehand Stroke:

However, when you are familiar with table tennis and you want to improve your game then it is the perfect time for you to learn advanced ways to how to hold a ping pong paddle – the backhand and forehand stroke.

Moreover, at the table, people mostly talk about grips in backhand and forehand stroke. These are the main stroke which is using in ping pong.  Therefore, You might be thinking about the difference between both strokes.

SO, the main difference between them is the stroke visible. However, the other differences are related to your style and how you play.

However, Here is the difference between the forehand and backhand stroke which may help you to understand better.

Forehand Backhand
Explanation A forehand is a stroke that hits the ball with the hand’s most natural position. For example, a right-hand player will hit the ball from the right side, and the left-hander hit the ball on the left side. The backhand is different from the forehand, backhand involves turning your arm slightly across your body to hit the ball.
Stance 1.You have to position your body so that ball comes to your natural side

2.You have stood like the distance between feet are slightly wider than your shoulder-width apart

3. for right hander’s, your right foot should be slighter behind the left one.

4. knees should be bent, the body should be leaning towards and both arms out in front of your body. have to position your body square to the line of play this means that your both feet should be point diagonally towards your opponent.

2. Moreover, Knees should be bent, the body should be leaning towards both arms are slightly bend at the elbow.

Backswing 1.Backswing is that when the ball approaches you have to rotate your body slightly to the right side from your hip.

2. Therefore, you have to put some weight on your back foot.

3. your racket angle should be at 45 degrees.

1. When the ball approaches you have to bring your racket towards your body.

2. In the backhand your body should be balanced and aligned.


Strike 1.However, when you are ready to hit the ball you have to rotate your body back forward.

2. Therefore, You have to transfer your body weight from the back foot to the front foot.

3. Hit the ball at the peak of the bounce because if it losses the opponent will get the point.

4.  Moreover, For a forehand drive as it takes more power try to accelerate your forearm slightly as you contract with the ball.


1.In the backhand, when you are ready to hit the ball simply move your arm towards the ball.

2. tap or hit the ball forward and use your wrist to apply more power.

Finish 1.Your follow-through should leave the racket in front of your body however, make sure that you have pointed the direction where you have hit the ball.

2. Move back so to ready for your next turn

1. Your follow-through should have the exact direction which you have aimed.

2. You have to recover your ready position and be ready for the next shot.


In conclusion, I hope you’ve found the above-written techniques useful. One thing to keep in mind is that everyone has a slightly different hand and a different grip. You need to play around with grips and see which grip works best for you.

It will take you some time to find out which exact grip is best for you, so be patient and keep practicing because we know that practice makes a man perfect. Goodluck

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