The two-handed backhand is a single shot, which has its roots in the prehistory of tennis. Playing the two-handed backhand is easier, at least at the beginning, and also allows beginners to respond effectively. The one-handed backhand is the perfect choice for those who don’t want to sacrifice everything on the altar of efficiency. Although it must be said that today’s tennis players almost always have the strongest backhand of the straight; and finding someone who plays with one hand has become a small miracle.
But what are the secrets for a perfect two-handed backhand? It depends on what level of tennis we are starting from, how much and how trained we are and what our playing habits are, but as a rule, we can divide the construction of the movement for the two-handed backhand in these phases.
Let’s find out everything about the two-handed backhand
- Tennis training and a good 30-minute workout
- The handles
- Why is it so widespread today
- The importance of trunk rotation
A good 30-minute workout
The development of the trunk rotation is therefore vital to perform an explosive two-handed backhand and must be accompanied by the effective use of the joint and shoulder muscles which, thanks to the rotation of the trunk can be pre-stretched and thus ensure greater strength and power of the shot. Best trunk rotation is also necessary to generate maximum strength through the shoulder. The rotation of the trunk also allows the stretching of the shoulder muscles. This stretching helps to generate more power in the oscillation.
The upper and lower extremities always work together during tennis shots and the patterns of the core muscles are just the link that connects them. If the system is effective in ensuring that a player gets up to the ball in time, in balance and in the best possible position to hit the ball. Also, in modern tennis, strength training plays an important role and is essential to improve the depth of shots as straight in today’s tennis. Exercises such as arm-stretching on Chest Press Artis (for an isolated training of the kinetic chain of stretching of the upper limbs) or on Kinesis One (from standing and therefore requiring the stabilization of the core muscles) and a series of bust flexes on Total Abdominal Artis for example can improve the power of the shot.
Physical preparation is an integral part of specific training for playing tennis to improve your skills. A player must be strong, but not like a weightlifter, fast, but not as a hundred metre sprinter and resistant, but not like a marathon runner. This training program prepares your body for better performance during the match. For exercises that are targeted and functional to the technique and the game on the pitch, nothing is better than Kinesis Personal. The total freedom of movement granted by the patented FullGravity technology allows the trainee to move through the three dimensions of the space, moving all the kinetic chains of the body. A good 30-minute workout could be:
- Arm rotations on Kinesis Personal, 2 sets of 8 reps with 40-second recovery
- Extra arm rotation on Kinesis Personal, 2 sets of 8 reps with 40-second recovery
- 5 minutes of cardio preparation on Excite TOP allows you to better activate the muscles of the upper body involved in tennis activity.
- Chest press Pure, 2 sets of 8 reps with 40-second recovery
- Wide Grip Tractions on Row Pure, 2 sets of 10 reps with 40-second recovery
- Shoulder press Pure, 2 series of 10 reps with 40-second recovery
- Bust flexes on Abdominal Crunch Sel, 2 sets of 10 reps with 40 seconds each
Handle: we can predict two, continental for the right hand, while eastern for the left, that we will take care to put over the right on the handle of the racket. Once the racket is held, we are ready to bring it back in a linear way and with a simple movement, keeping the arms quite outstretched and the elbows not too bent.
At the impact with the ball, it is crucial to keep the plane of the strings well, which must be facing the field. Better then to use your wrists a little, and hold them so you have the racket with the string plate parallel to the net for all the impact movement. This way the ball should come out straight with a big push and end up in the other half of the court.
Any other things to know about the two-handed backhand? If we start from scratch, it’s easier to learn than the classic backhand, and “forgive” more. In the sense that it has many of the advantages of a straight and allows you to get to the ball even if we started not quite in a lightning-fast way or if the ball is very high or very low. A versatility that is not characteristic of the backhand to one hand.
Between the cons of the two-handed backhand instead, there is certainly the position of our body as a whole, more rigid than the elegance of the one-handed backhand. A few decades ago, it was said that the two-handed backhand was disadvantageous because it forced the player to get better on the ball to be able to hit it since with two hands there is less extension. Decades of champions and amateurs who have practiced the shot prove the opposite: with the backhand to one hand, flat, in topspin, you are forced to get well directed on the ball, because it must be taken by force in front of the body.
Moreover, as previously mentioned, with the backhand to two hands even arriving more roughly on the ball “playing” with the wrists and hands you can play a good shot. Important to remember for those who approach tennis, beyond the choice between a two-handed backhand or a hand, it is still essential to know how to handle the backhand with a cut hand, because that is the shot that allows you to play many of the balls out of position: too high, too low, too far.
The story of the two-handed backhand
Already in the 30s of the last century, thanks to the insights of Vivien McGrath and John Edward Bromwich, which is affirmed both in international competitions and among amateurs since the 70s. Of course, in the ’60s there were some exceptions, such as the Ecuadorian tennis player Pancho Segura or the Italian Giuseppe Merlo, which exploit the practicality and power of two hands in reverse.
The two-handed backhand at the time is not yet a blow that everyone tries, both for reasons of practicality and opportunity. It is with Björn Borg, however, that everything changes. The Swede has dominated world tennis since the mid-1970s for about a decade and plays both straight and backhanded two-handed topspin. It is a small revolution born from a practical need: the wooden racquet he used weighed too much, better to hold it with two hands than with one. But Borg is not alone: even Jimmy Connors – his rival at the time – usually uses the backhand with two hands, and Connors himself will be the first tennis player at number one in the ATP ranking with that kind of “move” in the repertoire.
The two-handed backhand just in those years between the ’70s and ’80s is going from underground to mainstream: now it’s a customs-free style, that chooses both the champions who triumph over the green of Wimbledon and the fans. From then on it will be a crescendo in popularity until the domination in the 90s with the Bollettieri school players – André Agassi and Jim Courier above all – at the top of the world rankings.
Why the two-handed backhand is so widespread
The years go by and the music doesn’t change, with the ’00s and ’10’s seeing the top ten of the ATP ranking full of tennis players who have for the most part an excellent two-handed backhand, of course, with some “heavy” exceptions among the champions who continue to prefer the single-handed backhand setting. From the ’90s onwards to the number one in the ranking of the strongest players in the world we find only three phenomena to prefer the classical setting: Pete Sampras, “Pistol Pete” with his services at 215 km / h, Ivan Lendl, another champion who closed his career before 1995, and a certain Roger Federer, probably the best tennis player ever active.
Why the rotation of the trunk is essential for a successful blow?
The two-handed backhand consists of three distinct phases: preparation, acceleration, and impact/follow. During the acceleration phase, the trunk rotates beyond the sides of the trunk concerning the pelvis in the direction of the trunk. The forward, upward and left-hand rotation (in the case of a right-hand backhand) of the trunk generates energy and force. This movement is vital to obtain the power required by the blow itself. A smoother transition between these movements will ensure greater precision and control. The role of the lower extremities’ legs (arms and legs) is also important in the fluidity of the trunk rotation during the game of this shot