How to Hit a Strong Two Handed Backhand

The article by David F. Berens. 

Picture of Dave BerensWhen I was growing up, the two-handed backhand became the shot of choice for almost every top professional on tour. They found they could generate more power, disguise the direction they were hitting the ball and hit more of a variety of driving or heavy spins. If you have a decent two-handed backhand but would like to add some pace and spin to make it a stronger backhand, there are a few simple ways to really improve your stroke.

1. Use your legs

It is common for most players to turn well on their two handed backhands, but too many players stand straight up and try to generate all of their power with their arms. You’re leaving a ton of extra power on the table if you don’t get your legs involved with your two-handed backhand. As you take your racket back, begin to bend your legs. You build up tremendous kinetic energy in your torso and legs that can then be thrust up and out into the shot.

2. Use a small “C” stroke

Though more common on the forehand side, this technique of drawing a letter “C” with the tip of your racket as you make your backswing can dramatically increase your power. Many times a two-handed backhand player will turn and drop the racket straight back and low.

This means that before you swing forward, your racket must come to a complete stop before then moving forward toward the ball. Any object at rest (in this example your racket) tends to want to stay at rest, so it’s hard to get your racket back up to high speed on the forward swing.

Next time, try to take your racket back with the tip slight above your hands, let it drop lower as you begin your forward swing and then up and out into the ball. In effect, your racket never has to stop moving and thus will be moving faster when it gets to the ball!

3. Swing with a strong Left hand

Assuming our player is right-handed, I would instruct them to pay more attention to what their left hand is doing. In many cases, I find that a players’ left hand is simply along for the ride and not really helping much. Try turning your left hand (or top hand) in a way that makes it feel as if you’re going to hit a forehand with that hand.

Then when you swing, really activate that hand – grip a little tighter and swing a little harder with your left hand adding power and movement to your swing. Don’t let the left hand be a slacker when it comes to your two-handed backhand. Think of it as a dominant force rather than passive passenger just along for the ride!

Hit correctly, two handed backhands can be devastatingly powerful! Many of the great players of all time have used their two-handers to blast winners past their opponents before they can even move toward the ball. If you’re just relying on your two-hander to get the ball back in play, consider turning it up a notch and adding some serious power by using your legs, making a small “C” shaped stroke and using your non-dominant in a more dominant way!

As I’m fond of telling my students, when it comes to great two-handed backhands, get out there, grip it and rip it! Using these techniques, you’ll see more winners blasting off your backhand side!

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How to Hit a Strong Two Handed Backhand — 1 Comment

  1. Nice read! A nuance I add to “turbocharging” one’s backhand is to hit a basket of balls with a dropped right hand, strengthening the non-dominant hand…