exercice revers artengo

Tennis : two exercises for working on your backhand

“It’s my weak shot; it’s really hard to do!” - Gaël, 32. 
But really, there’s no need for these kinds of comments, frequently overheard on tennis courts everywhere.
Damien Caby, the brand's partner coach, unlocks the mystery of the backhand. Make life easy for yourself!

Backhand technique

Let’s start with a few reminders about backhand techniques.

It’s vital to have just the right grip if you’re going to make the most of your backhand. The ideal grip for the dominant hand (the one holding the racket) is somewhere between the continental grip and the semi-Western grip.   

CONTINENTAL GRIP    

SEMI-WESTERN GRIP

This universal grip will then enable you to apply the correct degree of intensity and the right backhand motion. Don’t forget! Keep your movements simple!

It’s time to get stuck in!

Before starting from the back of the court, do a few warm-ups focusing on technique.

Warm-ups focusing on technique:

Stage 1: Practise supinating your dominant hand and the feeling of control.
Duration: 5 minutes
How to do it: Both players stand in the service boxes and play backhand rallies with just one hand. When the ball is struck, the movement comes from underneath (I hit) upwards (I support the hit). The longer the length of the rally, the more effective the exercise. Once you’re ready, repeat the exercise in the middle of the court, hitting the ball with greater intensity.

Stage 2: Work on transferring your bodyweight forwards.
Duration: 5 minutes
How to do it: At the back of the court, when warming up, the player balances on their front leg when hitting the ball (stork exercise). Repeat this movement on every backhand. (You can also do this on your forehand shots).

Now that you're nicely warmed up, here are two exercises to put the backhand technique into practice.

Exercise 1: Repeat your drills!

You can't beat backhand diagonal drills for boosting confidence!

Aim: Ball length, ideal grip and placement.
Duration: 10 minutes
How to do it: With backhand diagonals, play rallies to find good ball length whilst staying in the rally. The longer the rally lasts, the more effective your efforts will be. While simple, this exercise requires unbroken concentration in order to sustain a quality and qualitative rally that can help you improve.

To make it harder, place a target one metre from the sidelines and the back of the court on either side.

To find out more…
Professional players do drills every time they train, to practise their technique and continue to derive the best possible sensations in play.

Exercise 2: Dot the I’s!

What would training be without a few points to take it easy?

Aim: Boss the play with your first backhand
Duration: 10/15 minutes
How to do it: Player 1 hits the ball long and fairly hard to their opponent’s backhand. Player 2 hits their first free backhand, wherever they like on the court. The idea is to gain the upper hand in the point using the backhand shot. As an extra incentive, if player 1 doesn’t manage to hit player 2’s first backhand, the latter wins 2 bonus points.

It's not unusual to meet an opponent who will play everything to your backhand. So this exercise will really help you to get back into the point!

Damien’s top tips:
“Keep control! It’s vital to transfer your weight forwards if you want to play a good shot. Really get involved physically in your stroke for maximum control.”

“No closed stances! Only sideways stances and semi-open stances are ideal for placing backhands. Closed stances make it impossible to transfer your weight forwards, as the foot that is in front gets in the way of completing the follow-through. Also, the cross-court zone is impossible to reach, as the chest cannot rotate anymore when the legs remain in a closed stance."

 

SIDEWAYS STANCE

 SEMI-OPEN STANCE

You now know everything about the backhand! A bit of technique together with an ability to "feel" your shots and you'll never be scared of backhands again... So get stuck in to that diagonal backhand!

 

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