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Badminton Grip Guide – How to Hold a Racket, Types of Grip and Product Recommendations

In this post, we will give you a step by step guide on how to hold a racket, supported by very good online resources already available. We will also talk about the different types of products available, as the grip is the name for both holding the racket and for the product used in the handle that helps to ensure you have a good hold of the racket. We will end up the post with some product recommendations.

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If you prefer to just watch a video about the basics of how to hold a racket, the following one from KC Badminton is an excellent resource:

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Excellent audiovisual resource on forehand and backhand grips

Types of grip – Ways of holding the racket

In badminton, there are basically two ways to hold the racket. This can get a bit more complex at a professional level when certain variations come in place for specific shots. However, we will focus on the two main grips in this post, as they, in any case, are the foundation onto which the other variations are built.

Forehand grip

The forehand grip is the grip you use when hitting a forehand stroke. To learn what a forehand stroke is, check our badminton basics article.

How to hold a racket with a forehand grip

The first step is to put your hand as if you were going to shake somebody’s hand. This is also called “handshake grip”.

Once you have your hand in that position, please put your hand with the handshake grip in the lower end of the handle of your racket. While you hold the racket with a handshake grip, the racket head should be perpendicular to the floor. This is very important because if you have the racket parallel to the floor while holding it with the handshake grip, the strength you will be able to apply to your shots will be much lower.

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Another good resource that shows how to hold a racket with a Forehand Grip

Your hand should form a V shape on the handle, with your thumb being on one side of the handle and your other four fingers on the other side of the handle.

If your grip is correct, your index finger will be the highest place, whilst your thumb will be in a lower position and touching your middle finger. This might feel unnatural at the beginning, but it is the best position in order to apply the highest strength to your shots.

Another important tip is that you should not hold your racket too tight. This is a mistake that all beginners do, so you should learn to grip your racket without too much strength.

Backhand grip

The backhand grip is the grip you use when hitting a backhand stroke. To learn what a backhand stroke is, check our badminton basics article.

How to hold a racket with a backhand grip

In order to hold a racket with a backhand grip, a different approach than the handshake grip has to be used. However, the same logic of having the thumb on one side and the other four fingers on the other side of the handle applies.

The grip can be described as doing a “thumbs up” around the handle, but having the four fingers slightly separated so that, in the end, the index finger and the thumb are at roughly the same height.

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This video explains a different approach to the grip than the description above, but the end position is the same.

Types of grip

Now that we have described how to hold a grip, it is time to move onto the product itself, which has the same name. The grip is the product that is wrapped around the wooden handle in order to increase the slip resistance so that the racket doesn’t go flying when you hit a shot. Grips can be divided as follows:

  • Undergrip
  • Overgrip

The undergrip will come already installed on the racket when you purchase it, as it is a necessary part of the racket. It is advised, however, to add an additional grip on top of that one, which is called the overgrip. This grip is changed periodically once it becomes too slippery due to usage.

Some players feel that the undergrip plus the overgrip makes the handle to thick and they prefer to strip the undergrip away from the handle before applying the overgrip.

Undergrip

As we said above, the undergrip is always included when you buy a racket. It is usually made of polyurethane. The undergrip should be thought of as the base and should never be in contact with your hand. However, for beginners, the undergrip alone can be a good starting point.

PU (polyurethane) overgrip

This is the most common type of overgrip, especially for beginner and intermediate players. As the name suggests, this overgrip is done with polyurethane and there is no maintenance required. From this type of grips, we recommend the Yonex Super Grap Overgrip. It is a great option from the most well-known badminton brand.

Towel overgrip

This is the type of overgrip that a lot of professional players use. It is made of cotton and it is the best option for sweat absorption and slip resistance. However, it deteriorates very fast so it needs to be changed much more often than the PU overgrips. This is the reason why it is mainly used by professional players. However, if you would like to try this type of overgrip, we would recommend the Yonex Badminton Towel Grip AC402EX.

How to install an overgrip

Another important point is how to install an overgrip. This can be quite tricky to do properly, so we have prepared a quick step by step guide below. However, if you prefer to see it in a video, Yumo Pro Shop has done an excellent job with the video below.

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Yumo Pro Shop explains how to install a badminton overgrip

Step by step guide on how to install an overgrip

  • Once you have purchased a grip, you need to unwrap it.
  • You will see that the grip has two distinct ends. One square end and a more pointed one.
  • The pointed end has an adhesive sticker that you need to take out and that is the end you will start with.
  • You need to place the pointed end with the sticky part facing the handle, so that the overgrip becomes fixed to the undergrip (or the wooden handle if you took out the undergrip)
  • Once the pointed end is fixed, remove the plastic layer that covers the other face of the grip.
  • After the plastic has been removed, you just need to start wrapping around the overgrip. The amount of overlap between the different layers will determine how thick your grip will be. This will need to be a bit of trial and error until you find the grip thickness that suits you best.
  • Keep the overgrip evenly spaced (same overlap everywhere) so that you have a grip that has an even thickness
  • Once you reach the top of the handle, you should cut the remaining part of the overgrip.
  • To cut it correctly, you need to lay the racket on a flat surface and leave the overgrip in the position that naturally stays. This means it will be slightly off from the perpendicular of the racket, more towards the head of the racket than towards the bottom.
  • You then cut the overgrip in a perpendicular line from the racket and finish wrapping the overgrip.
  • To fix the top of the overgrip, you need to add the additional sticker that comes with the overgrip.
  • While applying the sticker, keep it very tense by pulling it while turning the racket as this will ensure that it sticks better to the racket and the overgrip.

Sizes of grips

The grips can be divided into five different sizes, from G1 to G5. The number behind the G indicates the length of the handle, with 1 being the longest and 5 being the shortest of the group. Yonex, the most famous badminton brand, has G4 as a standard for all their grip lengths.

Final words

And with this, we have arrived at the end of this post. In this post, we have talked about how to hold a racket with the correct grip, which type of grip products there are in the market, how to install an overgrip and which overgrips we would recommend. Would you like to have any more information about badminton grip or have any comments about the information above? Then let us know in the comments below!

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