How To Absolutely Crush Your One-Handed Backhand


Are you ready to discover how to absolutely crush your one-handed backhand?


Because that’s what today’s article is all about.

Many players often struggle to find power on their one-handed backhands.

Some people even say that the only way to get more power on the one-handed backhand is to get physically stronger.

Now, having a stronger shoulder, core, and legs can improve backhand power.


There are five simple tips you can use to add speed to this shot without spending any extra time at the gym.

Here they are:


1. One-Handed Backhand Grip

Jeff Salzenstein holding a racket showing One Handed Backhand Grip

Let’s make sure you have the right fundamentals, starting with the grip.

You want to use more of a semi-western style grip to get the most out of your one-handed backhand.

The more your hand is closer to a continental grip, the harder it will be for you to produce the power you want.

Try moving your hand so that your hand is more behind the grip. This will let you drive through the ball, and hit your one-handed backhand with more topspin.



2. First Move On The One-Handed Backhand

Jeff Salzenstein showing First Move On The One-Handed Backhand

After you’ve got the right grip, the next step is to have the right first move.

If you think about the best one-handed backhands in the modern game (Federer, Gasquet, and Wawrinka to name a few) they all have very similar first moves.

They all start with the racquet tip up and have smooth, relaxed take backs.

Starting with the racquet tip-up will let you get more racquet head speed and accelerate through the ball quicker.

Thus, start with the racquet tip up on your first move, and then let the racquet drop under the ball naturally to rip through it for more power.


3. Relax The Hand On The One-Handed Backhand

Jeff Salzenstein showing Relax The Hand On The One Handed Backhand

Relaxing your hand is probably the most effective adjustment you can make to get more power on your one-handed backhand.

Gripping the racquet too tightly creates tension and will slow down your racquet head.

Make sure to keep your hand as loose as possible so that you can whip your racquet through the ball.

Having a loose hand is also important to your first move.

When you take your racquet back, make sure your arm moves smoothly.

Any kinks or disjointed movements will slow down your momentum and reduce your power.


4. Footwork On The One-Handed Backhand

The next tip is to have the correct footwork.

You really want to get on your front foot if you’re trying to get more power.

If you’re moving backward, or even to the side, you won’t be able to transfer your weight into the ball as well compared to when you step in.

Work hard to get on your front foot and feel your weight transfer all the way onto your front foot.

You should be able to tap your back foot without losing your balance at the end of your swing.


5.  Hit The One-Handed Backhand Cleaner

A final tip for how to absolutely crush your one-handed backhand is to “get more of the ball.”

This is a tip that I tell almost all students because it will not only help you get more power but also help you improve your contact by avoiding mishits.

Getting more of the ball really comes down to hitting the ball flatter.

If you hit the ball flatter, more of your energy is transferred directly into making the ball go forward instead of imparting more spin.

So, if you want to get more power, then hit the ball flatter while extending out towards the target.

I hope you’ve found these tips on how to absolutely crush your one-handed backhand useful.

If you combine these techniques, you’ll start to rip your one-handed backhand like never before, and also master the high one-handed backhand, one of the trickiest shots in tennis.


By Jeff Salzenstein, Founder Tennis Evolution
Jeff is a former top 100 ATP player and USTA high-performance coach
committed to helping players and coaches all over the world improve.

P.S. – Ready to take it to the next level with your tennis?
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