Tennis Racquet Grip Size and Tennis Elbow
I’ve recently been receiving emails from tennis players asking about whether their racquet grip size could be the source of their tennis elbow pain. So I’ve decided to address it here on my tennis elbow blog once and for all and put this topic to rest.
When I ask these tennis or any other racquet sport players how often they play their sport, I usually get the response, 2-3 times per week during the summer. The reason I ask this question is because if you are playing 3 times a week, regardless of the size of the grip on your racquet, you will probably suffer from tennis elbow at some point in your life but…
Your racket grip size may be a contributing factor as to how fast you will develop tennis elbow.
When choosing your “weapon of choice”, there are many things to consider from what material the racquet is made of to the size of the grip.
If you enjoy playing tennis, I recommend you read the post on how tennis elbow develops in tennis players for a deep understanding of this terrible injury.
Let’s take a closer look at what exactly goes into the tennis racquet and how the grip size could affect your chances of developing tennis elbow.
Top 5 Recommendations and Tips for selecting a Tennis Elbow Friendly Racquet:
1. Racquet material – You can buy everything from steel, to wood, to composite graphite racquets. When choosing your racquet you want to select one that minimizes the amount of vibration and torsion. Your best choice would be to opt for the composite graphite racquet.
2. Racquet head size – The head size of a tennis racquet can vary from 80 to 140 square inches. Obviously the smaller the head size, the harder it is to make contact with the ball. With regards to the head size of the racquet and how it impacts your risk for tennis elbow, I recommend opting for a midsize racquet (95-110 square inches) . If you select a racquet that is over 110 inches, which is considered an oversized racket, you are putting yourself at a higher risk of developing tennis elbow due to the increased torque effect of shots hit off center from the racquet.
3. String tension of your racquet – When you purchase your racquet, the manufacture will have a recommended string tension. I recommend you select a tension towards the lower end of the scale. It’s a known fact among tennis players that stringing your racquet with a higher tension usually provides improved ball control BUT it also increases the torque and vibration sent to your arm.
4. Racquet string material – Hands down your best option is to select a synthetic nylon string and remember to re-string your racquet every six months.
5. Racquet grip size – Just like the head size, racquets are usually available in many different grip sizes. If you choose a racquet which has a grip that is too large or too small, you will be promoting excessive wrist flexion and extension. As a result you will have less ball control and put unwanted stress on the small muscles and tendons in your wrist, forearm and elbow.
If you’ve suffered from tennis elbow and it’s preventing you from hitting the courts, I’ve got great news for you!
You don’t need to wear tennis elbow braces/straps or armbands, forget expensive trips to the doctors or physio, never worry about having to get painful cortisone injections, and you can simply flush the anti-inflammatories down the toilet.
In fact, all you really need to completely cure tennis elbow so you can get back on the tennis court are 5 simple, step-by-step techniques that you can do at home, sitting in your comfy chair watching your favorite TV show without any special exercise equipment or medical gadgets!