How Do Pros Hold Ping Pong Paddles

How Do Pros Hold Ping Pong Paddles

Last modified: October 2, 2023

How do Pros Hold Ping Pong Paddles?

Ping pong, also known as table tennis, is a fast-paced and exciting sport that requires skill, agility, and precision. One of the key elements in mastering this game is learning how to hold the ping pong paddle correctly. Professional players have developed various gripping techniques that enhance their control and power, allowing them to execute impressive shots and strategies. In this article, we will explore some of the most common ways that pros hold their ping pong paddles.

1. Shakehand Grip

The shakehand grip is the most popular and widely used technique among professional players. It is called the shakehand grip because it resembles the way people shake hands. To hold the paddle using the shakehand grip:

  • Place the bottom of the handle in the palm of your hand.
  • Wrap your fingers around the handle and extend your index finger over the rubber surface.
  • Maintain a relaxed grip, ensuring that the handle rests comfortably in your hand.
  • Use this grip if you prefer a balanced and versatile playing style.

2. Penhold Grip

The penhold grip is another technique used by professional ping pong players, particularly in Asian countries. This grip gets its name from the way the paddle is held, similar to holding a pen.

  • Hold the handle with your thumb and index finger, forming a V shape.
  • Rest your middle, ring, and pinky fingers on the backside of the paddle.
  • With this grip, your wrist has more flexibility for executing quick and powerful shots.
  • Some variations of the penhold grip include the Chinese penhold and the Japanese/Korean penhold.

3. Seemiller Grip

The Seemiller grip is named after five-time U.S. national champion Danny Seemiller, who popularized this unique style of holding the ping pong paddle.

  • Hold the handle with your thumb and middle finger, creating a “V” shape.
  • Rest your index finger on the blade between the rubber sides.
  • Place your ring and pinky fingers on the backside of the paddle.
  • This grip offers an advantage in executing powerful backhand shots.


Holding a ping pong paddle is a personal preference, and there is no one-size-fits-all approach. Professional players have developed various gripping techniques that suit their playing style and maximize their performance on the table. Whether you choose the shakehand grip, penhold grip, or Seemiller grip, practice is key to improving your skills. Experiment with different grips and find the one that feels most comfortable and natural to you. Remember, the grip is just one aspect of playing table tennis, and consistent practice, strategy, and footwork are equally important to becoming a skilled and successful player.

Additional Ping-Pong Resources:
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