Something we hear fairly often from people in our store goes like this. "I heard a smaller grip won't cause tennis elbow", or, "someone told me a bigger grip is easier on the arm".
Both things are wrong.
Here's the thing. A grip size that is the wrong size, small or big, has the potential to be tougher on the arm. Over the years, the myth about grip size has gone back and forth between big or small being better. The fact that it goes back and forth gives you an idea that both are wrong.
About ten years ago, we would see guys come in with grips built WAY up. When asked about it, the answer was the same, "it is better for my tennis elbow." No matter how big they made their grip, the tennis elbow never seemed to go away. We're not saying that grip size is the cause of tennis elbow but combined with other factors, can make it worse.
When a grip is too big or too small, the effect is the same. You will have to squeeze the grip tighter than normal in order to keep the racket from slipping or twisting in your hand. Multiply that by several hours of playing tennis and you're likely to feel it in your arm or hand. Add heat and humidity and it just gets tougher to keep a good grip on your racket.
A properly sized grip allows you to grip the racket firmly, yet without the need to put a death-grip on it to keep it stable. You shouldn't have to squeeze if the size is right. You can see below what the right size grip will look like in your hand.
|If you've got more than a finger's width gap between the middle fingers and the base of the thumb, the grip is too big. The above is the desired size.|
|There should be a pinky-finger width space between the base of the thumb and the middle fingers|
|If the fingers and base of the thumb are touching, the grip is too small.|
When buying a racket, something to consider is the use of over grip. It will add just about one grip size when added. Many people are now choosing a grip size that is a little small so that when the over grip is added, the size will be right.
If your grip is too small or too large, there are options to get it closer to the right size. There are some limitations to how much bigger or smaller we can make it, but we can get it closer to the right size than it is now. Stop by our Dale Mabry store and we can show you the options available and can show you the right size grip for your hand.