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The Lawnmower Backhand Swing

The backhand loop can generate a lot of topspin when used to its full potential, a lot more than might seem.

Against a cut ball or backspin, your backhand swing needs to change a bit in order to get the ball over the net. It’s important to remember when looping a cut ball on backhand or forehand to aim way over, over the forest, and to not go through like a regular ball, otherwise, your ball will end up in the net.

backhand swing

Unlike a regular backhand swing, against a cut ball, you’re going to get lower down and swing much more vertical.

The best way I like to think of it is like pulling a lawnmower.

Bend down to incorporate your legs into the swing. Remember your legs are much stronger than your arms, so using your legs can generate a lot more power and (if you want to) let you ease up on your upper body, allowing better control, or to just give it a rest.

Open your bat a bit more than your normal swing, so your ball doesn’t end up in the net. Bring your arm down between your legs. Drop your right shoulder down (if you are right-handed) and rotate your wrist to the left.

When the ball comes, start pushing off with your legs and pulling your arm up just like pulling the lawnmower.

Upon contact with the ball, you want to snap your wrist. But you don’t want to allow your wrist to flop back after your shot, this might cause your ball to drop; keep your wrist stiff. You should end with your wrist in a normal position.

Samsonov has a solid swing which has allowed him to become a top player. Notice the difference between his normal backswing and his loop against the cut ball in this video:

He gets way down and snaps his wrist upon contact, giving him mega-spin. Notice his wrist rotating down when he starts and his finished wrist position is back to normal.

The reason his bat can remain so closed on both his regular and loop shots is because of his snap and power. He is able to lift the ball over the net because of his wrist power. Timo Boll has another great backhand to watch.

Backhand Loop Improvement

Many players are wondering how can they improve their backhand loop against heavy backspin. Some are confused about whether if they have to use more wrist or elbow to do the swing.

If you are also having the same issue, then you should try this in order not to make your shot goes on the net.

What you can do is that you can use your wrist and elbow, try using your legs as well. Start it slightly lower than normal and accelerate as you make contact. If it is for heavy backspin, open the angle of your bat more.

Yes, you need to open your bat angle more if it’s going into the net. You want to come more “up” on the ball and lessen the forward motion.

Kinking Your Knee

If you are a right-handed player try ‘kinking’ your right knee ‘slightly’ inwards when bringing your arm back for the stroke. This allows you to bring your right shoulder across easier allowing a cleaner stroke when contacting the ball, without putting all the pressure on your wrist and arm.

This maneuver allows power to transfer from your legs much easier, follow through with ‘clean’ action and your backhand ‘loop’ or topspin will improve dramatically.

Adjust Your Racket Angle

According to the height and depth of the ball, you need to adjust the racket angle. If it has more spin, a more vertical and if less, need horizontal follow-through.

Another thing is one has to develop fast action as compared to the forehand loop. In the forehand, we have space behind, but not in backhand strokes. The wrist movement should be fast and it is possible only if our wrist is relaxed.

The more relaxed the wrist, the more smooth the stroke will be. I also am learning the backhand loop! But, I came to know all these factors.

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