The Effect of Tennis Racket Grip Size on Forearm Muscle Firing Patterns

G. Hatch, M. Pink, K. Mohr, P. Sethi and F. Jobe

Incorrect grip size is often cited as a risk factor for overuse injuries around the forearm and elbow.  The aim of this study was to examine whether a change in grip size of 1/4 inch would have a significant effect on the firing patterns of the muscles of the forearm.  The design was a controlled laboratory study using 16 subjects all asymptomatic and high level racket sport players.  Subjects performed single-handed back hand stroke with 3 different grip sizes (recommended size, 1/4 inch larger, 1/4 inch smaller).  Fine wire EMG was used to measure the activity in extensor carpi radialis longus and brevis, extensore digitorum communis, flexor carpi radialis and pronator teres.  Repeated-measure analysis of variance was used for with-in group comparisons.  The results showed no significant differences between the 3 different grip sizes.  The authors concluded that 1/4 inch differences in grip size did not significantly affect firing patterns.

The American Journal of Sports Medicine(2006), 34, 1977-1983

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