Padel Tennis Wrist Pronation and What Is The Best Way To Use it?

When I initially started playing padel tennis, I would inevitably end up playing a flat smash that either carried too far and was out, or didn’t kick up enough to clear the 3m side rail. I knew I needed topspin to better execute my smash, but I couldn’t seem to get past my pretty ineffectual flat smash. It turned out that I needed to pronate my wrist to create the desired topspin.

In padel, pronation of the wrist refers to the rotation of the wrist from palm-up to palm-down. When playing the smash in padel, pronating your wrist provides you greater force and generates more kick when the ball bounces.

Let’s take a deeper look at wrist pronation and how to do in the simplest method possible.

What Is Padel Wrist Pronation?

In padel tennis, wrist pronation occurs when you play the forehand and rotate your wrist in such a way that your racket face changes from looking forward to facing down through the contact point with the ball.

Pronation on your forehand is what generates topspin on the ball by rolling the racket face over the ball via the area of contact. Slice spin is created when you pronate your wrist on the backhand.

What Is Padel Wrist Supination?

In padel, wrist supination occurs when you play your forehand and rotate your wrist in such a way that your racket face pivots from facing forward to facing upward through the point of impact.

Supination on your forehand slides your racket face under the ball, creating slicing spin. When playing a lob, it is also what permits you to hit the ball upwards. When you supinate your wrist when playing a backhand, you impart topspin on the ball.

In padel tennis, you can employ both pronation and supination, regardless of the height of the ball or whether you are playing forehand or backhand. The direction in which your wrist pivots while playing the shot is referred to as pronation and supination.

Pronating a forehand shot when playing a very low ball, on the other hand, will make it difficult to raise the ball high enough to clear the net.

In Padel, wrist pronation begins with the proper grip.

When playing padel, you should utilise the continental grip because it allows you the most wrist mobility. This allows you to point your racket in different directions from the same hit, allowing you to easily modify the direction of your shots. You may find a full article about how to hold your padel racket here.

Consequences of Not Pronating When Playing Padel’s Smash

If you do not pronate your wrist while holding your racket with the correct continental padel grip, you will hit the ball with the spine/frame of the racket. In this case, many players switch to the tennis forehand grip to keep their racket face pointing forward as they smash. This is typically more comfortable than pivoting your wrist while playing a smash.

The problem with changing grips is that it makes you fall into the habit of hitting flat smashes all the time, just like I used to. Learning to pronate your wrist provides you the flexibility to make changes to your smash as you grow as a padel player, allowing you to better control the direction of your smash.

Wrist Pronation for Padel Practice

Firstly, always remember and warm up first then to develop the feel of pronating your wrist, stand near to the glass, throw up a ball against the glass, and catch/trap the ball between your racket face and the glass while maintaining your continental grip throughout.

The best aspect about this drill is that you don’t have to practise pronating your wrist on a padel court. This can be done against any high enough wall to trap the ball between the racket face and the wall above your head. You can on to the second drill once you have a good understanding of constantly trapping the ball against the wall. A padel court is also not required for this drill.

Errors in Preventing Wrist Pronation in Padel

The most common mistake that prevents you from pronating your wrist in padel tennis is changing your grip while playing a smash. This can occur in one of two ways.

The first is more subtle and used to be what I did. I’m standing at the net, racket in hand, ready for a volley. When I see the lob going my way, I take a step back to prepare for my smash. I would alter my grip as I began to take my racket back for the smash, plat a flat smash, and then shift my grip back after the follow-through. It wasn’t until I saw a video footage of what I was doing that I realised my mistake.

The second way this common blunder reveals itself is when a beginner player has developed the bad habit of employing the incorrect grip for their smash. They will then try wrist pronation, and if they don’t get it right on the first or second try, they will intentionally turn back to what worked for them previously, despite the fact that it would impede their growth.

So, start training and improving your ball control during all types of smashes by introducing wrist pronation into your game.