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View Full Version : The Double Bend Forehand - Angle of Elbow


EricW
08-17-2007, 06:58 PM
As seen in my vid: http://youtube.com/watch?v=d49iYXoHR-o

I hit with the elbow about in the middle of the 2 extremes:

Roddick --> Verdasco

Roddick is one of the most extreme close to body elbow forehands, where Verdasco, along with Srichaphan and some others, hit with a completely straight arm.

Others including Federer and Safin hit almost straight, and others like Djokovic and Gonzales hit about in the middle.

After watching my video I decided I wanted to try a straighter arm forehand, and I got good results, but inconsistently. I still don't know if I want to make such a major switch after my forehand has evolved as far as it has...

(In the following paragraphs, all wrist movement mentioned is inactive)

Advantage to straighter arm: Hitting further out in front(which also makes your grip a little more extreme because your wrist rotates slightly), more room for wrist movement (spin, power), tons easier power, a lot less physical of a movement

Disadvantages: Harder to control(partly due to more wrist movement)

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Advantages of more extreme elbow angle (closer to body): Much easier to control. Less can go wrong (because it has less room for the wrist to move)

Disadvantages: Extremely physical swing to hit heavy/high pace shots. Less potential for power. Less room for the wrist to move

Notice how wrist movement is in every category. When you have more wrist movement, you can have more spin, feels like its on the strings for longer, more power, but less consistency, more can go wrong..

Take a look at the best player in the world, his wrist movement is nuts, almost straight arm.. The power and spin he creates is amazing, but he makes tons of errors.. When he's on he's on(Just like Safin), but it seems like the clay courters (excluding nadal, due to his almost straight arm), seem to play the same everytime, close elbow, western grip, tons of spin, less can go wrong

When I think straight arm I think the error-prone, amazing shots of Safin, Federer, Verdasco, etc but their are obviously exceptions, like Roddicks power game, with the extremely close elbow. Or Nadals extreme topspin consistent forehands with the straight arm..

Even though Djokovic seems to be around where I am he gets explosive power, hitting huge forehands against Federer.. Gonzo with a neutral arm..

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Comments? What should I pick? Should I stick with what I developed naturally, or move to the straighter arm, less effort high powered game?

If you watch my vid I put a lot of effort into it and even though i'm hitting very hard, I can hit tons harder with the same effort with a straighter arm, but it seems like I can't get the control I can with my pretty neutral forehand.

lolsmash
08-18-2007, 04:04 PM
You don't hit with the same elbow angle all the time. It depends on the incoming ball and the kind of ball you want to hit.

EricW
08-18-2007, 08:37 PM
You don't hit with the same elbow angle all the time. It depends on the incoming ball and the kind of ball you want to hit.

You're partially right(but wrong in this situation, because of what i'm asking), because if, say, the opponent hits an almost winner, and you try to retrieve it, you'd have to have a straight arm(even if you hit your forehand like roddick), continental grip and slice/pop it back up, or if you can served into the body you might have to improvise a more bent elbow(even if you hit straight armed). However i'm talking about a real forehand, one where you get into the right position and hit a real shot. Verdasco's arm is always completely straight when hitting his real forehand, same with Nadal, and Roddick is always real close when hitting his real forehand..

So i'm talking about non-improvised standard forehands. In that case, almost all players keep the same elbow angle on their forehand..

tennisace432
08-18-2007, 08:57 PM
ericw, im going to take you to school now.

1.the elbow angle depends on the grip.

2. the straighter arm has to be setup in a specific way, in your stroke you set up the potential for a straight arm.

3. not sure what you mean with the connection of lots of wrist movement with a straight arm?? lots of wrist movement in the ww. if you mean that

EricW
08-18-2007, 09:03 PM
ericw, im going to take you to school now.

1.the elbow angle depends on the grip.

Okay, so make me a list, explaining what angle the elbow should be depending on what grip

3. not sure what you mean with the connection of lots of wrist movement with a straight arm?? lots of wrist movement in the ww. if you mean that

Pick up a racquet and hold it exactly where you would make contact with your elbow completely straight and then lay it back completely(as far as your wrist goes), and then do the same with your elbow as close as Roddicks, you'll see a huge difference in wrist movment

The straight arm forehand is also much further in front, meaning a bigger swing

J011yroger
08-19-2007, 04:25 AM
ericw, im going to take you to school now.

1.the elbow angle depends on the grip.


Federer = Straight arm, hybrid eastern/SW grip

Nadal = Straight arm western grip

Same elbow angle, different grip.

Class dismissed?

J

habib
08-20-2007, 03:52 PM
Federer = Straight arm, hybrid eastern/SW grip

Nadal = Straight arm western grip

Same elbow angle, different grip.

Class dismissed?

J

He's sort of right in a way, though, since more extreme grips tend towards greater elbow bends and more classical tend toward lesser elbow bends and straighter arms.

EricW
08-20-2007, 04:04 PM
He's sort of right in a way, though, since more extreme grips tend towards greater elbow bends and more classical tend toward lesser elbow bends and straighter arms.

That's what I used to think, and still think it's the case more times than not, but by no means are you locked into a certain elbow bend when using a certain grip.. Nadal has the completely straight arm and then the other clay courters have very close arms and all claycourters have very extreme grips

habib
08-20-2007, 04:27 PM
That's what I used to think, and still think it's the case more times than not, but by no means are you locked into a certain elbow bend when using a certain grip.. Nadal has the completely straight arm and then the other clay courters have very close arms and all claycourters have very extreme grips

Absolutely agree, but the amount of alignment that the more extreme grips require with regard to the racquet make it more likely for those players to have a greater elbow bend.

To compare my experiences, I find that I seem to generate more racquet speed with a straight arm. In terms of effect, this is mainly true with regard to topspin rather than pace. However, because the wrist is more 'active' on a straight arm swing (as mentioned, the wrist takes on more duties when the elbow is taken out of the equation), I find I have less control and am far more apt to mishit a ball.

Timing the explosion of power is also a little difficult when you're making contact so far in front.

sharpy
08-20-2007, 04:37 PM
That's what I used to think, and still think it's the case more times than not, but by no means are you locked into a certain elbow bend when using a certain grip.. Nadal has the completely straight arm and then the other clay courters have very close arms and all claycourters have very extreme grips

If a person isn't locked into the elbow based on their grip patterns, why did john yandell coin the term double bend?

Based on what your saying, well... if i have an said grip i can have a 34 degree elbow bend, nah maybe i'll try 90 degree elbow bend... No even better... I'll just have a completely straight arm!!!! What kind of logic is this???

I'm also not sure that a straight arm causes more wrist action. Unfortunately, I tried your racket test and seemed to have the same wrist action with both a straight arm and a double bend of whatever degree i like (lmfao)...

Also by the way, i can rotate my forearm like a windshield wiper or just drive through it, in which there would be less wrist action which is REGARDLESS IF MY ARM IS STRAIGHT, ITS A 35 DEGREE BEND, A 90 DEGREE BEND OR 238923 DEGREE BEND.

By the way, can I ask where how you came out about your findings about a so and so degree bend will cause more pace or topspin as opposed to a straighter arm??? -or is this simply what you found out from your personal perception/opinion??

sharpy
08-20-2007, 04:44 PM
Federer = Straight arm, hybrid eastern/SW grip

Nadal = Straight arm western grip

Same elbow angle, different grip.

Class dismissed?

J

Glad you pointed out 2 of the 3 exceptions in the game. Everyone else abides by the their determined elbow angle.

EricW
08-20-2007, 05:14 PM
If a person isn't locked into the elbow based on their grip patterns, why did john yandell coin the term double bend?

Based on what your saying, well... if i have an said grip i can have a 34 degree elbow bend, nah maybe i'll try 90 degree elbow bend... No even better... I'll just have a completely straight arm!!!! What kind of logic is this???

I'm also not sure that a straight arm causes more wrist action. Unfortunately, I tried your racket test and seemed to have the same wrist action with both a straight arm and a double bend of whatever degree i like (lmfao)...

Also by the way, i can rotate my forearm like a windshield wiper or just drive through it, in which there would be less wrist action which is REGARDLESS IF MY ARM IS STRAIGHT, ITS A 35 DEGREE BEND, A 90 DEGREE BEND OR 238923 DEGREE BEND.

By the way, can I ask where how you came out about your findings about a so and so degree bend will cause more pace or topspin as opposed to a straighter arm??? -or is this simply what you found out from your personal perception/opinion??

You completely misunderstood everything I said.

For wrist movement I don't mean pronation, I mean when your wrist is layed back at 90 degrees when your swing starts and the butt of the racquet is right next to your hip, compared to angle between your wrist and forearm at contact. (Remember, when you're arm is straight yoru contact point isn't just further in front, it's also further to the side, making the wrist movement have a much "longer duration" between being next to the hip and being at contact) The amount your wrist moves forward is very different when you compare the 2 extremes (Federer and a modern claycourter who isn't Nadal)

If a person isn't locked into the elbow based on their grip patterns, why did john yandell coin the term double bend?

Based on what your saying, well... if i have an said grip i can have a 34 degree elbow bend, nah maybe i'll try 90 degree elbow bend... No even better... I'll just have a completely straight arm!!!! What kind of logic is this???

The term double bend just refers to what every good players forehand looks like during the swing, Verdasco still has a "double bend" even though his arm is straight, the point is to have the angle of your elbow maintain through the swing whether you're Roddick or Verdasco, or someone in the middle.

You can have any elbow angle and any grip combined, it just seems like what comes natural to people is the more extreme the closer the arm, the less extreme the straighter the arm. But then take Federer, one of the least extreme pros, and Nadal, one of the most extreme pros, both have the same elbow angle (straight arm). So yes you could choose any of those degrees, don't know what the problem is.

By the way, can I ask where how you came out about your findings about a so and so degree bend will cause more pace or topspin as opposed to a straighter arm??? -or is this simply what you found out from your personal perception/opinion??

It's common sense really, that the straighter the arm the easier it is to generate pace.(which makes you get more spin too because racquet head speed = more spin if you hit a topspin forehand) The straighter the arm also the more room for inactive wrist movement, meaning you'll generate more spin/pace. (Look at Federers forehand in slow motion, along with Nadal, both have straight arms, and the most wrist movement you'll see, along with the heaviest balls out there)

sharpy
08-20-2007, 06:32 PM
ok..........

Ambivalent
08-20-2007, 06:42 PM
Unless you've got Nadal's amount of muscle, which he uses to literally RIP the ball (there's a clip somewhere of a match between him and rog where one of them breaks a ball and they have to call a let), i doubt swinging with a straight arm would work very well. Most pros bring back their arm relaxed and accelerate with their arm only becoming straight AT or NEAR the contact point.

sharpy
08-20-2007, 06:51 PM
Verdasco still has a "double bend" even though his arm is straight,



case closed.... lol

EricW
08-20-2007, 06:59 PM
Unless you've got Nadal's amount of muscle, which he uses to literally RIP the ball (there's a clip somewhere of a match between him and rog where one of them breaks a ball and they have to call a let), i doubt swinging with a straight arm would work very well. Most pros bring back their arm relaxed and accelerate with their arm only becoming straight AT or NEAR the contact point.

I don't know where you got this info, but, in every single instance in the pros, they set the angle of their elbow before the swing, way before they reach the position with the butt of the racquet next to their hip and their wrist completely laid back. This includes all the players who hit with a straight arm (Federer, Srichaphan, Verdasco, Nadal, etc) It would be extremely hard to control, and would look extremely "loose" if you saw someone change the angle of their elbow during the swing

wihamilton
08-20-2007, 07:05 PM
Federer actually varies his hitting arm position... sometimes he's got the double bend and others he has a straight arm. wacky =p

J011yroger
08-21-2007, 04:30 AM
He's sort of right in a way, though, since more extreme grips tend towards greater elbow bends and more classical tend toward lesser elbow bends and straighter arms.

Glad you pointed out 2 of the 3 exceptions in the game. Everyone else abides by the their determined elbow angle.

Ya, I understand that. Just wasn't thrilled with the dudes tone for a guy with 55 posts. Saying "I am going to take you to school now" and spouting off some drivel not helping the OP, and not explaining anything in any kind of detail.

Guess I didn't have enough milk for my B!tch Flakes that morning. Sorry if my post bothered anyone else.

J

habib
08-21-2007, 09:29 AM
Glad you pointed out 2 of the 3 exceptions in the game. Everyone else abides by the their determined elbow angle.

Verdasco also uses a Western grip and hits with a straight arm. Sampras used an eastern and hit with a double-bend. There is no "determined" elbow angle. That's drivel. The fact that more extreme grips will tend towards more extreme elbow angles should not be taken as a determinant.

habib
08-21-2007, 09:30 AM
Unless you've got Nadal's amount of muscle, which he uses to literally RIP the ball (there's a clip somewhere of a match between him and rog where one of them breaks a ball and they have to call a let), i doubt swinging with a straight arm would work very well. Most pros bring back their arm relaxed and accelerate with their arm only becoming straight AT or NEAR the contact point.

Actually those pros that do make contact with a straight or nearly-straight arm generally straighten it right at the beginning of the forward swing. The arm comes back bent, then straightens out as the body pulls it forward. It's basically like the wrist passivle laying back as the swing commences, except the phenomenon extends to the entire arm.

habib
08-21-2007, 09:42 AM
If a person isn't locked into the elbow based on their grip patterns, why did john yandell coin the term double bend?
What does this have to do with anything? The term was coined to describe the position and shape of the arm during the swing, and applies to many forehands no matter what grip you use. Then again there are also people who hit with a variety of grips and don't utilize the double bend.

Based on what your saying, well... if i have an said grip i can have a 34 degree elbow bend, nah maybe i'll try 90 degree elbow bend... No even better... I'll just have a completely straight arm!!!! What kind of logic is this???
Exactly the question one might ask you. What kind of logic is that ^^^? There's no set angle for the double bend - it varies within its framework just as much as individual technique does within its own.

I'm also not sure that a straight arm causes more wrist action. Unfortunately, I tried your racket test and seemed to have the same wrist action with both a straight arm and a double bend of whatever degree i like (lmfao)...
It's very obvious that the wrist plays a bigger role in the swing when the arm is straightened and the elbow bend taken out of the equation. Part of the reason for the bend is to align the racquet square to the ball. With no elbow bend, the wrist has to compensate and go through a greater range of motion in order to bring the face square and pronate through/after contact (whatever the preference).

Also by the way, i can rotate my forearm like a windshield wiper or just drive through it, in which there would be less wrist action which is REGARDLESS IF MY ARM IS STRAIGHT, ITS A 35 DEGREE BEND, A 90 DEGREE BEND OR 238923 DEGREE BEND.
Just turn 15?

By the way, can I ask where how you came out about your findings about a so and so degree bend will cause more pace or topspin as opposed to a straighter arm??? -or is this simply what you found out from your personal perception/opinion??
Take basic physics. If your center of rotation remains equal, a connected point farther out from it will have greater velocity than one closer in. Since the racquet is farther away from your body when your arm is straight, it follows that it will be travelling at a greater velocity than when you utilize a double bend and keep it closer to the body. Though, of course, this is assuming that your technique for either is sound. So, I suppose to answer your question, he came about his feelings via science.

sharpy
08-21-2007, 10:35 AM
alright then. so if i hit with a straight arm, then I would have greater velocity=more racket head speed??

If so, then why is everyone not using this holy grail, hitting with a straight arm?

smoothtennis
08-21-2007, 11:25 AM
I gotta say Sharpie - I read your posts over and over, and your 'case closed' statement...and am still not sure what point you actually tried to make?

What exactly are you trying to communicate here? (seriously)...

EricW
08-21-2007, 11:39 AM
alright then. so if i hit with a straight arm, then I would have greater velocity=more racket head speed??

If so, then why is everyone not using this holy grail, hitting with a straight arm?

Who said it was a holy grail? It's just a trade off, you'll get much more power/spin with less effort, but it's a lot harder to control. Re-read my other posts

habib
08-21-2007, 12:50 PM
alright then. so if i hit with a straight arm, then I would have greater velocity=more racket head speed??

If so, then why is everyone not using this holy grail, hitting with a straight arm?

Yes, theoretically, if your technique and control are good. The straight arm approach is a trade-off between racquet velocity and control. With the racquet farther out from your body, control diminishes. With it closer in, control improves. Hopefully this answers your 'holy grail' question, as well.