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View Full Version : One Hander: Tense or Loose Wrist on Contact?


stormholloway
08-18-2007, 12:32 PM
I've been wrestling with this. I have been tensing my wrist upon contact when hitting my one handed backhand. When I see guys like Federer finish, the wrist is clearly loose, but is it loose on contact?

On the forehand, a loose wrist is the way to hit it. It simply means more action, but is it the same on the one handed backhand? When I used to leave the wrist loose, I would send quite a few balls long. I realize the shot can be hit both ways, but which way should I be sticking to? I.E. which way is optimal?

Seems like down the line it almost has to be tense so the wrist doesn't pull it cross-court. Thoughts?

Bottle Rocket
08-18-2007, 01:29 PM
The wrist should be firm at contact for a one-handed backhand.

It should be locked during the time your racket is coming up from below the ball and through contact. Power basically comes from weight transfer, body rotation, and ultimately your arm.

kingkong
08-18-2007, 01:32 PM
tight grip on contact, relax immediately afterwards, when the stroke is finished that is.

lolsmash
08-18-2007, 03:05 PM
Wrist is firm, but your forearm rotates on the follow through.

hoons
08-18-2007, 11:11 PM
i would say your wrist should be "strong". Loose infers that the racquet is going to jar from the impact of the ball, tense infers that you have an absolute stiff wrist. Some wrist motion is ideal (helps provide that topspin), but you wanna dictate were that ball goes. hope that helps and made some sort of sense

stormholloway
08-19-2007, 02:34 PM
Well the wrist doesn't jar on the forehand side and it's loose.

I think I just need to step into the ball more. Could be a weight transfer issue. I'm looking for more action on my backhand.

krz
08-19-2007, 07:28 PM
wrist should be locked and the elbow should be straight.

its not like the forehand where you use your wrist/elbow to get spin.

habib
08-20-2007, 02:32 PM
wrist should be locked and the elbow should be straight.

its not like the forehand where you use your wrist/elbow to get spin.

Ow.

The message you have entered is too short.

jck01
08-20-2007, 05:57 PM
The wrist should be firm at contact for a one-handed backhand. . .

As Bottle Rocket stated, your wrist should be firm at contact but should slowly loosen up as you go through your follow-through.

In D Zone
08-28-2007, 07:59 PM
I've been wrestling with this. I have been tensing my wrist upon contact when hitting my one handed backhand. When I see guys like Federer finish, the wrist is clearly loose, but is it loose on contact?

On the forehand, a loose wrist is the way to hit it. It simply means more action, but is it the same on the one handed backhand? When I used to leave the wrist loose, I would send quite a few balls long. I realize the shot can be hit both ways, but which way should I be sticking to? I.E. which way is optimal?

Seems like down the line it almost has to be tense so the wrist doesn't pull it cross-court. Thoughts?


These clips should give you some clear idea on how to proper hit the 1bh.

http://youtube.com/watch?v=yX37c7_svqs&mode=user&search=

http://youtube.com/watch?v=hyjVnG6CAGI

Bookmark the link for reference - it contains a lot small technical details that will help you work on your backhand. I had to watch it over and over again and its time I learn something new.

stormholloway
08-28-2007, 09:14 PM
I just don't understand why it can't be loose. It's loose on the forehand.

BTW, the guy in the first video is Gilad Bloom. He's the head pro at this tennis club in the Bronx.

stormholloway
08-28-2007, 09:21 PM
After watching the videos, I can see they're geared toward the beginner. I guess I really can't tell if my wrist is loose or firm or not, but I've been hitting the tar out of the backhand, so it feels fine to me.

paulfreda
08-29-2007, 04:22 AM
On a benign ball I will flick my wrist thru the ball on 'some' shots with my SWBH grip. It looks alot like Blake's FH on the BH side; strings nearly facing the court in the backswing and I make a kind of frisbee toss motion. Good top and the wrist release yields alot of pace.

But most of the time it is frim.

habib
08-29-2007, 10:10 AM
I just don't understand why it can't be loose. It's loose on the forehand.
.

Different mechanics. On a forehand, your palm, being either behind or slightly under the racquet, supports the racquet and allows you to use a loose grip/arm to accelerate it. The fact that your hand is on top of the racquet for a 1hbh makes it difficult to use a loose grip and properly control your arm and racquet when you make contact.

Bungalo Bill
08-29-2007, 11:23 AM
These clips should give you some clear idea on how to proper hit the 1bh.

http://youtube.com/watch?v=yX37c7_svqs&mode=user&search=

http://youtube.com/watch?v=hyjVnG6CAGI

Bookmark the link for reference - it contains a lot small technical details that will help you work on your backhand. I had to watch it over and over again and its time I learn something new.

I like how the first clip ended with "this shot is a piece of cake". :D

widmerpool
08-30-2007, 09:43 AM
i wouldn't advise flicking your wrist on any shot. that said, a *locked* wrist in any stroke will wreck your arm.

advanced players will go into slight wrist extension (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_uids=8027087&dopt=AbstractPlus) (ie back of hand towards forearm)

Thomas Bird-Itch
08-30-2007, 10:41 AM
This is why I use a two handed backhand. ;)

In D Zone
08-30-2007, 12:16 PM
This is why I use a two handed backhand. ;)

DUDE!

Here is an article that will prove you're wrong and why not to play 2hbh.

http://www.usatoday.com/sports/tennis/2006-08-31-wrist-injuries_x.htm

"Wrist injuries to players' backhand, or non-dominant, side are on the rise".

"This injury has become more prevalent since the (two-handed) stroke was introduced during the 1970s".

2hbh players who suffered wrist injuries:
- Safin
- Kim Clijster
- Venus Williams
- Nalbadian
- Marty Fish
- Davenport

Supernatural_Serve
08-30-2007, 01:38 PM
The grip, wrist, arm, etc. should be loose until just before the moment of contact, then it firms (just enough - if the ball is light, it doesn't take much, if the ball is filled with pace and spin, then it really needs to firm up) to take the weight of the ball, and then relaxes on follow through.

I play with a relatively loose grip/loose wrist. My strokes are better if I remain relaxed, because tension in the hands and wrists travels all the way up ones arm, shoulder, etc.

I get burned occasionally for it, especially on mishits and heavy balls to the backhand (I underestimate the required firmness needed).

I still believe in being very loose except during the moment of contact.

AznHylite
08-30-2007, 03:35 PM
Firm for sure!

tricky
08-31-2007, 03:14 PM
Issue really isn't loose or tight wrist, but how you're stabilizing the racquet.

For the 1H BH (pushing), you want to mostly stabilize the racquet with your index and pinkie (2nd and 5th fingers), mostly into the palm of your hand. This is different than how you hold a (pulling) FH, where most of the stabilization comes from the thumb, 3rd and 4th fingers.

If you do this, the wrist takes care of itself, and it won't release until well after contact, even if you swing almost entirely across your body. Also, you'll get a more natural transfer of energy in your kinetic chain, that is less arming and more racquet speed.

If you find yourself having to vary your wrist or grip hold, it's due to the mismatching of the finger pressure. This is because, when mismatched, you set up a disconnect between your racquet hand and the rest of your body. Thus, you lose both control and racquet speed. You end up tensing the hand in order to gain control of the racquet, which with the mismatched finger pressure, causes a brake in the kinetic chain. Or, you end up loosing up the grip in order to boost racquet speed, and in turn you end up feelings like your body and your hand aren't on the same page.

When the fingers are matched properly, the stroke feels more like one unit and the grip is stable. Not just true for BHs, but FHs and serves as well. In general, push stroke => 2+5, 1+3+4=pull stroke.

Bungalo Bill
09-01-2007, 07:59 AM
DUDE!

Here is an article that will prove you're wrong and why not to play 2hbh.

http://www.usatoday.com/sports/tennis/2006-08-31-wrist-injuries_x.htm

"Wrist injuries to players' backhand, or non-dominant, side are on the rise".

"This injury has become more prevalent since the (two-handed) stroke was introduced during the 1970s".

2hbh players who suffered wrist injuries:
- Safin
- Kim Clijster
- Venus Williams
- Nalbadian
- Marty Fish
- Davenport

If a player tries to accelerate the racquet by snapping the top hand forward, the chances of a wrist injury will increase. Twohanders are advised to not do this unless they are hitting a finesse shot etc...

The twohanded backhand is tophand dominant but that means that it is slightly pushing the racquet forward with a laid back wrist similar to the forehand.

The butt cap of the racquet lines up with the belly button and as the body turns towrds contact the butt cap stays in line and rotates with the plane of the body. Just before contact the arms extend through the ball and into the followthrough.

If a player is trying to "add" anything to the ball by torquing the racquet with their wrists they are asking for trouble both in injury and inconsistency. Remeber the ball is on the strings in less then a blink of the eye. Physical movement of the body, hands, etc.. is way too slow to do anything to the ball at contact. That is why it is best to simplify your stroke (i.e. hit low to high, keep head still, go through the ball, etc...).

The arms need to be relaxed through the shot.

stormholloway
09-01-2007, 08:01 AM
Issue really isn't loose or tight wrist, but how you're stabilizing the racquet.

For the 1H BH (pushing), you want to mostly stabilize the racquet with your index and pinkie (2nd and 5th fingers), mostly into the palm of your hand. This is different than how you hold a (pulling) FH, where most of the stabilization comes from the thumb, 3rd and 4th fingers.

If you do this, the wrist takes care of itself, and it won't release until well after contact, even if you swing almost entirely across your body. Also, you'll get a more natural transfer of energy in your kinetic chain, that is less arming and more racquet speed.

If you find yourself having to vary your wrist or grip hold, it's due to the mismatching of the finger pressure. This is because, when mismatched, you set up a disconnect between your racquet hand and the rest of your body. Thus, you lose both control and racquet speed. You end up tensing the hand in order to gain control of the racquet, which with the mismatched finger pressure, causes a brake in the kinetic chain. Or, you end up loosing up the grip in order to boost racquet speed, and in turn you end up feelings like your body and your hand aren't on the same page.

When the fingers are matched properly, the stroke feels more like one unit and the grip is stable. Not just true for BHs, but FHs and serves as well. In general, push stroke => 2+5, 1+3+4=pull stroke.

All of this makes the most sense to me. Thanks.

It's really not like I don't know how to hit the shot. I hit the one hander well, but I really couldn't figure out what it was that I was doing with the wrist since it happens so quickly. But I think you're right. It's not necessarily about loose or tense in the wrist as long is the racquet is stable.