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bolgao
10-11-2007, 03:07 PM
Hey everyone. I just watched a video from VTA that Heath just put out. In the video, Heath says that on the forehand your arm should be completely straight. He says that any bend in the elbow on the forehand will cause you to hit it late and behind the body - he does a demo of this. And then he says that a bend in the elbow on the forehand is like doing a bicep curl - which he can curl about 45 pounds. But that a straight armed forehand is like a bench press - and he can bench over two hundred pounds.

Does this make sense to you guys? Is a bend in the elbow on the forehand really like "curling 35 pounds" while a straight armed forehand is like "benching 200 pounds?" And do you all think that every forehand you hit with a bend in the elbow will be late?

Just curious if this makes sense to people and if anyone else had seen the video.

Thanks!

tricky
10-11-2007, 03:25 PM
Don't have a VTA account, but it sounds like he's talking about hitting the ball in front of you (i.e. getting the racquet into the correct contact zone.) If you're late, your arm is going to be cramped. If you're hitting the ball properly in front of you, then your elbow will be springing into the ball.

paulfreda
10-11-2007, 06:17 PM
This is a clear overgeneralization. I do not know what idea he is trying to teach, but a bent elbow is part of nearly all pro FH technique today.
Two points;
1/ The straight arm FH was very popular 40 yes ago when the grips used were Continental. Then hitting away from your body was good technique.
And you can still do this with a W or SW but it is not as effective.
2/ Hitting late has the advantage of being able to impart more power as near the body you get the weight of your body more in to the shot. Think about a punch. If his face is just in front of your shoulder, you will likley knock him out. Farther away, the arm must be decellerating because it must stop once the arm is straight.

bolgao
10-11-2007, 06:28 PM
This is a clear overgeneralization. I do not know what idea he is trying to teach, but a bent elbow is part of nearly all pro FH technique today.
Two points;
1/ The straight arm FH was very popular 40 yes ago when the grips used were Continental. Then hitting away from your body was good technique.
And you can still do this with a W or SW but it is not as effective.
2/ Hitting late has the advantage of being able to impart more power as near the body you get the weight of your body more in to the shot. Think about a punch. If his face is just in front of your shoulder, you will likley knock him out. Farther away, the arm must be decellerating because it must stop once the arm is straight.


Thanks for the reply. I have the same take on it as you (more body weight into the shot with a bent elbow), which is why I was confused. And the bicep curl/bench press analogy makes no sense to me, while your "punch" analogy makes perfect sense to me.

In the VTA video, Heath shows how he is transforming a bent arm pro player into a straight arm player, and how the bent arm caused him to hit it late every single time. I thought it strange because Djokovic, for example, has a very bent elbow on the forehand but hits it well out in front through torso rotation.

Messarger
10-12-2007, 09:55 AM
Another analogy.

When you slap someone, your elbow is usually bend. Try slapping someone with a straight arm, it feels awkard and un natural.

Kevo
10-12-2007, 12:05 PM
It sounds like a bad analogy to me, but you can get more power with extension of the arm. However, whether you hit with a bent arm or straight arm *at contact* has nothing to do with whether or not you are late. There is plenty of video of pros hitting with bent and straight arms. Many pros do both. One thing pros don't do which some recreational players will is straighten their arm out on the backswing.

paulfreda
10-17-2007, 01:52 AM
Ok, after thinking about this a little more and tinkering on the wall with some hits I understand what idea your coach/advisor/teacher [Heath] is trying to impart.

Tennis is a complex game and hitting a ball well has several components to it.
For example, to get power there are at least 4 ways to do it; frame weight, frame stiffness, lower tension, and the player's swing. Advanced players like to be in control so the 4th one is what they try to emphasize using low power frames [flexy, high tension, and headlight].

For topsin in recent decades the mantra has been strong [SW, W, etc] grips and swinging fast low to high. Many have added lots of wrist and a windshield wiper style using a bent arm. But another way which is highly instructive is to nearly straight arm the shot with the frame beginning very low, face slightly closed, way way back and swinging forward going low to high very gradually. If done well it will generate very good top. This isolates the contribution low to high has in topspin generation and shows that wrist, forearm motion or even a fast swing is not needed to generate topspin.

This is a nearly flat swing and one reason it works well is that it compresses the ball [rather than brushing up behind it] and thus grips it to give more friction and thus resulting in good top.

Try it.

ho
10-17-2007, 06:32 AM
But another way which is highly instructive is to nearly straight arm the shot with the frame beginning very low, face slightly closed, way way back and swinging forward going low to high very gradually. If done well it will generate very good top. This isolates the contribution low to high has in topspin generation and shows that wrist, forearm motion or even a fast swing is not needed to generate topspin.

This is a nearly flat swing and one reason it works well is that it compresses the ball [rather than brushing up behind it] and thus grips it to give more friction and thus resulting in good top.

Try it.
true, it's called PUSH stroke, it does not need to do a lot of forearm pronation to create topspin, since the ball stay "LONGTIME" on the string bed, a mild pronation works as well as lot of movement of wrist and foream as in the PULL stroke. Most of PUSH stroke generated by using a nearly fixed straight arm, from the begining to the end. Sure with straight arm, you do not have fast core rotation, hard to control as with bend arm, but with a core rotation as the WHOLE UNIT (body and arm), you can generate more power and easier to control than pull stoke.

ananda
10-17-2007, 06:42 AM
if i am not mistaken, at the point of contact, if you are contacting in front of body, then the elbow will be fairly (but not completely) straightened out, with wrist co*ked.
I have recently started hitting the ball in front of me (after studying fuzzyyellow videos), and the elbow is straightening out at contact .

I just checked with videos of Fed. Quite straight.
I also checked a video of Gonzales. It shows more bend, but its still relatively straightened out at contact.
Possibly, Fed was hitting flatter, and Gonz more topspin. Or Fed was hitting further out.

ho
10-17-2007, 07:47 AM
[QUOTE=ananda;1815044]
I just checked with videos of Fed. Quite straight.
Federer hit with a complex PULL stroke, elbow close and open, arm bend and straight throughout few seconds in the duration of the stroke. As you can see, it take a genius to to do such a lot of things in such a short period of time. Definitely not the the kind of stroke that you want to teach you or someone else.

habib
10-17-2007, 03:03 PM
[QUOTE=ananda;1815044]
I just checked with videos of Fed. Quite straight.
Federer hit with a complex PULL stroke, elbow close and open, arm bend and straight throughout few seconds in the duration of the stroke. As you can see, it take a genius to to do such a lot of things in such a short period of time. Definitely not the the kind of stroke that you want to teach you or someone else.

I actually think Federer's stroke is quite simple and parallels quite well throwing a ball side-armed. The problem is that goes against just about everything we've been taught about the forehand for the last 20 years, isn't the most intuitive thing with the weight/balance of a racquet, and requires impeccable control because of how loose and wristy your arm/stroke becomes.

tricky
10-17-2007, 03:33 PM
true, it's called PUSH stroke, it does not need to do a lot of forearm pronation to create topspin, since the ball stay "LONGTIME" on the string bed, a mild pronation works as well as lot of movement of wrist and foream as in the PULL stroke. Most of PUSH stroke generated by using a nearly fixed straight arm, from the begining to the end. Sure with straight arm, you do not have fast core rotation, hard to control as with bend arm, but with a core rotation as the WHOLE UNIT (body and arm), you can generate more power and easier to control than pull stoke.

What Ho said. :D

WildVolley
10-17-2007, 03:44 PM
The straight arm doesn't seem crucial to the modern forehand. Federer tends to hit with a straight arm a lot, as does Nadal. But not all the time. Guys like Djoker are hitting a dangerous modern forehand with the double-bent arm.

So the two top players hit with a straighter arm, but I don't really think that's the key to their success, though it might play a small role. I think the straighter arm allows you to take the ball a little earlier and get a little more racquet head speed, but I'm not sure that it is worth the timing tradeoff for a lot of people.

bolgao
10-17-2007, 04:02 PM
The straight arm doesn't seem crucial to the modern forehand. Federer tends to hit with a straight arm a lot, as does Nadal. But not all the time. Guys like Djoker are hitting a dangerous modern forehand with the double-bent arm.

So the two top players hit with a straighter arm, but I don't really think that's the key to their success, though it might play a small role. I think the straighter arm allows you to take the ball a little earlier and get a little more racquet head speed, but I'm not sure that it is worth the timing tradeoff for a lot of people.

Interesting. On VTA Heath says that any bend in the arm will cause you to hit the ball late. He says the difference between a straight arm on the forehand and a bent arm is the the same difference as bicep curling (maximum 40 pounds) and bench pressing (200+) pounds.

I find it hard to believe that Djokovic is hitting late on every forehand because of a bent arm, but Heath is a coach on the tour and he says that any player who hits with a bent arm is hitting late and losing tons of power.

jasoncho92
10-17-2007, 04:25 PM
Agassi *cough*

WildVolley
10-17-2007, 07:49 PM
Interesting. On VTA Heath says that any bend in the arm will cause you to hit the ball late. He says the difference between a straight arm on the forehand and a bent arm is the the same difference as bicep curling (maximum 40 pounds) and bench pressing (200+) pounds.

I find it hard to believe that Djokovic is hitting late on every forehand because of a bent arm, but Heath is a coach on the tour and he says that any player who hits with a bent arm is hitting late and losing tons of power.

I'll give Heath the benefit of the doubt. There's more than one way to hit the forehand. Perhaps Heath believes you maximize the power when the arm is straight at contact using the technique he's teaching. By this definition, if you hit it before your arm is straight, you're late.

On the other hand, there's no question that many of the top 50 players in the world hit with the double bend. As mentioned, Agassi had/has a great forehand, and he hits the traditional double-bend. It's impossible to test the hypothetical that he would have been even better if he learned to straighten his arm out on contact.

I say try out a technique if it makes sense to you. At the least, Federer and Nadal show that very high level forehands can be hit with the arm almost straight on contact.

BeHappy
10-17-2007, 08:29 PM
there are 5 guys in the owrld who hit straight arm forehands:

federer
Nadal
srichipan
philipoussis
verdasco

now here's a list of players who don't

Tursunov
Gonzales
Sampras
Agassi
Djokovic
Davydenko
Safin
Blake

pretty much everyone else in the world

This Heath guy is just pursuing a private vendetta against Jeff Counts, (JCo872), owner and operater of Hi-Tech Tennis:


as you can see if you read through this thread:

http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=112159&page=5

^^^^^
this BTW is the greatest thread of all time, all the owners of various sites who regularly post here just laying into each other, so much fun to read through ;)

ananda
10-17-2007, 09:30 PM
[quote=ananda;1815044]
I just checked with videos of Fed. Quite straight.
Federer hit with a complex PULL stroke, elbow close and open, arm bend and straight throughout few seconds in the duration of the stroke. As you can see, it take a genius to to do such a lot of things in such a short period of time. Definitely not the the kind of stroke that you want to teach you or someone else.

what i have been finding after i changed my style based on the fuzzyyellow video is: more power on ball, less control. at least at present.
praps i have just changed 3 days back so it will take a little time to get precision back -- i dont know.

however, since i am quite new, some feedback on this would really help.

i think when i was hitting with bent elbow, i was putting in a lot of power and not getting proportional output. I won't say my arm is straight throughout. it starts as a double-bend but meets the ball in front, so the arm at contact is quite straight, and wrist co*ked.
Earlier my footing was also wrong - closed stance, now its more like the FYB site.

bolgao
10-18-2007, 12:09 PM
as you can see if you read through this thread:

http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=112159&page=5

^^^^^
this BTW is the greatest thread of all time, all the owners of various sites who regularly post here just laying into each other, so much fun to read through ;)

Hilarious!! A Battle Royale of the heavyweights.

ho
10-18-2007, 12:38 PM
[QUOTE=ananda;1816778][quote=ho;1815171]
i think when i was hitting with bent elbow, i was putting in a lot of power and not getting proportional output.
true, you rotate faster with arm near you, but the radius is small, chance are you do not output more racket power. If you want to go straight (i mean relative straight so you can fell confortable with) straight for the begining, you may feel akward but if you rotate your LEFT hand as you rotate your right hand (kind of wave around) then the timing will be easier. (In pull stroke, most player rest their left arm drop to the chest to create more speed). Gonzalez last night hit his forehand as a push stroke, relatively straight from the begining to the end. and output good power.