View Full Version : Elbow in on fore?

03-28-2004, 11:36 AM
I was curious about the forehand.

When I watch Agassi its almost as if his elbow is constantly touching his torso with his elbow. Yet with Blake and even more so Federer there arms are almost straight.

Whats the optimum. I find my forehand keeps breaking down and at times feels like im just wristing the ball :-(. While other days I can drill my forehand with ease and have good control over spin and placement.


03-28-2004, 12:21 PM
FWIW, I keep my arm more straight. If I keep my elbow "in", I tend to hit the ball with more arm and less body.

Bungalo Bill
03-28-2004, 01:35 PM
Every Tennis stroke must have three things in varying degrees:

A source of stability to assure that the entire course of the stroke can be efficiently controlled. A linear interval (also called a straight line interval) near the point of contact to maximize the probability of clean contact and a source of controllable acceleration to produce racquet speed that can be directed into the ball.

The key to racquet stability is the elbow. The elbow should be in front of the body plane and pass near the body. You can do this exercise, if you extend your arm out ot your side with your elbow away from your side moree you will notice that it is easier to move the elbow around. This can drastically effect your ability to make clean contact on the ball since it is easier for your racquet head to be moving around on impact. When you place your elbow closer to your side it is more stable and you do not move around so much.

Depending on your grip you use, the arm will be bent at the elbow forming an "L" as with a Western grip or less heading towards Eastern. Your rotation will begin very soon as the elbow moves forward. An elbow that is traveling forward and is reasnably close to the body will allow the brain to calculate where the racquet face is. You will have cleaner shots.

03-28-2004, 02:14 PM
I know you should keep going forwards and through the ball for as long as possible but I find its hard to get used to and do quickly. I guess I need to keep working at it and not give up. Hopefully I can post some footage of me playing.

Thanks for the help guys.

Bungalo Bill
03-28-2004, 03:01 PM

Your right! It is unnatural. It has to be practiced! If you havent emailed me I have some footage on how Roddick hits his forehand. Let me know if you wnt to see it. You will need Quicktime to view it. Quicktime is a free video playback softare you can get on the internet. usptapro@cox.net

03-29-2004, 01:14 AM
I have seen it thankyou. Infact it was one of the things that made me post here :-) as It looks as though he was hitting with a straight arm.

Bungalo Bill
03-29-2004, 07:28 AM
I have seen it thankyou. Infact it was one of the things that made me post here :-) as It looks as though he was hitting with a straight arm.

Please explain what you mean by "straight arm" so I can make sure your understanding his stroke correctly.

03-29-2004, 10:15 AM
Bungalo bob-

I'm very interested in seeing movie clips of addy roddick, is it possible for you to send me them?

03-29-2004, 11:52 AM
Bungalo Bill provides some of the best info that I have seen on this Board - so, I hope what I'm saying doesn't contradict his teaching in any way. I think of the forehand as a side-arm pitch - the elbow stays in close to the body with the wrist laid back until the latter phase of the follow-through. That mental image of pitching sidearm (and my prior experience with throwing that way) keeps my forehand pretty consistent and with good pace.

Bungalo Bill
03-30-2004, 02:27 PM

Actually that is not a bad analogy! I kinda like it!

There are three things in a swing for the modern forehand. We are just talking about upper body parts.

1. Elbow: Needs to come forward and stay with the body area. The elbow needs to get in front of the body plane before contact. Two things happen here. A. Your brain can easily calculate where the racquet face is. B. You maintain control of the racquet face.

2. The Shoulders: The shoulders are a slower form of rotation and will provide the meat or core of your power and helps maintain stability. It is also the part that starts the pull of the butt cap. Not the elbow!

3. Your upper arm: Somehow, someway, your going to have to get the ball on the strings. By rotating your upper arm so the forearm will come forward is essential. This is a main source of the POP you will get on the ball. It is much easier to rotate your arm faster then it is your shoulders. Shoulders have more area to cover and there is more mass. By rotating your upper arm, you also dont "spin out" of the shot with your bigger stronger muscles groups of the shoulder.

So I like that side arm analogy. However, with the side arm throw because your flinging something vs. hitting something the arm goes away from the body a little further then should be done for a forehand and is a little whippier then it should be as well.

03-31-2004, 10:54 AM

Roddicks arm is always bend when he hits. Its not pretty but its an awesome shot.


04-03-2004, 09:14 AM
BB. Have you ever considered breaking down some basic shots {Forehand backhand serve volleys} ect for articles to help teach technique?

Like breaking down a certain players strokes to demonstrate allot of your technique advice. I know I find it allot easier to relate to words with pictures than words alone.

Just an idea. You could probably write some great articles.