PDA

View Full Version : Training with a heavier racquet?


HappyLefty
02-02-2009, 02:27 AM
Ive been thinking to practice with a heavier racquet and 7 or 15 days before a competition, switch to your "normal" weight.
Any toughts?

SystemicAnomaly
02-02-2009, 02:59 AM
This may or may not help in the long run. In the short run, swinging a heavier racket can actually train your muscle fibers to fire slower. It might be training your body to recruit a difference balance of slow-twitch (Type I) muscle fibers , medium-fast fibers (Type II-a) and very fast twitch fibers (Type 11-x).

Another possibility is that the heavier racket can throw off your timing enough so that your performance with your "normal" racket is actually worse (even tho' it may "feel" better).

I've talked about these ideas quite a bit in several other threads. Check out the 2 following threads on OU (Overload/Underload) training:

tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?p=2855888 (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?p=2855888)

tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=232198 (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=232198)

.

mawashi
02-02-2009, 03:09 AM
I agree as in tennis timing is more important than just strength or speed.

If you start using a heavier frame than usual then you'll start to swing earlier to begin moving the frame and slow down as you are hitting the ball so it doesn't go long.

Earlier then slower when using your normal frame n you get lots of shanks, misshits n soft floaters. Not good.

mawashi

LeeD
02-02-2009, 07:44 AM
I'm against it, just like I"m against practicing with nerf balls.
Why not just use a racket of "inbetween" weights?
When you get used to a heavy racket, your swing and timing gets thrown waay off ON IMPORTANT pressure points.
So find a nice light 11.5 oz racket and use it for everything.
I use a 12.4 Mfil, strung with the heaviest, deadest poly 15, and that 18x20 string pattern swings just fine for a 59 year old 150 lbs player.
If I'm late against a big serving opponent, it's ME who's late, not the heavy racket.

fuzz nation
02-02-2009, 05:33 PM
I tried it and after a while, I got hooked on the heavier racquets.

Proceed with caution if you decide to try this, since your timing will probably be altered. My experience forced me to employ better footwork and swing mechanics for my strokes that I desperately needed. You might want to use that heavier training frame as a warm up racquet for a couple of hitting sessions - use it for 20 mins. or so to get your timing set up ahead of the ball, then see how you do with your regular stick. If it completely corrupts your swing tempo, it's probably not helping, right?

HappyLefty
02-02-2009, 06:09 PM
Thank you everybody for your advices. Very interesting points of view.
Id rther to continue with my "normal" racquet.
:)

Leoboomanu
02-02-2009, 06:28 PM
I would suggest some upper body strength training/toning, but still use your regular racquet for practice...

Makes you stronger and faster while keeping the timing...

Peace

BU-Tennis
02-03-2009, 02:11 PM
I agree that training with a heavier racquet will throw off your timing. But, if you're timing is late, then hitting with a heavier racquet for a few hits will make you swing faster, when you switch back to the lighter racquet you should meet the ball further out in front and maybe this will correct your strike point.

If you have a good strike point, don't do it, if you don't, try it and see what happens.

BU-Tennis
02-03-2009, 02:14 PM
I would suggest some upper body strength training/toning, but still use your regular racquet for practice...

Makes you stronger and faster while keeping the timing...

Peace

Actually strength training does change your timing. Just like switching to a heavier racquets makes it harder to swing, by increasing power you are able to move the lighter racquet faster than before. Usually this doesn't matter because the strength comes progressively slower so you will unconsciously acclimate every shot as your strength increases.

Let's not forget about Hingis. She bulked up so she could hit with lindsay, and the williams sisters, but it just threw her game completely out of whack and actually reduced her movement speed.

Find someone who specializes in sports specific strength training. Its the best thing you'll ever do to get into better shape.

Slicendicer
02-03-2009, 04:28 PM
Ive been thinking to practice with a heavier racquet and 7 or 15 days before a competition, switch to your "normal" weight.
Any toughts?

I have no scientific evidence to support this, but I can not see how that would help your tennis. You could do damage to your shoulder if your not careful.

The Ripper
02-03-2009, 04:49 PM
I'm with Fuzz Nation. I just got a KPS88 for fun. After playing with is a few times now, I am really getting to like it. I have been playing with 12-13 oz rackets already, but not this heavy (or head heavy). I also wanted to try the switch to force me to prepare earlier, have better footwork and hit the ball more cleanly. So far so good. I haven't played a "tough" match with it yet, so we'll see.

user92626
02-03-2009, 04:58 PM
Never underestimate a heavy racket. You might rally and train well with them but in game they become much heavier.

I wanted to improve power in my strokes recently and ironically I switched back to the light racket that I began tennis with. It allows me quicker swing and more "feel" in the stroke.

obnoxious2
02-03-2009, 05:02 PM
I want to say this works to a degree. But the heavy racquet must be very demanding on having good form. I was struggling with my form for the longest time (turns out it was my footwork that was causing me to shank so many shots) but I started training with a PS tour 90. The sweetspot on this thing felt tiny and it forced me to setup properly. I only trained with it for only two 4 hr rally sessions and then moved back to my normal 100 sq in racquet. I can not be hitting any better than i am right now.

HappyLefty
02-04-2009, 03:19 AM
Ive been training with a heavier racquet (Volkl C10) and this is the result compared with my prior racquet (Becker V1 mp):

The bad:
1. My arm gets tired after 2 hours.
2. A soreness that remains in my forearm for 2 or 3 days.
3. Less maneuverability at the net
4. Bad spin serve

The good:
1. A better return of serve
2. A more solid baseline shot
3. Better flat serve
4. Less unforced errors.

LeeD
02-04-2009, 08:35 AM
1. really concentrate on relaxing during all your strokes, a loose grip, and allow the heavier racket to do the work...even return of flat serves, but for sure, all other strokes except maybe the first volley....
2. as above, but try stretching or ibu
3. yes, but correct form and anticipation makes up for less quickness
4. if you use a long, correct service motion, you lose nothing on spin serves, as the long motion will get racketspeed speed regardless of racket weight. If your service motion is quick, short, and jerky, then a lighter racket will achieve a faster swing speed

blakesq
02-04-2009, 09:50 AM
I added some lead tape to my racket (about 1 oz total), and my timing was off for at least a week (maybe 2 or 3), until i got used to it. So, I would recommend against training with a heavier racquet. Hit the gym instead.

Moz
02-04-2009, 10:25 AM
OP: Definitely a very bad idea.

fuzz nation
02-05-2009, 07:51 AM
H-L: Just curious about how long you've been training with the C10. Not out to bash you or anything like that. I'd certainly expect to have a sore arm if I went right out with a significantly heavier frame, but there's something worth thinking about here.

If your legs and core have more power potential than your arm, you may be leaving a lot of energy on the shelf if your arm is getting tired first, right? I know how it feels to make the switch when you're used to the ingrained swing timing needed for a different heft of racquet - I've gone through a lot of different frames over the last few years myself, including the mighty C10. When I started grinding with a much heavier frame, I also had one or two bouts of "sore arm" and I actually kept after it for around a month and a half (the grinding, not the sore arm) to get better timing. The process made me use my legs and core a lot more efficiently and now when I have a good hitting session, they get tired before my arm does.

I'm not saying that you need to stick with the heavy training racquet. Use your V1 if you like it - a good fit is a good fit! Just consider what happened with the heavier frame and see if you need more weight transfer, rotation, etc. in your stroke. Your big muscles are in your legs!

Also, if you use the "training racquet" in the future, I don't recommend using it to play points or a match if you're not somewhat "up to speed" with it. In a hitting session, you can pay better attention to your mechanics, but in match play, we tend to depend a lot more on muscle memory to swing the racquet in the heat of battle. That's where it's easy to rush the strokes too much in an effort to get that heftier frame caught up to the ball and WOW that can really light up your arm. Been there, done that myself.

I can also point out that the C10, although it has a soft side, can seem a little spin deficient in the serving dept. I'm not saying that it can't make spin, but I keep a 6.1 Classic, NXG mid and midplus, and a LM Prestige mid in my bag in heavy rotation (no pun...). I can easily crank more rpm's into my 2nd serves with these frames than with the C10's that I also own. While those Volkls have very good power potential, I've found that they don't produce the same spin as some other frames without a more deliberate effort in my swing to brush across the ball. Party on!!!

HappyLefty
02-05-2009, 03:07 PM
Fuzz nation,
Ive been training with C10 for about 4 months.
Very clever your points and I really appreciate your toughts. You are right when you mention "you may be leaving a lot of energy on the shelf ". To be honest, its my case. Also you mention "Your big muscles are in your legs", again, absolutely agree. I tend to muscle my strokes and this is one of the reason of my soreness. Any recomendation to reach this "nirvana mood" is well appreciate.

grizzly4life
02-05-2009, 08:09 PM
interesting thread.... if you want some entertainment, find the old SW2 threads.

there used to be a product called "power disc" which was a weight you could add to your racquet for training. lead tape is very messy to work with. rather have this product, but not sure if it's still available.

i tried the whole SW2, adding quite a bit of weight to racquet. and it worked really well for awhile, but i kept adding more and more weight until my shots started floating too much. and then just ripped all the lead tape off. didn't work down to good weight for me... but yes, adding weight helped my game a ton. almost every aspect. and it showed up in my results (at my weak 4.0 level).

FWIW, mixing sports, i know a guy who was an elite golfer (played with tiger lots of times). he says that every guy on tour uses some sort of weighted club for training muscles/loosening up.

SystemicAnomaly
02-06-2009, 02:02 AM
... but yes, adding weight helped my game a ton. almost every aspect. and it showed up in my results (at my weak 4.0 level).

FWIW, mixing sports, i know a guy who was an elite golfer (played with tiger lots of times). he says that every guy on tour uses some sort of weighted club for training muscles/loosening up.

I've addressed this notion in several other threads. Many pro baseball players do the very same thing -- they swing 2 bats or 1 bat with a donut (weight) while they are waiting "on deck". Elite golfers & baseball batters have engaged in this mis-guided practice for decades (perhaps even prior to the 1950s).

Recent studies have shown that this practice is probably counterproductive -- club head speeds & bat speeds can be negatively impacted. More important than this is that the timing of the swing is thrown off and reduced ball speed & distance is the result. This very thing was addressed on Sport Science (FSN) a little over a year ago, I believe. For a YouTube video on this refer to my earlier posts:

tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?p=2507429 (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?p=2507429)
tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?p=2855888 (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?p=2855888)

You might also want to take a look at my postings on Overload/Underload training.

grizzly4life
02-06-2009, 12:50 PM
I've addressed this notion in several other threads. Many pro baseball players do the very same thing -- they swing 2 bats or 1 bat with a donut (weight) while they are waiting "on deck". Elite golfers & baseball batters have engaged in this mis-guided practice for decades (perhaps even prior to the 1950s).

Recent studies have shown that this practice is probably counterproductive -- club head speeds & bat speeds can be negatively impacted. More important than this is that the timing of the swing is thrown off and reduced ball speed & distance is the result. This very thing was addressed on thanSport Science (FSN) a little over a year ago, I believe. For a YouTube video on this refer to my earlier posts:

tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?p=2507429 (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?p=2507429)
tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?p=2855888 (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?p=2855888)

You might also want to take a look at my postings on Overload/Underload training.

thanks, it's interesting stuff! and i was somewhat aware of the debate....... but didn't barry bonds, mark mcguire and other sluggers use weighted bats. seems to work for them??? (i could be mistaken off course)

Sublime
02-06-2009, 02:37 PM
thanks, it's interesting stuff! and i was somewhat aware of the debate....... but didn't barry bonds, mark mcguire and other sluggers use weighted bats. seems to work for them??? (i could be mistaken off course)

Those two used other stuff that helped their game... it wasn't the weighted bats ;)

In all seriousness, the only advantage I could see from training with a heavier racket is that it would force you to learn to use your lower body and core muscles in your swing.

LeeD
02-06-2009, 02:45 PM
and when you learn to use your lower body and core, you can play just fine with a heavier racket (12-12.75oz). So why change back?

Slicendicer
02-06-2009, 03:22 PM
I've addressed this notion in several other threads. Many pro baseball players do the very same thing -- they swing 2 bats or 1 bat with a donut (weight) while they are waiting "on deck".

They swing with a "donut" weight to stretch and loosen the shoulder muscles and tendons. They do not full swing or near full swing speed. It has nothing to do with hitting the ball or swing training.

LeeD
02-06-2009, 04:08 PM
Yes, and they just came from sitting 5 minutes in the clubhouse chewing and spitting tobacco and telling sick jokes with their teammates while scouting the babes in the stands.
Their arms and shoulders are not warmed up. As a tennis player, by the time you hit the first shots in a match, you are warmed up. And by the time you hit the last shot, you are tired out:)

SystemicAnomaly
02-06-2009, 04:51 PM
thanks, it's interesting stuff! and i was somewhat aware of the debate....... but didn't barry bonds, mark mcguire and other sluggers use weighted bats. seems to work for them??? (i could be mistaken off course)

YouTube.com/watch?v=0_vR8U_KrhY (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0_vR8U_KrhY)

Old habits die hard. Bonds & McGuire could have very well engaged in this practice, as some batters & golfers still do. Despite current research, assuming that they are even are the current research, athletes will tenaciously hold on to long-held beliefs/myths. Also, as seen in the video above, athletes can be deceived because "feel and real are not the same thing".

As I mentioned in previous posts, the weighted swings might produce a counterproductive effect that is only temporary. This could very well be like the effects of static stretching -- it will temporarily diminish muscle strength & performance, but may help in the long run.

Who's to say. Perhaps Bonds & McGuire or others might have performed 10-20% better if they had not engaged in weighted swinging "on deck". Some of those foul tips or misses might have been base hits if their timing was 10-20% better. Some base hits might have been extra base hits or longer/deeper hits.

Because these guys were so naturally talented (and perhaps chemically-enhanced), the degradation in swing timing might not have been noticed. Perhaps after a couple of swings with their normal bat weight (after the weighted swings), the counter-effect was diminished.

YouTube.com/watch?v=0_vR8U_KrhY (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0_vR8U_KrhY)

SystemicAnomaly
02-06-2009, 04:55 PM
They swing with a "donut" weight to stretch and loosen the shoulder muscles and tendons. They do not full swing or near full swing speed. It has nothing to do with hitting the ball or swing training.

Watch the video.

LeeD
02-06-2009, 05:29 PM
YES, the baseball players swing the bat with donut full speed.
Still does NOT apply to tennis.
In baseball, the player just came in from the field, is messing around telling jokes, spitting tobacco, and scouting chicks while in the dugout.
In tennis, you warm up your strokes, then begin play while you are still warmed up.
Huge difference.

SystemicAnomaly
02-06-2009, 08:45 PM
^ I disagree. It does apply to tennis, badminton, golf, baseball, cricket, etc.

Slicendicer
02-07-2009, 05:32 AM
YES, the baseball players swing the bat with donut full speed.
Still does NOT apply to tennis.
In baseball, the player just came in from the field, is messing around telling jokes, spitting tobacco, and scouting chicks while in the dugout.
In tennis, you warm up your strokes, then begin play while you are still warmed up.
Huge difference.

I might be wrong, but try this. Go to a sports store. Put 1 or 2 donuts on a bat. Try to swing full speed.... you can't do it. End of story.

LeeD
02-07-2009, 07:30 AM
"full speed" as in as fast as they can WITH the added weights....
SAnomoly, all those sports you mentioned are of guys coming off the bench or just walked 250 yards, so they're not warmed up on their shoulders.
Now I'm NO expert on badminton or cricket, but pingpong, I was age group champion in SanFrancisco and NO ONE practiced with heavier paddles!
As a decent tennis player, NO ONE practiced with heavier rackets just to get their arm or shoulder muscles up to par. Dat was old days, of course, so you might be correct in the NEW generation, I can't say.
Look at Federer's 6' and 160lbs build. Do you think he bulks up swinging a heavier racket?
Does Djokovic look like he's trying to gain muscle mass?
Even Roddick is looking slimmer, more fit, less muscular than 4 years ago.
Nadal looks kinda STRONG, but with his shirt off, you notice his arms have definition, but his torso is more "normal". You gotta admit his game is sort of an aberation.