View Full Version : Forearm Pain - Grip Size?

03-11-2005, 12:04 PM

I was wondering what the problem is. After a match, my forearm really is sore. Is it due to the grip size being too small or too big? Or is it just my technique.


03-11-2005, 12:47 PM
usually when the grip is too small, you have to grip your racquet much tighter and lead to forearm pain or even elbow pain. Look at TW education center where they show you how to choose a gripsize.

03-11-2005, 01:36 PM
routine it could be al of those that you mention. additionally your racquet and strings and tension and even leather grips if using a stiff racquet. what strings are you using and racquet? if you are playing with a pure drive for example and strinigng with poly's, that could be your answer.

03-11-2005, 06:38 PM
my opinion FWIW is that larger grips are hard on the elbow because you can't get enough wrist action so you start trying to get some of your topspin from you elbow..

i used to be a lover of big grips (they are easier to hit the ball from point A to point B i.e. if you want to play chris evert/jimmy connors style), but i am really starting to come around to smaller grips for almost every advantage......

03-11-2005, 06:44 PM
you really dont use the wrist for topspin for groundstrokes these days..the wrist doesnt really come into play until after the ball is gone <for the most part)..if anything you want to make contact with a firm solid wrist rather than one that is 'snapping' because that gives you quite alot more margin of error, but i do agree that smaller grip sizes are often preffered, especially on the serve.

03-12-2005, 08:24 AM
mojo, isn't the wrist key to the topspin that guys get these days.... i can't how you can get much topspin at all without big wrist action...... i agree that the wrist action is fairly late in the hitting process but it's there. very early wrist action is more like a topspin lob......

this is why i mention jimmy connors and chris evert.... they didn't use a huge amount of wrist action, but i don't see anyone that plays like them anymore (sort of surprising as it wasn't that long ago, but i guess they learned to play in the 1960's).

03-12-2005, 09:16 AM
I am a junior player, and about a year ago, I made the mistake of getting my LM Prestige MP with a 4 3/8 grip size. I continuously shanked balls, and I had no idea why. I tried putting two overgrips on it to make it about 4 1/2, and now I almost never shank balls. However, I do seem to get a little less pace and spin on my serves since the movement of the racquet in my hand with the small grip helped put give velocity to the ball.

If you are currently shanking a lot of balls, I recommend that you try to make your grip bigger somehow!

03-12-2005, 09:29 AM
nah tom..the wrist is actually firm during impact and then it does various things afterwards as part of the followthru depending upon the player....wrist snapping your forehand during the hit does nothing but give you an inconsistent forehand, and if you are using your wrist to help you generate topspin (which is what alot of people do), that isnt so good. what wrist snapping causes is for you to have to have perfect timing to hit the ball with the desired outcome (think about it, yo'uve got the smallest muscles (wrist)moving the racquet about and that leads to inconsistencies)....thats one reason why there used to be so many unforced forehand errors in the old days because most players did wrist snap their forehand, because that was the way they got topspin w. a continental grip...the semi western or western forehand changed all that, and the wrist if left alone, does its own thing after the fact if everything before is done properly

03-12-2005, 11:21 AM
As for the grip size... Does your personal grip size match up with the grip size that is on your frame? Genie has it right: if the head twists too much on some of your shots, you might need a larger grip size. Alternately, if you can't snap your wrist enough on serves, or the handle simply feels too large, you need a smaller grip size. To make sure, ask a teaching pro or somebody else in person. Sometimes I find myself gripping the handle too tight due to a butt cap that is too small relative to the handle. If that's your case, building up the butt cap might be an option.

03-12-2005, 12:53 PM
Ok, I have a question in response to everyone's advice. (I'm not trying to pick on anyone).

PrestigeClassic you talk about the head twisting on some shots & the reason might be the need for a larger grip size. What about someone like me, when the only time the head twists on shots is when they use a larger grip size? I simply can not handle a larger grip size, regardless of how large/small my hand is. I tend to try & 'strangle' the racquet when the grip size is too large, thus giving me awful elbow & arm pain, but am much more 'loose' when I'm using smaller grip sizes.

PC again, I'm not picking on you, but everytime this topic comes up, I'm always 'thinking the opposite' when I read these threads.

03-12-2005, 01:32 PM
mojo, fair enough.... i'll watch for that next time i play..... i have tended more towards older, more conservative grips so maybe that's where i get the focus on the wrist thought.

03-12-2005, 01:41 PM
Mojo is right if you see freeze frames of a players stroke such as Roddick you can see that his rist remains firm upon impact. It is the upward brushing motion of the racquet that results in topspin.

03-12-2005, 02:50 PM

i haven't looked at roddick's in slo-mo, but i will look at others on tennis.com if available.

anyhow, but are you guys saying the wrist stays FIXED or stays FIRM or BOTH?? cause my thought is that it hinges somewhat in relation to the forearm.

maybe i was wrong with the emphasis on all this wrist movement, but my experience is that it is much easier to get topspin on forehand with small grip........ and not sure what else would account for that??? if you keep wrist firm, then it shouldn't matter if the grip is huge, but that's not my experience.

as per the absolute original question, i think i got tennis elbow from too large a grip.

03-12-2005, 09:26 PM
Mojo With respect; I agree with your ideas; too much wrist => inconsistency. But if you are prepared quickly or the ball is without much pace, wrist motion can be very consistent.
To me, leaving the wrist out of the kinetic chain of power is carrying the logic of "big muscles control the small muscles in the biomechanical chain" too far. It is destructive to depend on one idea too much. I cannot see how anyone can watch the pro tour and see players like Safin, Fed, Roddick, Sharapova, Agassi, Nadal, Novak and think there should be NO wrist action thru the ball. Sure it must be controlled. And sure, a beginner should be taught how to hit with no wrist to learn how much power and consistency is available with the legs, torso and arms alone. And a ball with tremendous pace may need to be hit with an almost volley like short bkswing firm wrist stroke. But for a normal non defensive ball, some players are coordinated enough to consistently unleash the wrist.

Stan Smith said in his video with Vic Braden that he hit his FH with a solid firm wrist until his college coach taught him to ..."release the wrist a little ...".

Veritas Freeze frames (that is only one) have no possibiity of showing wrist motion velocity. Velocity = ds/dt. That is you need an interval to measure the distance and divide it by the time interval to get velocity. So you would need video with known frame time interval information to do this. Roddick hits with plenty of wrist on certain type FH's; his driving heavy ball topspin FH (usually hit on balls at his knees to his waist). But his pure top FH is hit with a laid back no wrist motion and a windshield wiper type swing.

03-13-2005, 05:10 AM
stan smith played in another tennis era when the game was played entirely differently with diferent racquets..san smith played when you generated power by weight transfer and a square stance..today you generate power by a big shoulder turn against an open stance and that requires entirely different bio mechanics using entirely diferent gear than in the old days...as a teaching pro, if i were to still be teaching like old vic braden video and stan smith videos. i wouldnt be much of a teacher, altho for less than advanced lessons i dont start them with advanced techniques, and i thought we were discussing advanced modern technique here. nothing against stan smith or vic braden and i am sure they have kept up with the game, but i bet those are pretty old videos you referece, and the game has changed much even within the last say 5 years or so

03-13-2005, 05:26 AM

i think maybe one reason that small grips lead to more topspin is that the wrist pronates alot after the hit which slows down the racquet..... without that wrist pronation, i don't think your body can slow down the racquet properly.

i did look at some andy roddick slo-mo forehand (like the other poster suggested) and i do think there is wrist action (subtle to moderate) in his stroke and then there's a huge amount after he hits.

why do you think the pro's like the small grips these days???? .......... i guess serves would one reason, but maneuvrabilty would be the other and that relates to being able to hinge the wrist in all directions.....

anyhow, appreciate your comments/help!!!

03-13-2005, 08:26 AM
for most people i think they should buy the right sized grip for your hand..a little smaller is ok, but you souldnt be able to touch your palm with the tips of any of your fingers when you squeeze the grip unless you are a good ball striker..also so big that the racquet twists in your hand is def not good for anyone. tom, i dont know what else to say here..small grips do give you a bit of a more whippy feeling for some reasons, and i dont know the dynamics of all that. i've gone from a 5 gripsize, to a 4, and now am a 3 as my skillset improved and by the chart i should be at least a 5 gripsize. i dont talk of the wrist at all when i teach unless they are artificially using it to try and generate topspin..if you do all the stuff correctly thru the hit, the wrist takes care of itself and doesnt need discused, and is just one more source of possible confusion...serving is diferent, and you dont really use wrist even on the followthru for basic volleys.

03-13-2005, 04:49 PM

earlier in this post you mentioned the effect of a leather grip on arm pain...I recently switched from a 300G (5/8,soft grip) to a POG MP (1/2, leather grip) and my elbow is killing me although I play much better with the POG. Any thoughts? Thanks and I, as well as many others, very much appreciate all your comments.


03-13-2005, 06:51 PM
seb the obvious thing is to take off the leather and put on a synthetic and see if that helps...whatever the babolat smooth grip they put on the AeroDrives has a nice leatherlike feel to it and some cushioning..if that doesnt help, i guess the POG doesnt agree with you..also changing racquets often involves changing the way you use muscles and tendons and maybe that did something to your elbow..this is more lilkely to happen if you've been playing T for many years,,as a possible clue elbow pain on the inside is often caused by the forehand and on the top or outside by the backhand..the POG is alot heavier than the 300g and if you have a one handed bh that might be too much for you to unload with the one hand, and your elbow would hurt on the outside...just a guess without much info. hope this helps and thanks for the nice words..much apreciated since right now i am being attacked in another thread.

03-13-2005, 06:58 PM
Seb The POG is known to be a very stiff frame. Try lowering the string tension by putting some weights on the string bed overnight. 20-30 lb dumbells will do the trick. Then you can either adjust to the different feel or change/go back to the 300g.

03-14-2005, 02:19 PM
Thanks for the advice mojo and paulfreda...I play so well with the POG I hope I can get it figured out.

03-14-2005, 02:29 PM
mojo, isn't the wrist key to the topspin that guys get these days.... i can't how you can get much topspin at all without big wrist action...... i agree that the wrist action is fairly late in the hitting process but it's there. very early wrist action is more like a topspin lob......

this is why i mention jimmy connors and chris evert.... they didn't use a huge amount of wrist action, but i don't see anyone that plays like them anymore (sort of surprising as it wasn't that long ago, but i guess they learned to play in the 1960's).

You might want read this thread:

How do you Generate TopSpin?
and check all the links given there, including those to revolutionarytennis.com

After reading all this, you'll be up to date with the current theories on the subject, which of course are not all in agreement with each other:-)

03-14-2005, 02:39 PM
seb you dont say what string and tension you are using...and you're welcome.

03-14-2005, 04:06 PM

I just recently bought the POG off the TW "for sale or trade" forum. It came with Technifibre Synthetic Gut 16 at 58 lbs. Last week I bought another used POG (have not received yet) that is strung in the upper 40s with gosen poly ice 16. The large difference in tensions is fortunate because it will allow me to test them in regard to elbow pain as well as playability.

After rereading your posts regarding no fingers touching the palm, I noted that I was just barely touching, so added an overgrip. Hopefully I will get to play tomorrow and can see if it makes a difference. I play better with a smaller grip so don't want to increase unless I have to. Also, both the muscles and tendons in my elbow are sore, so I may just be in an adaption phase to the new racket...I hope.

I have read that gut is the easiest on the elbow, but I tried gut last year in the 300G and contrary to popular opinion just didn't like it. Anyway, if you have any stringing suggestions they would be much appreciated! Thanks again. seb

03-14-2005, 04:18 PM
seb doesnt seem like the string but something is def awry if you are sore like that..i think we're on the right track w. trying without the leather and increasing your grip size a bit...but often leather makes a gripsize seem even larger than it is because it is hard, and doesnt compress as much when you squeeze it..so try the cushionned grip and make sure your 'flip the ****' finger ;) doesnt touch your palm and then give that a go..good luck and let Us know how that goes if you feel like it.

03-14-2005, 04:20 PM
why the tw automated censor censored the word b-i-r-d, i dont know..a competitor maybe? 'hola____'???

03-14-2005, 04:29 PM
thanks mojo...I'll let you know what I learn.

Geezer Guy
03-15-2005, 08:56 AM
I was wondering what the problem is. After a match, my forearm really is sore. Is it due to the grip size being too small or too big? Or is it just my technique.

Routine125 - if you're still around - I was having similar problems with my wrist about a year ago. I asked a Physical Theripist that I knew about it, and she suggested that I do 4 exercises. She had me hold a light weight in my hand, lay my forearm flat on a table palm up with my hand hanging over the edge of the table, and then curl my hand up - keeping my forearm on the table. Like doing a mini-curl. Then I turned my forearm to the side and did the same curls - but sideways (up and down) - know what I mean? Then I put my forearm on the table wrist-down, and did a set. And finally - the most awkward - was to turn in the remining direction and do the lifts.

This was all - obviously - to strengthen the muscles in my forearm. The problem went away shortly after I started the exercises, and has not returned. I quit doing the exercises after about a month.

Jeffrey Wang
03-15-2005, 09:03 PM
The grip too small will make you grip too tight and more unnecessary wrist movement. This is long time learned lead to tennis elbow. Using the grip too big, you will lose your grip power and labor your forarm. It also will twist your racquet when mishit a shot with weight and pace. If you like me are between the grip (3/8 and 1/2), I suggest to go with 3/8 then add overgrip to get to 7/16)

For spin, you should fix your wrist during the contact and swing in much upward (impart spin) and forward (acceleration) motion. The latter assure follow through and depth. You may see Andy's wrist pronated but never loosen during contact. If you don't lock your wrist, you will only get spin but not pace since acceleration only will be generated when the wrist is firm. Wrist injury usually associate weak link on hard shot.