PDA

View Full Version : I think I've discovered the secret to more power...


Maverick16
01-07-2010, 01:52 PM
There's no doubt that most of you will know all about all about this, but I finally figured out the key to more power.
I've recently gotten back into tennis and I was having a heck of a time getting any power on my shots, double backhand in particular.
I would take the racquet back high, then let it drop down and then swing smoothly through the ball and follow through correctly.
Doing this unfortunately generated very little power, and it seemed like I was just pushing the balls over the net.
Recently, I have been analyzing many of the pros backhands and noticed that most of them don't swing smoothly through the ball with their arms, but instead whip the racquet through the ball using lots of wrist and arm action.
Is this whipping wrist action the key to generate more power?? I figured it must be, since power=racquet head speed and you get more racquet head speed when you whip the racquet using your wrists.
I noticed the same thing with the forehand of all the pro players, however some use more wrist than others.
I went out to the court to test this theory and low and behold it works. At first I framed many balls because it's harder to time your shot when you whip the racquet at the ball with your wrists and arms, but once I got the hang of it the pace of the shots is a lot higher.
One pro who really uses lots of wrist to slap at the ball on both wings is Andre Agassi.
I guess the moral of this story is if you are struggling for more power on your shots, use more wrist action and whip the racquet through the ball.

Bashi
01-07-2010, 01:55 PM
yes, i discovered this by myself while hitting with a ball machine about a year ago - the key is really a loose grip and loose wrist.

Jonny S&V
01-07-2010, 01:59 PM
I would say that you're right, to a certain extent, but I would not conciously use more wrist action, but just keep them loose and think "whip." To say you need wrist action will lead to injury. Just clarifying. :-)

aimr75
01-07-2010, 02:01 PM
the kinetic chain and clean contact is something you should focus on

Power Player
01-07-2010, 04:44 PM
It's more about weight transfer and using your entire body IMO.

ms87
01-07-2010, 04:54 PM
lol, arm action, wrist action, and "slapping" the ball are the worst things to focus on if you are having trouble with power

ManuGinobili
01-07-2010, 07:32 PM
I guess the moral of this story is if you are struggling for more power on your shots, use more wrist action and whip the racquet through the ball.
The moral of the story is you're begging for this
http://www.med.umich.edu/1libr/sma/sma_trifibcc_sma.htm


Recently, I have been analyzing many of the pros backhands and noticed that most of them don't swing smoothly through the ball with their arms, but instead whip the racquet through the ball using lots of wrist and arm action.
Is this whipping wrist action the key to generate more power?? I figured it must be, since power=racquet head speed and you get more racquet head speed when you whip the racquet using your wrists.
When you analyzed the pros, did you pay attention to their footwork and body movements, like shoulder wind up, core rotation...? That's what really generate the power. The arm alone cannot bring the racket around as fast as the body rotating with the arm as a lever.
A good example is baseball players who all rotate their ab when hitting, and don't hit with just their arms.
Pros use the wrist to generate some extra racket head speed (which translate to spin or more angle) sometimes , but it's not their main source of power. This also requires excellent timing from years of hell training. We club and rec players simply do not have this timing ability to consciously use the wrist their way.

I have went through periods of using the wrist and arm this way too, and that flick gave me an illusion that the ball is flying off faster than a good plowthrough... don't know if you're experiencing this, but just a watch-out thingy.

To be honest I do not know exactly what you're doing so I can't judge.... If you've learned to use a loose wrist for the windup and up to contact, that's very good. But don't snap it to generate power because it will let you know the painful way.

Zachol82
01-07-2010, 09:19 PM
It is the whipping motion and it is because faster racket-head speed equates to faster ball pace. However, it's not just from the arm and wrist alone. Core rotation and weight transfer also plays a huge part in power, so keep an eye on that.

It's good to keep a loose arm and wrist before contact, but don't wrist it during contact, except during emergency shots where all you want to do is get the ball back into play.

Blake0
01-07-2010, 09:32 PM
The wrist should never "snap". The wrist acts like a hinge. It's something that releases as a result from using good technique (using the whole kinetic chain), and keeping your arm/wrist loose. Consciously releasing the wrist is bad, you'll be slapping the ball with little to no control and you'll frame a lot of balls.

Try this. At the end of your backswing, on your forehand, make sure your wrist and arm is relaxed. Make sure you're getting a full shoulder and hip coiling. Then unload the hips and shoulds and let your arm start swinging forward. Your wrist should naturally swing back to the layed back position to contact. At contact is when pro's release the wrist..and letting it brush up the back of the ball. It releases naturally..not something you think about doing. You have to make sure you "educate" your wrist before you start using it. Snapping the wrist without good technique is just asking for trouble.

Zachol82
01-07-2010, 09:50 PM
Snapping the wrist without good technique is just asking for trouble.

It's asking for DOUBLE TROUBLE to be precise.

Maverick16
01-08-2010, 09:57 AM
I guess I did not explain myself very well.
I know that the shoulder turn(body) and stepping into the ball is important in generating power, all I'm saying is that players today generate much more power by using their wrists and forearms more, which whips that racquet through the ball.
Just look at Jimmy Connors and John McEnroe's forehand strokes. They did not use much wrist, forearm action but more full arm movement, pivoting at the shoulder. They incorporating very little wrist action and thus did not have near the power of todays players.
Just look at this video to see what I mean.
http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=FYB2007#p/u/18/19gmJilFKlI
Then look at Monfils's forehand stroke. Much more use of wrist, forearm-elbow action.
http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=FYB2007#p/u/123/DkUSTi4U7Io
As an extreme example just watch Nadal hit. His arm and wrist are so loose it looks like a wet noodle and thus he really whips the racquet through the ball.
Videos do not lie.
http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=FYB2007#p/u/88/KB6EY7FxgUg
Remember, I'm not saying to only use the wrist and not the body (core rotation) all I am saying is that when you incorporate more wrist action into your swing you can generate substantially more power.
The wrists help you whip the racquet through the ball.
Every pro today uses this technique, so it can't be wrong.

NamRanger
01-08-2010, 09:59 AM
The wrist and arm movements you see are the result of good balance and good rotation. The reason why you are seeing the wrist move so much today is because of the fact that many players have such a loose arm and wrist, so that they can generate more "whipping" action. It is not a conscious thing, however it is pretty damn hard to time.

Bud
01-08-2010, 09:59 AM
There's no doubt that most of you will know all about all about this, but I finally figured out the key to more power.
I've recently gotten back into tennis and I was having a heck of a time getting any power on my shots, double backhand in particular.
I would take the racquet back high, then let it drop down and then swing smoothly through the ball and follow through correctly.
Doing this unfortunately generated very little power, and it seemed like I was just pushing the balls over the net.
Recently, I have been analyzing many of the pros backhands and noticed that most of them don't swing smoothly through the ball with their arms, but instead whip the racquet through the ball using lots of wrist and arm action.
Is this whipping wrist action the key to generate more power?? I figured it must be, since power=racquet head speed and you get more racquet head speed when you whip the racquet using your wrists.
I noticed the same thing with the forehand of all the pro players, however some use more wrist than others.
I went out to the court to test this theory and low and behold it works. At first I framed many balls because it's harder to time your shot when you whip the racquet at the ball with your wrists and arms, but once I got the hang of it the pace of the shots is a lot higher.
One pro who really uses lots of wrist to slap at the ball on both wings is Andre Agassi.
I guess the moral of this story is if you are struggling for more power on your shots, use more wrist action and whip the racquet through the ball.

I think you're mistaking loose/relaxed wrists with actively using the wrist.

smoothtennis
01-08-2010, 10:40 AM
I think you're mistaking loose/relaxed wrists with actively using the wrist.

I agree.

I think what he has discovered if he is doing it right...is that using full body rotation and proper balance and weight transfer, by loosening his grip more, and keep the arms like 'wet towels' he is getting the whipping action. But he body is generating the power for the whip, not the active use of the wrist and arms.

smoothtennis
01-08-2010, 10:41 AM
The wrist and arm movements you see are the result of good balance and good rotation. The reason why you are seeing the wrist move so much today is because of the fact that many players have such a loose arm and wrist, so that they can generate more "whipping" action. It is not a conscious thing, however it is pretty damn hard to time.

Very well said.

5263
01-09-2010, 05:03 AM
I think you're mistaking loose/relaxed wrists with actively using the wrist.
from John Yandell-
This is a complex and important topic. There is no doubt that one of the changes at the top of the game is the more relaxed swing styles and the huge variety of wiper and reverse finishes.

What high speed video shows however, is that the wrist is still laid back on the vast majority of pro shots--90% plus. This angle can vary between roughly 45 and 90 degrees. Federer, Agassi, Del Potro, Roddick, name just about any big time forehand, and the point applies even more at lower levels.


Biomechanical studies by Brian Gordon show that any forward wrist movement makes a minimal (about 1% !) contribution to racket head speed.

smoothtennis
01-09-2010, 11:09 AM
So 5263 - what point are trying to make exactly with John's quote? I understand, and have video of myself and know that the wrist stays laid back through contact. But the funny thing is, I also have found the looser I keep my grip and wrist, the more power, spin and whip goes into the shot. I know the wrist isn't moving forward into the shot.

What I think happens is that the tightening of the grip causes a dissipation of energy that stays in the muscles and does not transfer into the ball. This is true in martial arts and boxing when fighers tighten up during a striking technique. Even pool players have this issue when they tighen up a little, and the cue ball does not recieve the full amount of spin needed.

SystemicAnomaly
01-09-2010, 11:40 AM
^ I was actually going to provide a link to the very same Yandell (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?p=4259775) post (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?p=4259775). The point that 5263 is making with his quote of John's post seems clear. The wrist does not need to actively snap forward. To do so would complicate the timing unnecessarily and not provide any significant power gains (according to Brian Gordon's research). The bottom line is that forward wrist action is slight and passive , if present at all.

Many people appear to confuse forearm rotation with wrist action. There is a significant pronation (rotation) of the forearm on the FH groundstroke. This is particularly evident on the WW forehand.

As for tightening of the grip, I believe that there is a naturally squeezing of the grip as the racquet head is accelerated forward (or upward on a serve). This squeezing is most evident on volleys but is still evident on groundstrokes. The grip is kept very loose prior to the forward swing and is loose once again as the follow-thru is completed. The squeezing action just prior to contact is often not a conscious tightening. The grip tightening on groundstrokes are probably less than half grip strength.

It's the loose grip before & after that will facilitate power.

chico9166
01-09-2010, 11:42 AM
^ I was actually going to provide a link to the very same Yandell (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?p=4259775) post (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?p=4259775). The point that 5263 is making with his quote of John's post seems clear. The wrist does not need to actively snap forward. To do so would complicate the timing unnecessarily and not provide any significant power gains (according to Brian Gordon's research). The bottom line is that forward wrist action is slight and passive , if present at all.

Many people appear to confuse forearm rotation with wrist action. There is a significant pronation (rotation) of the forearm on the FH groundstroke. This is particularly evident on the WW forehand.

As for tightening of the grip, I believe that there is a naturally squeezing of the grip as the racquet head is accelerated forward (or upward on a serve). This squeezing is most evident on volleys but is still evident on groundstrokes. The grip is kept very loose prior to the forward swing and is loose once again as the follow-thru is completed. The squeezing action just prior to contact is often not a conscious tightening. The grip tightening on groundstrokes are probably less than half grip strength.

It's the loose grip before & after that will facilitate power.

As usual, SA is right on.

blue12
01-09-2010, 12:18 PM
I agree with SA the wrist action you think you are seeing is probably forearm rotation.
I think balance and timing are extremely important if you want to get maximum power. Poor balance is a deal breaker for sure. If you are balanced though there is a point in the swing just as your shoulders begin to open when you can excelerate smoothly for power. Excelerate to soon and it will feel like you are dragging the racket and excelerate to late and it will feel like you are pushing the racket.
If you found something that seems to work i would keep playing with it, cause maybe you are doing the right things but you aren't doing what you think you're doing.

5263
01-09-2010, 04:46 PM
^ I was actually going to provide a link to the very same Yandell (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?p=4259775) post (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?p=4259775). The point that 5263 is making with his quote of John's post seems clear. The wrist does not need to actively snap forward. To do so would complicate the timing unnecessarily and not provide any significant power gains (according to Brian Gordon's research). The bottom line is that forward wrist action is slight and passive , if present at all.

Many people appear to confuse forearm rotation with wrist action.


Yes, exactly.

smoothtennis
01-13-2010, 08:20 AM
^ I was actually going to provide a link to the very same Yandell (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?p=4259775) post (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?p=4259775). The point that 5263 is making with his quote of John's post seems clear. The wrist does not need to actively snap forward. To do so would complicate the timing unnecessarily and not provide any significant power gains (according to Brian Gordon's research). The bottom line is that forward wrist action is slight and passive , if present at all.

Many people appear to confuse forearm rotation with wrist action. There is a significant pronation (rotation) of the forearm on the FH groundstroke. This is particularly evident on the WW forehand.

As for tightening of the grip, I believe that there is a naturally squeezing of the grip as the racquet head is accelerated forward (or upward on a serve). This squeezing is most evident on volleys but is still evident on groundstrokes. The grip is kept very loose prior to the forward swing and is loose once again as the follow-thru is completed. The squeezing action just prior to contact is often not a conscious tightening. The grip tightening on groundstrokes are probably less than half grip strength.

It's the loose grip before & after that will facilitate power.

Yes, I agree with this completely SA.