PDA

View Full Version : Straight Vs. Bent Arm Backhand


Roy125
01-08-2010, 09:25 PM
Today I had a private session with my coach, who I'm glad is still coaching. I apparently had a problem with the bent arm 1 handed backhand because as I was following through, I had the habit of pushing my elbow to the sideways, not forward. He did recommend the straight arm backhand and I want to know what the main differences are between it. I read somewhere that one was more injurious than the other.

sh@de
01-09-2010, 01:15 AM
To me, the difference is that hitting a one handed backhand with a bent arm is simply incorrect technique. It makes the shot incosistent and increases risk of injury. It is also not an equivalent of the double bend forehand.

To sum it up, don't hit your backhand with a bent arm. It must be straight.

marosmith
01-09-2010, 04:32 PM
To me, the difference is that hitting a one handed backhand with a bent arm is simply incorrect technique. It makes the shot incosistent and increases risk of injury. It is also not an equivalent of the double bend forehand.

To sum it up, don't hit your backhand with a bent arm. It must be straight.

yep


:):)

Roy125
01-12-2010, 07:34 PM
Thanks for the feedback. I can feel more consistency and power with the straight arm backhand.

But just to clarify, there is no whippy motion to a 1 handed backhand, true?

Blake0
01-12-2010, 08:20 PM
Thanks for the feedback. I can feel more consistency and power with the straight arm backhand.

But just to clarify, there is no whippy motion to a 1 handed backhand, true?

There is, but don't worry about it now. focus on the fundamentals of 1hbhs and learn to be consistent and hit good pace with it. once you're happy with your backhand and are starting to look for more out of it, then you can start whipping it more. Although the 1hbh is never as whippy as the forehand (potentially speaking). To get the whip, you need to loosen your wrist a little bit, and have great mechanics or it might hurt you.

papa
01-13-2010, 06:10 AM
Yeah, the arm, at least on "forward" part of the stroke has to be straight - the shot has to come from the shoulder. You also have to stay low throughout the shot and finish high - relevant terms but many try to pop up during the stroke.

darthpwner
01-13-2010, 07:34 AM
You should never hit a bent arm one handed backhand. That's the primary cause of tennis elbow.

papa
01-13-2010, 09:46 AM
You should never hit a bent arm one handed backhand. That's the primary cause of tennis elbow.

...and the reason you can't hit it crosscourt.

Mountain Ghost
01-13-2010, 10:28 AM
A straight arm on a 1HBH allows you to rotate (supinate) the arm as a solid unit. From the racquet-back position to contact, the racquet head has much farther to travel than the racquet handle. Whereas the elbow does rotate, it should remains relatively stationary during the early part of this process so that the racquet head can start coming around and forward before the handle moves much at all. If the arm is bent, the elbow (and the handle) will lead the way and the arm will come across the front of the body. Not only will the racquet head not get around in time, but it will not be able to travel up and out, for optimum topspin and power.

MG

Slazenger07
01-19-2010, 02:23 PM
If you bend the arm at contact, you put unneccesary strain on the tendons in your elbow and will eventually be dealing with a case of tennis elbow, keep the arm straight!

JonC
09-16-2013, 04:26 PM
I have to disagree with most of the comments. I suffered bad TE for over a year and I was hitting with a straight arm. The reason you get TE is from having too tight a grip and too much tension in the arm in general (trying to make it straight) - having poor hip/thoracic/neck flexibility doesn't help (makes it difficult to make the arm straight while watching the ball = tension in arm). The correct technique is a whipping motion - the arm starts bent, is whipped through by the hips and shoulders and naturally straightens at contact (timing). I hit bigger and with more topspin by relaxing the arm and letting it straighten naturally and no more TE. There is absolutely no reason to grip the 1h backhand tighter than the forehand.

BlueB
09-16-2013, 05:02 PM
I have to disagree with most of the comments. I suffered bad TE for over a year and I was hitting with a straight arm. The reason you get TE is from having too tight a grip and too much tension in the arm in general (trying to make it straight) - having poor hip/thoracic/neck flexibility doesn't help (makes it difficult to make the arm straight while watching the ball = tension in arm). The correct technique is a whipping motion - the arm starts bent, is whipped through by the hips and shoulders and naturally straightens at contact (timing). I hit bigger and with more topspin by relaxing the arm and letting it straighten naturally and no more TE. There is absolutely no reason to grip the 1h backhand tighter than the forehand.
I mostly agree.
I also got TE when I played straight hand 1HBH. I backed off a bit (along with improving the technique o/a) and no more pain from BH.

Shroud
09-16-2013, 08:29 PM
I have to disagree with most of the comments. I suffered bad TE for over a year and I was hitting with a straight arm. The reason you get TE is from having too tight a grip and too much tension in the arm in general (trying to make it straight) - having poor hip/thoracic/neck flexibility doesn't help (makes it difficult to make the arm straight while watching the ball = tension in arm). The correct technique is a whipping motion - the arm starts bent, is whipped through by the hips and shoulders and naturally straightens at contact (timing). I hit bigger and with more topspin by relaxing the arm and letting it straighten naturally and no more TE. There is absolutely no reason to grip the 1h backhand tighter than the forehand.

I agree almost totally.

The caveat is that this is a more modern way to hit and really requires the extreme eastern or semi-western grip IME.

I think most are talking about a classic backhand and are right in every way....for a classic backhand.

Chas Tennis
09-17-2013, 03:58 PM
Interesting recent thread on the one hand backhand.
http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=474949

See reply #28 and later for discussion of the wrist angle and TE.
One of the more creditable theories on the one hand backhand and TE involves the extended wrist. An extended wrist reduces the probability of TE and a flexed wrist increases it according to D. Knudson.

Supportive of this view, most pro 1hbh s are struck with an extended wrist. Look at high speed videos and and note the wrist angle at impact for yourself.

LeeD
09-17-2013, 04:01 PM
At contact, almost straight.
How you get there is when you encounter all the devils.

Shroud
09-17-2013, 06:21 PM
Interesting recent thread on the one hand backhand.
http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=474949

See reply #28 and later for discussion of the wrist angle and TE.
One of the more creditable theories on the one hand backhand and TE involves the extended wrist. An extended wrist reduces the probability of TE and a flexed wrist increases it according to D. Knudson.

Supportive of this view, most pro 1hbh s are struck with an extended wrist. Look at high speed videos and and note the wrist angle at impact for yourself.

Nice linking to your own posts that quote your own posts!!! :)

Good link though and a great point about the wrist. I missed this importance because I could never fathom that any one would use anything other than an extended wrist when hitting a 1hbh. Thats probably why people use 2 handed...because you can hit with a flexed wrist and get away with it.

Though how can you hit with an extended wrist AND and eastern backhand or conti for that matter? you kind of need the extreme eastern or my fav the semi western.

Lack
09-17-2013, 06:36 PM
It has to be straight with your shoulders relaxed

BevelDevil
09-18-2013, 12:52 AM
The correct technique is a whipping motion - the arm starts bent, is whipped through by the hips and shoulders and naturally straightens at contact (timing). I hit bigger and with more topspin by relaxing the arm and letting it straighten naturally and no more TE. There is absolutely no reason to grip the 1h backhand tighter than the forehand.

Based on what most pros do, I think this is incorrect. Most pro 1hbhs tend to straighten out much earlier in the forward swing, and some straighten out in the backswing. Federer and Dimitrov seem to be the only ones who use centrifugal force to straighten their arms out. I don't think they're good models for beginners because of this-- there's just more that can go wrong.



The caveat is that this is a more modern way to hit and really requires the extreme eastern or semi-western grip IME.


I'm not sure if there is a clear relationship here, at least not in the direction you're suggesting.

There are pros with both extreme grips and continental/mild grips that straighten their arms out early. For example, both Kuerten (extreme eastern) and Edberg (continental) straightened out early, at the start of the forward swing.

Dimitrov uses a mild variation of Eastern and is very bent, while Gasquet uses a stronger version of Eastern and straightens very early. Wawrinka uses modified eastern (towards conti) and he straightens out early.

If I had to take a guess, I'd say more extreme grips go with earlier straightening, but milder grips can use either method.

Shroud
09-18-2013, 10:29 AM
I'm not sure if there is a clear relationship here, at least not in the direction you're suggesting.

There are pros with both extreme grips and continental/mild grips that straighten their arms out early. For example, both Kuerten (extreme eastern) and Edberg (continental) straightened out early, at the start of the forward swing.

Dimitrov uses a mild variation of Eastern and is very bent, while Gasquet uses a stronger version of Eastern and straightens very early. Wawrinka uses modified eastern (towards conti) and he straightens out early.

If I had to take a guess, I'd say more extreme grips go with earlier straightening, but milder grips can use either method.

Hi Bevel. I think I misread John C's post. I was referring to an accross the body motion like on the modern WW forehand not the arm straightening. To do accross the body WW follow through on the backhand I think you need the extreme grips.

Though how I got "accross the body" from his post I just dont know. Its clearly not there :)

JonC
12-06-2013, 02:54 PM
[QUOTE=BevelDevil;7765036]Based on what most pros do, I think this is incorrect. Most pro 1hbhs tend to straighten out much earlier in the forward swing, and some straighten out in the backswing. Federer and Dimitrov seem to be the only ones who use centrifugal force to straighten their arms out. I don't think they're good models for beginners because of this-- there's just more that can go wrong.

Yes, they do straighten by the time of impact but the swing begins with a bent arm. There is no way to get decent racket head speed or brush-up with a straight arm. Again, the arm IS straight at contact. If your arm is straight on your backswing, you are doing it wrong. Take a look at Roger - the arm is bent until just before contact - it's an uncoiling just like the service motion and the forehand. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MCQ50D2fIKI

Chas Tennis
12-06-2013, 03:01 PM
[QUOTE=BevelDevil;7765036]Based on what most pros do, I think this is incorrect. Most pro 1hbhs tend to straighten out much earlier in the forward swing, and some straighten out in the backswing. Federer and Dimitrov seem to be the only ones who use centrifugal force to straighten their arms out. I don't think they're good models for beginners because of this-- there's just more that can go wrong.

Yes, they do straighten by the time of impact but the swing begins with a bent arm. There is no way to get decent racket head speed or brush-up with a straight arm. Again, the arm IS straight at contact. If your arm is straight on your backswing, you are doing it wrong. Take a look at Roger - the arm is bent until just before contact - it's an uncoiling just like the service motion and the forehand. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MCQ50D2fIKI

Note that the wrist in the Federer video is extended at impact. Tennis & biomechanics researcher Knudson says that pros use extended wrists on one hand backhands while amateurs often have the wrist flexed. Knudson claims the amateur flexed wrist is a factor in causing tennis elbow. A flexed wrist does move the wrist more toward the end of its range of motion and might stress the tendon that is injured in tennis elbow. ?? When you look carefully at pro 1hbhs you will see that they do seem to impact the ball with the wrist in extension. See TennisOxygen analyses videos of 1hbhs.

Search: Knudson tennis elbow extended wrist

JonC
12-06-2013, 03:22 PM
[QUOTE=JonC;7938544]

Note that the wrist in the Federer video is extended at impact. Tennis & biomechanics researcher Knudson says that pros use extended wrists on one hand backhands while amateurs often have the wrist flexed. Knudson claims the amateur flexed wrist is a factor in causing tennis elbow. A flexed wrist does move the wrist more toward the end of its range of motion and might stress the tendon that is injured in tennis elbow. ?? When you look carefully at pro 1hbhs you will see that they do seem to impact the ball with the wrist in extension. See TennisOxygen analyses videos of 1hbhs.

Search: Knudson tennis elbow extended wrist

I agree. I think hitting with an extended wrist requires you to have a death grip on the racket. In the extended position, the fingers are behind the grip and taking all the force. With a flexed wrist, the heel of the hand is pushing on the grip and so the fingers are not as essential.