View Full Version : Why can't I bend my knees!?
04-17-2004, 02:39 PM
During my lessons, when I'm practicing serves, my coach tells me to bend my knees, which I do, for a little while. Then I begin to forget and I just stand there. It's not just when I serve either. When I'm hitting groundstrokes my coach constantly has to tell my to bend my knees and stay down throughout my strokes. Why is this so hard??? I always seem to be popping up, and as a result, the balls are always going out. If my coach wasn't there to remind me to bend my knees, I probably would never do it.
04-17-2004, 04:29 PM
keep on reminding yourself, when you hit a bad one tell yourself that you need to bend your knees
04-17-2004, 08:07 PM
Bending the knees requires effort because it puts a strain on your quadraceps (front-of-thigh muscles). When you stand with straighter legs, your mucsles have less work to do because your weight is being supported by your bones. A soldier can stand at attention far longer than he can stand in a semi-squat position. (Even the "At Ease" position has the legs more-or-less straight.)
The advantage of bending your knees is that you have better balance and flexibility to shift your weight, and can use your muscles to thrust upwards.
theres these couple of guys where i play who never seem to bend their knees when they hit. it's like their legs are always straight. one of them have been playing for about 20 years! needless to say.. they've never improved and are always happy when anybody is willing to hit with them. :( oh, and he's got aweful techniques.
it's disheartening and i regret bringing it up. but, learn from this and BEND YOUR KNEES!
04-18-2004, 02:50 AM
lunges....lots and lots of courts of lunges......that and do a lot of calve excercises since that is primarily what is holding your heels off the ground.
keep in mind the proper begining stance for tennis, is for you to be one foot shorter (meaning bend your knees, lean your torso forward a bit and keep off your heels), and have your feet just past shoulder width apart. the idea is to have a balanced and firm stance that allows you to be ready to quickly move in any direction.
the more keep your knees bent the easier it will get, along with the above excercises. i swear i dont even realize im doing it anymore and i can stay waaaay down when im playing much shorter players who hit flat balls that dont come back up. being 6'4" does have drawbacks, lol.
04-19-2004, 07:41 AM
I agree with all. It is something you have to train for that many people think is too hard.
Lots of on court non-hitting drills, strength training, isometrics.
You need to condition the muscles and your nervous system to consistently do it in a match. A good one is to press against a wall in a seated position. Hold it for three minutes.
This is the frontier where few people will go.
04-19-2004, 04:06 PM
Thank you all for your helpful information. I will immediately try those exercises!
I got 2 words for ya: Schalken, Sjeng
Some people's brains are just not wired with the coordination to bend those knees, however as awful as it looks, Sjeng still pushes top 20 once in a while.
I think if you play basketball you're at a great advantage compared to average tennis players in terms of knee bend (and a lot of other things too, but I'll talk about that later).
04-20-2004, 11:39 AM
A good tip that might help you is to start in your ready posiiton with your knees slightly bent. Starting with your legs completely straight and then going to bend them is a waste of time, by starting with your knees slightly bent, you don't have to do too much more bending.
Another problem you might be having is you are bending your knees but as you hit the ball or right before you hit the ball you POP up. The reason this happens is the force of the ball makes it tought to stay down as you hit the ball To solve this focus on staying down throughout the ball until you get the hang of it.
Another test you can use is this:
1: if the ball goes long you popped up as you hit the ball
2: if the ball goes into the net you popped up before hitting the ball
And ding lunges with weights in your hands is a great way to condition your knees.
04-23-2004, 02:06 PM
Printer, that's exactly what I do, I pop up. I'm trying lunges and wall-sits (where you are sitting against a wall, but there is nothing there to sit on or support you besides the wall), but so far I can only hold my position (wall-sit) for AT MOST a minute... How should I do these exercises? Three sets of one minute?
04-23-2004, 05:20 PM
How tall are you i.Radical? I bet you walk tall and proud. People who walk tall and proud don't bend their kneed much.
Yeah...... do leg walkouts, lunges, squats, and steps to get legs strengthen up to make bending easier. Also keep the muscles relax and flexible, you don't want a knee injury. When you start practicing, squat down as far as you can like taking a dump and see the courts in a different view.
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