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Rams
09-13-2006, 08:53 AM
I weigh 145 now, if I gained 10 pounds would that have any noticable impact
on the speed of my serve?

Tennis Man
09-13-2006, 09:08 AM
it's not about how much you weigh but your skill, racquet and technique

wyutani
09-13-2006, 09:12 AM
the secret is the legs dude. its the legs.

varuscelli
09-13-2006, 09:24 AM
I weigh 145 now, if I gained 10 pounds would that have any noticable impact
on the speed of my serve?

Yes, it will help -- especially if the 10 pounds is in the form of a spare tire around the middle. :p

In my opinion, putting on a few pounds of extra muscle wouldn't hurt at all as long as you're not doing exercises that are designed to just build muscle mass. Bulking-up exercises likely wouldn't be nearly as good as general strength training.

But good technique will make a bigger difference than extra muscle. However, if you have good technique and add some muscle strength, my feeling is that it will help your overall game and very likely help you put a bit more zip on the ball. If someone is using bad technique, though, more muscle is not likely going to help them much.

I know some pretty dang skinny people who can hit the heck out of a ball based on good technique and making the most of what they can do with their bodies. With some folks, it's almost an art form.

ATXtennisaddict
09-13-2006, 09:34 AM
if u want to have more muscle but at the same time have explosive power, then work on squats,bench,snatches, etc. they help build explosive power, which is what gives u huge serves.

chess9
09-13-2006, 09:36 AM
I weigh 145 now, if I gained 10 pounds would that have any noticable impact
on the speed of my serve?

Ten pounds of what? :)

Put on ten pounds of muscle and, assuming you are taller than about 5'8" or so, you might play better tennis. You might even serve faster if your current serve is strength limited. Are you always getting sand kicked in your face at the beach? :) Or, are you an Oklahoma wrestling champion?

I personally think tennis players should be stronger than most of them appear to be. I may be wrong. I'm just an old jock giving free advice on an internet forum anonymously so treat this advice accordingly. :)

-Robert

Woodstock_Tennis
09-13-2006, 10:53 AM
Swing faster.

kevhen
09-13-2006, 11:01 AM
More weight in head of the racquet and a smoother more relaxed swing should give you more serving power without any bodily weight gains.

alan-n
09-13-2006, 11:03 AM
If you aren't hitting the ball cleanly (or through) dead on the sweet spot, than it won't matter. Until you have your toss and cleanly struck serve all the time it doesn't matter what more you try to do.

chroix
09-13-2006, 05:31 PM
Use it right and it will. Just don't slow yourself down adding too much. Slow progress with good workout and conditioning and it will help, jam out on the couch with a bunch of crap and you'll just be slower.

ballmassager
09-24-2006, 02:08 AM
Swear this works! Keeps your swing more compact!

Fusion
09-24-2006, 03:40 AM
Force = Mass x Acceleration, so the heavier you are, the more force you'll hit the ball with.

shindemac
09-24-2006, 06:52 AM
No, not really. I gained 10 lbs and that did nothing. It's more about practice and technique.

papa
09-24-2006, 07:47 AM
One way to increase pace/speed is to stay turned to the the sideline longer. Many players open up too early which really effects speed.

MasterTS
09-24-2006, 07:51 AM
No, not really. I gained 10 lbs and that did nothing. It's more about practice and technique.

10lbs is insignificant compared to the technique that would increase acceleration.

Look at guys like Juan Carlos Ferrero... they weight almost nothing and can hit 130+.

Moral of the story: Technique rules all.

varuscelli
09-24-2006, 08:42 AM
One way to increase pace/speed is to stay turned to the the sideline longer. Many players open up too early which really effects speed.

Thanks for that post.

I need to look into that a bit more carefully in terms of my own serve. I try to focus on as many of the aspects of my serve as I can, and I'm not sure I've paid enough attention to when I'm opening up.

Lately, I've been paying very careful attention to using my legs more, and it's made a huge difference in the overall quality and pace of my serves. I have to pay particular attention to using my legs when I'm getting a bit tired, since at those times I tend to get lazier and will often lose the "spring" unless I'm careful to make sure I'm putting my legs into it.

But sometimes I find myself unable to find as much power on my serve (even when I'm fresh on the courts) and I wonder if opening up too soon might be part of the reason?

Good pointer...gives me something else I can look at for improvement. ;)

Ten.Is
09-24-2006, 07:01 PM
Weight itself is not gonna give you more speed in your serve. If its fat you gained, I feel its gonna slow you down a bit. Depending on where you gained the muscle you might actually gain some speed, but remember with proper technique it may be even better. Don't just gain weight and think you're gonna be stronger, you need muscle...hit the gym.

drakulie
09-24-2006, 07:06 PM
10lbs is insignificant compared to the technique that would increase acceleration.

Look at guys like Juan Carlos Ferrero... they weight almost nothing and can hit 130+.

Moral of the story: Technique rules all.

Completely agree MasterTS.

Hardserve
10-09-2006, 11:29 AM
With the ordinary serve, you can smack it fast and the ball bounces off the court and loses maybe say 20-30 mph off the serve by the time the other guy goes to hit it,it's weakened considerably because its lost alot of speed. :mad:

If you try to hit the ball harder at those higher speeds(115 plus), you soon send the ball out of the court and start losing control of the ball and it begins to spray. :( That's why the ordinary serve can only hit the ball so fast before the technique begins to break down as it can't handle those higher speeds.

Since I been taught how to serve at higher speeds than 120 mph from a national certified coach. My serve has improved from 140-160 kph now to 180-230 kph....:mrgreen: I had to change my technque.

Andres
10-09-2006, 11:55 AM
With the ordinary serve, you can smack it fast and the ball bounces off the court and loses maybe say 20-30 mph off the serve by the time the other guy goes to hit it,it's weakened considerably because its lost alot of speed.

If you try to hit the ball harder at those higher speeds(115 plus), you soon send the ball out of the court and start losing control of the ball and it begins to spray. That's why the ordinary serve can only hit the ball so fast before the technique begins to break down as it can't handle those higher speeds.

Since I been taught how to serve at higher speeds than 120 mph from a national certified coach. My serve has improved from 140-160 kph now to 180-230 kph....:mrgreen: I had to change my technque.
Do you realize 230 kph is almost 144 mph, and I know only 10 PROS who can hit that fast?

Joachim.... is that you? HEY! :D How's the shoulder?? ;)

superbooga
10-09-2006, 11:39 PM
With the ordinary serve, you can smack it fast and the ball bounces off the court and loses maybe say 20-30 mph off the serve by the time the other guy goes to hit it,it's weakened considerably because its lost alot of speed. :mad:


Serves lose about half their original speed by the time it reaches the opponent.

chess9
10-10-2006, 12:09 AM
Service technique is very critical to high velocities and placement. Just one or two degrees at the racquet face equals success or disaster. Never underestimate the value of perfect training, help from your pro, and enough practice. The service is one of the least practiced shots at our club, and it shows in the anemic serves we see. Only one guy, who is 73 and 6'4" tall practices his serve every day. Yet, the younger guys (30-50) never practice their serves. They show up, don't warm up in any meaningful way, and start playing doubles. I give up! :)

-Robert

OdinLoki
10-10-2006, 12:51 AM
One way to increase pace/speed is to stay turned to the the sideline longer. Many players open up too early which really effects speed.

Very true. Try not to drop your tossing arm too early.

Kevo
10-10-2006, 10:35 AM
I am in the technique camp. There is a guy on our team who can't weigh more than about 130lbs. He can hit the ball quite hard on his serve. Learn how to use the pronation of your arm to increase your racquet head speed. That will probably give you an immediate boost, but you'll need to spend a lot of time practicing it to get good control.

kevhen
10-10-2006, 10:47 AM
I agree, I play with a 4.5 who weights around 130-135 pounds and his serve can hit 100mph when he cranks it up. Weight has little to do with swing speed. Strength in the shoulder and a smooth fluid motion are essential though.

MasterTS
10-10-2006, 10:49 AM
I agree, I play with a 4.5 who weights around 130-135 pounds and his serve can hit 100mph when he cranks it up. Weight has little to do with swing speed. Strength in the shoulder and a smooth fluid motion are essential though.

I wouldn't say weight has little to do with swingspeed.. but lets say you have two players of equal techinique... One player is 6'2 140lbs and the other is 6'2 175 lbs..

The heavier player will hit a bigger and heavier ball, obviously.

raiden031
10-10-2006, 11:05 AM
I'm 6'1" and weigh about 190 (probably can bench-press about 225 lbs to give an indication of my strength), and I'm not fat if anyone has watched my recent serve video on this forum. I will often hit the serve as hard as I possibly can and while still landing in the service box, it does not go much faster than a more casual swing. Thats one of the reasons I posted my video because I can't seem to get the speed that I'm looking for. I don't really bend my knees enough or turn my upper body enough which leads me to believe that I'm not fully utilizing the larger muscles needed for serving. With my body type and strength I should have a killer serve but I don't because I haven't yet gotten the technique down.

At the pro level, the best servers are usually taller than 6', but the lower your level of playing is, the less your body type matters.

Geezer Guy
10-10-2006, 11:44 AM
To me, there are two factors that are the most important to serve speed. One is toss location. The ball has to be out in front of you - not straight overhead. The second (and I think more important) is to have a loose relaxed arm. If you tense up and really TRY to hit the ball hard, you won't hit as hard as if your arm is nice and relaxed and you LET yourself hit the ball hard. The looser your arm is, the more racquethead speed you will generate.

Ten_is
10-10-2006, 11:49 AM
the secret is the legs dude. its the legs.

Doesn't sound like it.
It sounds like it's in the shoulders and uncoiling of the body.
Someone told me not to jump into my serve with the legs, so legs have less to do with it rather than helping with the uncoiling and rotating of the body.

thoughts?

MasterTS
10-10-2006, 11:58 AM
I'm 6'1" and weigh about 190 (probably can bench-press about 225 lbs to give an indication of my strength), and I'm not fat if anyone has watched my recent serve video on this forum.

That's not really saying much... I'm 5'9, weight 155 and bench 285 max.. I rep 225 8-10 times.

raiden031
10-10-2006, 12:17 PM
That's not really saying much... I'm 5'9, weight 155 and bench 285 max.. I rep 225 8-10 times.

So the average tennis player benches 285, eh. I stand corrected. No wonder my serves have been stuck at a mediocre speed. I need to hit the weight room a bit more. Thanks for showing me what a weakling I really am on the tennis court.

MacBorg18
10-10-2006, 12:49 PM
Doesn't sound like it.
It sounds like it's in the shoulders and uncoiling of the body.
Someone told me not to jump into my serve with the legs, so legs have less to do with it rather than helping with the uncoiling and rotating of the body.

thoughts?

I agree with Ten_is. IMHO, the biggest components of serve speed come from the arm and the shoulder turn. To practice proper technique, my coach has me serve standing still. And I remember reading about how Venus Williams once had a stomach pull that limited her movement in a match and so she served without using the legs.

The basic concept of the serve is that there should be an accelerating chain of movement starting with the shoulder turn, then through the pronating arm, and finally the racquet. Keeping these elements flexible and loose ensures a whip-like effect that maximizes the head speed at the point of contact with the ball. I suppose if added weight means incrementally more fast-twitch muscle in the chest, shoulder and arm, then that could enhance the serve speed.

onehandbh
10-10-2006, 12:49 PM
Of course strength will help, but as many have pointed out, technique
is king, and then probably leverage, and then strength. The bottom line
is getting the racquet to move as fast as possible.
Torque = F * r (being 6'1" you have longer arm (r) so you can exert less
force and hit just as hard as somebody shorter.)


For example, a lot of baseball players (and also MasterTS!) can outbench
Ken Griffey Jr., but Jr.'s awesome timing and technique allow him to
effortlessly hit home runs. Also, I bet a lot of people can out squat
Michael Jordan, but he's quicker and can outjump them.

btw, MasterTS, 285 (for free weights) is pretty impressive for a
bodyweight of 155 (unless you have midget length arms:) You sound
super strong. How much can you squat & deadlift? one-arm pullups? Can you
do the flag?

MasterTS
10-10-2006, 01:03 PM
btw, MasterTS, 285 (for free weights) is pretty impressive for a
bodyweight of 155 (unless you have midget length arms:) You sound
super strong. How much can you squat & deadlift? one-arm pullups? Can you
do the flag?

My strength is mostly upperbody. I don't deadlift but I do squat, however my back limits my ability so squat more. I do 225 6-8 times and don't test the max. Don't do one-arm pullups but I can do 5-10 one arm pushups. Don't know what the flag is.

I have normal length arms..

onehandbh
10-10-2006, 01:30 PM
The flag is kind of tough and I personally wouldn't even think of attempting it.
Basically you hold onto a pole and become a human flag where
your body is parallel to the ground and one of your legs/hips is toward the
ground and the other above it facing he sky and your hands hold. Here's
a crude diagram:

Pole
|
|\_/
|/ \
|
|_________ ground

MasterTS
10-10-2006, 01:51 PM
Pole
|
|\_/
|/ \
|
|_________ ground

oh lol.. I'm not a gymnist.. nice pic though

varuscelli
10-10-2006, 01:53 PM
The flag is kind of tough and I personally wouldn't even think of attempting it.
Basically you hold onto a pole and become a human flag where
your body is parallel to the ground and one of your legs/hips is toward the
ground and the other above it facing he sky and your hands hold. Here's
a crude diagram:

Pole
|
|\_/
|/ \
|
|_________ ground

Yeah, I do that all the time -- with slightly adjusted technique... :p

Pole
|
|\:)/
|/ \
|
|_________ ground

varuscelli
10-10-2006, 01:56 PM
Sometimes I use my exercise face, though...

Pole
|
|\:mad:/
|/ \
|
|_________ ground

Or my "ain't nuttin' to it" face...

Pole
|
|\:rolleyes:/
|/ \
|
|_________ ground

drakulie
10-10-2006, 02:42 PM
Technique is king. Although it doesn't hurt, you don't have to be strong or tall.

Proper technique, loose arm, and fast swing speed. And finally, let the racquet do the work.

What I mean by, "let the racquet do the work" is as follows:

Sometimes these huge guys can't understand how I hit a lot faster than them, when I am so much smaller than them. I'm 5'9" and weigh about 165.

I usually tell them the following: You hit the ball with your ARM and try to "muscle it"---I hit it with the racquet. Then I give them the following example:

One guy is 6'5", weighs 220 lbs of muscle and hits the serve with his bare hand. The other guy is 5'5", weighs 150 lbs and hits the serve with a racquet.

Which one is going to have a faster serve?

A lot of people try to swing "hard" and muscle the ball; Rather than "throwing the racquet" at the ball, and letting the racquet propell itself towards the ball and do the work. Only way to do this is having a loose arm.

Bagumbawalla
10-10-2006, 03:35 PM
If that 10 pounds of force could be transmitted perfectly to the ball by making perfect contact with perfect motion and transfer of energy, then yes, it might make something less than 1 mph of increased speed.

Concentrate on improving your mechanics and racket speed ;ike the rest of us.

Good luck

B

oray777
10-10-2006, 03:45 PM
The faster you whip the racquet the faster it's going to go in but of course you have to have control or you lose everything. Smooth and flowing technique is what works for me.

Hardserve
05-22-2007, 05:40 PM
Yes I do realize that serving 130 mph is pretty fast for a serve and serving 140 mph is very fast. But there are players under top coaches like myself who are not professionally ranked but having been taught the technique can hit slam down serves at 120-135+ mph, the big serve dosen't just exist only on the professional circuit.

Telley1
05-23-2007, 03:12 PM
The thing that helped me increase MPH was this bungee cord type concoction. I used to train at a physical training center, and they had this bungee cord for baseball pitchers. They strapped it to serving hand and I practiced swinging. I think my serve was probably around 90-100mph but after that, I was serving easily at 125mph

Hardserve
05-27-2007, 05:05 PM
Sounds interesting...

bobbyb
04-27-2008, 05:44 AM
yo hardserve...u wanna give us a name of this coach that may be able to help us????