A tip about leg usage

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by boramiNYC, Sep 29, 2012.

  1. boramiNYC

    boramiNYC Hall of Fame

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    I've been studying about coordination and its development for a while now have a tip you guys can try out. In the same vein from the internal hip rotation thread, each leg rotates quite a bit and finding the optimal angle of leg rotation for each motion has big implication in effective and efficient use of the lower body which affects the balance and mobility.

    A very common tendency for rec tennis players is their feet are pointing the same direction too much while playing. A better dynamic form or posture for movement around the court and stroke execution is to point the feet outward not parallel. To see the difference try shuffling with this form and feel the difference. you can shuffle to make some shapes to make it more challenging. like in a circle and figure 8 and vary direction and orientation. unless you already have this form you'll feel soreness in some muscles and it's normal. once this form becomes habitualized you'll see the improvement in mobility and balance. try to incorporate into your other tennis stroke forms. Parallel feet are effective mostly for explosive forward motion and any other motions in tennis should use this feet outward form.

    Would love to hear what you think of this if you try.
     
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  2. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    I agree because I notice the feet getting stuck.
     
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  3. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

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    Nothing new here. Standard footwork above beginner level. Used on split step, return of serve, groundstrokes etc. This is discussed in most footwork vids and articles covering anything more than how to do a split step.
     
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  4. boramiNYC

    boramiNYC Hall of Fame

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    guess you guys are pretty good then. that's great. for anyone who never paid attention to this part of their body could benefit if they realize they don't do this consistently in their technique.
     
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  5. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

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  6. boramiNYC

    boramiNYC Hall of Fame

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    nice vid cheetah but I didn't see him mentioning anything about the importance of feet pointing outward. OTOH he mentions both feet pointing forward several times, which undoubtedly some people will catch and try to overuse both feet pointing forward. he mentions shifting weight to the inside of one foot while pivotting the other foot to change direction while landing from the split step. this can be done with both feet pointing forward tho much more clumsily by eager rec players. I don't think he sees the importance of my point. because usually something like this sounds too trivial or nitpicking. many good players already do feet outward thing but mostly from their own coordination and assume everyone else does the same, which is not true. that's my point.
     
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  7. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

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    Yes you have a good point and people should know this so good thread.

    Ian doesn't specifically say it but you can see that ferrer's feet are pointing in different directions upon a move. (his pivot). opening one foot this way or having feet not neutral will facilitate hip movement which helps in balance and quickness. Ian mentioned the neutral feet on the split step because feet are supposed to be neutral on the split step while in the air. the the feet changing direction happens on the way down with the landing of the other foot. same principal in the gravity / drop steps that you can see in the dr serve videos. Also on groundstrokes. When the feet point in different directions the hip will be more involved.

    Almost all top players do this on their fh stroke but for some reason nadal doesn't a lot of times. He hits his fh while his feet are neutral and pointing in the same direction
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1s6o66M1Lsg
     
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  8. boramiNYC

    boramiNYC Hall of Fame

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    what I see in your nadal video, which doesn't have the best angle to see feet orientation btw, is that his feet are outward most of the execution but very briefly right before uncoiling they become less outward and more parallel. that's due to rotation at the ankle while loading most of the weight on that foot. the heel of the other foot with less weight on turns slightly in the air appear to be more parallel but that's not unusual thing.
     
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  9. toly

    toly Hall of Fame

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    Here are two examples from bailey stances.
    Foot in the same direction

    [​IMG]

    The girl can rotate her hips.

    Foot in opposite directions, fig. b.

    [​IMG]

    The hips are locked and she cannot rotate them at all.
    We should direct feet in the same direction to use rotation of hips effectively.:confused:
     
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  10. treblings

    treblings Hall of Fame

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    thanks for the good post, borami. i´ll make it a point to look for that aspect tomorrow on the courts.
    when doing figure eights i know that my feet are normally looking forward.
    the same thing happens with rope jumping. feet point forward.
     
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  11. boramiNYC

    boramiNYC Hall of Fame

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    shuffling with the feet outward is especially effective. Once the muscles are set you can shuffle shapes faster with better control. This is key to fine movement adjustments in tennis.

    For jumping ropes, you never touch the heels and jumping on the ball of the feet. When jumping on both feet, after the heels are off the ground feet rotate inward actually and past parallel. But, when landing the feet rotate backward. So in jumping rope heels are already in the air so the feet will appear parallel and inward while jumping. This happens when jumping for the serve as well but before the heels are off the ground most players have their heels closer than their toes. This give best stability for balance.
     
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  12. boramiNYC

    boramiNYC Hall of Fame

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    Where do you get this from? I don't know in what context what you say hold true but certainly not for tennis. Weight shifting from one leg to the other involves muscles that is used for standing on one leg esp inside the hip. With a foot pointing straight forward the whole body weight cannot be placed on that foot solidly.
     
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  13. spacediver

    spacediver Hall of Fame

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    borami, thanks - this is not something I ever thought about consciously, so it can only help.
     
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  14. toly

    toly Hall of Fame

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    Maybe I cannot get your explanation? What is “this feet outward form”?:confused:
     
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  15. boramiNYC

    boramiNYC Hall of Fame

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    not all the way out as far as you can like a clown. more like a V shape but rarely parallel. with the feet outward straighten your legs you should be able to feel your glutes engaging. your buttocks tighten. tight butt is good tennis form. this last bit is somewhat relative since there must be people with too tight glutes.
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2012
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  16. toly

    toly Hall of Fame

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    Thank you, I get it.
     
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