Does the onehanded backhand mean injuries down the road?

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by Golden Retriever, Jun 7, 2004.

  1. Golden Retriever

    Golden Retriever Hall of Fame

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    I have wasted 2 years of my tennis life trying to master the 2hander and never had any success at all. I guess I am a leftbrain person since I have absolutely no artistical talent at all. That's why I can't control the left part of my body well. Well who am I to argue with God and I'll just have to play the cards I was dealt with. Recently I have switched to the onehander and it just feels much more natural for me. Unbelievably I get more power and control with one hand than two. The only problem is that my shoulder will get sore and tender after a 2hours session using one arm for everything. It seems that even at the pro level the onehanders are more prone to injuries than the two handers. Any suggestions pls?
     
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  2. Anonymous

    Anonymous Professional

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    If you do it right (whole different story) you should be injury free
     
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  3. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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    The key to preventing injuries with the onehander is to make sure the elbow doesnt lead the stroke. Otherwise, you will slowly cause damage to the elbow and then one day you will be in pain.

    It is true that the onehander does use the dominant side of the body a lot more. You serving, volleys, forehands and backhands will be hit on one side. I would highly suggest a weight training program that uses dumbbells to strengthen not only your major muscles but also the small stabilizing muscles. Also, it is important to balance out your strength on both sides of the body.

    At first, you will get tired in the shoulder from hitting the onehander. This is normal. try keeping your shoulder loose during the whole swing. Not tight. This will help balance out the strengthen you need along the whole arm and relieve the shoulder muscles from taking everything.

    So, if you hit the ball properly and condition both sides of the body, you can definetly go injury free with good mechanics and preparation for the onehander.

    On the twohander, you do not have to be dominant on both sides of the body to hit a good twohander. That is exatly why you use to hands! It is true that the weaker side of the body is in control to hit the towhander. But it doesnt mean it is all alone. Usually if I can get you to set properly, load your weight on the backfoot as you do with your forehand, the top part of your body will fall into place. when you hit a good twohander and then mis another - it is usually because your losing your balance before you make contact or right at contact.

    I am a lot like you, I am very dominant on the left side. I play every sport with the exception of golf (because they didnt have lefthanded clubs when I learned) from the left side.

    My twohander is more balanced with some influence in pushing the racquet forward from my righthand (top hand). That is it! the rest of my twohander is performed by my lower body. When I am out of shape, my twohander is terrible. Horrible is a better word. I am popping up the ball, I am slamming balls into the net or clipping the tape, etc. It is because I am not setting up in time and I am losing my balance and hitting balls off balance whether the ball is too far in front and I am lunging (usually when I hit long) or I rush a bit past where I should be and hit on top of the ball to much. Either way - it is ugly. when I am in shape, whole different picture. Lots of power, lots of control, and a lot more fun.


    My onehander does not have a big takeback (I can hit both). It is very similar to Federers. Just a shoulder turn and wrist preparation to prepare the grip and racquet face on the forward swing. But I followthrough very long. I try to have the same distance in backswing as I do the forehand. Except my arm for the forehand is further back. So it goes back more. But I try to get both swings to travel the same amount of distance to contact with a loop - whereever that contact point is.
     
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  4. fjgarciap

    fjgarciap Rookie

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    You say you recently changed to a one-hand back, give your arm/shoulder several hours of play to adjust to the different muscle effort needed to this stroke. If possible, strengthen by working out. It worked for me.
     
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  5. goober

    goober Legend

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    Consider changing racquets. Many racquest are much easier on your shoulder/elbow than others.

    I tried switching to a 2 hander a long time ago too but I could never get it. I just wanted to whale on the ball like Andre or Chang with 2 hands. :D
    Instead I just kept my one handed backhand and hit it most of the time flat or with slice. It is not a weapon but it definitley is consistent now.
     
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  6. Jack Romeo

    Jack Romeo Professional

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    I disagree that a 1hbh player is more injury-prone than a 2hbh player. It's true that Haas, Kuerten, Philippousis, Henman and Rafter have suffered injuries, but so have Norman, Rios, Safin, Escude and Kiefer. And on the women's side, JHH, Mauresmo, Smashnova-Pistolesi, Schiavone and Farina Elia are doing better in terms of staying injury free than Davenport and the Williams sisters. Remember that JHH is out with a viral infection - which has nothing to do with whether one has a one-hander or two-hander. Mauresmo's had injuries too but nothing like Venus or Serena.
     
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  7. James Brown

    James Brown Semi-Pro

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    jack, you cant compare pro players...they all have different workout routines. were talking average person here who might have time to work out. 1 hander do cause more stress/pain/injuries. its a fact of life that if you use 1 hand to do all the strenuous tennis shots instead of alleviating some of that stress with another hand, youll get more pain. i was forced to go handed because my left wrist swelled up like a grapefruit. i like it, its comfortable and my slice has improved, however my tricep/bicep/elbow doesnt quite feel the same way. i dont work out (not in the greatest shape) and i cant work out with 1 arm/hand for fear of unbalancing my body. so as for where injuries are concerned, 2 handed is better as long as you put even stress on both arms.
     
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  8. ucd_ace

    ucd_ace Semi-Pro

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    I didn't know that Chang could do anything that would constitute as "whaling."
     
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  9. Golden Retriever

    Golden Retriever Hall of Fame

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    Thanks for the advices. I have been following BB's advice and try to hit with a loose shoulder. It is easy for me to do that since I feel comfortable and relaxed with the 1hander to begin with. I have also toned down my serve a notch just to make sure I don't overexert my shoulder. My shoulder is doing fine except for some occasional tightness. I am still practicing my 2hander and if it gets good enough I will use them both.
    BTW, Bungalo Bill, do you use both one and 2handed backhands during a match, or you just do it during practices/coaching?
     
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  10. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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    Lol, funny you ask. I prefer the twohander especially for todays tennis which you tend to hit balls that are are higher in the strike zone, then yesterdays tennis. I prefer the twohanded backhand for service returns, hands down I think it is a much better stroke for that shot. Especially with todays kickers, off speed balls, twists, etc. I use the onehander for practice and demonstration.
     
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  11. Golden Retriever

    Golden Retriever Hall of Fame

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    Thank you. One last question on this subject. Do you think that it would be a good idea to use them both during a match assuming I had equal confidence with both? Maybe 2H for returns and shoulder level balls, 1H for wrist level balls etc, or just go by instinct. Wouldn't it be a nice way to "mix it up"? And again I don't want to forego my 2hander completely just in case I get injured.
     
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