Double bend or straight arm forehand?

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by Relinquis, Mar 3, 2013.

?

How do you hit your forehand?

  1. Bent elbow...

    27 vote(s)
    41.5%
  2. Straight arm...

    35 vote(s)
    53.8%
  3. Not sure how I hit / Double handed forehand / Don't play tennis, etc...

    3 vote(s)
    4.6%
  1. Relinquis

    Relinquis Hall of Fame

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    How do you hit?

    Do you hit a double bend (i.e. elbow bent) or straight arm forehand (when swinging forward)? Have you been taught this, or did it just happen this way?

    Coaches, do you teach a particular style?

    Examples*:

    Bent Elbow:
    Murray...
    [​IMG]

    Straight Arm:
    Verdasco...
    [​IMG]


    * Let me know if these photos are too big.
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2013
    #1
  2. KayFactor

    KayFactor Rookie

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    The double bend is more popular because the straight-arm forehand requires more effort on footwork.
     
    #2
  3. Fuji

    Fuji Legend

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    Definitely bent elbow. If I hit straight arm, it puts a little bit too much torque on my outer elbow which is uncomfortable and my contact point feels too far away. I'm sure I could adjust if I had to, but I much prefer the way that the DB feels. :)

    No coach I've worked with has specifically said "oh your elbow is/isn't bent, change that." I think it's just a natural thing.

    -Fuji
     
    #3
  4. Relinquis

    Relinquis Hall of Fame

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    Interesting responses so far...
    I hit straight arm, always have...
    Feels better when i hit through the ball, like i can really let loose...

    I've tried the double bend when messing around to see what it feels like. Didn't feel natural to me, obviously, but can see how a lot of people play that way.
     
    #4
  5. TennisA

    TennisA Rookie

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    Bent elbow forehand. I feel like I can control it a lot more than a straight arm, although on occasion I use it. I had my first private lesson after around 5 or so years of playing, so I'd say it developed pretty naturally, or unnaturally depending on how you see it.
     
    #5
  6. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

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    Both
    ......
     
    #6
  7. TheCheese

    TheCheese Professional

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    Both, depends how good my footwork is. Straight if I'm set up well.
     
    #7
  8. Greg G

    Greg G Professional

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    In my mind I hit it straight arm. On video, it's mostly slightly bent :)
     
    #8
  9. TheLambsheadrep

    TheLambsheadrep Professional

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    +1

    After recording my strokes I realized that I was hitting straight arm forehands, I never knew or felt a difference before seeing it on camera. But as like many people say about Fed and Nadal, they don't always hit straight arm. The normally straight arm to bent arm forehand happens mainly when you're out of position or when swing timing is bad. My first correlation of this was seeing the distance to contact. Watching myself hit, I would say 8 or 9 out of 10 of my forehands were hit with a straight arm (at least 90% straight), and the ones that were bent arm forehands were because I was too close to the ball (and had to naturally bend my arm to make contact closer to my body). They were caused by being out of position and/or bad swing timing, so it's all one big circle of cause and effect, mainly determined by how far you naturally make contact from your body.
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2013
    #9
  10. widmerpool

    widmerpool Rookie

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    Mine is bent. My 8 y/o son is straighter which is a good thing. Clearly the best FHs hit with a straight arm.
     
    #10
  11. DakotaM

    DakotaM New User

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    I wouldn't go as far as to say that the best use only straight. I think it's a preference thing.

    I use a double bend because I feel like I have more control.
     
    #11
  12. Byakuya

    Byakuya Rookie

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    straight arm obviously would yield a more powerful shot than a double bend. It's just physics. That said, people can't be in perfect position for a straight forehand all the time :-?
     
    #12
  13. Easy Rider

    Easy Rider Rookie

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    Ive played with bent elbow ... Switched to straight when got info on how to teach it ... First, I tried, to see whats that all about ... From that point on = straight arm ALWAYS !!!

    Unfortunately, you cant implement that FH on every player
     
    #13
  14. enishi1357

    enishi1357 Rookie

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    surprise to see so many can hit straight; I thought I was the few.
     
    #14
  15. magnut

    magnut Hall of Fame

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    Both....depends what i am trying to do with the ball.
     
    #15
  16. ReggieHurley

    ReggieHurley New User

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    in my head it is straight, but on video it is bent.
     
    #16
  17. cjs

    cjs Semi-Pro

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    I rarely see straight arm at my local club, and the club has some very good players.

    People posting on TW Tips are probably more concerned with technique than the average Joe. Hence the poll results.
     
    #17
  18. aimr75

    aimr75 Hall of Fame

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    i hit straight arm.. have done so before really thinking at all about technique (i.e. before joining this forum), so not a conscious thing. I didnt even know what the difference was until i joined this forum :)
     
    #18
  19. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    If a straight-arm technique works well for a student, I will not say anything. However, if it appears that the student has significant control issues (or other problems) with a wandering elbow or a straight-arm approach, I will definitely suggest a double-bend approach. Tennis stroke mechanics are rarely "natural".

    Surprised that such a large % of posters claim to employ a straight-arm technique. Other that Federer, Nadal and Verdasco, not that many top pros come to mind who use a straight arm for most of their FHs. The double-bend, still appears to be the de facto standard for the pro tour (for both the ATP and the WTA).
     
    #19
  20. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    If you wonder and gotta ask, use double bend.
    If your forehand is already advanced, use what you want.
     
    #20
  21. moonballs

    moonballs Hall of Fame

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    I don't want to be all the way straight but my arm is straighter than before after I have made a habit of doing shadow swings. I suspect the straight arm hitting would put more stress on the wrist as you take the elbo joint out of the equation.
     
    #21
  22. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    Strongly prefer double bend and teach that with the straight arm version as just one of the many adjustments available to a player with a good double bend!
     
    #22
  23. dominikk1985

    dominikk1985 Legend

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    I prefer DB too but is that so? It is often said "use both depending on the situation" but IMO almost alll DB pros almost never hit straight no matter what the situation is.

    SA pros will very rarely hit with a bent arm (more often than the double benders hit straight) to adjust if they are jammed but even with them they probably hit 80+% with a straight arm.

    I think it is a nice idea to use both depending on the situation but in reality most players will stick with one or the other most of the time, probably because they are so used to the angles they use (if you change the elbow angle usually other angles will change so it is not that easy to switch on the fly).
     
    #23
  24. Lance L

    Lance L Rookie

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    This is my first year back into tennis after a 20 yr hiatus. The point is that I've started from scratch on almost everything and built up from there.

    I've adopted a straight arm forehand. After watching slow motion of Federer I tried it and really liked it. Don't know why, but I can get more consistent power and placement. I also find it places less strain on my elbow. When I revert to my old forehand for a while, with the bent elbow, I can feel it.

    The hitting spot is way out in front, which seems odd at first, now I love it, can get more topspin.

    There are probably a lot of wrong ways to to it, but no one right answer. Experiment and see what works best for you.
     
    #24
  25. Lance L

    Lance L Rookie

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    I realized something else. I hit a fair number of slice forehands, and those are most certainly not straight arm. My 1hbh is usually straight armed as well, for top and slice.
     
    #25
  26. GuyClinch

    GuyClinch Hall of Fame

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    Outside of a few teaching pros haven't seen any straight arm forehands in the wild. It's double bend for me - easier to hit - easier to learn - and I think easier for very tall guys..
     
    #26
  27. GuyClinch

    GuyClinch Hall of Fame

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    Straight arm = longer lever - so you might think more power. However if you look at the throwing motion the arm is bent.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jZKvJY6gDfg

    If straight arm was so superior for power - pitchers would windmill the ball in. They do not - so I do not believe straight arm is a power advantage.

    You can think of the forehand as a throw - some might huge forehands are hit with bent arm.. Gonzalez has a massive forehand.. Might not be the best player on the tour but might have the biggest forehand. Novak's forehand is pretty awesome too..

    It should be noted - that we are talking only a few degrees difference at contact - even 'double bend' guys often straighten out near contact.. Same with a pitcher the arm extends..then pronates.
     
    #27
  28. Easy Rider

    Easy Rider Rookie

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    baseball pitching has nothing to do with straight arm FH
     
    #28
  29. Supertegwyn

    Supertegwyn Hall of Fame

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    It appears as though I use both:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2014
    #29
  30. onehandbh

    onehandbh Hall of Fame

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    You are hitting with a bent arm in both photos.
     
    #30
  31. Lance L

    Lance L Rookie

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    I was just playing with different grips I think the bent arm is not really possible past the Eastern Grip. With my first knuckle past the third bevel I can't hit straight armed even if I wanted to, the hitting location is too far out if front/high to work.

    With my straight-armed forehand my first knuckle ends up on 3 or between 2 and 3, in there.
     
    #31
  32. The forehand

    The forehand Rookie

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    My coached drilled the footwork and the straight arm forehand into me and I believe it is very efficient
     
    #32
  33. Easy Rider

    Easy Rider Rookie

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    It is possible with a knuckle on 3, past that point it is very inefficient unless you wanna hit loopy spins all day long
     
    #33
  34. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    I use double bend and think it is very easy to use the straight arm when useful. Did it for awhile without even realizing it and consider the straight arm as a subset of my double bend options. I think it is much tougher for straight arm Fh users to go to DB though.
     
    #34
  35. enishi1357

    enishi1357 Rookie

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    delete 12 characters
     
    #35
  36. Supertegwyn

    Supertegwyn Hall of Fame

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    Oh righto then.
     
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  37. oble

    oble Semi-Pro

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    Straight arm unless I jam myself with bad footwork or caught off guard by a weird bouncing ball or body serve.
     
    #37
  38. cjs

    cjs Semi-Pro

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    I suspect a lot of people who voted in the poll believe they hit straight arm when in fact they do not.
     
    #38
  39. Lance L

    Lance L Rookie

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    You may be right. When I shadow swing and "design" my swing it is one thing, but how to I actually know what I'm doing when I play unless I have video? Then again, many of us might be surprised to see what we are actually doing in all the different aspects of the game.

    Do you have evidence that players misrepresent this, or are you guessing?
     
    #39
  40. EWoerner

    EWoerner New User

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    I'm not 100% sure, but reviewing my video I appear to hit bent more than straight, but it definitely feels straight when I am out there hitting.
     
    #40
  41. aimr75

    aimr75 Hall of Fame

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    Having seen my strokes on video, i believe i do. Not that it ultimately matters.. whatever works. If i could hit a double bend FH better than my current stroke, id take it. But whenever i try a double bend, i end up altering my grip to something a bit more extreme and it screws me up
     
    #41
  42. Spanglish72

    Spanglish72 New User

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    Straight arm forehand = eastern or extreme-eastern grip.

    Bent arm forehand = western or semi-western grip.
     
    #42
  43. Chezbeeno

    Chezbeeno Semi-Pro

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    I think my average forehand is a bent-elbow one, but not infrequently I'll straighten out my arm when I'm really trying to drive through the ball and step into it.
     
    #43
  44. bakjunghwan

    bakjunghwan New User

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    I grew up playing with a bent-arm forehand until I saw a guy in the men's opens with the hugest straight forehand I've ever witnessed; since then, did some research on it and haven't looked back!
     
    #44

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