Elbow pain after straight arm forehand

Discussion in 'Health & Fitness' started by isilra, Oct 24, 2012.

  1. isilra

    isilra Rookie

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2012
    Messages:
    160
    I have started practicing straight arm forehand a few weeks ago. Just after i take my swing, i turn my body and take the swing with a bend arm and my arm goes straight with the momentum and i hit the ball. The problem is i feel some pain after doing that, even the day after practice. I feel like my elbow cracks when the arm suddenly goes straight from elbow after swing. I don't know if i could explain it correctly but i'm afraid of developing tennis elbow. Anybody else experience lack of comfort when using straight arm forehand besides me ?
     
    #1
  2. VeeSe

    VeeSe Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2012
    Messages:
    211
    If the double bend forehand is more natural to you, there's really no reason for you to try to hit straight arm forehands. My guess is that you're doing it in a way that puts a lot of stress on your elbow instead of having your arm straighten naturally. If you were doing fine with your forehand before, is there a reason why you are trying to switch to straight arm?
     
    #2
  3. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    36,283
    Location:
    East side of San Francisco Bay
    Try snapping your knee from bent to straight a hundred times a day.
    End of story.
     
    #3
  4. akamc

    akamc New User

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2005
    Messages:
    91
    isilra, you are more likely to develop golfer's elbow.
    LeeD, Federer's and Nadal's elbows seem fine and they straight-arm. I guess it's a matter of not hyper-extending, good timing, and the correct use of the larger muscles (legs and core).
     
    #4
  5. Say Chi Sin Lo

    Say Chi Sin Lo Legend

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2005
    Messages:
    9,186
    What's natural to you, why do you need to have a straight arm forearm?

    Honestly, straight arm forehands should be a natural stroke for the player. Can't really teach it, you either have it or not. You'll end up hurting yourself if you force it.
     
    #5
  6. sixftlion

    sixftlion Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2006
    Messages:
    262
    Location:
    Venice, CA, US
    I think Fed and Rafa perfectly use the elasticity of the bigger muscles (like you say)... the arm is perfectly relaxed and as the movement of the shoulder (after the hip) goes forward, it will stretch the arm (sort of on its own) and the energy transferred effortlessly "throws" the racket into the ball. Hard to describe. But they are not trying to straighten it, it just happens. Timing acquired by practice. While you are learning you may have some discomfort here and there because different muscles working and getting maybe overused. Keep massaging all the biceps, triceps, and forearms, stretch your chest, strengthen back of the shoulder to keep it all balanced. One day you will have that forehand. I've been working on it for a while too, now I have it and no physical issues.
     
    #6
  7. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    36,283
    Location:
    East side of San Francisco Bay
    C'mon guys. READ OP's second sentence, please. He snaps his elbow straight!
    D U H....
    Straight arm forehand are fine, but snapping any body part is not.
     
    #7
  8. Say Chi Sin Lo

    Say Chi Sin Lo Legend

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2005
    Messages:
    9,186
    And if you're snapping stuff, you're doing it wrong.
     
    #8
  9. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    36,283
    Location:
    East side of San Francisco Bay
    I can hit almost a 80 mph flat first serve with my right hand. Unfortunately, I snap my elbow to it's stop, and pain comes within 20 serves. Prolly my technique, might be mechanical, as my right elbow straighens only about 3/4 way.
    So I am forced to play leftie.
     
    #9
  10. TheCheese

    TheCheese Professional

    Joined:
    May 10, 2012
    Messages:
    954
    You're probably not hitting it out in front enough. With a straight arm forehand you hit considerably further out in front.

    If you catch it late, your elbow is going to take a lot of the energy from the impact because you don't have any leverage.

    You need to keep in mind that a straight arm forehand does not mean that you hit with a completely straight arm all the time. Think of it of a different ideal contact point. If you mess up the timing slightly, always adjust the bend in your arm to make it more comfortable. Even Fed does this at times, so should you.
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2012
    #10
  11. isilra

    isilra Rookie

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2012
    Messages:
    160
    Exactly as you describe, i don't force it, it just happens. When the shoulder goes forward, it stretches the arm. But the problem is i feel so much stress on my elbow when it happens. After a time, i start to feel some pain. Maybe it's just because my arm/elbow stamina is not good enough to this movement with an 12.oz+ racquet, i will change to my blx team for a while and see what happens, thank you.
     
    #11
  12. isilra

    isilra Rookie

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2012
    Messages:
    160
    Also i will care where i hit the ball and see how the feel changes when i hit the ball way fronter than i usually do.
     
    #12
  13. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    36,283
    Location:
    East side of San Francisco Bay
    I say, relax your elbow when hitting, and allow your body to find the style that works best for you.
     
    #13
  14. TheCheese

    TheCheese Professional

    Joined:
    May 10, 2012
    Messages:
    954
    Watch some side slow-mo videos of Fed's forehand and note where he's contacting the ball. Try and meet it that far in front.
     
    #14
  15. isilra

    isilra Rookie

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2012
    Messages:
    160
    Today i returned back to my 6.1 blx team and there was no pain at all. I think i'm not fit enough to use an 12+ oz 6.1 95 blx 16x18. I will begin training and gain some weight in a few months and try it again. Thanks for advices guys.
     
    #15
  16. TheCheese

    TheCheese Professional

    Joined:
    May 10, 2012
    Messages:
    954
    It's probably a combination of technique and strength, let's be realistic. A heavier racket is going to highlight the problems in the stroke because more force is going to be put on the arm.
     
    #16
  17. paulorenzo

    paulorenzo Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2008
    Messages:
    1,587
    Location:
    Virginia Beach
    it isn't as simple as saying you either have it or you dont. it's limiting to have that mindset. if one finds the straight arm may suit his or her game better and wants to transition to it from a double bend, then i see nothing wrong with that. if it causes some pain or difficulty, the best thing to do is to learn what's causing it and fixing the problem, instead of reverting to what you know. one can guess, but can't possibly know which method is better unless both are given a proper go.

    it can be taught, and it can be learned. dimitrov went through a pretty noticeable change from double bend to a straight arm not too long ago.

    straight arm forehands don't have to be natural right away. i used a slight double bend semi western (from an even more extreme double bend full western) before consciously trying out the straight arm semi western and eventually strong eastern. it wasn't any more difficult to learn the second mothod than the first. both where difficult at first but produced different benefits after i got the hang of it.

    to the OP, i'm wondering how you're forehand is doing now. have you found which variation you like better? did you go rogue and adopt a berasategui double bend instead? :)
     
    #17
  18. Say Chi Sin Lo

    Say Chi Sin Lo Legend

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2005
    Messages:
    9,186
    ^^^ You've made valid points. What I'm saying is, if it's natural to the individual's body, the learning phase would be far easier and the end result should be far better. Kind of like learning a language. In this case, the body is learning a new language that doesn't seem natural to it.

    It's one thing to put in all the effort in the world, and have it come out great at the end. But it's another thing if you put in the effort, only to have it wreck your arm, and the end result is mediocre at best.

    It's kind of like asking a 1hander to learn the 2hander, and vice versa. Are there benefits to either stroke? I have a 1hander, for a time I had to use the 2hander because I just didn't have the upperbody strength to use a 1hander as a kid. Never had a reliable 2hander, and ended up slicing more than anything. Hit the gym, grew a little, went back to my 1hander and it just clicked.
     
    #18
  19. paulorenzo

    paulorenzo Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2008
    Messages:
    1,587
    Location:
    Virginia Beach
    i definitely agree with your main premise from before. if something is greatly impeding one from executing a certain variation of a stroke, then for sure the person shouldn't stray too far from what makes you comfortable. i guess i was saying it doesn't hurt to see if the grass is greener as long as it doesnt hamper anything, and just because you start with one thing because it feels more natural at first, you don't have to limit yourself to that one thing.

    i was in a situation similar to what you're describing though. this wasn't a case of straight arm vs doublebend (that came after high school), but just a case of forcing one grip style over the other. my coach in high school made me switch from a full western to a continental forehand cold turkey in my senior year, yeah that's about a 170 degree difference. i learned some stuff while holding the racquet like jmac, trying similar spin as my old fh, but it was definitely a case of not the most effective way of the body learning something new. it hindered my game and results showed. a natural/gradual transition would have been better, which is what ended up happening instead (full to strong eastern)

    edit: in retrospect i think that's why the transition from double bend to straight arm was easy for me since it wasn't a huge change. i was already hitting in front with a strong-eastern by the time i wanted to try it. it was just a matter of positioning becoming more loose.
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2013
    #19

Share This Page