f**d up my forehand with the tucked elbow

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by georgeslo, Aug 7, 2012.

  1. georgeslo

    georgeslo New User

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    Hi:

    Hope you can provide me with some advice concerning my issue.

    Basically, after watching too much instructional videos, to try to add a little something to my otherwise solid forehand, i completely messed up my forehand.

    My goal was to to improve racket head speed. One of the videos (coach kyrill on youtube) suggested tucking in the elbow (basically "glueing it" to my torso) to get the feel of the "snap" on the forehand. Later you of course release your elbow.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6TrKHZzetpc


    Practiced it, and practiced it some more and stuck with it for a while. But now what's happening is that even in normal points i keep the elbow very close to my body and the racket head drop is insane. At the point of contact my 12 o clock racket head point is almost aiming at the ground, resulting in a very extreme low to high swingpath. It almost feels like my wrist stays bent for too long.

    I will at least try to post a picture of my contact point to get a better understanding of what i'm talking about.
     
    #1
  2. Funbun

    Funbun Professional

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    You get more racquet head speed by rotating your body faster. Gluing your elbow to your body is merely a workaround solution. In reality, it gets you less power.

    When you say "my wrist stays bent for too long", what do you mean? It's normal to have a wide variety of degrees of either flexion or extension on the takeback. It really depends on your grip and swing style.

    [​IMG]

    And no, don't care about where your racquet tip is. That's normal.
     
    #2
  3. arche3

    arche3 Banned

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    Practice the drop feed without tucked elbow? This is very funny :)
    Sorry it happened to you though.
     
    #3
  4. Orion3

    Orion3 Semi-Pro

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    A couple of months back, I played someone with a very similar forehand. Very fast and kicked off the ground like a mule.

    Stikes me as you need great timing to pull it off, but if you do...

    If your racquet face is facing the ground at impact, something is wrong. It needs to facing the net, otherwise it will only ever go into the ground. Close to parallel with a low to high swing path will add topspin.

    Not sure if I'm reading your description right, but if I am, it sounds like you are either pronating your wrist too early or else you are hitting too far in front of your body. If it is the latter, you will also have problems hitting any forehand other than cross court or straight.

    The drill itself is just that...a drill. Just to get you to feel the racquet snapping through. Sounds like you have done it soo much that you've incorporated the whole move into your swing - and forgot it was only designed to help you 'feel'.

    Far be it from me to say if the drill is a good or bad one. What I would say is that taken in isolation, it could lead to a very armsy swing. You still need to rotate your core and use your legs. He does - but he doesn't say it.
     
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  5. georgeslo

    georgeslo New User

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    @arche: i don't find it one bit amusing :-?

    @others

    thanks for the pics. I almost feel like i have an issue with "ulnar deviation", so im basically creating not an "L" between my body and my racket, but almost a "W".

    Btw, i'm using a semi-western on my forehand.

    My racket face is not facing the ground at time of impact though, my 10-12 o'clock position of the grommet however is.

    I really need to post a pic.

    Yes my forehand does provide massive spin, but poor depth and very little left to right control.
     
    #5
  6. arche3

    arche3 Banned

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    So does it essentially look like your a penguin? :D

    Again I feel for you. But now i can't get the image of a penguin playing tennis out of my head.
     
    #6
  7. georgeslo

    georgeslo New User

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    PENGUIN STYLE :)

    [​IMG]
     
    #7
  8. georgeslo

    georgeslo New User

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    #8
  9. syke

    syke Professional

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    There are some that hit great with it, but it still looks awkward to me. The swing looks too contrived... I don't fancy having a bent elbow at contact.

    Try getting the feel of having your arm thrown forward and around as you hit thru the ball... If you look closely how Nadal hits his FH, his arm barely dictate the movement and direction of the swing. His arm looks as though it's limp as it's flung around his body.
     
    #9
  10. Jay_The_Nomad

    Jay_The_Nomad Professional

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    Is that your regular forehand? Looks to me you're hitting late. Can you try attacking the ball further out in front of you? If you do so you will find an increase in your depth and power, pace and spin.

    Right now it looks like the ball skidded and you got jammed.

    If your contact point is further out in front of you, you will not hit with your arms tucked in. Biomechanically impossible.
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2012
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  11. Orion3

    Orion3 Semi-Pro

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    Just watched both videos.

    If you are trying to copy what the coach was doing there is one significant difference between what he does and what you do...weight transfer.

    Your weight seems to stay on the back foot. You have a slight jump and move the front foot but the weight seems to stay exactly where it was from start to finish. My guess is that the racquet head speed is being transferred into spin and not into pace - high spinning and short.
     
    #11
  12. Jay_The_Nomad

    Jay_The_Nomad Professional

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    Delete cc. FCC.
     
    #12
  13. georgeslo

    georgeslo New User

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    Yes, tat's how i regularly hit unfortunately.

    So ok, weight transfer forward and hiting more in front of me (earlier).

    But with the same swingpath? Or will it change as a result of the above?

    Those are the first two things i'll try.
     
    #13
  14. Jay_The_Nomad

    Jay_The_Nomad Professional

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    I don't think the swing path should change. Even with a contact point further out, you should still have the option of the vicious upward brush or the flat drive swing path.
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2012
    #14
  15. Power Player

    Power Player Talk Tennis Guru

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    You are arming the ball. The clue is in your picture. Your offhand is not pulling across your body because it should already be across on contact. So you are late, arming the ball and not getting your weight back into the court. All things most of us have dealt with and still deal with at times.

    I'd forget about your right arm and focus on the footwork and weight transfer. The right hand is the least important part of what you should fix IMO.
     
    #15
  16. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    I'm not sure what you mean by "tucked elbow." Keeping your elbow in and forward during your unit turn back and forth, to contact, is one of several elements of a modern forehand. If the other elements are missing, then you can't measure how well this element, in isolation, is working for you.

    The modern forehand is generated with upper body rotation and suppination/pronation of the arm, not independent arm movement. The young girl in this video has excellent execution of what I mean by keeping the elbow in and forward, especially the drill she does at about :22 seconds, and the shadow swings she does at 4:18.

    You would do well to emulate her swing. It's a very simple swing. Hope this helps.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mbwyLefN9B4&feature=BFa&list=ULMIDCyV3x4-c&t
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2012
    #16
  17. Power Player

    Power Player Talk Tennis Guru

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    I like that forehand a lot. It is real easy to control a swing like that.
     
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  18. corbind

    corbind Professional

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    #18
  19. toly

    toly Hall of Fame

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    I use Kyril technique FH a lot especially when I’m late.

    You should clearly understand what every part of your body has to do.

    To create power (translational ball’s speed) Kyril applys:
    1. Body rotation - contributes around 20% of power.
    2. Internal shoulder rotation - 40%.
    3. Wrist snap - 40%. In case of SW grip that would be wrist deviation from wrist radial to wrist ulnar.

    To create topspin Kyril utilizes forearm pronation.

    The main idea is that we must present (around impact) the racquet’s long axis in horizontal orientation. Otherwise, we practically cannot use the above steps 1, 2, and 3 effectively and forearm pronation too.

    The picture below demonstrates wrong and right racquet orientation around impact.

    [​IMG]

    Never jump if you get low ball, but bend your knees, see please famous Radwanska squat.
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2012
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  20. Chas Tennis

    Chas Tennis Hall of Fame

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    Videos of elbows tucked in for representative pro forehands?

    Videos such as this show the elbow position and how close it is to the body for representative forehands.

    Federer forehand
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rs9sJryQg0M&feature=plcp

    Could someone find videos of better pro forehands not just an incidental still?

    I believe that Tsonga has a more tucked in elbow on average.

    We have been discussing the same 'elbow tucked in' issue on

    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=434524&page=2

    See reply #46 and earlier ones by Limpinhitter.

    You could not pay me to hit a ball with the elbow angle shown by the OP, Reply #7. I would be worried about Golfer's Elbow injury. I'm not qualified to know how injuries are caused.
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2012
    #20
  21. georgeslo

    georgeslo New User

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    thanks for all your inputs. i do like te video where te girl is practinig the body rotation and swingpath.

    i do however have a couple of additional questions as there seem to be some contradiction in your replies.

    aside from the weight transfer forward and body rotation is the head drop on my forehand something that should worry me?

    if you look at the video of my forehand that i posted above, you'll see that i do raise the racket head paralel to the ground but after the impact . so is it just a question of my "wrist snap" happening too late?

    and yes i do intentionally let the ball drop low so i can "sweep" it, but that the only obvious contact point using my swingpath. if i get the ball chest high, it usually all over the place.
     
    #21
  22. georgeslo

    georgeslo New User

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    i also have a reccuring problem of being able to hit dyl forehands, whereas cross court is usually all spin no pace and short.
     
    #22
  23. Chas Tennis

    Chas Tennis Hall of Fame

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    Last edited: Aug 7, 2012
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  24. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    I like her swing, by that slalom drill on the doubles line is crazy imo. Teaching
    her to swing while off balance and reaching???then recover step out side??
    What is that?
    I don't like it.
     
    #24
  25. toly

    toly Hall of Fame

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    Keeping, around impact, the racquet’s long axis in horizontal orientation is an absolutely necessary prerequisite for successful FH. There is no pro in the world who hits FH with vertical orientation!!! All of them always try to hit rising or horizontal ball.
     
    #25
  26. toly

    toly Hall of Fame

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    There are a lot of videos of Igor Andreev and Bruguera Berasategui with more tucked in elbow. :)
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2012
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  27. Orion3

    Orion3 Semi-Pro

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    Berasategui also hit with an extreme grip. Any ball close to him would've forced him to hit that way.
     
    #27
  28. georgeslo

    georgeslo New User

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    After watching the video with the resistance band training, i can clearly see that beside the wieght transfer forward and the body rotation my problem is, that the angle between my racket and my forearm is not nearly similar to the one in the video (perpendicular). if i understrand correctly, the goal is to keep the angle more or less perpendicular througout the stroke, whereas my wrist/angle is all over the place.
     
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  29. Chas Tennis

    Chas Tennis Hall of Fame

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    You need a video of the stroke that you are after.

    As you observed, a considerable forearm-racket angle seems important. This angle seems to be a consistent feature of high level forehands as can be seen in videos or by using your DVR for stop action.

    Have you found a single video of a pro or high level player who hits with the technique that you wish to achieve as you now best understand it?

    This series of stroke analyses by Tennisoxygen has an excellent selection of top pro strokes with detailed analyses. It saves a lot of time to look first for stroke characteristics here -
    http://www.youtube.com/user/xstf/videos?view=0
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2012
    #29
  30. Chas Tennis

    Chas Tennis Hall of Fame

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    I searched for injuries on these players to see if something would show up. There was no info for Berasategui. Andreev had a average looking series of injuries, nothing special on arm. Tsonga has a long series of injuries but none were there in outstanding high incidence.

    This site has an injury list for players and might be useful for alerting players to injury issues and how they relate to stroke technique.

    http://www.matchstat.com/PlayerInjuries/1162
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2012
    #30
  31. rkelley

    rkelley Hall of Fame

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    From your post you understand that the point of the tucked elbow was an instructional technique. A lot of people swing only with their arm and I believe he was trying to show how to whip the racquet and use the legs and core to generate the power. The video was not actually advocating that you hit a real forehand with a tucked elbow.

    In this picture you elbow is tucked to your side. You need to get it out more in front. Also it appears that you're using a very Western grip. Is that right? If so you might want to consider backing off on that just a bit if the goal is to get more pop on the ball.
     
    #31
  32. Chas Tennis

    Chas Tennis Hall of Fame

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    Learning drill only? That is OK. Maybe its OK as a stroke too (?) but I would have to see some video of successful strokes at the high level and understand better why it is not too stressful.

    The OP has trained his muscle memory.

    In addition, beyond this thread there are some players using this questionable tucked elbow stroke technique.

    The hardest hitting singles player on my USTA team usually hits forehands with his elbow so tucked in that I can't tell if it is touching, little or no spacing. In one match this year, he even played an opponent who hit all forehands with the elbow touching. In both cases, the strokes looked very stressful, I believe especially to the elbow at the inner side where golfer's elbow injuries occur.
     
    #32
  33. georgeslo

    georgeslo New User

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    of course ot was pnly meant as a drill and that's exactly what i did. but now from the drill i adopted an extremely low to high swingpath, which also prevents me from going forward( steping into the ball) as it seems forced and unnatural. i am even considering going with something similar to the resistance band, just to help me keep the perpendicular angle between my forearm and my racket.

    i will try to make a video of my forehand stroke from the side so you'll be able to seey swingpath. in the meantime i already went to the wall and practiced more body rotation and a more straight swingpath. clip to follow.
     
    #33
  34. georgeslo

    georgeslo New User

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    @rkelley

    thats the thing. actually i'm not using western at all. it's a semi western, however i twist my wrist to such extent, that you can almost see the entire top of my hand. but the base of my knuckles are on te bevels which corespond to semi-western grip.
     
    #34
  35. soyelmocano

    soyelmocano Rookie

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    I came here to say to hit more out in front of you as well.

    One thing I usually show to someone I am trying to help is to take off my shirt (no, that is not what I am showing) or use a towel that is rolled up. now, do a slow forehand swing. notice how the towel is laid back and magically straightens out to parallel to the net out in front of your body? THAT is where you want to make contact. The point where the racquet naturally comes through. To further show this, I will sometimes hit some balls only using my thumb and two middle fingers to lightly hold the racquet. I just let it flop around. However, at the point of contact, it will be solid and square.
    Even if your elbow starts tucked, it will have to separate from your body to extend out in front for contact.
     
    #35
  36. rkelley

    rkelley Hall of Fame

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    Wow. I didn't realize about the grip. It looks so Western from the picture. And you're sure you're not re-gripping, right?

    Can you shadow swing the stroke you actually want? If not, that's the place to start. Use a mirror so you can see what you're doing. After you can shadow swing the correct motion again, then it's probably time to go the wall with the big, foamy yellow practice balls, slow everything way down, and get it grooved with a ball coming at you. Video yourself so you can see exactly what you're doing. The what you think you're doing and what you're actually doing can be so divergent. Work up to real tennis balls, then go back to the court. You might have to go back and forth on this multiple times to get fixed, but you'll know your own strokes better when you're done.
     
    #36
  37. georgeslo

    georgeslo New User

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    YESSS!!!!

    Progress at last. Based on your question i tried to shadow swing my wanted stroke....and guess what? Couldn't do it.

    It made me so pissed of, i took my restistance band (from my after surgery therapy) tied it under my elbow and tied it to the throat of my racket, so to create a perpendicular angle between racket and forearm. and then went to the wall ( the same method the coach uses in the video on the first page).

    It felt wery ackward at first but then i yust loosened my arm and swung away.....i felt like a dork, but when i checked the video of my swings they were incredible (through the ball, and the windshield wiper motion after contact....).

    i even tried it on the court with a couple of balls fed to me. the shots were nice and deep and all over a foot over the net.

    But mind you, I did pay extra attention to the weight transfer forward and body rotation.

    I guess i'll stick with the band for a while until the stroke feels more natural, then i'll go on without it.

    it was already dark, so the video quality is bad, but i will make a clip without the band to compare, before and after.
     
    #37
  38. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    OK! When I responded to your OP I didn't see that you had also posted a video of your forehand. There are two primary defects in your swing: (1) the flying elbow in your backswing, and (2) insufficient upper body rotation before contact. There are other smaller issues, but, these two are killing you.

    The swing of a modern forehand is created by unit turn (ie: upper body rotation back and forth), and suppination/pronation of the arm. There is virtually no independent swing of the arm from the shoulder, only rotation of the arm from the shoulder and elbow.

    On your unit turn back, keep your left hand on the throat of the racquet, keep your racuqet head pointing straight up, and keep your elbow in and forward and your wrist laid back. At the end of your unit turn, your chest should have turned at least to 3 O'Clock, or more. So far, you haven't moved your arm at all. When you begin your forward swing, release your left hand and rotate your hips. As you do, let your racquet head fall back (suppination). The rotation of your hips also pulls your shoulders which pulls your arm and racquet through contact. Your forward swing is lead by the elbow and butt cap. At contact, your chest should be leading your arm and racquet. At the finish, your chest should be facing 9 O'Clock and your racquet head should be down near your left hip. However, YOU ARE NOT TURNING YOUR UPPER BODY FAR ENOUGH BEFORE CONTACT, AND YOU ARE NOT MAKING CONTACT FAR ENOUGH OUT FRONT, because you are trying to swing forward with your arm rather than by turning your upper body and pronating your arm creating a WW finish. As a result, you haven't cleared your upper body out of the way and your swing is getting jammed.
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2012
    #38

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