Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by Pet, Aug 19, 2010.
Yes, all time the same question but is important...
After briefly picking up a racket I fail to see how it is at all possible to generate any sort of racket head speed without using the wrist. And it would be impossible to hit the ball in my opinion if you were using a semi-western or western grip without using your wrist...
No not really lock it, but lay it back during forward swing just let is naturally come forward after contact. No snapping, rolling or anything like that.
Watch the pros, all of them snap the wrist forward right when making contact. This is how they generate such ridiculous pace while looking so smooth. Little snap through the ball is good but never lock your wrist.
not so certain about this statement. the flex which happens with the LOOSE wrist is a natural component of a fundamental forehand. during the loop, the loose wrist will naturally trail behind in a laid back position especially as the arm begins its forward momentum toward the ball. that quick movement of the arm forward with place the loose wrist in a laid back position exposing the buttcap of the racquet to the ball. as the racquet makes its way to the contact point, the wrist will automatically snap forward through the stroke.
Sorry no wrist snapping, it's may look like it but in reality it isn't. Can't explain it any better than this:
What has helped me out a lot is to make sure that the tip of the racquet is pointing up while I follow through on contact. A lot of people think they need to close the racquet face and do that so the blade is facing the net. This is bad.
You want the racquet face facing the net after contact and you can get the feel for this by making sure the tip of the racquet is facing the sky.
Not lock, just lay it back and then forget about it. You don't need to snap it forward or do anything else with it assuming you're hitting a topspin windshield wiper type shot.
Extremely misleading. I don't know if you understand the significance of this, but this kind of advices leads to many people injuring themselves.
OP, no lock... some people, when describing the "laid back" position, goes the wrong way with words and use "lock". Basically you don't consciously try to hold the wrist in that position during your swing.
you can definitely hit with a locked wrist and use you're body weight to create pace. to me this would be a 'pushing' the ball.
in general though the wrist usually starts in a laid back position which breaks at contact in order to create additional spin on the ball. although I say 'break' it's still a fluid movement
After you complete your backswing and start your forward swing, your wrist should lay back (go into the "Slot" position), and hit through the ball going low to high while keeping the wrist layed back until a little after contact where the wrist releases, not snaps forward. The amount the wrist releases varies from person to person.
Wrist releasing is when your wrist goes from being layed back to neutral/normal. Your wrist releases naturally as a result of your arm swinging fast and smoothly using your whole body through the kinetic chain. So basically, just focus on using your whole body into the swing and find the right timing while making sure your wrist is layed back at contact. After a while (a long while) all this should be done brainlessly .
Laying back the wrist is important in improving modern forehands to the next level.
Jensen's "Ultimate Tennis" vids say that the wrist should stay more or less locked on forehand and that spin is created by racquet angle and upward motion with the swing and the legs rather than wrist-snap.
^ i think using the word locking the wrist could be dangerous as it might promote stiffness in the arm.. you want to be loose and relaxed, that inevitably causes the wrist to lay back which can be seen in pro swings
I have archived the better consistency results using a 90º lock wrist in important matches.
I'm not saying to roll the wrist or flip it completely in one direction, it is a small movement that is not really seen in anything except the resulting shot. My coaches are firm in stating a small wrist snap is needed to generate a heavy ball with lots of pace. It is literally a tiny flick that when timed right will go right through the ball.
I think it's only smart to think of locking the wrist in relation to a forehand when hitting a volley or perhaps a compact slice forehand that's more of a chop than a complete stroke. Leave the wrist passive through the forehand so that the racquet is free to swing through the contact zone - no steering or deliberate attempt to snap the wrist is necessary.
Definitely not. Use your wrist, absolutely.
Using the wrist, like in a windshield wiper motion, or "radial deviation" as I think they also call it, while also doing a full swing (not just using your wrist by itself, disregarding everything else), is the key to hitting a great forehand. Anyone who tells you different is an ignorant/bad player and/or does it himself without knowing it.
How else do you think you will move the racket so fast? Hitting this way, using your wrist, is like whipping the ball, you put more spin on it.
Attempting to hit with your wrist "locked or laid back all the way", is ridiculous.
The guy I play with, he's played in future tournaments. Hasn't won any of course, but he's had some close matches with good players. He went to a tennis academy in El Salvador in 2008 and the trainers there all taught and told him to use the wrist like that. They even had specific drills in which they stood close/to the side of a player and tossed balls in front of them one after the other so they could learn to use their wrist fast like that.
This guy also knows Rafael Arevalo very well, he's practiced and hit with him and everything, and he also told him the same thing about the wrist.
But don't take my word for it. Go and try it yourself. Hit some forehands with your wrist "laid back", and otherwise not actively using it like most here will tell you to, and then hit some forehands trying to use your wrist. You'll see the difference.
Heck, you can even use it on the backhand (1 handed, don't know about 2h), and that's what I'm doing now.
The only problem is if you're not strong enough to use the wrist. You could get hurt if you swing too heavy a racket for you, or you will get tired fast.
But of course, the only time you would lay back the wrist, or something like that, would be, as other have said, in a volley or something. And even then you can't "lock it" completely because it has to be flexible.
"It's all in the wrist."
Yes, you are correct!
Lock is too rigid a term. But the wrist is kep relatively "locked" as the important motion coming out of the pull of the butt cap into the hitting zone is pronation (generated at the shoulder) of the forearm.
But the wrist is kept in about a 90 degree "L" throughout the forehand, just as is shown in this backhand video:
Roger Federer's topspin backhand 360 degree breakdown 2.0 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SNdZtkKPFhA&feature=digest
Check out the similarity in this high speed footage of Roger's forehand: Roger Federer: Another Forehand Analysis http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ydMHJGpypQE&feature=related
Pat Dougherty, the Bolletieri "Serve Doctor", even has a promotional video advertising his "wrist assist" to keep the wrist from flopping over, maintaining "the little L":
Forehand Leverage, Contact Zone and Alignment to the Ball http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SZqhHdmqSPQ
And pronation of the forearm, not a wrist snap, is also the predominate motion that you can see in the windshield wiper forehand: Tennis Forehand - Windshield Wiper Forehand in High Definition http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FtuTHsFlfGg
For some reason I could not get this to play. Perhaps others will also find it easier to play on the YouTube version of Will Hamilton's FYB's video: Tennis Forehand - Tennis Lessons - Wrist at Contact on Your Forehand http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2gZ6RIkQ9IU
But I have to agree with your assessment that you "Can't explain it any better than this".
Cross-Court you are giving slightly off advice. Simply watching the FYB link shows that the wrist is indeed laid back, but after contact is when what you are talking about is applied.
I personally use a lot of wrist and hit with a lot of spin, but my racquet is laid back at contact. This insures that I am hitting clean shots. It is not laid back the entire takeback and I definitley use it after contact too.
The shot with the most wrist in it is the reverse forehand. That can be a lot of wrist snap, but you still need that clean contact with the ball before that can happen.
Originally Posted by USERNAME View Post
Watch the pros, all of them snap the wrist forward right when making contact. This is how they generate such ridiculous pace while looking so smooth. Little snap through the ball is good but never lock your wrist.
You wouldn't notice because the swing looks exactly the same whether you use your wrist or not. The wrist looks laid back or locked at contact either way.
You can obviously hit a forehand without pronating the wrist, I'm not saying that you can't, but if you pronate and use your wrist you create a lot more racket head speed, spin, and whip, instead of just moving your whole arm straight; you're not gonna get an aggressive upward swing nor move the racket as fast like that.
Just because Will makes a fancy video doesn't mean it's carved in stone or that he's right.
I should say though, that with high balls it's different, you don't use your wrist that much with a high ball as opposed to with anything chest-high and lower.
Still not convinced? Read this:
Quoted: "He hits many times with lots of wrist action, and contact point far in front, a unique technique in the tour". Was this taught or just your personal hitting style?
Federer: It’s my personal hitting style; this is how my game evolved. There is no secret behind it. I always had a fast wrist, which helps.
Yes, but I guess the issue is really what is the best approach for the average club player.
Obviously, if you keep everything loose and swing your arm laterally from side to side, you will see that your wrist lays back & then recovers. So, basically, on the transition from the backswing to the swing to contact, a loose wrist will naturally lag & lay back.
So long as the arm continues to accelerate to, and through contact, the wrist will continue to lag the arm and remain laid back unless you deliberately propel it forward. Only when the arm decelerates will the wrist and hand 'catch up' with the arm and overtake.
So, the key to this is acceleration. What I see with a lot of lower level club players is that they actually decelerate into the ball. This happens particularly when players focus on everything up until the ball and forget the importance of the follow through.
To get strokes grooved, forehand and backhand, it's not a bad idea to ensure that you're actually accelerating through contact. In other words, start the swing to contact slowly and really feel the acceleration through the ball.
I would only change one word in this post which I think is very good. I would say instead of "......automatically snap forward through the stroke" to automatically "release" forward through the stroke. Small difference to most but I just don't care for the "snap" concept.
Well it could be just a semantic thing right that leads to confusion.. some people say wrist when they actually mean forearm. I can imagine the forearm having some action of his own to create some more whip. I used to play a lot a competitive tabletennis in the past, and when you play a forehand topspin loop, there's much more seperate action from the forearm compared to a tennis ts forehand shot. That's what I also sort of incorparate in my tennis forehand technique especially when i try to create short angles. And in TT you even can add some seperate wrist action to produce more spin/power, cause the ball has almost no mass, very unlike a fuzzy yellow ball. IMHO the tennis mass/weight of an incoming tennis ball when struck at you from the other side of the court, is way too much to control and be matched by the wrist, a relatively weak joint that also has way less leverage to create any signicant power/rotation since being so close the hand/racquet. It's just totally overpowered by the incoming tennis ball when struck with some pace. Add to that that you give up control/stability and the risk of injury and it just doesn't seem a good idea to use the wrist actively when hitting forehands. With a serve it's different, because the forces on the joint are way less (many multiple times), there's no opposite movement of the ball. In fact there's hardly any movement.
Maybe with a guy like Fed and a limited amount of other highly skilled players it's different. They may have such impeccable coordination and wrist strenght that they actually can add something by seperate wrist action and get away with it. I wouldn't recommend it to any intermediate or even advaced player though, and I think what's stated above is also the reason why Will doesn't in his FYB video's.
The wrist and forearm are doing alot of complicated things during a pro level swing. Pros do use their wrist muscles in the swing, IMHO.
However for a rec player I think its best to think about relaxing the wrist after you have managed to lay it back before the forward swing rather then 'locking" it.
I think a slightly more advanced tip that I have heard is to ulnuar deviate before the forward swing this kind of sets up the pronation and radial deviation that will happen as you swing forward.
Look at Fed's forehand right before he swings forward - about 12 seconds. The racquet actually turns back a bit and points behind his body.. That's what I am talking about..
What some of you guys still do not understand is that while you can use a lot of wrist on your stroke, you need it laid back on impact for that split second. Even Federer's is if you watch slo mo of him. It's pretty obvious stuff. Will's video is dead on and the players hitting in it are former pros.
So no cross court, I am not convinced. Sorry. I use a lot of wrist myself but I also like hitting clean shots.
Yeah, he uses a lot of wrist action, but there isn't a wrist snap.
It's not laid back as much as it is at the start of the forward stroke though..
When the butt cap is pointed to the ball its laid back the most - but by contact its laid back alot less. This is because the wrist does release at the very least, IMHO.
The wrist movement isn't an extension (like in a basketball jumpshot) but there is some deviation and alot of pronation going on from what I can see..
I don't think though its important to micromanage the wrist that much though.. 'snap' isn't a technical word. Some pros use it to describe the the rapid pronation of the entire forearm..
That's exactly what happens in modern forehand technique, especially WW.. and because the wrist is connected to the forearm it pronates with it. It has no choice. But its not an active motion, on purpose. Like the laid back wrist comes forward naturally during the swing. It can because it's not 'locked'.
Here's a forehand with very little forearm pronation and a 'locked' wrist:
And here's just the opposite:
The acceleration you get this way, swinging with your whole arm straight and without using the wrist, is nothing compared to the one you get using the wrist, you can't even compare them.
This is the whole purpose of using the wrist: acceleration. You can't get an acceleration like that without using it.
You're completely wrong. You make a full swing and use all the arm, but you use the wrist like a whip. You don't use only the wrist in isolation.
And on the contrary, you have less control simply laying back the wrist and throwing the arm.
When you use the wrist, you create so much spin you actually have more control.
Yes, the serve is all about the wrist too.
You think the pros start using it only when they become pros?
I agree that you should at least easily dominate your racket and have some degree of strength, but except you're a scrawny weakling using a heavy racket, I don't think you'll have any problems using it.
It's inevitable for that to happen. That happens with every single person, if you make a correct forehand that is. I'm not saying good, simply a correct one. Videotape yourself and see. It's simple physics; you wouldn't expect to put the racket horizontal, facing the net in the position it is when you hit a forehand, and then accelerate it.
You're the one who doesn't understand, and this goes for the rest. Obviously, I'm not talking about "snapping" your wrist as you would when you can't reach a shot so you just stretch and "flick" the wrist, this is not the kind of wrist movement which I am talking about which obviously is ridiculous to attempt when hitting a regular forehand.
The movement I'm talking about would probably be called "pronating" or whatever, and yes the wrist is always "laid back" at contact even if you do this, I already told you it looks exactly the same as a swing in which you wouldn't use the wrist, but you refuse to understand. The movement is completely in a "windshield wiper" fashion.
You can see on either of the 2 federer video's on this site's homepage, that when he starts swinging forward his wrist lags behind and goes into layed back position. This is due to a relaxed wrist plus the momentum of the arm swinging forward. You can see his wrist layed back through contact on both video's and his wrist is released forward a couple of frames afterwards. The pronation, however, happens at contact. The arm as a whole turn sideways (or pronate), although the wrist/forearm does this faster (especially in federer's case). The wrist doesn't get snapped.
From contact, if you go a couple of frames ahead you can see federer's wrist "release" from the layed back position to neutral position as he follows through.
If the wrist releases too early and you contact the ball with your wrist in neutral (or even further) you loose control/spin/power on your shot (if using a modern technique).
That's what I said. When the forearm pronates, the wrist has to do so as well. But then again, it's not like you snap, flick or roll your wrist actively. Just not healthy and it messes up your stroke.
No I don't.. I even doubt that they do, but when Fed said he does use an active wrist who am I to say he doesn't. Leaving open the possiblity he actually does, also before he became pro. And when he does, there might be a few other pro's too. But it shouldn't be advocated by teaching pro's, for obvious reasons mentioned above. Just like Nadal does things on his FH which better not be copied.
I completely understand, and I know what works when I hit the ball. You just agreed with me about the wrist being laid back at contact, which was my main point, and proven in multiple videos of pro players. In your first post, you said the wrist was not laid back, so you have contradicted yourself.
You are just coming off as a know it all and that is why you are finding yourself having to multiquote just to keep up with all the different people disagreeing with you. You are also getting confused in what you are saying and probably should not act like you have it all figured out until you can get it sorted yourself.
You didn't even read my last post. I already said the whole swing looks exactly the same like if you didn't use the wrist too. The wrist lays back and lags and everything. So you're wrong when you say that the laid back and lagging wrist is only due to having it "relaxed" and not using it.
Federer is using his wrist in both videos you mentioned.
How do you know? You don't even use it. It didn't mess my stroke at all, in fact I'm hitting better than I ever did when I didn't think about using the wrist.
As for health, it also took care of my previous problems. Now the weight of the racket is not even a concern, and my arm doesn't even get tired. I used to get some pains in the inside part of my elbow and all over my right shoulder when I used to hit, but now they are completely gone. Attempting to hit without using the wrist lays all the stress and weight on the Aponeurosis m. bicipitis brachii area because you're just like pushing the racket with your arm without using the wrist, it's crazy. That's why I got so tired and the weight of the racket was bothering me. Not to mention that you swing a lot slower, resulting in less spin and pace.
Exactly, who are you to say he doesn't, he does. They told him that he hits with a lot of "wrist action" and he confirmed that he does and you're still saying "maybe he does, maybe he doesn't". It couldn't be clearer.
Lol, the man just said that he does.
No. What I said was: "Attempting to hit with the wrist locked or layed back all the way", which is different. That simply means you don't use the wrist. I already made it clear that even when I use the wrist it is still laid back at contact.
Aren't you doing the same thing? Hypocrite. You think you know how the deal is and that you've got it all figured out so you're contradicting everything I say, doesn't that make you a know-it-all too?
Haha. Yeah ok buddy.
LOL..you are way too upset. Just go play tennis and relax.
Ok, good for you. You're probably one of the very talented then, with a wrist of steel.
Well as said before there is some confusion about forearm and wrist. Just very common. Fed could also join in this, especially when told about his wrist action by others.. he could have corrected them, but probably he didn't bother to do so. Also very common. Or he's just mixing things up as well. Could very well be the case. Or he is really using his his wrist actively.. considering he's a special talent and all, it's possible. To many 'rules' there are exceptions.
Lets get this straight, you should lay your wrist back at contact and you should pronate your wrist/forearm at contact.
In the forehand swing, the only thing your wrist can actually do is snap forward, which is a big no no. The pronating is done by your forearm/arm (point your palm up to the sky, then down to the floor), lay your wrist back then do the same motion. You'll see the same motion as you get from hitting forehands.
The very wristy forehands that federer hits here is due to his extremely fast pronation (caused by his slingshot forehand), and his wrist releasing from layed back position to neutral in a smooth motion.
The wrist releasing should be natural, but the pronation on the other hand is debatable. Lots of players say the pronation should be natural, while others like to due it concsiously. I guess it's up to what you feel is better.
Some players i see that try to force the pronation, try to brush up with the pronation causing a lot of mishits and shanks.
In the end, to each his own. I'll keep doing it and improving upon it because it has definitely improved all my shots, fh, bh and serves, and I have very reliable sources telling me this is what the pros do. Consistency, speed, spin pace etc. have all improved dramatically since I started using the wrist.
Federer is using his wrist big time on those forehands, even on the backhand, this is exactly what I'm talking about. The way the racket ends is a big giveaway of this.
Perhaps I should make a video making clear what I'm talking about, because maybe you're confusing what I'm saying with something else.
The myth of no wrist is strong on this forum. But I know what you are saying and agree with you. With Federer the easiest shot to see his wrist use is probably the OHBH. He finishes very often with his racquet pointing to the left fence. If he used his wrist less it would point either up or to the right fence.
He just supinates ALOT on his backhand - and thus he has that finish. Henin does the exact same thing. On the forehand its more of a doornob turning action..
Most people hate the wrist because many players use them incorrectly and slap at the ball. This leads to terrible inconsistent ugly play. But no wrist use leads to wooden "mechanical" looking strokes. Using the wrist correctly is just part of playing better tennis.
after watching federer live for the first time a couple weeks back, i'm almost certain he uses his wrist. He seems to channel all the angular momentum from the previous links in his kinetic chain into his wrist at the last second.
This was most apparent in two situations:
1) during warmup, he seemed to be putting very little core movement into his swing, but the ball would fly off his racquet. Being mesmerized by this apparent violation of physics, closer attention revealed the role of the wrist.
2) in one particular shot against berdych (quarter finals in rogers cup), he was stretched out on the duece courts and went for a very ambitious forehand. He didn't try to slice it like most people would in such a defensive position, but rather attempted a topspin. Was almost all wrist and you could SEE it flick incredibly. He wasn't able to pull it off though.
That said, I'm not advocating to emulate fed's style.
I'm not trying to disagree with you mate, I'm having trouble figuring out what you're trying to say. I'm not a coach, all the info i know is from my experience, my coaches, on TW, other sites, observing others, etc.
So you're saying you should actively pronate your wrist at contact and that your wrist should snap forward a little? At contact is the wrist layed back? Any other way the wrist is used on the forehand (normal ones)?
Everyone uses their wrist if they are good. the secret is understanding when and how to do it. I think the best explaination I read was by Blake a few posts above. I have always used my wrist, but the issue is really controlling when and how to use it. If you use too much, you will hit shallow balls with no depth, or you will lose control of your shot and spray it off the court.
The first thing you have to do is understand how to lay it back. You have to get this right because it is the foundation. If you do not lay your wrist back right before and right during contact, you will never hit a clean ball on a consistent basis. The challenge is grooving the feel of when to supinate. There are different ways to do it and different swing paths also.
That is why I said that Cross court needs to clearly grasp what he is saying before he talks down to everyone like he has it all figured out. He is confusing people and getting way too mad when he gets called out on it.
Blake, you explained how to do it a few posts back. You do not need to snap your wrist, it is more like you are checking the time on your watch. What helps me is to make sure my racqet tip is pointing up after contact before coming across my body.
It is like you are opening a door in a way. You just have to make sure you are driving through the ball also and not just brushing at it.
I don't think there is a myth of no wrist at all on here. I personally have always said I use a lot of wrist, but the more wrist you use, the more you need to really be focused and dialed in on your technique. I injured my wrist from biking, and I really realized how much wrist I actually use when I went to hit again after. I now have to go lighter and lighter with my racquets in order to give my body a break, but I think that if you do like to use a lot of heavy spin and wrist in your shot, that this is not such a bad idea regardless.
I just found out something which I hadn't thought about before - the wrist action I'm talking about is best used on the forehand with the extreme eastern grip; with SW and western I find it very hard and actually bad. Bad with semi-western but definitely worse with western. Full eastern was the second best but extreme eastern was the ultimate.
Now, this could be that I've always used the extreme eastern grip and am used to it, I've never used semi-western and much less full western, maybe for someone who uses either of these 2 grips it's different but the tests I did with them felt very bad and there I would agree not to use the wrist like that at all.
So now, maybe it has to do with the grip. Maybe you can only use the wrist in this way with an eastern and an extreme eastern. The reason it probably didn't work with semi and w is the position in which the wrist is in these grips: it's like already pronated or turned and maybe that's why. With extreme and eastern it's not like this and that's where you do it.
You just move the racket in a windshield wiper motion, that's it, but you use your wrist on purpose to move it faster; it's still obviously a full swing but you use your wrist more than anything else, but I just found out the grip you use may have something to do with it.
And yes, the wrist is still laid back on contact. The racket even lags more.
For those saying this is "snapping the wrist forward", it's not. The swing is almost completely vertical, obviously it can't be 100% vertical, so that's why you move the racket so fast. Couple that with the inevitable forward motion in which the racket has to travel, and that ball is a demon.
I only really see the weaker club players locking their wrists.
Watch the slomo vids of top players and you'll quickly see how they use their wrists, neither locking nor flicking them.
Edit: I just did some tests again and with semi-western it wasn't that bad, actually it was ok, but it wasn't the same as with extreme eastern. With western it still sucked.
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