Moving head - bending knees - bad back - bad habits

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by kevhen, Jul 29, 2004.

  1. kevhen

    kevhen Hall of Fame

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    Some people say not to move the head when playing tennis but to keep it very still. I agree with this. But when volleying you are supposed to bend the knees to get down for low volleys but now the ball is moving along with the head. Since I have back problems sometimes probably from being tall, I have the lazy habit of not bending the knees and just moving the racquet to the ball while keeping my head still and it sort of works but the better volleyers I have see all bend and get down for those low vollies. How does one break themselves of this bad habit of not bending since sometimes bending can cause back pains. Do I just need someone to drill with me and yell at me everytime I don't bend the knees and instead keep my head still until I get into ingrained into my head to bend instead?
     
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  2. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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    Well bending the knees and maintaining your posture are two different things. Bending your knees should not cause back pain. It is when you bend from your knees and bend from the waist that back problems could crop up.

    The first thing is you need to prepare your muscles for the stress or load. You do this through conditioning (squats, etc.). The next thing is practice. You need to practice bending at the knees while keeping goo posture. then volleying with your body facing in a 45 degree angle. That is the best volleying position for your body.

    One of my favorite conditioning exercises is to lean against a wall with your back. Then slide down in a seated position. Make a perfect 90 degree angle with all your connecting joints.

    This not only conditions the muscles but also stimulates the nervoous system to link the joints properly. The hips, the knees, and the ankles all learn to balance on each other. This of course, supports the lower back!
     
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  3. Roforot

    Roforot Professional

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    I was told that I'm bending down too low to hit groundstrokes; and I thought they were referring to my knees, but actually I was bending my back down also. It feels funny I didnt' even realize I was so hunched over. Now I try to keep an upright posture and just bend the knees. Still a little exagerated and robotic feeling, but hopefully will become natural.
     
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  4. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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    Yes it will become natural and it will feel weird standing straight up after awhile.
     
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  5. Chanchai

    Chanchai Semi-Pro

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    What's worked for me was just getting myself to make sure the ball is around shoulder height for me whenever I'm at net. That is, moving my body in relation to the ball by making sure my shoulder lines up with the ball.

    This may or may not be really happening, but it gets me focused enough to get low for low volleys. I am no longer thinking of suddenly jerking down, but instead, moving my body with the ball, tracking it from much early on--usually it's nice on the back too since it's not a jerk reaction ;)

    -Chanchai
     
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  6. kevhen

    kevhen Hall of Fame

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    Thanks Bill and Chan for some ideas to follow and try to work on. My back may be thanking you too. We used to have to 'sit on the wall' back in high school when we got in trouble. I will try to do more squats and try to feel comfortable moving up and down only using my knees and not my back. I know I have to break myself of just moving my racquet while standing vertical even though I make some amazing vollies this way but I make too many errors and weak vollies too.
     
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  7. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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    Believe me, as we get older it gets harder to do! On the squats, use light weights and dont go down all the way so your knees dont go past your toes. Keep you head up and your back straight.

    Use dumbbells that hang from yoru arms by your side. You dont need to use a lot of weight to get benefit. The wall thing is a good one as it does a lot more than just strengthening the muscles.
     
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