off court Racquet speed drills

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by rexessex, Jul 28, 2010.

  1. rexessex

    rexessex New User

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    Any suggestions for off court drills to improve your racquet speed? especially for your forehand.

    Thanks
     
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  2. SplitStepper

    SplitStepper Rookie

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    Buy an etch swing. Its been a great addition to my coaching arsenal.
     
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  3. supineAnimation

    supineAnimation Professional

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    Medicine ball. You can throw a medicine using the exact same mechanics as your forehand and it helps tremendously with racquet head speed. Resistance bands work nicely as well. But make sure your arm and hand are loose when you're hitting your forehand and make sure you're using the stretch-shortening cycle to get free racquet head speed.
     
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  4. mike53

    mike53 Professional

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  5. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Shadow swing, shadow or mirror.
     
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  6. fuzz nation

    fuzz nation Legend

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    Good ideas already, but I'll throw a different thought out here.

    Think of this - if you can take a big practice swing without hitting a ball and that swing is as fast as you need it to be when you're on the courts, mission accomplished. What you need to also focus on is better movement and earlier preparation. That will set you up to start your bigger swing early enough to hit the ball on time.

    Lots of players who want to hit harder assume that they only need to swing faster, but it's often an issue of swinging earlier. Some cars take longer than others to accelerate to 60 mph, but most all of them can do it, right?

    Lifting is a good idea for helping to swing faster, but developing that strength is also especially good for holding your body parts together. Anyone can swing hard once, but lifting and getting a bit more muscle together will also help you to swing hard over and over without breaking down.
     
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  7. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Geez, and all this time, I thought swinging a racket fast is just fast twitch muscles that are in good shape due to repetition.
    Can HulkHogan swing fast? Can BigShow? Can MarkArnold swing fast?
     
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  8. GetBetterer

    GetBetterer Hall of Fame

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    I practice my shadow strokes and then practice "real time" shots.
     
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  9. user92626

    user92626 Legend

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    You can use an old racket, put lots of lead on it and practice swinging in sets of 10's or however many you want. Don't stop in middle of set. After a while, swinging a lighter racket and in fewer times would feel like a walk in a park.
     
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  10. FedererUberAlles

    FedererUberAlles Professional

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    Put a plastic bag around the face of the racquet. Tape it around the perimeter, I guess. I've seen this around, but never had a change to try it out myself. Want to do it for me?
     
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  11. Parker512

    Parker512 Guest

    Join a gym and use the weight machines that what ive been told.
     
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  12. aimr75

    aimr75 Hall of Fame

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    I dont think going to the gym will help at all.. you can develop core strength simply by playing the game..

    good technique / machanics and practice will inevitably allow you to swing at good pace.. good timing/execution and positioning are more important
     
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  13. TennisCoachFLA

    TennisCoachFLA Banned

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    Thank goodness someone has a little common sense on this thread. I see 8 year old girls who can hit the ball with way more pace than 200 lb. athletic men. Hmmmm....maybe something about superb timing and loading the core and utilizing the kinetic chain properly?
     
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  14. TennisCoachFLA

    TennisCoachFLA Banned

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    Another winner, nice post.

    Weight training and resistance bands and medicine balls are all about injury prevention and building stamina....they have little to do with hitting the ball better or harder.
     
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  15. WildVolley

    WildVolley Legend

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    LeeD says to shadow swing in front of a mirror, which is fine, except for the fact that most mirrors are in houses and playing with this can lead to a lot of things being broken and destroyed. How many mirrors have you broken Lee? I now practice outdoors.:)

    One of the traditional methods is to swing a racket without string as fast as you possibly can.

    Despite the advice given by many people, you won't learn to swing fast by doing a lot of repetitions. In fact, too many repetitions, especially with a weighted racket, will probably train you to swing slower. Speed training is about becoming more explosive, and fast-twitch muscles tire quickly.

    The optimal way to train speed is by keeping the repetitions low and the quality high. This is the way sprinters train. Use maximal effort and give yourself plenty of rest between sets. Remember to warm up fully before trying maximal effort to minimize injuries.
     
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  16. supineAnimation

    supineAnimation Professional

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    Yeah, because medicine ball and resistance band exercises will turn you into Conan. Throwing medicine balls using the same mechanics you use to swing your forehand will improve your ability to use the kinetic sequence of legs-hips-core and will strengthen those muscle groups in an exactly the way you use them in your swing.
     
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  17. Bacterio

    Bacterio Rookie

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    Never understood the fear of lifting when people want to swing faster or improve racket head speed. I don't think most people understand that a lifting routine is not going to automatically turn you into a bodybuilder, it actually takes a lot more effort to do that.

    Most recreational players are for lack of a better word, soft. So incorporating a good lifting program to strengthen up core muscles, and legs (in other words strengthening the parts of the kinetic chain) will help give you racket head speed if you make sure that you're doing it right.

    Never ever underestimate flexibility, even if you're doing a very mildly intensive program, always do plenty of stretching so that you retain your current flexibility and possibly improve it, otherwise despite your added strength your swing might slow down.
     
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  18. supineAnimation

    supineAnimation Professional

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    Absolutely. And the nice thing about resistance bands is that they can be used for a stretching regimen as well.
     
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  19. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    For indoor mirror practice, always best to use a real baseball, in a china shop, without a credit card, at Tiffany's.
    Your practice partner should be a minatour, or at least a 2,500 lbs bull with his balls tied tight, not fed in 3 days.
    Need strings to simulate resistance and sound.
     
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  20. user92626

    user92626 Legend

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    Quote:
    Originally Posted by aimr75
    I dont think going to the gym will help at all.. you can develop core strength simply by playing the game..

    good technique / machanics and practice will inevitably allow you to swing at good pace.. good timing/execution and positioning are more important


    TennisCoachFLA:
    Another winner, nice post.

    Weight training and resistance bands and medicine balls are all about injury prevention and building stamina....they have little to do with hitting the ball better or harder.

    ----

    As usual you guys have the tendency to go off topic, posting irrelevant stuffs. The question is "off court Racquet speed drills", your answer: good timing/execution and positioning. That !!!!! How are you gonna drill "good timing and positioning" outside a court and for the purpose of increasing racket speed? Comphrehension skill of a third grader!!!

    It's like to the question
     
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  21. Blake0

    Blake0 Hall of Fame

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    Agreed. I'm swinging 10x faster then i was 2-3 yrs ago. My coach likes us to get a 5-10lb weight and shadow swing for 5 mins. He says it helps us utilize our core better, and it's worked for me.

    Personally though, I'd say shadowswing while watching your form in a mirror. Swing fast but not uncontrollably fast. Make sure you like how your form looks in the mirror, and it's technically correct. Swing slow when you're trying to fix technique, and repeating good technique while shadowswinging is good too.
     
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  22. djarvik

    djarvik Rookie

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    Simply try and replicate weight transfers that you would experience on the court.

    You can go to the gym for that, you can use rubber bands, shadow "stroking" :) etc...

    Try to replicate the pace of the match, this is the most important. Do any exercise and pick weights so you could do a 15 second set at a relatively fast pace, then a short break and a repeat. You should feel tired after the first 15 second set....meaning you should squeeze out these last repetitions. Don't count repetitions, not important....just keep a track of the seconds.

    What you essentially be doing is replicating points during the match and targeting the right, fast twitch muscles.
     
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  23. Zachol82

    Zachol82 Professional

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    Racquet head speed isn't from how fast you can swing alone. It's how fast you can turn your shoulder and core as well, therefore don't forget to work on other muscles besides just those on your arms.
     
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  24. GuyClinch

    GuyClinch Hall of Fame

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    There are two schools of thought with regards to gym stuff - try to directly replicate the swing but with added weight. Or do exercises that enhance overall fitness but are not directly related to the swing..

    I feel for the most part option 2 is better - albeit something like the FYB "box" exercises (but with medicine balls) are okay. I don't consider them plyometrics though.

    http://www.fuzzyyellowballs.com/tennis-fitness-plyometric-exercises/

    Chuck Kriese Power Tennis: (uses medicine ball)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YQsbEW7Rf6Q&feature=related

    The problem with the heavy racquets or adding weight to your swing and mimicing is that the evidence I have seen indicates this will slow your swing down as you are conditioning your body to moving a heavy weight slower - rather then moving a light weight fast. Both golf and baseball have done some research with this kind of thing..

    So overall fitness is probably the way to go. I like exercises like planks, squats, lunges and more for that.. As well as some plyometrics like box jumps.

    Pete
     
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  25. Magikhat

    Magikhat New User

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    does anyone have a used etch swing for sale?
     
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  26. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    I myself don't, but I can charge you 10 cents for every shadow swing you do at home, in front of your house, or on the tennis courts.
    You can send me the money any time you wish.
     
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