Should I snap my wrist for the windshield-wiper forehand?

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by tennismate29, Apr 7, 2014.

  1. tennismate29

    tennismate29 New User

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2013
    Messages:
    52
    I watch vids on youtube on how to do the windshield wiper forehand and almost all of them says snap the wrist for more spin. I practice this kind of technique and after a while my forearm got strained from doing it. So should I really snap my wrist or what?

    By the way, I am trying to switch from a flat forehand to a windshield wiper one. :)

    Thanks for those who will enlighten me :)
     
    #1
  2. aimr75

    aimr75 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2007
    Messages:
    3,330
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    If you listen to your body it's telling you no :)
    Don't snap your wrist. It should just remain loose and passive during the swing
     
    #2
  3. tennismate29

    tennismate29 New User

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2013
    Messages:
    52
    How loose? Will i not lose control if i let my wrist go loose? :confused:
     
    #3
  4. Supertegwyn

    Supertegwyn Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2014
    Messages:
    3,978
    My coach broke his wrist trying to snap his wrist hitting a forehand.

    So probably not a good idea.
     
    #4
  5. tennis_balla

    tennis_balla Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2006
    Messages:
    3,667
    Location:
    Here and There
    Could you please link those youtube videos?
     
    #5
  6. tennismate29

    tennismate29 New User

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2013
    Messages:
    52
    #6
  7. wannabe good

    wannabe good Rookie

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2011
    Messages:
    275
    #7
  8. TennisCJC

    TennisCJC Legend

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2010
    Messages:
    5,381
    The video you referenced is HORRIBLE. Stop following it immediately or you will A. hurt yourself, and B. have a terrible forehand.

    See the blog below and scroll down thru all the stop sequence photos of Federer and Djoko hitting their FHs. Federer's arm and wrist set roughly into position as he starts the foreward part of the swing and there is very little change in the arm, elbow, forearm, or wrist up to and thru contact. The WW follow thru is obtained by forearm pronation and not a wrist snap. The wrist and forearm really make no sudden or snappy motions through out the entire swing.

    Your hips should start the rotation and your core rotation should pull the arm into contact. Your wrist should lay back as your arm is pulled/starts foreward. Your wrist is loose and NO SNAPPING. Your rotation pulls the arm up, into and across the contact zone. The WW follow-thru is pronation and it you just let the swing flow and release into the WW follow-through. If anything, the WW/pronation of the forearm is to keep the strings facing the target longer and it actually reduces wrist movement.

    Don't lock the wrist but you really shouldn't have to make any conscious decision to move the wrist near, during or after contact. Take a few shadow strokes using the method I described above with a goal of having the palm direct the ball.

    http://blog.tennisspeed.com/2013/02/a-roadmap-to-hall-of-fame-forehand-part.html
     
    #8
  9. Sir Shankalot

    Sir Shankalot Rookie

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2011
    Messages:
    262
    Location:
    Taunton, United Kingdom
    Generally coaches Mauro and Kyril are quite good but I have to tell you that I don't like this video. At all. The reason is that it relates to my own experience of learning tennis as an adult.

    I started out just over 4 years ago, and spent a lot of time looking at instruction videos on YT. I don't recall seeing this one but I did look at a few that said basically the same thing. So I got it into my head that an *active* WW motion (actively pronating the forearm and bending the elbow) was somehow the golden key to topspin. Bad idea. After about a year of playing I developed some pain in my upper forearm, which I foolishly ignored, and in due course it developed into a full blown muscle tear in my elbow extensors. Not only did I have to take 6 months off tennis, also for a while I couldn't drive a car or lift anything heavier than a cup of coffee with my dominant arm. I'm lucky to have escaped the need for surgery.

    After I finally came back to tennis I made some major changes to my technique as well as my equipment and as a result I have not suffered any injury since.

    The reason I tell this story is as an illustration of the dangers of following internet / YT instruction without the benefit of feedback from a real live coach. The *only* thing you need to do to make top spin is make sure that you drop the racquet head a bit before contact, keep the racquet face vertical or ever so slightly closed, swing through and up, and then relax on your follow through. That's it. Some people spend way too much time analysing the micro details of strokes, and forget the difference between active movements (shoulder turn, push off the ground, swing low to high etc) and passive movements (eg a relaxed wrist will automatically lay back a bit and drop the racquet head, a relaxed arm will automatically make a WW motion on the follow through if the stance is neutral or open and the racquet head dropped enough prior to contact).

    If you try and force what are in fact supposed to be passive movements then in some cases this can lead to a lot of problems. Not only tight, choppy strokes, but also injuries.

    [/RANT]
     
    #9
  10. tennis_balla

    tennis_balla Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2006
    Messages:
    3,667
    Location:
    Here and There
    Not once did they mention the word snap, however I can see where you're hurting yourself. Personally, I do not agree with how they describe the topspin forehand and would not teach it this way and know where you are getting confused. The way he's describing it makes it sound like you're getting all your power on the forehand from the wrist and elbow. I'm sure thats not what they meant, at least I hope not because this is not the case in real life. I find it interesting that hardly talked about other parts of the body such as your core which are just as important.

    Think about this, when you throw a ball is your wrist active or passive? Active meaning you deliberately force the wrist to come throw forward or passive that it comes through by itself because of momentum? The forehand is no different.

    Think of a baseball pitcher and how much he will rotate his hips and shoulders at the start, he'll start to open up, his arm will lag behind and then accelerate through. Here is an example...

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    The arm lagging behind like that after he's opened up is the same in tennis, here's Federer's example...

    [​IMG]

    So what initiates it all, it sure as hell isn't the wrist and elbow. The part of your body that will allow you to hit across the ball in a "windshield wiper motion" (I hate that term haha) are your legs and hips because that is where the forehand starts, from the ground up. What your wrist does really is act like a control mechanism, meaning it controls the path of the racket such as how much under the ball the racket head will drop, how much you go over the ball etc but it does not really add any power. In my opinion its passive in that regard. You might need to use the wrist, elbow to power through in certain situations when you're out of position for example and don't have a choice but its not ideal.
     
    #10
  11. Sir Shankalot

    Sir Shankalot Rookie

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2011
    Messages:
    262
    Location:
    Taunton, United Kingdom
    ^^

    OP, listen to Balla. He is a real coach and knows his stuff.

    Here is a non-scientific observation for you. Look at the minor injuries on the ATP and WTA. You can see where the injuries from where the players are wearing Kinesio-Tape or other supports. The vast majority of injuries you see are in the lower body or mid-section, plus a few shoulder injuries. You hardly ever see injuries to the arm.
     
    #11
  12. tennis_balla

    tennis_balla Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2006
    Messages:
    3,667
    Location:
    Here and There
    Not really, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.
     
    #12
  13. mbm0912

    mbm0912 Professional

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2012
    Messages:
    1,039
    There's no such thing as "wrist snap".
     
    #13
  14. tennismate29

    tennismate29 New User

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2013
    Messages:
    52
    #14
  15. tennismate29

    tennismate29 New User

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2013
    Messages:
    52
    I will really try to change my forehand style and follow your tip. I think I'm good to go after a week. My forearm strain is feeling better now. But i am still afraid to overdo it so I'll still give it a week. Damn! I really hated laying off from tennis this long. I've been off for 4 weeks now just because of that forehand!

    Thank you for this!:)
     
    #15
  16. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2008
    Messages:
    10,419
    While I like much of Kevin G's instruction, I think he really misses the boat on the WW Fh. Imo the thing he teaches to do in place of the WW is much more like a proper WW and the door knob turning method that he calls a WW is just bad technique mistaken for the ww.
     
    #16
  17. TennisCJC

    TennisCJC Legend

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2010
    Messages:
    5,381
    You're welcome. I like the tennis speed blog too. There is a menu on the R side of the page with links to other comparisons. The Nadal and Federer side by side (maybe part 8?) is also a very good read. It is sometimes too detailed but all in all, I think it is fundamentally sound advice. It is amazing how much in common the pros have even when their swings look different in real time.
     
    #17
  18. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2008
    Messages:
    10,419
    Just keep in mind as your read thu this (which does contain lots of good info) that he bases much of the info on very questionable conclusions. Imo it is ridiculous to compare the number of GS totals to try to decide what is the best Fh method. There is no doubt in my mind that if Nadal and Fed were playing with the bent arm or Flexion Fh, that nearly all the GSs titles would be with bent arm Fhs and quite possibly they would even be better players for it. Winning a Slam is way more about the total player talent than any one shot. Players who win Slams are loaded with skill in nearly every main stroke.

    It's a lot to read thru, so sorry if I misread it, but he seems to call the bent arm Fh sub-optimal. This is quite ridiculous like his article on serve speeds. As I've stated on here before...all the big Fh records I've seen 124mph and over have been bent arm Fhs. Also, as a bent arm Fh player, I use the straight arm Fh as well as do most bent arm (flexion Fh) players imo. So to me, the bent arm Fh enjoys the benefits of both and uses what works best to receive the incoming ball.
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2014
    #18
  19. Sir Shankalot

    Sir Shankalot Rookie

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2011
    Messages:
    262
    Location:
    Taunton, United Kingdom
    OP, the tennis speed blog is very interesting but I'm not convinced it is so good as an instructional site. You don't need to do a full biomechanical analysis to hit a ball, any more than you need a PhD in the thermodynamics of a combustion engine to drive a car.

    An alternative approach, if you want to learn online, is to adopt a more "feel based" method. Tomaz Mencinger's site, Feeltennis, is brilliant. You hardly ever hear him talking about pronation, supination, ulnar deviation, bloviation, etc. Instead he emphasises a few key fundamentals and talks about how a shot is supposed to feel, and trusts that your body will figure it out for itself.
     
    #19
  20. GuyClinch

    GuyClinch Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2004
    Messages:
    4,829
    So you think he misses the boat because he teaches the correct form and calls the incorrect form a myth? Huh?

    We should all be so lucky has to hit a forehand like Kevin G. This is what my pro teaches pretty much as well. There isn't a lot of conscious wrist manipulation on the forehand (though there is some relaxation on the end). Just swing through and across the ball with the top edge leading slightly like Kevin G. explains. The tennis speed blog overcomplicates things but the general idea of really swing through with a slightly closed racquet face is correct.

    Overuse of the forearm muscles will give you tennis elbow..some pros teach some forearm use to teach people the feel but it can lead to trouble..because stronger players can hit forehands this way.. and totally rely on the forearm muscles.
     
    #20
  21. tennismate29

    tennismate29 New User

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2013
    Messages:
    52

    I am checking the site too, It's great to have lots of references from people who really know this stuff than relying on random videos youtube throws at me. Thanks!
     
    #21
  22. JohnYandell

    JohnYandell Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2004
    Messages:
    1,668
    The rotation on the windshield wiper is driven mainly by the rotation of the upper arm from the shoulder. You can think about turning your hand over, but the motion is unitary. Upper arm, forearm, hand and racket.
     
    #22
  23. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2008
    Messages:
    10,419
    Sorry, but he didn't do that. He says the ww is just a spinny ball without much punch and for hitting lobs and real short angles. THen he goes on to how to hit the Fh, but he does't refer to that Fh as the ww.

    Now I'm not saying you can't hit tight angles and TS lobs with the WW Fh, but my point is that the main purpose of a Proper WW Fh is to attack the ball with driving penetration on a lower trajectory, but while still getting major league spin on the shot. My contention is that Kevin G is mistaken about the main purpose of the WW Fh based on his comments in the vid.

    I do agree he hits an nice Fh that we could all be very proud of :), but no reason that makes him correct about the WW Fh's primary purpose. You are free to disagree with me as he does in the vid.
     
    #23
  24. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2008
    Messages:
    10,419
    did you re-watch the video?

    do you agree with what he said at the end...that topspin slows the ball?
     
    #24
  25. toly

    toly Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2010
    Messages:
    1,993
    Djokovic demonstrates huge wrist snap http://youtu.be/DDTejFXJFok. Nevertheless, he uses hand/wrist actions to increase ball speed, not spin. :shock:
     
    #25
  26. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    36,455
    Location:
    East side of San Francisco Bay
    No snap, his forearm turns over in the pronation, just like a serve.
     
    #26
  27. toly

    toly Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2010
    Messages:
    1,993
    No snap means locked wrist. Watch again, there is a lot hand/wrist activity.
    Or probably I don’t understand your slang? :???:

    [​IMG]
     
    #27
  28. dominikk1985

    dominikk1985 Legend

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2011
    Messages:
    6,421
    the conventional teaching is to keep the wrist at 90 degrees and use pronation and some ISR to turn over the racket.

    however guys like fed and nadal seems to have some unhinging of the wrist (they have way more than 90 degrees at max lag and then maybe like 45 to 90 degrees at contact). however I still wouldn't call that wrist snap and it is nothing I would recommend to a beginner.
     
    #28
  29. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2011
    Messages:
    3,880
    Location:
    San Diego
    That is an excellent graphic of Djokovic, Toly, and right on point.

    I think it's an unhinging of the wrist, not a conscious snap. I think it's 'djokovic's wrist is snapped' not 'djokovic snaps his wrist. passive.
     
    #29
  30. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    36,455
    Location:
    East side of San Francisco Bay
    NO wrist snap.
    The wrist is laid back from the loop backswing, then a relaxed wrist will naturally straighten out a bit, and even go beyond straight, to what LOOKS like wrist snap, but it's from the laid back wrist from the loop backswing, not the forearm muscles.
    Remember, we're hitting relaxed forearms. RELAXED means there is no tension, or little tension to hold the grip, so the wrist is the FLEX joint, not controlled by muscles or thought.
     
    #30
  31. RoddickAce

    RoddickAce Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2007
    Messages:
    2,468
    This pretty sums it up.
     
    #31
  32. toly

    toly Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2010
    Messages:
    1,993
    This is Adam Kennedy forehand.

    [​IMG]

    He is able to slow down “passive” wrist snap compare to Djokovic example due to active resistance of corresponding arm muscles. Can you say what his particular muscles are relaxed in these pictures?
     
    #32
  33. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2008
    Messages:
    10,419
    Is this a normal Fh or is he doing something special?
     
    #33
  34. toly

    toly Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2010
    Messages:
    1,993
    Next is Nalbandian.

    [​IMG]

    He is running forward inside of service box. The ball is relatively low, so he mostly interested in topspin and hits rather slow ball with a lot of spin to keep it in. His hand/wrist practically doesn’t move forward near and after contact that’s why racquet strings bed is parallel to his chest. This is example of “classic” WW forehand. Adam Kennedy also applies this technique.
    Djokovic hits powerful forehand with forearm pronation and his hand moves the racquet forward actively and very fast. The racquet after impact is completely closed, so his technique has absolutely nothing to do with WW forehand.
     
    #34
  35. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2011
    Messages:
    3,880
    Location:
    San Diego
    Nice posts Toly. You've been stepping up your game lately. Good job.
     
    #35
  36. toly

    toly Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2010
    Messages:
    1,993
    Thanks, but I keep posting the same stuff several years already. So, what is wrong with you? :confused:
     
    #36
  37. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2011
    Messages:
    3,880
    Location:
    San Diego
    yes it's the same stuff. but... oh well. never mind. carry on.
     
    #37
  38. tennismate29

    tennismate29 New User

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2013
    Messages:
    52
    With all the pics, now i see what's wrong with my WW forehand, I think I am controlling my forearm too consciously which ends up with me using my forearm and not my body core as my source of power to hit a forehand.

    The GIFs were cool :) I really saw how their body rotates every time the racket hits the ball. :)
     
    #38

Share This Page