straight arm fh vs. bent arm fh

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by tree90, Oct 18, 2009.

  1. tree90

    tree90 New User

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    ive just started reading this forum lately and ive seen a lot of talk about straight arm forehands, and forehands with the elbow tucked in. can anyone tell me the difference between the two and, and the benefit of each? thanks.
     
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  2. Blake0

    Blake0 Hall of Fame

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    let me sum up the differences between them.
    Straight arm forehand = More power potential, Harder to time.
    Double Bend forehand = Less power potential, Easier to time.

    Why?

    Because straight arm forehand have a bigger swing path making it easier to plow through the ball, but it's harder to time because you have to hit it out in front of you more which requires better footwork, anticipation, and ball judgement to hit it consistently.

    Both forehands can be developed into world class forehands, double bend (in most cases) being the easier of the two.
     
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  3. halalula1234

    halalula1234 Professional

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    i use straight because its more beautiful :twisted:
     
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  4. wyutani

    wyutani Hall of Fame

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    anything that the boat floats.

    or anything that floats ur boat.
     
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  5. Pet

    Pet Semi-Pro

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    Eeee, no. For example, Blake and Gonzalez have a lot mph in forehands and hit with double bend.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EaUH9Bevnew&feature=related

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lFibX-inICg&NR=1
     
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  6. OverTheHill

    OverTheHill New User

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    I just switched from the double-bend FH (semi-western grip) to the straight arm FH (eastern grip), and I absolutely love that I did so. I can hit more with power, aim and consistency now with the straight-arm. Your mileage may vary.
     
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  7. ledor

    ledor Professional

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    Experiment with both, but play with what's comfortable and consistent in your strike zones. I like the bent arm, but I'll throw in a straight arm too.
     
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  8. xFullCourtTenniSx

    xFullCourtTenniSx Hall of Fame

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    Well he said more POTENTIAL. You can definitely pop a bigger forehand with the double bend position; you just need far more racket head speed to pull it off.

    Monfils has knocked the biggest forehand I've ever seen in terms of speed, and uses a double bend. But look at how much energy he has to put into the shot. He's jumping, twisting, and exploding. Then you look at Federer do the same thing (at 90-105 mph), it looks almost effortless. Then you look at Nadal do the same thing at 111 mph. It looks like more effort is used than Federer, but far less is used compared to Monfils. Nadal isn't exploding off the ground and putting every little bit he has into the shot.

    Nobody can make it look as smooth and easy as Federer or even Nadal.

    A straight armed forehand generates power more easily than a double bend because it's much easier to extend your racket through contact. A double bend is more likely to pronate through contact, creating nothing but spin. Your body has to create the power. With a straight arm, you can generate both easily in whatever combinations you desire.

    If Monfils could master a straight arm forehand and put as much acceleration into the ball as he does with the double bend forehand he has now, he could probably be #1 in the world with that shot alone!
     
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  9. Blake0

    Blake0 Hall of Fame

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    I put potential on there :). Timing is more important, to me atleast, then how your arm structure is. You could swing the same racket with the same speed using straight arm and double bend, but either one could easily get more rpms/ mph on the ball.

    Straight arm forehands are more centered around timing for power and consistency then double bend.

    Btw OP, if you want more detail on straight arm/double bend, there are some really good posts if you search "straight arm forehand" and look
     
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  10. SourStraws

    SourStraws Rookie

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    With a bent arm on the forehand...Your racquet head angle is more steady...With a straight arm, it's more likely to change...Overall it's whatever floats your boat...I use a straight arm and it works for me...Thats just how I learned how to hit the shot...It's no big deal

    S.S.
     
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  11. Pet

    Pet Semi-Pro

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    Revolutionary tennis: ¨All in all the arm's parts compress into the body (to reduce their moments of inertia to increase the stroke's angular momentum) in an effort to whip the racket face around the arm and the body as fast as possible to hit the ball head-on. In a not so small way, this is similar to an ice skater spinning in a circle with her arms extended who then brings them in to spin faster. Of course we don't spin around, but for the small moment of a forward swing, the arms come in closer to the body to increase our racket's forward acceleration.¨
     
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  12. albesca

    albesca Rookie

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    Straightening the arm, mean to minimize the elbow joint hinge action. The result is a shoulder pivot swing ... slower but heavier at contact.

    At club level is very hard to keep tha ball in play with a straight arm forehand ... maybe because it is harder to spin the ball with the arm straight.

    I imagine that Federer is able to add to that shoulder pivot swing (power), a wrist action, keeping the elbow angle firm just before the contact and relaxing the wrist joint to have a whip action (spin), according with coach Dougherty that explain: a whip action needs a soft segment attached to a solid segment ..

    ... what imagination ... !! :)

    Ciao
    Alberto
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2009
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  13. agalloch

    agalloch New User

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    i use a combo of both with a straight arm it helps to keep your head level with the ball and bring your weight forward through the shot and rolling the wrist over the ball at impact
     
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  14. benxten

    benxten Rookie

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    Definitely agree with this at the pro level as looking at some old and recent clips of Agassi hitting, his bent arm forehand is pretty flat and can drive through the court just as well as Federer's straight arm forehand, and most people know that Nadal's straight arm forehand can have some wicked topspin. Agassi's forehand also looks pretty smooth and less effortless than Monfils. However, I'm more interested in your average everyday player as I am one of them and I think they make up the majority of tennis forums. From my experience playing and watching high school, usta/alta leagues, and college intramurals, I noticed for the most part consistency wins over power and from what I have heard about straight and bent arm forehands, I would think most people would be leaning more towards the double bend forehand than the straight arm forehand as the latter seems more risky. From my experiences, the bent arm seems better for longer rallies, running forehands and defensive ones even though a straight arm would give you more reach but you have no control over the ball. However, straight arm forehand sare great for putting weak serves or weak shots away as one can now set up and time the shot.
     
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  15. FedExpress 333

    FedExpress 333 Professional

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    There is n such thing as a concious decision on hitting arm position. Federer hits many double bends too. It is because he uses a pull stroke that he sometimes has his arm extended ore.
     
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  16. aimr75

    aimr75 Hall of Fame

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    yeah, I hit with a straighter arm but i dont think about it.. one thing you dont want is to hyperextend the arm thinking about hitting with a straight arm. Always should have some bend in there, even if it looks like a straight arm forehand
     
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  17. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    I've noticed that quite a few players that attempt to hit with a straight arm (elbow) have more control issues than with the double bend. Appears to be a wandering elbow issue.
     
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  18. BevelDevil

    BevelDevil Hall of Fame

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    I think if you want to hit with a straight arm, it has to be a pull stroke.

    Whereas, with a double bend, you can use push or pull, but probably not as much pull as with a straight arm.


    So before you try to hit with a straight arm, make sure you know you'll be doing a pull stroke.
     
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  19. TheLambsheadrep

    TheLambsheadrep Professional

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    Sorry to unearth an old thread, but I did search for "straight arm forehand," funny.

    I just posted a video of my strokes in another two threads here because I saw that I hit a lot of shots with a straight arm forehand. This was news to me, as I thought the straight arm forehand was a hard technique to learn and saved for the likes of Nadal and Fed. Like you said, I have never consciously thought to hit with a straight arm and never thought I was in the first place. The video I posted had a lot of me trying a recent take back tip experiment, and due to suggestions I plan on changing the take back to pretty much what I had before (which will have me hitting a lot of shots with the double bend).

    What I was trying to figure out on my video threads was what makes the difference/what determines if you hit with a straight or bent arm? If people have good general technique is it just their timing, or vice versa? Is there more than that? I don't need to know so I can make changes to my strokes around the answer (since success can obviously be found in either one), but there must be an answer!!
     
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  20. TheCheese

    TheCheese Professional

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    Straight arm vs double bend on their own is not a big deal.

    What is important is whether you are using pronation vs supination in the transition between the takeback and forward swing.

    If you're using pronation, you tend to produce a straight arm stroke, but the fact that your arm is straight isn't what's making the big difference. In fact, you shouldn't be focusing on hitting with a straight arm at all. That comes by itself from getting proper contact position. Watch Federer and Nadal, they frequently will hit double-bend forehands if they're not in perfect position.
     
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  21. TheLambsheadrep

    TheLambsheadrep Professional

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    TheCheese, that makes perfect sense actually. You saw on my video how much I was pronating on the take back, plus this is confirmed by pro slow mo videos, so thanks!

    I was wondering before this if supination from bad timing and/ or bad technique was causing some of my seemed-to-be regular shots to hit the back fence once in a while. After watching the video (9 seconds in) it appears that it's just me getting too under the ball and swinging across my body, which seems to create an upwards swing path. Could supination still have a hand in this?
     
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