Topspin forehand and racquet head speed...

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by swinger, Jul 5, 2005.

  1. swinger

    swinger New User

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    Lately, I’ve been focusing a lot on generating more racquet head speed on my forehand stroke. (semi western to western forehand grip) After reading through archives I’ve come to realize that I’ve been restricting arm movement by holding my racquet too tightly (I always squeeze my arm as hard as I can to have a firm hold)! Now that I think about it, it makes complete sense that tightening my right shoulder & arm (due to a tight hold) has been restricting my swing movement.

    What is the correct way to think about holding a racquet? Should I keep my grip loose through my motion and only tighten right before contact? Or should I keep it as loose as I possibly can (without losing stability) through the swing?
     
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  2. tom-selleck

    tom-selleck Professional

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    i'm curious about this subject too.

    it seems like as loose as possible would be the most obvious..... but pretty big collision with ball and i think i feel more confident going at the ball hard with a firm grip.
     
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  3. hotcoffee

    hotcoffee New User

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    If you keep a very loose grip all the time it usually works pretty well, at least thats what I've been told. During lessons my coach would sometimes demonstrate by holding the racquet with 2 fingers and then smack the ball all over the court for winners. So, it works for me at least.
     
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  4. AngeloDS

    AngeloDS Hall of Fame

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    I don't jold my grip too loosely. What I do is hold the butt cap in my palm. It helps with my swing speed and stroke. Sometimes, I hold it really tightly in my hand and move the butt down past my palm. Either way, I don't hold it that loosely. For me, the more up my hand goes the firmer grip I hold.

    It depends where you hold your racquet. The more up you hold your racquet from the butt cap, the more firm I'd hold it. Only when the butt cap is in your palm you should really hold it loosely. Atleast, that's how I deal with it.

    But the thing I did to increase my swing speed and power is load my shots. Using a semi-open stance with my semi-western grip. I pulled back and sort of arch my back and get a lot of knee bend and torque and then hit the ball. My shoulders move first and then my arm comes whipping around incredibly fast.

    So my left shoulder faces my opponent, and is higher than my right shoulder (hitting arm). And then when I hit. I spring up from the torque my shoulders and upper body pretty much rotates before my hitting arm and my arm whips around and I get tremendous topspin (depending how I hit it and when and where) and racquet speed.
     
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  5. FiveO

    FiveO Hall of Fame

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    Hold your grip as if you were holding a small pet. Grip pressure should be just firm enough to ensure the pet doesn't escape but not so much as to injure or kill it.

    Good luck.
     
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  6. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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    FiveO is right on with grip pressure. I use the bird analogy and he uses the pet analogy which both leads to the same place. If I were to try to yank the racquet out of your hands, I would be able to after about two tugs. So you are not squeezing the handle.

    Also, squeezing the handle puts a lot of stress on the elbow/tendon area which leads to injury and a gate like swing.

    You want to maintain a fixed wrist throughout your swing as this helps you control the racquet face and helps you bring the racquet face into the ball squarely.

    A fixed wrist does not mean a tight wrist. It means you have just enough pressure from your grip that the racquet does not flop around. You can maintain the racquet head about hand level throughout the swing.

    When you hit the ball you want to relax the arm. This is key for racquet head speed. The arm needs to be able to take the rotational energy from the torso and shoulders and move the racquet on path (relaxed and sure) into the ball. The elbow should be bent.

    You need to keep the fingers somewhat loose on the racquet (not too loose) to develop feel and touch.

    When you have bend in your knees and your hips are free to swivel, you should feel the start of your upper body swing in the stomach muscle area. This takes your mind off your arm and transfers the force lower in the body. You will find that having a relaxed arm (but a fixed wrist) and swinging from the stomach will produce lots of controlled power.

    Anyone getting back into tennis should feel sore stomach muscles after serving and hitting groundstrokes during practice. It should feel like you did 10,000 situps. You should be one sore puppy.

    Strengthen the torso for your twohanders, onehanders, forehands, volleys, serves, overheads. Perform roman twists (if your back can handle it otherwiee ask one of the experts in here for similar exercises that work the obliques and front stomach muscles), and medicine ball training. Buy a medicine ball, take it down to a backboard and throw the ball from the side like your hitting a groundstroke. Feel the stomach and oblique muscle burn and start the uncoiling for groundstrokes.

    Arms and shoulders rotate and are relaxed. Burn em baby, burn em..........
     
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  7. TwistServe

    TwistServe Guest

    Man I was hitting with this 5.5 player yesterday.. i thought my forehand was good but he has a such a heavy topspin forehand.. I've felt very few forehands that come this heavy.. the ball kicks up as it bounces.. you can see and feel the ball kick as its coming that you're pinned behind the baseline.. I added more lead to my racquet and going to concentrate on increasing my rally speed to ahcieve these results some day...
     
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  8. Return_Ace

    Return_Ace Professional

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    sorry twist, but does this post have anything to do with the main topic??? if it does sorry, if it doesn't then...............its off topic......................=/
     
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  9. TwistServe

    TwistServe Guest

    It has to do with forehands and generating racquet head speed.
     
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  10. Return_Ace

    Return_Ace Professional

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    oh okay then.............so greater head speed = more topspin right? if so does that mean head-heavy rackets generate more Topspin? so an Open Patterned, Head-Heavy Players racket would generate a lot of Topspin AND Kill ur arm? wow........
     
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  11. TwistServe

    TwistServe Guest

    Not sure about head heavier.. but it is true that for the same swing speed, a heavier racquet will generate a heavier ball... more mass = more weight on the ball.
     
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  12. Return_Ace

    Return_Ace Professional

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    well i was thinking that you would get more inertia/mass swinging a head-heavy racket than a head light racket.............you should also be able to swing a head heavy racket faster (like the hammer throw).......................
     
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  13. swinger

    swinger New User

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    Thanks Bill, that is very helpful!
     
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  14. Marius_Hancu

    Marius_Hancu G.O.A.T.

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    Yes, great to point this out, BB.
     
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  15. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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    Use your legs and torso more and keep your arms relaxed. This will give the ball that heavier impact it needs to go over heavier. Use your lower frequency muscles. ;)

    Legs and stomach. Let the shoulders add the punch.
     
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  16. polea

    polea New User

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    so. the shoulders MUST initiate the rotation and the arm got to be pushed by this rotation?
    in this case which is the function of the left arm? passing in front of the body to the left side helps with a faster rotation?

    thanks!!!
     
    #16

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