Use of the non-hitting arm during forehand??

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by Gugafan, Dec 29, 2008.

  1. Gugafan

    Gugafan Hall of Fame

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    I have recently been told that the non hitting arm works as a counter balance when hitting forehands. My question is, should one always keep the non-hitting arm out infront and parallel to the baseline or should this only apply on specific forehand situations....For instance when dealing with a short ball and you have time to setup would the preperation shown below be more useful.


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    Last edited: Dec 29, 2008
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  2. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Wouldn't that totally depend on your personal physical makeup and style, plus what grip you use, plus according to actual hitting situation of the incoming ball?
    Fast balls deep at your forehand require little more than a solid block.
    High soft balls at your forehand can be hit really hard by you, so more rotation of the torso, longer backswing, and faster swing.
    But we all make the racket head move in different ways, so no universal solution here.
    All forehands are not the same, so you can't generalize on one side with one technique.
    Comfortable with early racket preparation is the key, any way you want to do it.
     
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  3. Farz77

    Farz77 Rookie

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    Always get that non-dominant hand in front and parallel to the net. That pic of Moya is exactly what everyone should look like at that point in time of the stroke. Obviously with little adjustments.
     
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  4. tenzinrocks

    tenzinrocks Rookie

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    Use it for balance. If you're right handed, have your left arm out so your chin touches your left shoulder and after the forehand swing, have your left shoulder touch your chin. Nadal does his in a way where he kind of looks like he's pushing through a huge wave, kind of looks like he's swimming with his left hand
     
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  5. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    If you hit like Moya, then prepare your off hand like him.
    If you don't, maybe it's not for you.
    I see traditional eastern forehand players point their offhand towards the opponent's court.
    I see slicer dicer forehands and they mostly don't prepare their offhands any particular way.
    I'd love Moya's forehand, but then I like Sampras's, Nadals, Federer's, so maybe ONE prep position is not the answer.
     
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  6. WildVolley

    WildVolley Legend

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    It is standard technique these days. Of course, the hand doesn't stay in that position. The off-hand will normally initiate the stroke and then move out before pulling in at contact.

    Most pros use that technique. Agassi does, as well as Safin, Federer, Nadal, Gonzo, Ancic, Gulbis, Roddick, Djokovic, Blake, Tsonga, Murray, etc.
     
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  7. mistapooh

    mistapooh Semi-Pro

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    The non-dominant hand also helps you complete your unit turn. Without it counter-balancing your strokes, you end up over rotating (me personally).
     
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  8. [ GTR ]

    [ GTR ] Semi-Pro

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    I think the non hitting arm is more useful for shoulder rotation which gives more power than it is for balance..
     
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  9. tennismike33

    tennismike33 Semi-Pro

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    The non hitting arm does this and so much more. In preperation to hit the shot getting the off arm in position, out in front as I teach, this will begin the process of the shot. Try hitting a ball without using your off arm to feel the difference.

    The off arm up allows your shoulders to prepare, which will give you the full shoulder turn, this is where the balance you are talking comes from. Power is nothing more than the result of a properly prepared for and struck shot.
     
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  10. mike53

    mike53 Professional

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    I have heard it suggested that the non-hitting hand point to the ball as it crosses the net. Is this a good idea?
     
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  11. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    I agree with this.


    That is an older school of thought. The arm extended out to the side yields a batter shoulder rotation. It also provides an excellent spatial reference to the incoming ball (as I've mentioned several times in other recent threads) -- it should help you with your footwork and getting your body into an optimal position (location) for hitting your FH shots.
     
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  12. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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    Actually it is for balance as well. Balance from the standpoint of it keeping you balanced and allowing your angular momentum to move towards the ball rather than away from the ball and thus losing your balance. Keep in mind, we are not talking about balance from the standpoint of you not falling over on to the ground. We are talking about the delicate balance on your feet that you need to allow angualr momentum to move through the ball. If something pulls you away from that, you will execute mechanisms to counterbalance and thus "throw" your balance off a bit.

    The non-dominant arm should:

    1. Help in bringing the racquet back, which helps,

    2. Improve your shoulder rotation (goal is to get the front shoulder under the chin), which helps,

    3. You extend the non-dominant arm to "scan" the contact zone, which helps,

    4. You improve your timing and balance for the forward swing, which helps,

    5. You accelerate by folding this arm back into the body allowing your hitting arm to accelerate through contact.
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2008
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  13. Gugafan

    Gugafan Hall of Fame

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    This is a great point. I have started extending the non dominant hand more during my forehand swing, and found my momentum was moving forward, allowing me to attack more.
     
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  14. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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    Yeah baby. Send that energy into the ball. Use your arms in the right way to help you accelerate. This means you dont have to over do it in other areas (like swining your arm purposely harder) to generate power into the ball. USE THE BODY, USE THE ARMS TO HELP YOU SWING!
     
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  15. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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    [​IMG]

    Beautiful technique. Just awesome. Moya is also a real cool guy. A buddy of mine was lucky enough to go golfing with him at the Pacific Life in Palm Springs. Very down to earth person.
     
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  16. Failed

    Failed Semi-Pro

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    It also helps spacing the shot. The fact is that the use of your non-dominant hand is required if not necessary for a good stroke.
     
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  17. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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    Yup that is true.
     
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  18. phoenicks

    phoenicks Professional

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  19. Gugafan

    Gugafan Hall of Fame

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  20. TenisuBaka

    TenisuBaka New User

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    Very interesting thread. I searched for information on this after watching FYB many times and shadowing. What I am confused about at this point is what exactly to do with the non-hitting arm at the beginning of swing to contact. Should I actually try to lead the swing from the non-hitting arm by pushing it out and around my body with my should as though to chop the air? I would think no, but that is exactly what the guy seems to be doing in the video on FYB. (the video of the WW forehand, not the video of the standard forehand).
     
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  21. TenisuBaka

    TenisuBaka New User

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    Sorry, I cannot figure out how to edit. The actual question should read:

    Should I actually try to lead the swing with the non-hitting arm by using my shoulder to push it out and around my body as though to chop the air?
     
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  22. chico9166

    chico9166 Guest

    If I understand your question correctly, I would say definately no. In a more modern, mulit-segmented swing, the arms, and hands should not "lead" the forward swing. This is not how you want to trigger the foreward movement with the hitting structure.

    Rather, you want to key the forward movement, at least initially, with the feet and hips. So, when your think it is time to "swing", instead, rotate from the ground up. It is very important that the core leads----and the arms and hitting structure respond to that movement.
    Not vice-versa.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 18, 2009
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