What is this straight arm or bent arm forehand stuff?

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by nextbigbigthing1, Oct 21, 2011.

  1. nextbigbigthing1

    nextbigbigthing1 New User

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    What are these concepts,
    I meant you cant have a straight arm at contact cause elbow will always be bent as your hitting your fh to your rh side but a bit infront obviously for power.
    So does straight mean from elbow to fingers? i assume?

    PLease exlplain and provide examples , thanks>>>
     
    #1
  2. phnx90

    phnx90 Hall of Fame

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    No...straight arm means straight arm, I'd have thought

    [​IMG]
     
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  3. Xizel

    Xizel Professional

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    The picture above shows a straight-armed forehand, with a single-bend at the wrist. Of course, it's not possible to hit with locked elbows, but the flexion angle is very slight. This is the double-bend (note the clearly flexed elbows):

    [​IMG]
     
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  4. Can't think of a name

    Can't think of a name Rookie

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    #4
  5. papa

    papa Hall of Fame

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    Well, that's not just it. Although I shy away from teaching it, its a valid approach.

    Some (few) can hit with a straight arm, however, most find it a challenge. One of the problems is that when the elbow floats away from the body and we lose the double bend, consistency becomes a big problem. Yes, there are advantages to a straight arm forehand but the trade off probably isn't worth it for most.
     
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  6. WildVolley

    WildVolley Legend

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    The straight arm technique seems to be legitimate as video shows that both Federer and Nadal prefer to hit that way when they have the time.

    When two of the best players in the world use a particular technique it doesn't mean you should necessarily adopt it, but it is worthy of consideration.
     
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  7. Magic of tennis

    Magic of tennis Semi-Pro

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    If two of the best players in the world play straight arm, definitely it is worthy of following it.
     
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  8. Xizel

    Xizel Professional

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    *double nods*
     
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  9. Manus Domini

    Manus Domini Hall of Fame

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    I agree with what Papa said, though I use straight-arm technique.

    It isn't that you lock your elbows, as you might think, but rather that your arm is in the process of straightening out as you hit your stroke. Not hard to see why inconsistency arises.

    But it also forces you to hit out in front of your body. If you don't, your gonna either send the ball flying, or hit it as a sitter. Imo, it leads to more spin/faster RHS, but I can't vouch for that as a scientific fact (maybe just for me).
     
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  10. nextbigbigthing1

    nextbigbigthing1 New User

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    but how would you know which one you are hitting with? wouldnt it change depending on the shot etc and footwork...
     
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  11. nextbigbigthing1

    nextbigbigthing1 New User

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    but fed uses both, as its impossible to use one all the time, every player uses both as its impossible to know if you hit straight or bend elbow etc...
     
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  12. WildVolley

    WildVolley Legend

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    While Fed does use both, your point is just wrong. When Fed has time, he always hits with something approaching a straight arm at contact. When Djokovic has time, he always hits with a bent arm. Both of these guys have very grooved strokes due to millions of repetitions. Because tennis is a dynamic sport, the position will not always be the same, but both players have easily identifiable tendencies.

    Watch video of Fed play and you'll see that the bent arm is usually the result of him being rushed or being out of position with respect to footwork.

    It isn't impossible to figure out which technique you use as a player. Just get a video camera and video yourself playing. The vast majority of players use a bent arm at contact. I've tried hitting with a straight arm, but video shows that my arm remains bent at contact.
     
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  13. zapvor

    zapvor Legend

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    yea federer usually use straight. but of course being fed he adapts to every point
     
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  14. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    You can't get much more straight-armed than Federer:

    [​IMG]



    Most other pros hit with a bent arm:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2011
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  15. WildVolley

    WildVolley Legend

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    The big three for the straight arm forehand in my mind are Federer, Nadal, and Verdasco. I'm sure there must be someone else in the top 100, but those are the only three I can think of.
     
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  16. phnx90

    phnx90 Hall of Fame

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    Well then ask yourself whether on the ideal ball, the player (or you) hits with a straight or bent arm. Fed, Rafa and Verdasco all would hit with a straight arm on an ideal feed, I would've thought.

    On a side note, Rafa's WW forehand looks like a mirrored version of Fed's FH except for the takeback, so I don't know why people on this forum insist that all of Rafa's forehands are outright unconventional, technically extreme or likewise.
     
    #16
  17. rkelley

    rkelley Hall of Fame

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    I think Fish hits straight arm, and with the same grip, as Fed.
     
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  18. Marcus2137

    Marcus2137 Rookie

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    I just started hitting with a really heavy racket (swingweight of 402) a while back and I've found that the heavier my swingweight is, the straighter my arm is.

    With my light racket, I end up hitting with my elbow much more bent, mid-weight racket is slightly less bent, heavy racket and suddenly I'm hitting with the straightest arm I've ever used (and the stroke feels very smooth and fluid, as opposed to the way I hit with a light racket).

    I love the feeling when I have time to set up and hit with a straighter elbow
     
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  19. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    Really the straight arm Fh is just an extended version of the double bend Fh.
    The double bend Fh is the basic Fh and it can be extended more or less by players. Fed and Nadal tend to hit it at near full extension more often than not, giving rise to the idea it is a separate Fh and naming it as such.
    It is not really a meaningful description except for a couple of points.
     
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  20. WildVolley

    WildVolley Legend

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    Good eye. I've watched Fish play on TV but hadn't noticed that he prefers the straight arm on contact. Watching some video online, I see that his preferred contact is out front with a straight arm.

    So according to my inaccurate count, that puts 4 players in the top 50, including two extremely notable ones, who prefer that technique.

    I've tried the straight arm at contact but found it difficult. It was putting more stress on both my shoulder and wrist when I tried to make contact with the arm straight.
     
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  21. Tennisguy3000

    Tennisguy3000 Semi-Pro

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    Good discussion, I tend to get a little too close to the ball & therefore have to bend my elbows more than I should. I have even had a coach wrap a tennis ball can (plastic) around my arm to keep it straighter during a lesson haha.

    Working on lengthening/straightening things out a bit :)
     
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  22. Say Chi Sin Lo

    Say Chi Sin Lo Legend

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    Never knew there was a name for it, but I have the "straight-arm" forehand. It's effortless. As far as the double bend, I almost always only use it if I'm on the run, or I have to hit an extreme angle shot.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  23. Clay lover

    Clay lover Hall of Fame

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    Dude what level are you? Your swing tells me youre pretty damn good.
     
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  24. Marcus2137

    Marcus2137 Rookie

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    So I'm dying to know..........



    Did that ball fall out of your pocket or not?????? :)
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2011
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  25. Say Chi Sin Lo

    Say Chi Sin Lo Legend

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    Thank you for the compliment. Please see for yourself:

    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=401672

    I personally think the rating system is broken and it doesn't really tell you much about the player. But if you must know, I will be playing a 4.5 tournament in about 2weeks. I only rate myself because that's where I think I'll have fun competing.

    Yes, that ball was falling out of my pocket. I was lucky enough to not land on it. Those Nike shorts have crappy pockets, they can't hold more than 3 balls.
     
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  26. WildVolley

    WildVolley Legend

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    Yep, this first picture really illustrates the straight arm forehand and pulling the butt of the racket into the ball. You have that wide separation from the body of your elbow just like Federer and Nadal.

    Do you have a very flexible wrist? When I try to emulate this technique, it seems to strain my wrist.
     
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  27. VGP

    VGP Legend

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    Yeah, you can.

    [​IMG]

    Federer's arm has a slight bend to keep from hyperextending:

    [​IMG]

    Those look more like they're jammed.

    [​IMG]

    Still bent but not as extreme as you illustrate.
     
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  28. Say Chi Sin Lo

    Say Chi Sin Lo Legend

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    Uhh I guess? What qualifies as a "flexible" wrist. I can make the palm and the back of my hand parallel to the sky if I were to raise my hand.
     
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  29. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    Hmmm...looks like he's got a bend at the elbow to me:

    [​IMG]


    Hmmm....looks pretty darn straight to me:

    [​IMG]
     
    #29
  30. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    ^ Roger often has a very slight bend.

    No, it's worthy of consideration as WV indicated. Most people will probably have control issues trying to emulate Rafa and Roger in this respect. Better to go with the dbl-bend unless you can master the straight arm technique.
     
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  31. Say Chi Sin Lo

    Say Chi Sin Lo Legend

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    Just because one hits with a "straight-arm" forehand, that doesn't mean that's his/her only motion.

    It's impossible to straight-arm everything, one must be able to adapt depending on court position and the destination of the ball.

    For me, I'll straight-arm inside-out, down-the-line, inside-out-crosscourt. But angle cross-court, I'll introduce a slight to moderate bend at the elbow so I can hit the angle. Out wide forehand on the full stretch? Double bent for me. Nor will I straight-arm body jamming shots, I'll double bent for those too.

    I will say this, straight-arm is great for blocking/bunting return winners :).
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2011
    #31
  32. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    ^ I will tend to "straight arm" some high shots but "dbl-bend" most other shots. Most players will usually do one or the other most of the time, but not always.
     
    #32
  33. papa

    papa Hall of Fame

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    If you can use it and it works for you, then stay with it. I would never change someone unless they are very inconsistent because there are significant advantages like Manus suggested.
     
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  34. 2ManyAces

    2ManyAces Rookie

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    They're not actually STRAIGHTENING the arm, they're extending through the ball. Djoker has an extreme grip on the FH, so he wipes the ball a bit more. He's still extending though. Don't try to straighten your arm, just extend through the ball.

    literally straightening= injury
     
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  35. Say Chi Sin Lo

    Say Chi Sin Lo Legend

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    Truth!

    The straight arm part of the stroke, at least for me (and I think everyone who hits this way) is only "straight" for a split second.

    Notice the bend at the elbow after I make contact with the ball.

    Honestly though, if you have to consciously think about the stroke, then it's not natural to you. If it's not natural to you, the outcome won't be as good and you'll end up injuring yourself.
     
    #35
  36. j00dypoo

    j00dypoo Rookie

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    i agree. do w/e is natural and don't worry about this bent arm straight arm crap or trying to emulate your favorite players.

    The more you play the more you'll understand the game and start to develop on your own. Heck, for the longest time I never bothered to stop and analyze the way my swing looks or that I used a WW forehand. I could look really ugly on the court (probably do) but I don't really care hehe.
     
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  37. DjokovicForTheWin

    DjokovicForTheWin Banned

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    Why does straight arm lead to more inconsistency?
     
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  38. Frank Silbermann

    Frank Silbermann Professional

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    It's easy to hit with a straight arm if you use the continental grip...
     
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  39. Xizel

    Xizel Professional

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    It requires more arm and shoulder strength. The farther away the racquet, the more force required to move it. It also shifts the contact point away, from your body AND more out front. It's harder to control things farther away from you than closer.
     
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  40. papa

    papa Hall of Fame

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    Well, the contact point is further away as mentioned and when the elbow gets further from the body, most start spraying the ball around more. Some, very few, are able to control the straight arm approach but the margin of error is very small.
     
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  41. ho

    ho Semi-Pro

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    here is one, unless you are a genius
     
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  42. Ali Abdullah

    Ali Abdullah Rookie

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    Is thr any limit to how much bend you can have on your forehand and how close this bend can be to the body? can the elbow be very close to your body? i've seen many players with a double bend forehand and thr elbow is very close to the body.
     
    #42
  43. ho

    ho Semi-Pro

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    Very close. the closer the more power and more control. You basically hit with your body
     
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  44. tennis_balla

    tennis_balla Hall of Fame

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    You don't want to hit your forehand with your body
     
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  45. papa

    papa Hall of Fame

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    Correct and allowing the ball to get too close is not valid. Every player seems to develop their own comfort zone is this regard but don't let the ball get too close.
     
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  46. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    The limit is what you can control, replicate over and over, and still hit with enough power and swingspeed to dominate the rally. Longer the leverage arm, more power, less control.
     
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  47. Roy125

    Roy125 Professional

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    ^^^
    You guys make tennis complicated...lol.
     
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  48. ho

    ho Semi-Pro

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    #48
  49. ho

    ho Semi-Pro

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    Absolutely true, but you have the tendency to hit with only your arm.
    Behind you racket, the only weight is your arm.
    If you hit with your body, behind your racket, you have the whole body, not just the weight is superior, but the solid foundation of your body absorb, compress and bounce ball out far more better
     
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  50. Say Chi Sin Lo

    Say Chi Sin Lo Legend

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    Seriously. Just hit the your forehands the way you were taught, and the most comfortable with.

    Don't be copying other people's form when you're not comfortable with it.
     
    #50

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