Why Do Lighter Sticks Cause Elbow/Shoulder Pain?

Discussion in 'Racquets' started by winstonplum, Jan 12, 2012.

  1. winstonplum

    winstonplum Hall of Fame

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    I've been using the Prestige Mid (Microgel) on and off for about two years. It's fine. Whatever. But it seems like every time I try a lighter stick, I notice some twinging in my shoulder rather quickly. I actually bought a APDGT about a year ago because I loved the spin I could get while I demoed it and had to sell it after four months. I even strung it with 17 gauge RPM Blast at the very bottom of the tension rec; didn't help (multis or syns are not an option for breaking/financial reasons). Today, I was demoing a prestige mp (you-tek), and holy smokes, the thing is only about a half ounce lighter than the mid, but there again, I noticed some shoulder/elbow discomfort. I've read a lot of good things about the Pure Storm GT and would like to demo it, but it being a hole ounce lighter than the prestige mid I use, I can already see where this is going. Why is this? Is it because you swing harder with the lighter racquet thus creating more vibration? Clue me in. It seems counter-intuitive, like the heavier racquet would cause more arm problems, but that's never been the case for me.
     
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  2. Readers

    Readers Semi-Pro

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    Lighter is better for shoulder, I can't imaging practice serve with a 14 oz stick. But you don't want it too light, like a 8 oz, because it's bad for your elbow and wrist.

    IMHO the best stick for your healthy is a soft stick that's nether too light nor too heavy. I'd say a sticky in 10.5-12.5 oz range won't be too bad for any part of your body, and stiffness is more important than weight.


    Edit: Please make more paragraph, I misread it due to wall of text.

    APDGT with RPM is super stiff, which could be the root of problem, also weight might not be the only difference between the new and old version. Maybe the new one is stiffer? I don't know much about new head frames.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2012
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  3. KenC

    KenC Professional

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    It might be that you are just compensating for the differences in weight/swingweight and your muscles haven't adapted to the new slightly different movement needed to produce the same stroke with a different racquet.

    I notice little niggles when I switch back and forth between the PSLGT and the PST, probably due to a big difference in swingweight.

    If you use the Prestige Mid, I would demo the Pure Storm Tour instead of the regular version. The regular Storm and the Tour version play like very different racquets. And, adding weight to the handle of the regular Storm doesn't make it play like the Tour either.
     
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  4. spaceman_spiff

    spaceman_spiff Professional

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    A racket with a higher swingweight requires less swing speed to generate power (all things being equal). For some people, the speed of the swing is what causes should pains rather than the strain of the weight, because very high swing speeds involve more arm usage than slower speeds (which can be achieve mostly by core/unit turn if done correctly).

    Also, a frame with a higher swingweight will deflect less than a lighter frame (again, all things being equal). The less a frame deflects, the lower the amount of shock transmitted to the player's arm (and the more the strings stretch, since they absorb more of the force of the impact).

    So a lighter frame requires a higher swing speed and transmits more shock to your arm.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2012
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  5. kaiser

    kaiser Semi-Pro

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    Absolutely, spot on!
     
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  6. Andreas1965

    Andreas1965 Rookie

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    My former coach used to tell me to use the heaviest possible racquet that I can play with for more than 4 hours without feeling the weight makes me weak.

    Whenever I demo a lightweighted stick (last was the MG Radical MP) I am feeling like I have to involve so much muscle to achieve the same power like with a heavier racquet. So it always results in me being tired and worn out after playing a light stick.
    Maybe if I would more often play the light ones, that'll result in injury.

    For me the weight range between 325 and 340 grams (strung) and about 7-8 pts. headlight turned out being best.
     
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  7. eman resu

    eman resu Semi-Pro

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    Ouch, after 4 hours I would get tired even if I wasn't holding anything!
     
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  8. Readers

    Readers Semi-Pro

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    Very true, I feel exactly the same way on forehand and backhand. But trying to hit hard serve with super heavy stick kills my shoulder.

    Some people seems not have this problem at all, but to me it's a big deal.
     
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  9. TennisMaverick

    TennisMaverick Banned

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    The heavier the frame, the more work it does and the more it absorbs the ball's impact, both of which make the stick more arm friendly "on contact".
     
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  10. Fuji

    Fuji Legend

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    Tis the reason why the lightest rackets I use are 12.7oz now. Saves my arm and shoulder. I use 14.0oz sticks for doubles! :)

    -Fuji
     
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  11. Andreas1965

    Andreas1965 Rookie

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    I guess coach wanted to tell that one should use a racquet as heavy as possible. 4 hours might be a bit too much, but if you can swing a racquet's weight for 3 sets the weight is ok. You have to find a stick with a weight and balance that suits you, and this certain stick should be as heavy as possible.
    Lighter racquets caused me problems with joints, muscles and will result in permanent injury if I'd use them on regular base.
     
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