Wrist lag and straight arm forehand

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by isilra, Feb 15, 2013.

  1. isilra

    isilra Rookie

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2012
    Messages:
    160
    As a double bender, i have never understood why Fed and Nadal both uses straight arm forehands till today. I have tried to use straight arm today, and surprisingly i had a way better lag effect than ever. Never understood "Pull the racquet butt towards the ball" thing but now it seems possible for me to do that with a straight arm. Also, first you need to turn your shoulders to make your arm straight, so it allows a more efficient use of kinetic chain and SSC. Do you think i should change to a straight arm ?
     
    #1
  2. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2011
    Messages:
    4,116
    Location:
    San Diego
    moonballs likes this.
    #2
  3. isilra

    isilra Rookie

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2012
    Messages:
    160
    Well, i think realized something now. Even Djoker and Kolschreiber both have double bend, they go through the ball with their elbows to get the lag motion. So it's something like leading with elbow in backswing, also leading with elbow in forward swing ?
     
    #3
  4. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2011
    Messages:
    4,116
    Location:
    San Diego
    definitely leading elbow in forward swing.
     
    dimkin likes this.
    #4
  5. isilra

    isilra Rookie

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2012
    Messages:
    160
    I'm so stupid that i have never realized that the shoulder and the arm should stay in the same plane and the racquet should be the only one who should come from behind. I was always ruining my kinetic chain by trying to keep my arm and elbow back when i turn my shoulders. I'm so glad that i made this thread. It's like i have found my missing son after 20 years of search lol, thank you man.
     
    #5
  6. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2011
    Messages:
    4,116
    Location:
    San Diego
    you want 'racquet lag'. not 'arm lag'. notice how djoko's/fed/nadal/anyone good keeps the upper arm in line with the torso during the swing. the upper arm is moving with the torso/shoulders. the forearm/wrist is loose and lags the racquet.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gq09yHPmKh0
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k_6hC2qKnKw
     
    #6
  7. isilra

    isilra Rookie

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2012
    Messages:
    160
    Yes, i clearly understand now. I was always thinking it like a whole arm lag instead of a racquet lag like you mentioned, so it always destroyed my strokes. I have been telling myself "it should not be so hard, i'm doing something wrong" but never found what was wrong till now, thanks.
     
    #7
  8. DropShotArtist

    DropShotArtist Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2012
    Messages:
    1,227
    Would you then say the below is incorrect?


     
    #8
  9. psv255

    psv255 Professional

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Messages:
    976
    Location:
    NY
    The two statements are compatible, since after the torso rotation you would transfer more energy to the upper arm/shoulder and then the forearm/hand.

    Please correct me if I'm wrong (and pardon term misuse): Torso, shoulder and upper arm are visibly one unit, but undergo mechanical "stress" individually in sequence, each time multiplying the force originated from the former. So, by the time your your energy builds up to the racquet, there's a healthy lag between hand and racquet.
     
    #9
  10. Greg G

    Greg G Professional

    Joined:
    May 10, 2012
    Messages:
    1,035
    I don't think the above statement is wrong (post # 8 ), but the upper arm should not lag too far behind the shoulder, as that would break the kinetic chain/dissipate some of the energy.

    Edit: psv255 said it better :)
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2013
    #10
  11. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2011
    Messages:
    4,116
    Location:
    San Diego
    i think he is correct.
     
    #11
  12. NE1for10is?

    NE1for10is? Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2010
    Messages:
    501
    I notice in the Djoker video above that he is hitting the ball more out to the side than Federer does, who hits pretty far out in front. I'm wondering out loud if that is why Federer uses a straight arm, because it lets him hit more earlier and more in front?
     
    #12
  13. DropShotArtist

    DropShotArtist Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2012
    Messages:
    1,227
    But if you keep the arm in line with torso as you said then the upper arm can't really be loose since if it was loose it would lag behind. And if it's not loose then there really is no transfer from torso to upper arm since it would be rotating as a unit with only the forearm and wrist lagging.
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2013
    #13
  14. Dellon

    Dellon New User

    Joined:
    May 24, 2010
    Messages:
    65
    For me, the best analogy for a straight arm forehand is stone throwing ( or a handball - I used to play a long time ago).
    I couldn't imagine someone could throw a stone with a bent arm. I couldn't hit a tennis ball with a bent arm in a million years ... only when I look at that is painful enough, looks like someone broke those people's arms and made them hold a racquet and hit tennis balls .... only because 99% of the pros are using it it doesn't make it natural at all ... all the strokes in tennis are straight arm at contact , why would be this so different?

    http://www.visualphotos.com/image/2x4444026/boy_throwing_a_stone_into_the_sea
     
    #14
  15. psv255

    psv255 Professional

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Messages:
    976
    Location:
    NY
    The upper arm would lag if shoulder is loose, which it really isn't.
    There's nothing preventing energy transfer if upper arm doesn't lag, because a lot of that energy goes into external shoulder rotation in the forward swing rather than breaking the plane of the torso.
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2013
    #15
  16. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2011
    Messages:
    4,116
    Location:
    San Diego
    it should be loose. try standing with your arms to your side and your elbows bent a little. rotate your torso and try to keep your upper arm in line with your torso. no problem right? it takes virtually no energy or muscle to do that. it pretty much just happens. yes, i understand there is probably some muscle usage involved but it's very very little.

    There should be no tension in your biceps or triceps or forearm. elbow is loose to allow forearm movement. the wrist is loose for the same reason. you want to maintain the hitting structure of your arm and racquet throughtout the stroke but you want to be loose to allow it to breathe and stretch. You want to swing fast, not hard. (i'm talking regular rally balls here not special circumstances/situations)

    near contact you can activate things for spin etc like some pronation or wrist deviation etc but those movements, ideally, should not take a lot of muscle use, only very little. If you have the right contact point for your grip and swing style and a good setup at the end of takeback before the first forward movement then just before contact your arm and wrist will just be 'itchin' to pronate and deviate etc and if you just apply a little twist those actions will happen fast, smooth and naturally.
     
    #16
  17. Mahboob Khan

    Mahboob Khan Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2004
    Messages:
    2,095
    Federal and Nadal's forehands: Watch them carefully. Yes, their hitting arms are straight at contact but bent in the backswing and follow-through.

    I think straight arm at contact is not good for every one. It might cause you pain.
     
    dimkin likes this.
    #17
  18. pkshooter

    pkshooter Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2012
    Messages:
    586
    Location:
    In front of the TV
    Straight arm is easier, one less moving part.
     
    #18
  19. 10isfreak

    10isfreak Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2012
    Messages:
    564
    Actually, the arm extension is nearly completed before the forward swing for Federer, if not completed... Nadal clearly extends his arm later during swing than Federer does, however.

    As for your comment regarding pain, I do not see the point. What would make it more prone to injuries? Hitting can't cause the arm to hyper-extend and, since in both types of hitting position you're making contact with some sort of wrist extension, I doubt there is any more risk for that same issue at the wrist either.

    Besides, for consistency, some people find it easier to set up with at more extreme position at the elbow. As stated above, it's one less part that risk moving.
     
    #19
  20. isilra

    isilra Rookie

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2012
    Messages:
    160
    Since i have corrected the movement (racquet lag, not arm lag), it's almost been impossible for me to hit a ball flat without contact pronation and i have no idea what causes this. Only thing i know is, it's an unconscious motion and i don't use any muscle stress to activate it. I think it's about where you contact the ball like you explained.
     
    #20
  21. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2011
    Messages:
    4,116
    Location:
    San Diego
    .. so what are you saying? not sure i understand.
     
    #21
  22. DropShotArtist

    DropShotArtist Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2012
    Messages:
    1,227
    What's the difference between swinging hard vs fast?
     
    #22
  23. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2011
    Messages:
    4,116
    Location:
    San Diego
    swinging hard uses / implies using a lot of muscle.. muscling the ball. tense. this will result in a slower racquet head speed. you want to generate racquet head speed from being loose and using coordinated movements. kinetic chain. loose = fast.

    good video on kinectic chain, short power, bruce lee's one inch punch
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=M2PfOSAstZc
     
    #23
  24. DropShotArtist

    DropShotArtist Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2012
    Messages:
    1,227
    Very interesting. Short power seems to be in line with what Oscar was saying about finding the ball first and then accelerating at the 'last moment'.

    How to practice the kinetic chain at home? Any exercises?
     
    #24
  25. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2011
    Messages:
    4,116
    Location:
    San Diego
    you can shadow swing and just concentrate on starting each swing with the leg loading and a push off the ground instead of just swinging your arm around. The leg loading should be the starting point for a standard rally ball. If your leg is loaded then there's a good chance that you'll be on your way to a kinectic chain that goes up all the way to the racquet, otherwise you'll just be using upper body only or arm only.

    look at the 'bionic serve' video on youtube. it deals with the serve mostly but has good info on the energy transfer involved in the kinetic chain and how coordinated movements produce more speed and power. it's a good vid.
     
    #25
  26. hotshotMan

    hotshotMan New User

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2014
    Messages:
    12
    I disagree, if your shoulder relax (should be) then your arm will lag when you roll your trunk forward. Your racket will be lagged from the wrist as the result of fast moving arm.
     
    #26
  27. hotshotMan

    hotshotMan New User

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2014
    Messages:
    12
    Federer sometimes hits with bend arm too when the ball is close to his body.
     
    #27
  28. hotshotMan

    hotshotMan New User

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2014
    Messages:
    12
    You are right, this is the X factor (shoulder and hip lines) in golf. The fatter the X the better.
     
    #28
  29. Mack-2

    Mack-2 Rookie

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2011
    Messages:
    200
    Is it possible to have a straight arm in the backswing but a bent arm at contact?
     
    #29
  30. WildVolley

    WildVolley Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2007
    Messages:
    6,132
    Ah, behold the great Gulbis forehand.:eek:

     
    #30
  31. Mack-2

    Mack-2 Rookie

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2011
    Messages:
    200
    Hahahahaha is he the only one?
     
    #31
  32. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2006
    Messages:
    11,986
    Location:
    Stuck in the Matrix somewhere in Santa Clara CA
    Doubt that you'll get a response from the OP. Don't believe he's posted at all for more than 2 years.
     
    #32
  33. syc23

    syc23 Professional

    Joined:
    May 20, 2011
    Messages:
    1,493
    Having remodelled my FH to a straight arm technique that Federer/Nadal deploys, it has taken my FH to the next level and the amount of easy spin and power it can generate is amazing. I can't imagine hitting a FH any other way now. I started tennis in 2011 and decided to take a leap of faith and changed my technique from a Soderling like huge take back to a compact swing in 2012 and although my game suffered for 6 months, once you nailed the technique down, it never feels like you need to muscle the FH and it just feels so effortless now.
     
    #33
  34. dimkin

    dimkin Rookie

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2015
    Messages:
    364
    Location:
    NYC
    I tried it as well, and it hurts my shoulder too much :( back to Soderling-like (I wish) forehand :)
     
    #34
  35. Chas Tennis

    Chas Tennis Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2011
    Messages:
    4,822
    Location:
    Baltimore, MD
    Gulbis, Del Porto and Florien Mayers have unusually high upper arms on the forehand. Del Porto in particular has a very high pace forehand.

    "Chas Tennis, Mar 28, 2013
    From high speed video I'm not seeing a clear pattern yet that shows what is happening with a high takeback. But some players such as Del Porto, Gulbis and Florian Mayer raise the elbow high (upper arm) and it appears to be adding pace.

    If some players have learned how to use a high elbow maybe they are using shoulder adduction to initially rapidly pull down the upper arm. However, this is not apparent to me in most videos of forehands.

    The reason that it would probably be used by some players in their forehands is that the largest muscle attached the arm is the lat. It can pull the upper arm bone, the humerus down very forcefully as in a pullup.

    TennisOxygen has some very nice Youtube videos on take backs for the pros and how high they are. Most are listed under user name "xstf".

    Federer, Nadal & Djokovic's and more similar forehand 1st move.
    removed youtube

    Look for videos comparing the forehands of players.
    removed youtube

    What high speed videos show more clearly is that body rotation contributes to FH pace."
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2015
    #35
  36. Mack-2

    Mack-2 Rookie

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2011
    Messages:
    200
    Thanks for the reply but I don't think you answered my original question. I asked if it is possible to have a straight arm on the backswing (tap the dog position) and them a bent arm at contact. Your reply however was very informative on other information
     
    #36

Share This Page