Wrist snap question

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by bkpr, Nov 30, 2012.

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  1. bhupaes

    bhupaes Professional

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    Toly, in this picture, the racquet head is almost surely also moving upwards and across, in addition to the forward direction. Wrist movement, if any, would most likely be a (passive) flexing movement which (due to the western grip) moves the racquet mostly upwards (one reason why western grips yield more spin - an eastern grip would result in more forward movement when the wrist flexes). The forward movement in this picture most likely comes from a number of sources, a significant component coming from ISR (which also moves the racquet up and across), and the rest coming from the shoulder and other sources. Ulnar (or radial) deviation, if any, would be insignificant, and probably only done for fine control of the racquet head.

    A case can be made that all active movements of the wrist are for purely control purposes, and any contribution to power is incidental. But we've discussed this many times before...
     
  2. TheCheese

    TheCheese Professional

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    People I play against always note that my strokes are very smooth and "wristy". However, I'm not actively using my wrist at all. The secret is pronating your forearm and getting a prestretch that releases as you swing forward.
     
  3. toly

    toly Hall of Fame

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    The question was about wrist deviations. So, I just tried to clarify this matter and nothing else.:)

    About passive/active wrist I explained in post #103. What is wrong with my explanation? :confused:
     
  4. julian

    julian Hall of Fame

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    I am AWAY

    Two simple pieces of info
    1.there is a related link
    http://www.virtualtennisacademy.com/forums/index.php?action=showthread&threadid=462

    2.Next blog by tennisspeed will be talking about radial deviation

    please see
    http://blog.tennisspeed.com/2012/12/a-roadmap-to-hall-of-fame-forehand-part.html

    3.The result of google
    https://www.google.com/#hl=en&tbo=d...373a0ddae158d8&bpcl=39942515&biw=1173&bih=577
    provides more references
    I did "forehand"+"ulnar deviation" in google

    PS
    I am a bit chaotic but I do NOT have a laptop on me
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2012
  5. bhupaes

    bhupaes Professional

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    With all due respect, toly, I believe you are basing your analysis on an incorrect model of the forehand. The centrifugal force, IMO, is inconsequential - let's say it simply prevents the racquet from flying off. What matters at that point is the forward speed that's being imparted to the racquet as it is being pulled towards the contact point, and the stretch that's happening to the muscles that control the wrist. At some point before contact, ISR happens, and the hand is pulled in. This releases the stretched wrist, among other things, and causes the racquet to whip into the ball. There is no discernible ulnar deviation, and almost all the wrist movement is passive. Yes, the ISR will lift the racquet head, but also move it forward into contact, and will eventually pull the racquet across the body.
     
  6. user92626

    user92626 Legend

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    I was afraid that someone would answer "timing" and "technique". That answer really doesn't explain anything, lead the conversation anywhere. :)

    Ok, so I hear that you shouldn't isolate any one area, and work on fastest rhs. In term of biomechanics, what your body feels, what should I be focusing on? I mean, if I were to teach a kid to swim fast, I'd tell him to focus on kicking his feet faster, etc.
     
  7. TheCheese

    TheCheese Professional

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    Focus on getting that prestretch feeling in your arm. It feels like loading a slingshot and letting it release up and across the ball.

    How you do this is a whole other conversation in itself. Hint: Pronate during the takeback.
     
  8. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

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    focus on the kinetic chain, being loose, proper footwork, weight transfer, extenstion, SSC, leg push, proper contact point for your grip - out in front, right combo of pronation, isr and deviation, etc. all of those things contribute to power.

    What do you expect us to say without a video of your strokes?

    Or you could just flex your wrist more as Toly says. :)
     
  9. rkelley

    rkelley Hall of Fame

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    The problem is that it's more complicated than simple advice. And the correct advice for you is going to depend to some extent on your swing, grips, etc.

    For instance on one of these fh threads we were talking about how Cheetah and I focus on different things when we hit our fhs:
    - I use an almost SW grip and I'm always thinking about swinging up.
    - Cheetah uses an almost W grip and thinks about swinging through.

    The results are about the same, but because of our grips we focus on somewhat different things in some cases. OTOH, we both set-up semi-open when we can, try to be relaxed in our set-up, keep our head still and eyes on the contact zone, bend our legs and use our legs to drive the kinetic chain - so there are a lot of similarities too. I also always think about keep my wrist and forearm neutral during set-up and keeping my racquet forward (because I tend to take my backswing too far back).
     
  10. charliefedererer

    charliefedererer Legend

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    You've already got great answers above - there just is no one "secret" that will unlock more power.

    [​IMG]


    Clearly, the source of power in tennis is using all the components of the kinetic chain firing precisely at the right time - any lag or early firing interferes with the build up in power.

    [​IMG]

    The above is an approximation - we can't break a person down an isolate one aspect like we can a machine.

    If you want an intellectual understanding of the biomechanics of the serve and forehand, I would urge you take even the limited subscription to tennisplayer.net and read the fascinating analyses by Brian Gordon [I think he does a great job of explaining his pioneering computer modeling research in easy to understand terminology.]
    (Because of copyright laws, I don't have a sample of the system he uses, but it perhaps can be considered an extension of the APAS system analysis developded by Vic Braden and And Fitzell. Even without narration or explanation, your own observation can see the leg pushoff, core/hip rotation, setting up the arm in the correct orientation to transfer all that power eventually through the wrist/hand/racquet to the ball.
    Roger Federer Forehand on the APAS System http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pPLmCqGIotM
    Andy Roddick Serve on the APAS System http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kqSKBBxO3qU

    [​IMG]

    [A word on timing. Because Brian Gordon can place sensors all over any tennis players body, he can determine not only if all the body movements are correct, but if they are firing their legs, shoulders, or arms a tiny fraction of a second too early or too late so that they can begin corrective action.
    http://www.3d-tennis.com/ocuspta/bestfh.html ]





    This thread is about "wrist snap".

    As mentioned above the bulk of power comes from the whole body acting in a co-ordinated fashion.

    Just as the power in a car is its engine and the gears and differential "only" serve to transfer the power to the wheels, so too does the wrist "only" transfer the power to hand/racket.

    But engineers spend countless hours working on gearboxes and differentials to transfer that power to the engine.
    It is only natural that we tennis players try to understand what is happening at the wrist to transfer that energy from the body through the hand and racquet to the ball.




    What exercise to do?

    A basic principle is that the closer the exercise is to the sports activity, the quicker you see results.

    So spending more time practicing/playing tennis - and being certain you have correct technique - leads to the quickest gains in power.

    But there are three problems with only playing tennis and not doing an off court conditioning program:

    1. Muscular weakness prevents proper stroke set up/execution. Many have weaknesses that prevent them from doing what the pros do for power [an example would be difficulty balancing going into a deep knee bend, shoulder wind and backward lean from the heels in the trophy position - some players really need to do squats to have the leg, core and muscles that connect the leg to the core strength to get into a powerful trophy position from which they can explode.]

    2. Overuse injuries. Tennis requires countless hours on the court practicing bashing the ball. The "hitting muscles" are getting stronger and stronger and can overpower the "resisting" or "stopping" muscles. Too much energy is then
    transferred to non-elastic ligaments, tendons and joints. Overuse injuries result. Doing off court strengthening exercises increases the strength in elastic muscle to absorb all the hitting energy, and allow a player to bash with a decreased chance of incurring an overuse injury.

    3. Explosive plyometric exercises cause overuse injuries. Many players decide to take up explosive jumping and medicine ball throwing exercises to increase power [Power = Force x Velocity]. But explosive power exercises have a high liklehood of causing overuse injuries for the same reason I described above for tennis overuse injuries. Only now those players are doing two activities that may result in an overuse injury - plyometrics plus tennis! Any surprise many "break down"? So a period of increasing overall strength better prepares the muscles/tendons/ligaments/joints to absorb plyometrics and tennis.


    For all the above reasons, a total body workout program divided into strength gains before plyometrics is recommended. If you are interested, I urge you to read The Elite Approach to Tennis Strength Training http://www.sport-fitness-advisor.com/tennis-strength-training.html
    In it, there is a stress on a shoulder, forearm and wrist program of exercises done concurrently. The exercises listed are good, but the best I have found for this is the Thrower's Ten Exercises http://www.muhlenberg.edu/pdf/main/athletics/athletic_training/throwers10.pdf

    I hope this helps.
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2012
  11. TheLambsheadrep

    TheLambsheadrep Professional

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    Watching some of the pro's back swings, you can def see that their forearms do pronate (almost starting from when their off hand leaves the racquet) for at least their forehand takebacks because their palms are facing down and the racquet face that would make contact is parallel to the ground (or close to it) right before they go "low-to-high."

    So there's pronation early before contact which relates to the racquet whipping around when you accelerate low-to-high to the ball. Is that pronation what causes the natural motion of the SSC aka the wrist turning over itself and finish "thumbs down" when you follow through across your body? Or is there another pronation just before/at contact that turns the wrist over and is mistaken for wrist action?

    I asked the question above because I can achieve the "thumbs down" finish by using my wrist in a WW-esque follow through, but now want it to occur from the SSC. After looking into this subject and learning about keeping the palm back and down on the back swing, I want to make this my natural swing and break the habit of using my wrist (using it a lot, at least). I have changed some of my thinking from the very long post I have on page 7. The topic of ulnar deviation to flatten out a shot is interesting though, especially now that I understand what Toly was saying. I just can't see someone that uses a full western FW doing this - I tried a few air strokes and it never felt like I would be able to control where the ball went. Now, I do have a SW FW (and a pretty bad real western FW at that) and I can def imagine it working. It's just a little more slap to the ball.
     
  12. TheLambsheadrep

    TheLambsheadrep Professional

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    But whether this is the right way to flatten out a shot or not, I do not know
     
  13. julian

    julian Hall of Fame

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    A favor

    Hi,
    may I ask you a favor.
    Could you provide a verbal definition of radial deviation?
    Thank you
    The picture above does NOT say whether it is a planar movement or NOT.
    If you can address this issue it would nice as well
    PS
    a possible definition of ulnar deviation from Wikipedia below
    ---->
    Ulnar deviation is also a physiological movement of the wrist, where the hand including the fingers move towards the ulna. Ulnar deviation is a disorder in which flexion by ulnar nerve innervated muscles is intact while flexion on the median nerve side is not.
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2012
  14. toly

    toly Hall of Fame

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    Radial deviation is movement of the wrist, where the hand moves towards the radius (bone of the forehand).

    BTW, the question about planar motion is very difficult. Brian Gordon wrote somewhere that wrist motions are very complicated that’s why so far nobody was able to create math model of the wrist motions.

    IMO, if the wrist is near neutral position, from the wrist flexion/extension standpoint, the wrist deviations can move in plane. If there is a lot of wrist flexion or extension the motion would be restricted and more complicated. :confused:
     
  15. TheLambsheadrep

    TheLambsheadrep Professional

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    So there's pronation early before contact which relates to the racquet whipping around when you accelerate low-to-high to the ball. Is that pronation what causes the natural motion of the SSC aka the wrist turning over itself and finish "thumbs down" when you follow through across your body? Or is there another pronation just before/at contact that turns the wrist over and is mistaken for wrist action?
     
  16. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

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    I wouldn't think of it that way.
    Depending on the shot the pronation can occur before contact or after contact. There can be forearm pronation as well as pronation from the shoulder. There are several factors which come into play such as personal style and flair, grip, intent etc. There's also wrist ulnar and radial deviation.

    SSC is something else and happens earlier in the swing and is not caused by pronation.
     
  17. TheLambsheadrep

    TheLambsheadrep Professional

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    So you're saying the "right way" to swing includes pronation and wrist deviation(s) but not wrist flexion (or extension..?). And that the pronation and wrist deviation(s) can occur at any given time during the swing depending on the type of shot?

    So pretty much the general rule is that there is no order to how these movements happen, but that they will happen as long as you don't try to force anything? I'm used to teaching younger children who need steps 1, 2, and 3 to hit a forehand or it's all a big mess, so to hear that there's no given order to the pronations and wrist deviations on a standard forehand is weird to me
     
  18. toly

    toly Hall of Fame

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    IMO there are at least three completely different types of forehands with semiwestern/western grip:
    1. Flat FH
    2. Topspin FH (WW FH)
    3. Hard topspin FH
    Which one do you want to talk first? :confused:
     
  19. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

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    I didn't say anything about flexion or extension. Forgot to mention them.
    They are in the mix too.

    I didn't say there is 'no order'. The order and degree can be forced intentionally with muscle control or you can force the order with the setup in the takeback and just 'letting it happen in the order you intended ' or you can just let it rip and see what happens however I think most people control what happens with one of the 1st 2 methods.
    It depends on the player and the situation.

    I'm not a coach and have no experience teaching tennis children but I would suspect there is more of a structured swing plan implemented for them.

    You can accomplish the same type of shot many different ways. I can hit a high heavy topspin cc shot several ways. I can use forearm pronation early or late or almost no pronation or utilizing isr for the spin or use a very steep low to high swing with x amount of deviation or a more level swing with y amount of deviation and z amount of pronation or using a pretty locked hitting structure with a ww or with a semi straight arm and wristing it with a whippy type swing etc.
    It just depends on how i'm feeling or how i'm hitting that day or how well my legs are moving and how much time i have to set up etc.

    I don't think there's a set preferred order. But maybe some coaches on here will tell you otherwise. It's simple and yet complicated which is why many of us spend a lot of time here discussing such things.
     
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