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Chas Tennis 06-09-2012 07:40 AM

Biomechanics References on Tennis Strokes
I recently found some references mostly by tennis biomechanics researcher Bruce Elliott and associates. I found them very interesting.

If you have some similar references please reply.

1) Two minute interview with Bruce Elliott on biomechanics, tennis, and coaching. Refers to the book

Technique Development in Tennis Stroke Production(2009), B. Elliott, M. Reid & M. Crespo

Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc. all list it as ‘out of stock’. No wonder I had not heard of this 2009 biomechanics book on tennis stroke techniques. I found it for sale at the ITF Store. $20.

2) Paper - Biomechanics and Tennis, Elliott (internal shoulder rotation on the serve)

3) An Australian tennis website includes video discussions-

Instructional videos from a coach development workshop including 2 part Bruce Elliott & M. Reid video on the forehand. The first part is 56 minutes long and the first minutes are about foot work. Most stroke swing information starts at about 30 minutes.

(Note at the top of the webpage is a code to view the videos.)

4) ITF paper on coaching the serve

5) Paper on the serve - Where do High Speed Tennis Serves come from? G. Noffal

6) Early 1995 paper on the serve and internal shoulder rotation - Contributions of Upper Limb Segment Rotations During the Power Serve in Tennis, B. Elliott et al.

7) Paper - A Review of Tennis Serve Biomechanics, M. Seeley

8.) Biomechanical Principles of Tennis Technique, D. Knudson. Includes several insightful discussions.

9) ITF Biomechanics Stroke Power Point presentations, 2007

10) Paper - The Use of Technology in Tennis Biomechanics Research

11) Available ITF Publications

12) Paper - Shoulder joint loading in the high performance flat and kick tennis serves.(2007) Reid M, Elliott B, Alderson J.

13) Elastic Energy in Tennis -presentation B. Elliott

14) Paper - Key Factors and Timing Patterns in the Tennis Forehand of Different Skill Levels
Johannes Landlinger, Stefan Lindinger, Thomas Stöggl, Herbert Wagner and Erich Müller . Timing diagrams of joint angular velocities before & after impact.

15) ITF Introducing Biomechanics (added 12/2/13)

16) When viewing abstracts of many publications may be available free. To view the free paper look for an icon in the upper right side of the webpage with the abstract. Usually indicates 'view free text' somewhere but that phrase is not a link. For example, show abstract and link for paper #12.

Free full NCBI research papers on biomechanical and medical subjects. PMC = free full publications

(I thought that an ISBS biomechanics conference in July 2012 was to have a session on tennis and a special ITF tennis publication. But just learned that there’s no special session on tennis and, I guess ?, no special issue on the latest tennis research.)

connico 06-09-2012 08:16 AM

Fantastic post, I went to one of these conferences a few years back. Was educational!

Chas Tennis 06-15-2012 12:17 PM

Just received reference Technique Development in Tennis Stroke Production
This afternoon I received the IFT book Technique Development in Tennis Stroke Production(2009), B. Elliott, M. Reid and M. Crespo

Suppliers Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc. all list it as ‘out of stock’. No wonder I had not heard of this 2009 biomechanics book on tennis stroke techniques. I found it for sale at the ITF Store. $20 + $8 shipping. (ITF, get some book retailers!)

Chapter titles:

1 Talent Development: A Progressive Approach
2 Biomechanical and Anatomical Principles
3 'Heaviness' in Stroke Production
4 Variability an Integral Feature of Stroke Development
5 Service Mechanics
6 Forehand Mechanics (including return of serve)
7 Backhand Mechanics
8 Net Play Mechanics
9 Contemporary Coaching of Technique

Includes a section identifying the joint motions. Very readable. Overall and detailed perspectives. Extensive references for each chapter.

Best tennis book I've seen, a great reference book!

Chas Tennis 10-27-2012 08:27 PM

Biomechanics Course
"The goal of BME 473 is to teach the fundamental concepts of movement biomechanics with an emphasis on how muscles produce movement."

The interesting question for tennis is - How are the fastest muscle shortening velocities produced?

Chas Tennis 01-07-2013 12:24 PM

Titin - Some new research on muscle stretch.
I may have misunderstood this picture of new research related to the stretch-shortening cycle on the microscopic scale.

The Hill Muscle Model shows the functional components of a muscle on the smallest scale. It provides a way to visualize what is going on and to think about how active muscle components (actin & myosin) and passive muscle stretch component (recently also the Titin protein molecule) might function.

Recently, new research has emphasized the role played by passive Titin, the largest protein molecule, also located within the sacomere in parallel with the active Actin and Myosin structures. Recently it has been considered that Titin in each muscle cell provides the main stretch capability of the muscle. An older theory views stretch as an overall muscle stretch to include tendons.

Actin, Myosin Animation (no Titin) - Active Muscle Shortening

Sarcomere with Titin Illustrations

Actin, Myosin & Titin Illustrations

Report on Stretch Shortening Training with Biopsied Human Muscle Measurements. Added 2/5/2013

Powerpoint presentation Stretch Shortening Cycle including Titin. Added 2/5/2013,d.dmQ

New research on Titin

This report in Figure 7 proposes a new way that Titin might be interacting with Actin to provide stretch functions.

I don't understand this last research but maybe it implies that a stretch can be deliberately activated at various lengths of the muscle.

This new research might be especially important along with other research that indicates muscle shortening might be faster if 'passive' stretch is employed instead of active muscle shortening. (the Actin -Myosin animation above even looks slow).

In Biomechanics of Advanced Tennis (2003). Elliott said

"10-20% of additional racket head speed is achieved following a stretch shortening cycle."

(This publication is now 10 years old so there may be different views in 2013.)

Is that a simple addition to racket head speed or is passive stretch derived muscle shortening the only mode that can shorten that fast with control and reproducibility? Main principle of athletic movement?

See also

Added 10/8/2014
Titin-based contribution to shortening velocity of rabbit skeletal myofibrils

Chas Tennis 01-16-2013 11:36 PM

ITF Coaching and Sports Science Review (1993-Present)
ITF Coaching and Sports Science Review - 3 publications per year 1993-present. Short articles on tennis subjects including biomechanics.

Chas Tennis 09-24-2013 02:51 AM

National Center for Biotechnolgy Information
National Center for Biotechnolgy Information (NCBI)

NCBI data bases under “Literature”

Sample search NCBI database for “biomechanics tennis”- See "PubMed" abstracts and "PubMed Central" for full free publications.

Full text free publications- search

Full text free publications related to tennis -

Figures from tennis publications with links to the publications.

HughJars 09-24-2013 02:55 AM

I was lucky to have Bruce Elliott as my lecturer at The University of Western Australia for my undergrad degree

TimeSpiral 09-24-2013 06:36 AM

Damn that's a massive OP ... Will check back later.

Chas Tennis 11-05-2014 07:26 PM

Researchgate - Bruce Elliott et Al Publications
Bruce Elliott publications available on Researchgate.

1) "Ball spin in the tennis serve: spin rate and axis of rotation." Shinji Sakurai, Machar Reid, Bruce Elliott

2) "A kinematic comparison of successful and unsuccessful tennis serves across the elite development pathway."
David Whiteside, Bruce Elliott, Brendan Lay and Machar Reid

Download of report,d.cGU

See Figure 4.

"5. Conclusions

Players of all ages appear to prepare their bodies and generate racquet velocity similarly in both
successful and unsuccessful serves. The similarity in discrete body kinematics suggests that service
faults cannot be attributed to a single source of mechanical error. However, service faults are characterized
by projection angles significantly further below the horizontal, suggesting that this parameter
is a determinant of serve outcome. Similar to other dexterous skills, compensatory variability in the
distal (elbow and wrist) joints immediately prior to impact appears critical to the regulation of projection
angle, as it allows players to adjust to the variable impact location. Given that the impact location
cannot be predetermined, perceptual feedback may play an important role in the compensation
process. For this reason, coordination of the distal degrees of freedom and a refined perception-action
coupling appear more important to success than any single kinematic component of the service action.
With this in mind, the development of a highly adaptable movement system may be more beneficial to
improving serve performance than traditional approaches that decompose and accentuate consistency
in the service action. Explicitly, coaches may command varying service performance (speed, spin, location),
scale the court dimensions, or administer stochastic perturbations of the ball toss early in development
to foster the mechanical and/or perceptual proficiency required in the tennis serve."

3) "Long-axis rotation: the missing link in proximal-to-distal segmental sequencing." R. N. Marshall and B. C. Elliott

One of the most informative graphs on the tennis serve showing contributions from various joint motions and their timing. Compare internal shoulder rotation and pronation on Figure 1.

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