Thread: tossing arm
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Old 05-14-2012, 01:21 PM   #6
charliefedererer's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2009
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Originally Posted by sportsfan1 View Post
I read that the tossing arm wrist should be laid back/bent towards the index knuckle at the end of the toss. Is this supposed to it help with toss consistency?

As an example, here's Djok:
Djokovic does not use the ice cream toss release SA posts above, with Fed being his example.

Instead he releases it with the palm under his hand like Nadal and probably the majority of tennis players.
However using this type of toss, you can see the obvious anguish experienced by Nadal

Biomechanics is the study of how our muscles and joints work.

Biomechanics would tell us that it is difficult to maintain the hand and forearm with the palm pointing up (supinated) as we bring the ball up for a toss.

In fact, I think everybody can appreciate bringing the ball up in the "ice cream toss" position feels less stressful, with the foream and wrist more relaxed. And the video of Brent Abel at the end of this post makes the great point that the feeling of stress raising the tossing arm causes many to fail to get the steep shoulder angle needed for the serve.

The uncomfortable feeling in raising our arm high with the hand supinated has to do with the way the musculature, bones and joints of our arms, wrists and hand are put together.

The following picture shows the most comfortable position of our hands to work which is known as the "position of function". (It is preceded by pictures of our hands/forearms in "supination" and "neutral" positions, with a picture of "supination" following.

The "position of function" is how we hold the steering wheel and how we position our hands to do fine work that requires close cooperation using both hands so that the thumb and index fingers of both hands are close to one another [which is probably why our arms/forerarms/hands evolved to work this way].

Bringing the ball up in a "neutral" position is actually the most comfortable practical way of raising up a ball to toss it. (Elevating the ball in the "position of function" is not practical since the hand in that orientation would not allow the ball to be released upward.)

So why don't more use the "ice cream toss"?

Undoubtedly habit, as most never thought of releasing the ball from the side of their hands, as they had always released the ball from the palm of their hands when throwing it forward. So it is my guess as to why most grip the ball the same way to toss it upward.

Clearly some have really good consistent tosses without using the "ice cream toss".

But for those having difficulty with their toss, trying the "ice cream toss" may be in order.
Tennis Serve Toss - How to Hold the Ball
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