Does extension simply mean....

Curious

Legend
Contact out in front, hit through the ball with a linear swing towards target, avoid swinging across the body.
 

FedIsBoat

Rookie
Yes out in front for sure, but making sure that before and after contact, the elbow does not flex. Elbow flexion only well after contact?

Feels a bit jarring to keep the arm structure constant through contact.
 

Curious

Legend
Yes out in front for sure, but making sure that before and after contact, the elbow does not flex. Elbow flexion only well after contact?

Feels a bit jarring to keep the arm structure constant through contact.
Bent elbow forehand is just a personal preference and not a barrier to good extension. The key is to swing towards the target, not across the body.

See this great example with bent elbow .

 

FedIsBoat

Rookie
Sorry I think you misunderstood what I wrote. I wasn't asking about bent arm FH vs. straight arm FH. Regardless of whether you have a bent arm or straight arm FH, the point is to keep it constant through contact. And after contact has occurred, elbow flexion occurs for both bent arm and straight arm FH. For bent arm it is taking an already flexed elbow and flexing it further. The point being the additional flexion occurs well after contact for a general baseline FH shot.

My question was why does it feel jarring on the arm to keep it constant through contact, regardless of bent arm or straight arm FH. Am I doing something wrong?
 

FedIsBoat

Rookie
Are you really squeezing all your arm muscles to maintain your constant structure through contact? That could be why.
yeah maybe. I realize you're supposed to keep a loose arm. It just seems that arming the ball while keeping the arm structure constant is much less forgiving than arming the ball with elbow flexion during contact to generate topspin.
 

mad dog1

G.O.A.T.
yeah maybe. I realize you're supposed to keep a loose arm. It just seems that arming the ball while keeping the arm structure constant is much less forgiving than arming the ball with elbow flexion during contact to generate topspin.
Why are you arming the ball in the first place?
 

Curious

Legend
Sorry I think you misunderstood what I wrote. I wasn't asking about bent arm FH vs. straight arm FH. Regardless of whether you have a bent arm or straight arm FH, the point is to keep it constant through contact. And after contact has occurred, elbow flexion occurs for both bent arm and straight arm FH. For bent arm it is taking an already flexed elbow and flexing it further. The point being the additional flexion occurs well after contact for a general baseline FH shot.

My question was why does it feel jarring on the arm to keep it constant through contact, regardless of bent arm or straight arm FH. Am I doing something wrong?
Ok I see what you mean now. Flexing the elbow into contact is a bad thing, I agree. That means you’re using the biceps muscle to swing the racket aka arming.
 

FedIsBoat

Rookie
Ok I see what you mean now. Flexing the elbow into contact is a bad thing, I agree. That means you’re using the biceps muscle to swing the racket aka arming.
Exactly, but that way usually worked not too badly. Decent consistency and power. But now when I try not to flex the elbow into contact, it's jarring to my arm. Wondering what I'm doing wrong.
 

mad dog1

G.O.A.T.
Not purposely doing it, but when a ball is in front of me, it kinda happens through habit. Trying to break the habit. But sometimes hitting with constant arm through contact hurts a bit.
Would need to see you hitting to know what is wrong with your stroke.
 

Chas Tennis

G.O.A.T.
.............................................
My question was why does it feel jarring on the arm to keep it constant through contact, regardless of bent arm or straight arm FH. Am I doing something wrong?
I don't know.

There seem to be two possibilities:
1) Accelerate to just before contact, stop forces for accelerating, and then let the high speed uppermost body turn, arm & racket continue through impact.
2) Accelerate through impact with forces. I believe this would cause the most jarring impact and feel of force. It is not clear that this would be the most effective way to impact the ball. ?

It could be difficult to see the difference between the two techniques in high speed videos around impact. Because you would have to observe acceleration, probably in the last inches/few milliseconds before impact, while the high speed velocity of the arm and racket would be continuing through impact.

Sometimes I believe that the tennis term 'release' refers to #1 above but I have not found creditable information on the subject. Instead, I find undefined tennis terms. The term 'loose arm' is used even when it seems that the arm muscles must not be loose. For example, when the elbow is at 90 d during the serve, it probably would not stay that way if the arm muscles were all 'loose'. Ask the users of the terms 'loose', 'relaxed', 'free' or 'release' to define their term usage or show videos that show how they observe the loose, relaxed, free or released, etc. arm or wrist.

The reason for the above, speculating, is that active use or of the muscles that engages Actin & Myosin 'cross bridges', would have the Actin & Myosin locked together at impact and give the jarring sensation. See Sarcomere animations of Actin & Myosin cross bridges. An impact that occurs with few active forces would involve Titin, which acts as a microscopic rubberband in each Sarcomere. Titin is a recent hot area of research.

I am no example of any high level strokes, but if I stop acceleration just before I impact the ball on a forehand, the impact feels much less forceful, less jarring, etc. and smoother. But the ball's pace does not seem to slow down noticeably. ? 'Release' in this sense is something that you can try, just stop accelerating forces before impact. Some muscles may be using stretch and have little activation and feel free. But nearby muscles may be positioning body parts and not be free of activation. I think that the short terms in tennis usage, such as 'release', have some truth to them but the biomechanics is not being identified.

Thread on what 'release' is about. (Was the term 'release' burrowed from baseball pitching where the meaning is clear?)

I think after impact there may be variety in the follow through. If you choose to believe that positions in the follow through are necessary, study a number of examples to see the variety being done.
 
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Curiosity

Professional
Kinda in the elbow but more in the shoulder joint, like the racquet at contact is pushing the arm into the shoulder socket. Must be doing something wrong.
Among my tennis acquaintances "extension" out to and through contact means "extend the shoulder out to the hit." This adds to power, makes deceleration before contact less probable, recruits some muscles, and aids keeping the racquet head on line outward to the ball. It also helps several ways in performing ISR into the hit. How? It maximizes the lat flex and the internal shoulder rotator action. Maybe it will help with the pain bit. The feeling of extension is largely one of releasing the shoulder, because the consequent muscle action is so automatic as the shoulder goes forward.

The shoulders are kept quite square to the torso in initiating FH UB rotation, until the torso is facing, or almost, the net (adjusted for incoming ball direction), so extension comes late in the hit, just before/with ISR. Or so it seems to me...
 

FedIsBoat

Rookie
Among my tennis acquaintances "extension" out to and through contact means "extend the shoulder out to the hit." This adds to power, makes deceleration before contact less probable, recruits some muscles, and aids keeping the racquet head on line outward to the ball. It also helps several ways in performing ISR into the hit. How? It maximizes the lat flex and the internal shoulder rotator action. Maybe it will help with the pain bit. The feeling of extension is largely one of releasing the shoulder, because the consequent muscle action is so automatic as the shoulder goes forward.

The shoulders are kept quite square to the torso in initiating FH UB rotation, until the torso is facing, or almost, the net (adjusted for incoming ball direction), so extension comes late in the hit, just before/with ISR. Or so it seems to me...
How do you extend the shoulder out? You mean with torso rotation beyond parallel to the net or with torso parallel to net and shoulder pushing forward beyond the chest plane?
 

ubercat

Professional
My definition is simple. Extension is when your arm has gone as far as it can. And then that naturally creates the follow through across the body.

You can feel the difference when a ball catches you late and you have to do a bent arm crab claw FH
 

Fintft

Legend
Kinda in the elbow but more in the shoulder joint, like the racquet at contact is pushing the arm into the shoulder socket. Must be doing something wrong.
One minor tip to having a relaxed stroke is to do shadow swings, in between strokes.

A heavier racquet might help as well, not only technique...
Also is your contact clean?
 

Curiosity

Professional
Always thought this is what’s referred to as extension, second pic:
Yes, but you caught Roger a few frames to late. He goes from quite square shoulders to what you show in the second frame. Yes, the hitting hand/arm also "extends" forward. I think the shoulder action is a central part of extension, though.
 

Chas Tennis

G.O.A.T.
Anatoly's Antipin's composite videos and pictures show positions from earlier and later frames. They are excellent for making comparisons.
This Serena forehand looks very circular.

Toly video of a Federer forehand.

Overhead view of Toly of Federer forehand by .......

Is there an example of a forehand video showing extension?

Here are Toly's composite Youtube videos.

Maybe some of the forehands that he analyzed show 'extension'.

What is the definition of 'extension' in this thread?

The word extension has well known and defined meaning for the body's joints.
 
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Service Ace

Hall of Fame
Some very complicated answers in this thread to a very simple question. Jarring in your arm can only come from being late at contact. If someone told you that you need to work on extending out to the ball to solve it, they were inferring that you need to work on your timing which for some people means making sure your arm is "extended" all the way out in front of your chest, square to the ball, at contact.
 

Chas Tennis

G.O.A.T.
Some very complicated answers in this thread to a very simple question. Jarring in your arm can only come from being late at contact. If someone told you that you need to work on extending out to the ball to solve it, they were inferring that you need to work on your timing which for some people means making sure your arm is "extended" all the way out in front of your chest, square to the ball, at contact.
What is the definition of "extended" for this thread? What body part is extended? Do you have some links with definitions?

If this an undefined meaning of the term "extension" used by a few knowledgeable tennis coaches? How is what they mean communicated?

How does "extension" relate to the straight arm and bent arm forehand techniques? For example, Federer's forehand vs Djokovic's?
 
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Chas Tennis

G.O.A.T.



The Federer skeleton video shows his forehand. The turn of his uppermost body (line between the two shoulders) can be seen followed by the "horizontal adduction (flexion)" of the shoulder joint. Use single frame "." & "," keys. These are defined joint motions and so we can look up those terms. (This is all very clear because the video is recorded from above so that the most important sub-motions for the ground strokes are most clearly shown.)

Using the term 'extension' for the forehand certainly does not fit into the academic usage where everybody can look up the meaning of terms. This system originated over 2000 years ago and the defined terms are not ambiguous.

Instead in this thread, 'Extension' is being used in a loose conversational way unrelated to useful definitions on the internet for tennis strokes.

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If someone meant that the elbow was 'extended', the elbow seems extended throughout much of Federer's forehand just the horizontal adduction (flexion) of the shoulder changed. That is not the case for Djokovic and probably the majority of current forehands.
 
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Fintft

Legend
Some very complicated answers in this thread to a very simple question. Jarring in your arm can only come from being late at contact. If someone told you that you need to work on extending out to the ball to solve it, they were inferring that you need to work on your timing which for some people means making sure your arm is "extended" all the way out in front of your chest, square to the ball, at contact.
I just heard this argument, this past summer in Romania from a head coach, but it's easier said then done at the amateur level...He was using this extended arm for maaking contact in front of you as an argument how using a lighter racquet would not jarr your arm ( the arm acting like a lever against your body).

It worked from him (who thought the RF97A was too heavy), but not for me (who found again my older RF97s too light, due to jarring). My regular coach (still Romanian but living in Canada) agrees with me (at least for my choice of racquets).
 

Service Ace

Hall of Fame
I just heard this argument, this past summer in Romania from a head coach, but it's easier said then done at the amateur level...He was using this extended arm for maaking contact in front of you as an argument how using a lighter racquet would not jarr your arm ( the arm acting like a lever against your body).

It worked from him (who thought the RF97A was too heavy), but not for me (who found again my older RF97s too light, due to jarring). My regular coach (still Romanian but living in Canada) agrees with me (at least for my choice of racquets).
You should always use the racquet that produces your best ball. Your summer coach was conflating two things that don't have to do with one another, you should always be looking to extend but the weight of the racquet is not going to affect jarring, that's strictly an issue of timing. Your regular coach is correct, use what works best.
 

Service Ace

Hall of Fame



The Federer skeleton video shows his forehand. The turn of his uppermost body (line between the two shoulders) can be seen followed by the "horizontal adduction (flexion)" of the shoulder joint. Use single frame "." & "," keys. These are defined joint motions and so we can look up the defined terms. (This is all very clear because the video is viewed from above so the most important sub-motions for the ground strokes are most clearly shown.)

Using the term 'extension' for the forehand certainly does not fit into the academic usage where everybody can look up the meaning of terms. This system originated over 2000 years ago and the defined terms are not ambiguous.

'Extension' is being used in a loose conversational way that is undefined and not able to describe tennis strokes.

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If someone meant that the elbow was 'extended', the elbow seems extended throughout much of Federer's forehand. That is not the case for Djokovic and probably the majority of current forehands.
Too much buzzword bs. Extension simply means making sure your arm is out in front of you at contact (as opposed to by your side - which is the same as being late, which causes jarring). Doesn't matter how you get there, all that matters is the point of contact.

A simple demonstration is to push against a wall: The same way you get leverage pushing against a wall is the same ideology you should apply to the point of contact with the ball.



 
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Chas Tennis

G.O.A.T.



The Federer skeleton video shows his forehand. The turn of his uppermost body (line between the two shoulders) can be seen followed by the "horizontal adduction (flexion)" of the shoulder joint. Use single frame "." & "," keys. These are defined joint motions and so we can look up those terms. (This is all very clear because the video is recorded from above so that the most important sub-motions for the ground strokes are most clearly shown.)

Using the term 'extension' for the forehand certainly does not fit into the academic usage where everybody can look up the meaning of terms. This system originated over 2000 years ago and the defined terms are not ambiguous.

Instead in this thread, 'Extension' is being used in a loose conversational way unrelated to useful definitions on the internet for tennis strokes.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

If someone meant that the elbow was 'extended', the elbow seems extended throughout much of Federer's forehand just the horizontal adduction (flexion) of the shoulder changed. That is not the case for Djokovic and probably the majority of current forehands.
I just noticed how much Federer's scapula moved forward as his arm reached a position pointing forward. That, I guess, would be part of horizontal adduction (flexion) to be determined. See second 41 of the Federer skeleton video, the scapula has contributed to the forward motion of the upper arm by its movement.

Is that part of horizontal adduction (flexion) or is that a separate scapular motion?

Boy! If that is the very interesting motion that posters have been talking about, it sure was well hidden by the term, "extension".....................

Does 'full extension' or other tennis term for the forehand mean to have the scapula move forward as shown clearly in the Federer skeleton video and also partially is some of the Federer pictures?

Scapula to side of body during follow through.

see tennisfiles

Looks as if the motion is a combination of
1) Shoulder Joint - horizontal adduction (flexion) and
2) Scapulothoracic Joint - Protraction? and some other shoulder joint motions & AC joint - to be properly named later...........

Please look at the Federer skeleton forehand video __ to 41 seconds to see the contribution of the Scapularthoracic Joint to the movement of the upper arm on the forehand.

Impact somewhere around 35 sec. At 41 second arm and racket is about straight and forward.

Scapulalothoracic Joint (regarding the scapula's complex movement on the 'thoracic' area of the body)
 
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ByeByePoly

G.O.A.T.
Always thought this is what’s referred to as extension, second pic:
I agree with this ... extension is arm extended past contact ... even more obvious with 2hbh non-dominant arm on ATP 2hbhs. I think the purpose is to avoid a quick/sharp move of hand/racquet across the body at contact. I feel it most on 2hbh when it feels like I reach for target with non-dom hitting arm.
 

Fintft

Legend
You should always use the racquet that produces your best ball. Your summer coach was conflating two things that don't have to do with one another, you should always be looking to extend but the weight of the racquet is not going to affect jarring, that's strictly an issue of timing. Your regular coach is correct, use what works best.
That was his point, that with proper timming, I should be able to achieve contact in front and b/c of that, a lighter racquet won't be a handicap.
 

Chas Tennis

G.O.A.T.
That's what I had also thought that extension was.

Happy 2020!
If an instructor wants to say 'extension' and describe what is meant, that could work to communicate. Instructor - 'No, move your racket more forward', or 'Yes, that is the racket path (or arm motion) I mean.' But for communicating beyond an instructor and a student, as on the forum, personal meanings have to be stated each time used or defined terms used. Also, using the same exact terms that are already defined and in wide use in Kinesiology for different motions, as for extension or pronation, leads to ambiguous communication between posters and readers.

I searched - tennis forehand extension Youtube

The second video I looked at had an instructor using "extension" meaning extension for the elbow, about the straight elbow vs bent elbow forehands.

The forehand appears to be a mostly circular motion as I would describe it in words. But it is always unambiguous to describe it with a video taken from the most informative camera angle and then add some more information with words. The camera position above the player is best for ground stroke issues.

I now always vote to nail the terms down with definitions.

Happy 2020 to everybody!
 
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