Forehand "Stiffness"? Critique my form

lordsmee

New User
Hey guys, getting back into tennis after a few years. Since I've been away, I've done calisthenics - which has hampered my fluidity/looseness.

Hitting partner said my forehand seemed a bit stiff. Like I was "turning, but moving only my arm".

What do you guys think/any tips on bettering my FH? I use an Eastern FH with a 2HBH

Forehand

Backhand

Watching this footage, my strokes seem very short.
 
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Jake Speeed

Professional
Hey guys, getting back into tennis after a few years. Since I've been away, I've done calisthenics - which has hampered my fluidity/looseness.

Hitting partner said my forehand seemed a bit stiff. Like I was "turning, but moving only my arm".

What do you guys think/any tips on bettering my FH? I use an Eastern FH with a 2HBH

Forehand

Backhand

Watching this footage, my strokes seem very short.
Try hitting without spinning your racket.
 

Power Player

Bionic Poster
When you hit your back foot should be coming into the court. You want to be throwing your weight into the shot, not just your arm.

You hit a backhand where your back foot actually went backwards. Thats robbing you of tons of power.
 

lordsmee

New User
Appreciate the help guys :) Is it bad that I'm kind of using a bent-arm forehand? Can I keep this or should I just adjust to a more straight arm form if it would help with looseness/Fluidity?
 

cortado

Professional
Out sideways or out forward? Why?
I'm no expert but most technique guides I've read have said this. Watch most pros, they have their elbow out away from the body (probably sideways and in front depending on shot) regardless of straight or bent arm forehand. At the very least, it's going to be harder to get high balls and balls that are almost out of reach sideways if your elbow is always close to you.
 

Curious

G.O.A.T.
I'm no expert but most technique guides I've read have said this. Watch most pros, they have their elbow out away from the body (probably sideways and in front depending on shot) regardless of straight or bent arm forehand. At the very least, it's going to be harder to get high balls and balls that are almost out of reach sideways if your elbow is always close to you.
Yeah elbow tucked in doesn’t sound right. Just wanted to know what you thought about the reason(s) behind it.
 

Power Player

Bionic Poster
Appreciate the help guys :) Is it bad that I'm kind of using a bent-arm forehand? Can I keep this or should I just adjust to a more straight arm form if it would help with looseness/Fluidity?
Id focus on your feet. They are bad right now. It wont matter if you hit straight or bent until you get the feet sorted.
 

lordsmee

New User
Okay appreciate the help. Will work on keeping my elbow away from the body and work on the footwork - transfering my weight forwards.
 

ballmachineguy

Hall of Fame
Appreciate the help guys :) Is it bad that I'm kind of using a bent-arm forehand? Can I keep this or should I just adjust to a more straight arm form if it would help with looseness/Fluidity?
Bent arm is the bomb. Just ask Novak. The problem is that you are decelerating the racquet by stopping the forward drive of your right shoulder near the time you contact the ball. Watch the forehand you hit at :36 sec mark. Your shoulder drive/torso rotation is great on that one. Try to copy that swing on any forehand you are not reaching or running for. Yeah, when on the run, you can’t drive through so much, so you can’t hit as heavy of a shot.
 

lordsmee

New User
Bent arm is the bomb. Just ask Novak. The problem is that you are decelerating the racquet by stopping the forward drive of your right shoulder near the time you contact the ball. Watch the forehand you hit at :36 sec mark. Your shoulder drive/torso rotation is great on that one. Try to copy that swing on any forehand you are not reaching or running for. Yeah, when on the run, you can’t drive through so much, so you can’t hit as heavy of a shot.
Thanks brother :) will work on that

Edit: found this article on bent-arm FH. Think I'll keep it but just work on getting my elbow away from the body more as well fulling driving through the stroke without stopping early as you suggested

 
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Jake Speeed

Professional
Lots of really good comments all helpful.

When "change" must be made in a few or even many areas it's easy to could get overwhelmed.

Certainly it's difficult to make these changes all at the same time. The Player desiring change could make a list, short list for some and a longer list for others, as to what areas to be fixed or changed.

Write them down. I would suggest attempting the least difficult task first then move on to the more difficult tasks.

Tackle one area at a time. Improvements will come much quicker this way.
 

lordsmee

New User
I'd say your prep more than anything. You're prepping just after the ball lands on your side giving you less time swing correctly.
Thank you for pointing this out. Just watched some footage of Wawrinka hitting. Noticed he starts his prep as soon as his opponent hits the ball - so as early as possible.
 

Trickster

Rookie
To be honest, technique looks okay.. but as others have said if you're going to really step up the gears, need to see more foot movements, moving into the ball and a bit more "explosion" so to speak
 

Rosstour

Legend
To be honest, technique looks okay.. but as others have said if you're going to really step up the gears, need to see more foot movements, moving into the ball and a bit more "explosion" so to speak
Yeah this is my thing. Nothing really stands out as 'bad', it just needs to be turned up to a higher temperature/volume/intensity/whatever metaphor you like.
 

lordsmee

New User
Hey guys update with footage. (Pardon my friend's form, he's a beginner.)

FH - Front View
FH - Rear View

Worked on fluidity of swing, letting the arm go through fully without decelerating. Also worked on keep the arm more extended, elbow away from body. Definite feels way way better than before.

Still need to work on my lazy ass feet and prep! But happy with the slight improvement.

Thanks again for all your help guys! Please don't hesitate to point anything else out
 
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Dragy

Legend
Sorry comrade. Looks like Streamable is blocked in Russia
FH front
FH rear
Yeah seems we stay protected from internet-media-attacks!

You are aware you are using Aussie grip for your FH, aren't you? Nothing devastative, yet conservative...
I'd also suggest using neutral to moderate semi-open stance as your preferred option, supported by more diligent prep footwork: get behind the ball, get sideways, swing with forward "weight transfer". This will facilitate flow, more reliable power production (basic power, not extra zip), hence consistency. Will also assist intercepting variety of balls at preferred contact point. And you can always fall back to open stance on single instances of being pushed. Currently you use open too much, including "reversed" stance stepping with your right foot forward at times.
 

lordsmee

New User
Thanks Dragy! I didn't notice. I will experiment with an eastern, maybe more the "Federer grip". Definitely have trouble with topspin sometimes, though my coach friend suggested I need to "close my racquet face more" to generate spin. Will work on the footwork and stance as you suggested
 

Curious

G.O.A.T.
You’re still just watching the ball as if you’re stunned until it bounces on your side before realising that you need to turn and get ready for your stroke.
I have the same crap habit. Next time I have a hit I’ll only focus on and exaggerate the early turn as much as possible. I believe this is one of the most crucial things in tennis. Let’s fix this bloody rec tennis signature sh1t!
 

Power Player

Bionic Poster
Your backhand footwork is still way off. You lift up your back foot. You need to be swinging that back foot into the court, instead it is staying back.

Also on your forehand you lift up your front foot. This shows that you are falling back on that side as well. Your friend is not exactly hitting bombs so you should be coming forward on every shot.

Common issue though - try this - move your feet between shots. Turn to the side with your feet as early as possible.

I'd mainly focus on that before worrying about anything above the waist. It's too much to think about if you try too many changes at once.
 

Znak

Professional
I'd also suggest using neutral to moderate semi-open stance as your preferred option, supported by more diligent prep footwork: get behind the ball, get sideways, swing with forward "weight transfer".
I was going to say the same thing — you're very face on causing you to arm it quite a bit. Get that rest of that body involved in the mechanics to support the stroke. My 2 cents :)
 

lordsmee

New User

Yes you guys are right. Will work on using my hips and legs more, and hitting from a neutral stance if possible.

I found it a bit hard to conceptualize but stumbled upon this video. It gives a visual explanation of "swinging with hips and legs." Talks about how Fed initiates with his legs and body rotation which then carries the arm along. Gotta work on this.

Conversion to the Fed grip is going quite well! Feels like a whole new world of topspin and control has been discovered. Approach shots are much easier now.

Thanks again everyone
 
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