Has the tennis grip developed over time, and if so, why?

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by ycc_swe, Dec 10, 2016.

  1. ycc_swe

    ycc_swe New User

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    Can I please have some guidance on a few points related to the grip. I know a little about golf and biomechanics, but some parts on tennis I haven't succeeded in Googling.

    When I learnt a few basic steps in tennis, in the 60's, the better players in the club taught us kids (what I now know is) a continental grip with knuckles parallel to the racket. (and turn one bevel for flat bh). The racket was at a pronounced angle to the arm. We could have hit a ball some distance just by pronating.

    But if you hold the racket at an angle and hit a flat shot, centrifugal force will give ulnar deviation. So what I did was to let the grip slip until knuckles and racket were not parallell and also ulnar deviate the wrist. Adding up, the racket became parallel to the arm. I hit balls (forehand) where the wrist moved palmar/dorsal flexion, with the arm and racket forming one line at impact. I never received further coaching after that, just played for fun.

    I recently saw a picture of Rafa forehand. It looked like he was "hammering a nail into the baseboard, holding the hammer horisontally". Holding the racket like a hammer, but horisontally. I now learn he uses a Western grip.

    So my first question is related to the grip. Has the most common grip changed? Why has it changed? Has it shifted from continental towards eastern and western grips?
    I am primarily interested in forehand, to begin with.

    Like I held the racket as a kid, I had a lot of wrist angular mobility in dorsal/palmar flexion. Like Rafa holds the racket he will have less wrist mobility, he will have to use radial/ulnar flexion which has less range. Why is this top player giving up some of his wrist mobility. Isn't that one source of power - to have a long angular movement for the wrist. (I am sure his way is better than mine, I just want to know why. I don't know what kind of forehand shot he was hitting in that photo.)

    Has the game changed in this aspect. There is much more top spin now than 50 years ago, I think? I think the windshield wiper forehand often goes with an eastern or even western grip? They use pronation to create spin? Has this spilled over to the flat strokes?

    Is this also related to change in materials? Modern rackets can give more topspin?

    Thanks for any pointers.

    To simply the question: Has the grip for a flat forehand changed over the last 50 years, and if so why?
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2016
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  2. Chadillac

    Chadillac Legend

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    Surface speed to put it simply. The ball bounces higher now, that makes western more penetrating. If the ball stays low they have to arc it over the net, that changes its bounce angle, making it sit up.

    If your hitting the ball above your waist (todays tennis) there is no reason not to go western.

    Easiest way to explain is grab a hammer and move your wrist above your shoulder. As you see its ackward, now place your palm on the backside and see how you can push more through it.
     
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  3. ycc_swe

    ycc_swe New User

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    Aha. Higher bounce. That really explains a lot. Thanks.

    What I never understood as a kid was the Continental grip they showed us. Were we ever supposed to hit the ball with the racket at an angle to the arm?

    Or will the racket always pass one point in the stroke when it is parallell to the arm?
     
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  4. Chadillac

    Chadillac Legend

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    I dont understand what you mean by parallel to the arm/angle to the arm? Its always best to keep it simple, easier to remember :)

    If you were taught a continental grip, your going to enjoy this ride.

    The continental was for people who wanted an all in one. You dont have to change your serve or your volley grip, still use those today. 1H backhand = no problem (im actually going more eastern on my slice lately).

    Its just the forehand that suffers in todays game, its a very simple change

    On the club level i love the surface speed, but for the pro's its boring
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2016
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  5. ycc_swe

    ycc_swe New User

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    The major question you solved quickly, thanks. But minor questions are:

    I hold a racket with a Continental grip and keep knuckles parallel to the racket. The racket will then form an angle to the arm.

    If I want to make the racket a straight continuation of my forearm I must
    1. Let the grip slip a little so the knuckles are not parallel to the racket
    2. ulnar deviate the wrist

    Is this (1. 2.) the position approximately where I hit the ball in a flat forehand? Or will there always be an angle (radio/ulnar) when I hit a flat forehand with a continental grip.

    Question 2:
    There is less wrist mobility in a Western grip than a Continental. True or false?
     
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  6. Chadillac

    Chadillac Legend

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    Its too late for me with math.

    The western gives you much more flexibility on the wrist since it can lay back deeper. Laying it back is like step one for people who dont prepare their body. But you combine them.

    The firmness on the continental is its selling point on the volley, not its flexibility. Not talking about sitters

    Was a bad post, i can explain more tomorrow when my eyes align :)
     
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  7. Bender

    Bender Legend

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    No, he does not. Rafa has used a SW grip for most of his career. At most it was an extreme SW, but never a W.

    Ever tried hitting a straight arm FH with a W grip? Virtually impossible.

    Plus, the wrist 'action' that Rafa gets at the beginning of his FH forward swing is impossible with a W grip. W grips in general feature minimal wrist involvement.
     
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  8. ycc_swe

    ycc_swe New User

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    Thank you for enlightening me on the finer points. I just know the basics.

    But it seems, the further you leave the Continental grip and move towards eastern, SW, W, then you reduce wrist mobility.

    I guess that is a disadvantage of the W and maybe also SW compared to the Continental. But these players are obviously doing the right thing, so I guess they gain so much force that they can give up some wrist mobility?
     
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  9. ycc_swe

    ycc_swe New User

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    Thanks for your replies. Have a good rest. I moved to Asia after retirement, still afternoon here.

    I don't even have a racket at home. A spoon will illustrate. Hitting the ball with the bottom of the spoon
    http://i.imgur.com/AnWFFok.jpg

    A continental grip with knuckles parallel to the racket will give an angle between the forearm and racket
    http://i.imgur.com/u9re6NK.jpg
    Let's call this position A
    Here you would use pronation to hit the ball.

    But if I let the grip slip a little so the knuckles and racket are not parallel and I also ulnar deviate, then the racket and forearm will be parallel. The racket will be just like an extension of the forearm.
    http://i.imgur.com/V4l5vAQ.jpg
    http://i.imgur.com/rr7pQoL.jpg
    Let's call this position B
    Here you would use wrist palmar flexion to hit the ball.

    Will A or B most closely resemble the position where I hit the ball. Can I really hit a flat forehand with position A?

    = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

    The wrist flexing in a continental grip
    http://i.imgur.com/9HZVlm4.jpg
    http://i.imgur.com/8ubrVpX.jpg

    The wrist flexing in a grip that more resembles SW/W. I don't know detailed differences.
    http://i.imgur.com/YYNZao7.jpg
    http://i.imgur.com/TwffhIU.jpg
    the range of movement is smaller here

    The Continental grip has more wrist flexibility. Using a SW/W grip you give up some wrist flexibility, I believe.
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2016
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  10. Bender

    Bender Legend

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    Wrist mobility evaporates with the W grip, but you can go as far as extreme SW and still have some degree of wrist movement. Djokovic is a good example.

    But yes the closer you go to a full W grip, the less the wrist will lay back and lasso forward. You lose a bit of racquet head acceleration, but it seems that some players like Jack Sock and Kyrgios get around it by featuring a more winding takeback. That gives the racquet more room to accelerate to its highest speed without having to make the overall takeback significantly larger.
     
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  11. ycc_swe

    ycc_swe New User

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    That's interesting. In tennis you can give up some wrist mobility to gain other advantages. In golf full swing I don't think that would be possible. (But maybe a so called "strong grip" in golf is a parallel to the W/SW grips in tennis.) I guess one difference lies in tennis being a fast game where you do not have time for a full swing with full cocking of the wrists. Tennis is a more muscular game than golf.

    I compare different activities to try to understand how speed is generated. I have retired and recently started writing on this:

    http://creatingspeed.com

    But I need to know more about tennis, to include it in the essay.
     
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  12. Chas Tennis

    Chas Tennis Legend

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    I have not found a discussion of the grip that has clarified what is going on.

    The grip involves how the racket is fixed to the hand. You can learn a lot just taking the racket in your hand. The wrist joint angle used for a particular stroke is a separate subject.

    1) To specify the grip two reference spots on the hand have to be placed on two reference spots on the racket handle. Most current instructions use the knuckle of the index finger as one reference point. Most instructions recommend placing a bevel of the racket on the 'fat pad' . But most ATP players don't place the butt of the racket on the fat pad but near the little finger. Few instructions recognize this fact. ?

    2) For this demo, take a racket in your hand always with neutral wrist. Notice the significant forearm-to-racket angle. Hand size and length may make a difference in where the handle butt ends?

    3) Place the index finger knuckle on bevel #2 (see internet pictures for the bevel number identifications.) Place bevel #2 butt at the little finger. Call that "Grip #2-#2", Continental, as is often done. Now rotate the racket in your hand one bevel at a time to Grip #3-#3, Grip #4-#4, etc. and look at what happens. The angle of the face of the racket changes as the bevels change. The angle between the forearm and racket does not change. Those are the two angles that can be changed with the grip.

    4) In between bevels - Instead of using just Grip #2-#2 or Grip #3-#3 you can use Grip #2-#3 or Grip #2-#2.5, etc. by where you place the butt near the little finger. This will change how the strings face as well as the forearm-to-racket angle.

    5) You could use other reference points on the hand, if workable, but the index knuckle seems to always be used as a reference.

    6) You should understand that the grip can adjust how the strings face and also the forearm-to-racket angle. You should understand how to change each of these separately. Experiment.

    7) The grip that is used will depend on the stroke technique, ball location, etc. I believe that the grip must found by trial and error. For the OP, the various forehand techniques now are very different from those 50 years ago. See Sock forehand videos and compare.

    8) Saying that the 'Continental' grip must be used for the serve without identifying the serving technique is all part of the Tennis Grip Nuthouse. See a picture of the racket angles at impact for the serve, especially the forearm-to-racket angles. (The wrist joint angle is not neutral, but extended, when viewed from the side of the ball's trajectory.)

    -----------------------------------------------------------------
    Tennis Grips - Usually the Fat Pad Doesn't Touch ANYTHING! ?
    https://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/ind...lly-the-fat-pad-doesnt-touch-anything.565060/

    Forearm-to-Racket Angles
    Butt Cap on Fat Pad._______________________________________ Butt Cap at Little Finger
    [​IMG][​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2016
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  13. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    [​IMG]

    Need a bigger spoon to effectively hit tennis balls-- regardless of your grip. :rolleyes:

    Why the concern about wrist mobility? Is this a common concern with golf? Have been playing tennis for 40+ years (and teaching for some 20 yrs) but don't recall any articles or discussion on wrist mobility in tennis. There are various actions (extension, flexion and deviations) but none of them are extreme* or violent -- wrist snap is a myth (or an exaggeration of the wrist actions involved). Would not worry about mobility too much unless you have some unusual wrist limitations. (Forearm rotations Might be of more importance -- to turn the wrist & hand).

    Because or the preferred angles that the racket makes with the arm, the Continental grip is ideal for groundstrokes of low and medium height. Even for volleys, Rafter would use the Conti grip for low shots and and semi-conti grip (towards the Eastern) for high volleys. Western grip are suitable for high and medium balls but somewhat awkward for low balls. And not really suited for volleys at all.

    Western and SW grip have much greater topspin potential than your old Conti grip. The de facto standard these days is the SW grip. As noted, Rafa uses a version of the SW grip not a full Western for his FH. Novak employs a more extreme version of the SW (but still not full W). Kei might be closer to a full W than these other guys.

    EDIT: * Some elite players employ extreme wrist extensions. But not extreme flexions.
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2016
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  14. TNT34

    TNT34 New User

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    There is no spoon.
     
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  15. heninfan99

    heninfan99 G.O.A.T.

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    [​IMG]
     
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  16. Topspin Shot

    Topspin Shot Legend

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    Your essay looks like a lot of effort. To make your effort worthwhile, get off TT and find a real expert on the subject.
     
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  17. ycc_swe

    ycc_swe New User

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    Thanks, your post reviews some points, helpful to me.

    I can't immediately think of a "final proof" that wrist mobility is important in golf. I would say though, that it is. Shoulders, arms even slow down some towards impact and energy is transferred to the "tip of the whip" (the clubhead). Ulnar deviation + pronation (right forearm) supination (left forearm) is important through impact.

    "Late release" has been mentioned in another thread.
    https://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/ind...-powerful-than-backhand.578311/#post-10818489
    Most golfers agree that keping the wrist "cocked" as late as possible before impact with the ball (and releasing it through impact) is a key to ball speed.

    I am not so familiar with tennis instruction so I just ask an unbiased question:
    Has tennis instruction changed during the last 10-20 years? More recently speaking more about wrist movement (like extension flexion in a fh)?

    I may have seen such opinions, when I Googled. But I never could follow it up.

    When I say wrist wrist movement here I mean both active movement (wrist movement by the muscles of the forearm) and passive movement of the racket as a reaction to body and arm movements.

    Passive movement is the most important in golf, according to most. I believe active movement could be more important in tennis?
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2016
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  18. ycc_swe

    ycc_swe New User

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    I try to spread the essay wherever I can. It is not so easy to make people read it. Which I also understand. You can't just expect people to drop what they are doing and read an essay :)

    Being retired, having more spare time, at least it feels good to have put down those thoughts.
     
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  19. Chas Tennis

    Chas Tennis Legend

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  20. ByeByePoly

    ByeByePoly Hall of Fame

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    EDIT: I got my radial and ulnar backwards in some of the original post. You can have ulnar -> neutral release in the FH, not radial -> neutral. I have put corrections in bold.

    An essay, excellent ... I will try and read tomorrow. As you can see in my post, this subject has caught my attention. Glancing at your essay ... let's just say you are a bit deeper into it. :)

    Note: in my double pendulum post, I walk through the FH evolution as I saw it. Straight arm McEnroe swing with continental grip, Sharapova bent elbow with no flip (that damn flip becomes important in this discussion), Federer straight arm w/flip. I won't try and define flip again here, but you will find it in the other threads. The FH has changed, particularly on the ATP. The backswing is shortened, and IMO, they had to figure out a way to add the racquet head speed back in they lost by shortening their backswing. Just FYI.

    These are my observations/opinions on the FH:

    - in tennis you aren't talking about the hand going past neutral (flexion or radial)... would be a good way to hurt your wrist. You are talking about hand turning (extension or ulnar or both) in the forward swings of FHs ... and then varying degrees of release of those forearm/hand/racquet angles from all the way back to neutral, to no release at all.

    - I think extension to neutral is a wrist movement. I lay my wrist back in the forward swing (extension) with an Eastern grip and release back to almost neutral by contact. I see that as a double pendulum angle release into contact. Now, for me to also get the larger than 90 degrees forearm/racquet lag, I have to also do a bit of ulnar to get there.

    EDIT: This is a correction/addition to the following bullet point. If the hand/wrist is in a neutral extension/flexion position, then there is some ulnar/radial range of motion. I say some, because it seems significantly less than the extension/flexion range of motion. IMO, as soon as you lay the wrist back (extension) that ulnar/radial wrist action is replaced by ISR/ESR/supination/pronation (WW) where the hand is just attached for the ride (not a wrist movement IMO). I think the WW is what you are seeing in most pro ATP swings. Now... I continue to suspect this: In my FH, I lay the wrist back (extension) and sometimes do some reverse WW on the forward swing. By contact, I have released most of the extension and WW. To me, that means at contact and follow through, my reverse WW is now radial wrist release through contact. I have never heard anyone say the same thing... so perhaps not.

    - I have decided radial and ulnar in the tennis FH is actually not a wrist movement. To me, it's just the attached hand rolling with the upper arm (ESR\ISR) and lower arm (pronation\supination). If I hold my forearm still, I can't radial or ulnar. Also, in the FH, that really requires the wrist to be laid back (extension) to have any radial/ulnar range.

    - to me, the extension to neutral release in the FH is simple to see and explain. In your first spoon pic, that angle from the forearm, and then the racquet up ... isn't it. It's the forearm/racquet angle that comes from the laying back of the wrist (extension) that matters.

    - to me, it's always the ESR\ISR\Pronation\Supination "windshield" that makes it tricky. It's harder for me to do it (and I think I need less of it) with the Eastern grip than with someone who uses a SW or W. Not sure, because don't hit with that grip. I know if I shadow swing with a SW or W ... it's simple to see that butt cap go across the line toward the ball in the flip forward swing by simply WW, regardless if I lay wrist back (extension). I suspect here, your first spoon pic forearm/racquet angle probably is actually this angle of the pendulum ... with "some" extension. I think by Eastern grip is mainly extension with some WW. Bender said is much in one of his posts ... good one to read in the "wrist action" thread I post at the bottom.

    So I think the wrist changed for the shorter backswing, more low to high swing paths for topspin.

    So your essay is about "creating speed". It's certainly complicated, and more than just the late release. You have to go no further than Madison Keys to challenge my theory that the late release of the double pendulum is key. Watch her FHs. She lays the wrist back in her forward swing, and it basically maintains that wrist angle at contact. Certainly no extension -> neutral release to explain the pace she hits on FHs. Also, she hits with a bent elbow, so she has lost the longer swing arc and centrifugal force of a Federer, or even McEnroe for that matter. So the question still in my mind, if I watch Madison ... is she getting a big ulnar -> neutral release that is harder to see watching video. Many here, particularly Limpinhitter ... make the case that the major power source in the modern ATP FH is coming from the ESR\ISR\pronation\supination action, and not any hinging around the hand. I have much difficulty buying into that because the late racquet release in the flip is happening at the hand (anchor/hinge).

    Just to muddy the waters some more, many explain the modern FH as more rotational energy (uncoiling of hips and torso/shoulders) ... and the old FH (McEnroe) was more linear with shifting weight into the shot. I don't know how much of that I buy, because folks like McEnroe were turning hips and shoulders also.

    Good luck ...

    Another related thread:

    https://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/ind...here-wrist-hinging-does-it-add-to-rhs.577426/
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2016
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  21. PMChambers

    PMChambers Hall of Fame

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    Yes, modern players do not hit flat, except on a high short ball where they can hit down. The grip will be their normal {Semi Western} but the finish will be flat. IE high to high.

    Why? Because there is only so fast a ball can travel using gravity to bring it down into court. Above this rotational motion is needed to bring a ball into court. There are a lot of benefits in using top spin. This has been happening since Lavers day and the grip changes have gone more towards Western over time. There's always been outliers like Borg, who used a Eastern /Semi Western. Strings have helped and driven the head size increase. At the end of the day, more energy gets imparted on a ball today than anytime previously.
     
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  22. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    Don't know much about wrist actions in golf (except where is seems to parallel similar actions in tennis. Not sure that I'd agree with your last statement but, again, don't really enough about golf. There are plenty of passive movements in tennis as well as active movements. And then there are some movements where some insist are active while many of us believe them to be passive.

    Some WTA players and non-elite players seem to actively flip the wrist back (primarily wrist extension) on their (FH) groundstroke backswing. However, for many ATP/elite players, this c0cking of the wrist is a passive action. By pull the handle forward at the start of the forward swing, the wrist is allowed to bend (rather than forced to bend). It is less clear how much the wrist action later in the forward swing is active and how much is passive.

    We see something similar on the serve. Some players actively c0ck the wrist (extension + radial deviation) after the trophy phase (during the racket head drop). For many, however, it is more of an active movement. On the upward swing, some coaches/players advocate a wrist snap. They would undoubtedly view this action as exclusively active.

    Many of us, however, do not subscribe to the notion of wrist snap. Much of what some refer to as wrist snap is actually forearm rotation (pronation) combined with some wrist articulation. To my mind this is not as active as the notion of an actual wrist snap which implies to me a violent and very pronounced wrist flexion (past the neutral position). Flexion past neutral is not really necessary or it need not be anything but mild. An extreme flexed position is often a result of the misguided instruction to 'snap the wrist'.

    Many players will actively bend the wrist to set up for a FH volley. For me, however, the action is probably more passive than active. My body movement forward often contributes to bending of the wrist. As I turn/coil for the volley, I push my hand (and the racket handle) forward and allow the racket head to lay back (and allow the wrist to bend). This makes for a more passive movement than the active wrist flip that many players employ to lay the wrist back.
     
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  23. ycc_swe

    ycc_swe New User

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    Thanks for giving information on tennis, and also interest in the essay, I learn all the time.

    I definitely maintain that wrist movement and late release are very important to golf. I also maintain that the wrist movement is mostly passive, as a reaction to arm and body movements. The latter can be discussed, but most "analysts" would say passive. Just comparing the driver head kinetic energy at impact to the possible energy produced by forearm muscle will tell that energy from other sources will dominate.

    Modern golf coaching has a mantra of using core muscle for both power and reproducibility. It works under many conditions. But I remember reading Ian Woosnam's book. Something like "and for the draw you just cross over the forearms more quickly". Modern coaches will have an upset when they read that. :) Woosnam has very powerful forearms and a special swing.

    Maybe the modern dogma of body core power is US influenced. University players, taught at academies, playing on standard cut fairways etc. I don't remember how Woosnam started, but in GB and Ireland some just carry a few clubs, go to an undulating links course and try to shape the shots under the wind. Ooops, getting off topic.

    The fh with laid-back wrist at impact (Madison Keys ) is interesting to read about. I did not know it existed such a stroke that is powerful. In the full golf swing, an equivalent does not exist. (Hands can go before club head in bunker shots, punch shots, chip shots and maybe other shots, but never in a normal full swing.)

    I know too little about tennis to say if ESR\ISR\pronation\supination can add significant power. I would have guessed no, since these axial rotations can not be powered by the body core, at least not as easily. But I am golf influenced and believe in the body core. Tennis strokes seem more powered by shoulder arm muscles and many tennis players have well developed arm muscle. Axial rotation might help me hit tennis balls according to the first spoon picture where there is an angle between forearm and racket. But I don't feel it would be lightning forehands coming out of that? To speed up, centrifugal force would straighten the angle between forearm and racket and laid back flexion/extension would be the movement. Or am I just trying to apply golfing physics to tennis???
     
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  24. Chas Tennis

    Chas Tennis Legend

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  25. ByeByePoly

    ByeByePoly Hall of Fame

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    I moved your comments over from the other thread to here, so I can respond to both in one reply. Also note, I edited the thread above. I had the radial -> neutral release backwards ... it's ulnar -> neutral in the FH.

    From other thread:

    RHS
    = Racquet Head Speed RHA = Racquet Head Acceleration

    "As I then understand, significant addition to racket speed does not come from the wrist. They impact the ball with wrist still laid back. That was interesting to learn."


    I don't buy that for all FHs ... otherwise what is the point of a relaxed wrist and a flip around the hand (anchor/hinge point). The problem here is that there is not one FH, not even for the same player. Watch Federer video, and sometimes he has a pretty neutral hand position at impact, and sometimes it's still laid back. I think it is incorrect that all FHs get no added RHS from hand/wrist movement. (note ... I used the word "movement" and not "action", because the comment is Active/Inactive agnostic.) Also note ... I have found it helpful to discuss the hand a hinge/power source rather than the wrist. At the end of the day, if the hand acts like a hinge\anchor point, it almost doesn't matter what hand/wrist/arm movements caused it ... other than explaining the hand movement of course.

    "I would also like to ask, then: Where is the rhs then generated, in a forehand? (Isn't rhs the abbreviation you use for racket head speed?) Which joints? Shoulder joint pendulum (not axial rotation)? Elbow? Shoulder/torso rotation?"

    That is the question isn't it. You won't get an answer here because we don't know how to quantify that in our FHs. We can tell you what it feels like. And again, it surely varies on FH type ... McEnroe, Madison Keys, Federer, Theim ... different components invoked from shoulder down.

    I linked one article in one of the threads that claimed you get 25% of the RHS from the modern FH at shoulder delivery ... and the other 75% is from the arm. Needless to say, some strong pushback from some on that claim. The debate ranges here from the "arm and hand do very little other than guide ... a whipped arm ... to my camp, the arm DOES A LOT".

    Almost everyone here that hits a good FH with good hip/shoulder turn uncoiling will tell you that the shoulder/upper arm receive quite a bit of easy power. Said another way, with a relaxed arm, I feel like I am just having to add to the RHA, not start from scratch by a long shot. We get reminders all the time of the value of shoulder turn if you are learning a new FH stroke. I was learning the flip, and in the process of so many new things, I forgot the full shoulder turn. The day it hit me ... and I took a full shoulder turn ... there was the pace. I found the exact same thing with the 2hbh ... you just aren't going to get good pace without a full shoulder turn and relaxed shoulder\arms\hands. Now ... quantifying that ... everything that happened before the upper arm starts to move 25%, 50%, 75% ... we have no way to quantify that.

    Here is my simple logic of what potential power sources are in the FH. I think hinge points are the power sources, and I'm stretching the definition of a hinge:

    Hinge power sources common across all FHs:
    - hips over stance/feet
    - torso/shoulders over hip
    - shoulder joint

    Hinge power sources that vary depending on actual FH:
    - elbow (extended arm (Federer), bent arm (Madison Keys, Lendl, Theim)
    - hand\wrist

    IMO, with the modern FH, you could study Federer, Theim, and Madison Keys and come to some conclusions about weighting the power sources. When you crack the code, come back and tell us.

    "I definitely maintain that wrist movement and late release are very important to golf. I also maintain that the wrist movement is mostly passive, as a reaction to arm and body movements."

    Yes, that isn't really debatable. I actually just had this thought, surprising I hadn't thought of it before given my posts comparing to the golf swing. The cocked wrist in the golf swing is the opposite of the FH. If you take a golf lesson starting out in golf, the instructor will often have you take your grip with both hands, hold the club out in front of you, extended parallel to the ground, and then turn your wrists up swing the club and club head toward the sky. That is the angle at the top of your golf swing, and that is the hands/wrists positions you will release from. Well, to me that's both hands/wrist making a radial flex. So the release in the swing is radial -> neutral (actually not quite neutral by contact with the pros)... which is the opposite of the FH ulnar -> neutral release. To me, the double pendulum, or Nunchuk analogy is still important in the flip ... but different hand/wrist release direction. I would be curious if you agree with that.

    FYI ... Jack Nicklaus "As Jack Nicklaus said, you can hit as hard as you want with the right hand as long as the lower body is leading."
    http://www.golfdigest.com/story/watson-powerkey

    "The fh with laid-back wrist at impact (Madison Keys ) is interesting to read about. I did not know it existed such a stroke that is powerful. In the full golf swing, an equivalent does not exist. (Hands can go before club head in bunker shots, punch shots, chip shots and maybe other shots, but never in a normal full swing.)"

    Figure out how Madison Keys can knock the **** out of her FH, and you probably have your answers. When you crack that one, move on to Wawrinka's one handed backhand ... or basically anything Henin hit in her career.

    On the full golf swing ... hands to go before the club head with the good golfers. Look at the Sergio slow motion video I posted in the other thread. Even by contact, the club head hasn't quite caught up with the hands. The pros think in terms of the final release happening right after contact ... a bit past the ball.

    "I know too little about tennis to say if ESR\ISR\pronation\supination can add significant power. I would have guessed no"

    I'm actually still guessing no. I view that as a means to get to the flip, which in turn creates the RHA from a shorter backswing. But strong differing opinions here on that one. And if I was the other side making that argument ... my first exhibit would be Madison Keys. Something is allowing that gal to hit a massive FH without flexion, without a flip, and with a bent elbow. I would be looking into the possibility that the elbow hinge in the Madison Key swing is a major factor... or is it actually the ESR\ISR.


    I will try to get to your essay soon. Very interested in this subject. Will it ever help my FH .... NAH!!! :)
     
    #25
  26. movdqa

    movdqa G.O.A.T.

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    I played with the Continental in my teen years but then read that the Eastern was better for for power and topspin. It took about six-months to make the transition and I still maintained the ability to hit Continental forehands if I needed to for low or short balls. I switched over to the semi-western in my late 40s to be better able to hit spin along with helping me to adjust to the bigger and more powerful racquets. I later switched to a more ATP-style forehand. I'd say that all of these have helped my game in the long run but going through the changes felt awful. The typical transition time for me was six months.

    So, for me, it has been about making long-term investments in technique changes. I don't do this lightly - I think about it, study it, and then pick a time to go for it.
     
    #26
  27. ycc_swe

    ycc_swe New User

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    "As I then understand, significant addition to racket speed does not come from the wrist. They impact the ball with wrist still laid back. That was interesting to learn."

    I don't buy that for all FHs ...


    ...

    I used the word "movement" and not "action", because the comment is Active/Inactive agnostic.) Also note ... I have found it helpful to discuss the hand a hinge/power source rather than the wrist. At the end of the day, if the hand acts like a hinge\anchor point, it almost doesn't matter what hand/wrist/arm movements caused it ... other than explaining the hand movement of course.



    I agree. I sometimes write carelessly which contributes to getting misinterpreted. The "hand movement" in golf is mostly an effect of body core (and arm) movements. I sometimes use the word "action". I should be careful with that. - "Passive action" is probably not the clearest way I can express myself :)

    I also agree that tennis FH can be of different kinds, also when it comes to how the wrist movement is powered. I know less about tennis than golf. But like you, I have seen some Federer FH video and I concluded that the wrist was relaxed and moved due to arm and core movement.

    Federer might even have had an angle between arm and racket. I can understand that wrist flexion/extension can be powered from the core. But with a pronounced angle (like in a few of my spoon pictures above) you must pronate to achieve racket speed and it is harder to understand how that could be powered from the core.

    There is also the elbow joint. Are we deep into the flip now? :)

    So the release in the swing is radial -> neutral (actually not quite neutral by contact with the pros)... which is the opposite of the FH ulnar -> neutral release. To me, the double pendulum, or Nunchuk analogy is still important in the flip ... but different hand/wrist release direction. I would be curious if you agree with that.

    The uncocking of the wrists in golf is from full radial to forming almost a straight line between arms and club (close to full ulnar), as seen from behind. (The reason this angle is larger at address than at impact, is that the shoulders are more open at impact.) Is this what you are referring to?

    (This is true unless your name is Moe Norman, a guy about which Tiger once said "owns his swing", mentioning Moe in the same context as Hogan. :) )

    I can see a "complete" analogy between the double pendulum, the golf swing and the fh, IF the racket is swung in a plane that includes the arm. Like in the latter "spoon pictures" I uploaded. The racket must then once pass through a position where it forms a straight extension of the arm. But maybe there can be some combinations?

    The golf swing will also go through pronounced supination(lt)/pronation<rt> around impact.

    How FH can be ulnar-> neutral I can not understand.

    [cont'd] I broke the 1000 character record, sorry, mean limit ;)
    ...
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2016
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  28. ycc_swe

    ycc_swe New User

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    [cont'd from previous post]
    ...

    I agree with The Golden Bear ;) ;) (I would really have to do that, wouldn't I ;) ) Hogan says the same thing, at a later stage in the downswing he "wishes he had three right hands". Just smack all your right arm got, into it at that point.

    Figure out how Madison Keys can knock the **** out of her FH, and you probably have your answers.

    That is true. At present I am just trying to get a grip on tennis basics. But studying the outliers can explain a lot. Like comparing tennis and golf.

    I will try to get to your essay soon. Very interested in this subject. Will it ever help my FH .... NAH!!! :)


    I agree, many nice theoretical results fall flat in practice. I had to stop playing golf due to a tennis elbow, but sometimes keep reading about sports mechanics. I am retired now. But I feel that if I could have started golf again, fresh; what I now know, would have made me approach the game completely differently. It was once said that the STRAIGHT left arm was not needed if it felt uncomfortable! But I would definitely start with a straight left arm, connected to the torso, like Jimmy Ballard emphasized (connected) in the 90's. (When you learn that feel, then you can maybe let the elbow bend a little on the top.)

    Interesting discussion. Sorry if my replies only can come at a delay. I mostly use phone for Internet, but for this discussion I need a computer to write.

    Edit
    But basically, from the golfing perspective, a powerful tennis FH that does not involve wrist movement (mostly passive), is still difficult to understand for me.
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2016
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  29. ByeByePoly

    ByeByePoly Hall of Fame

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    Quick comment ... I'm off to work on 2hbhs on another thread. :)

    I gave up trying to do any of this on the phone. I need the PC for the posts where I have to type a lot or post pics and video, but will read (and make shorter replies) with the Kindle and my pathetic one-finger typing. I need a real keyboard ... old school and 25+ years of software development.

    "I agree. I sometimes write carelessly which contributes to getting misinterpreted. The "hand movement" in golf is mostly an effect of body core (and arm) movements. I sometimes use the word "action". I should be careful with that. - "Passive action" is probably not the clearest way I can express myself "

    Sorry, I should have been more clear. I'm wasn't talking about how you should refer to anything. I was trying to give you a warning to the sensitivity of some here on this message board to anything "wrist". In particularly, very strong feelings on both sides ... 1) active wrist action vs 2) passive wrist action. There are multiple threads on it ... just use the search function. For my purposes of discovery, the active/inactive part didn't matter to me ... I was trying to understand the ATP flip around\past the hand ... and what arm\hand\wrist movements facilitated that ... regardless of active\inactive. There has been so many "wrist\snap" type of threads here ... the lines have been drawn, so to speak. Your words were fine ... just giving you a heads up. Another strong feeling is the kinetic chain (hips\torso uncoiling) is key ... and by the time we get to the arms\hands\wrist ... it's merely a "guiding" action. I think the arms\hands\wrist do much more than that ... but just another FYI.

    I will give you this link again ... I think it will give you a good overview of the different types of FHs ... even with pics. :) It might lead one to the decision the task of identifying the % of each component's contribution to RHA/RHS is hopeless, because there are just too many variations in FHs. That's why I suggested Madison Keys first ... she matches or surpasses the FH pace of much of the ATP tour. Many factors there ... hitting a flatter ball will always be more mph. But her swing doesn't have many of the components that I would have bet are of major consequence in RHA\RHS 1) flip 2) straight arm by contact 3) release of forearm/racquet angle. None of it ... other than probably ESR\ISR and what I called with a lame madeup term (shoulder slingshot). Even with Madison's bent shoulder "slingshot" ... if you watch, it's more of a flexed arm then a 90 degree type bent elbow. Look at Theim's pics in the thread below for example, if I remember right his elbow is bent much more at impact ... which to me means more rotational potential at the elbow (almost used weather vane as the analogy).

    "https://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/ind...ble-pendulums-and-old-style-slingshot.577856/

    Flip:

    00:11 - racquet position facilitating the flip which is about to come
    00:14 - the butt cap pull has happened, along with whatever "body roatation\arm\hand\wrist" movements facilitated that position
    00:15 - contact ... whatever release has happened ... and note "late release golf" analogy here ... 00:14 - 00:15. Also note, non-flip FHs don't match the release being this late

    Also note, the term flip can be controversial here also (what isn't ... we are tennis players ... we are going to disagree) ... and to be quite honest I have never liked the term. But again, who cares what you call it if you are just trying to identify the contributors to RHA/RHS.

     
    #29
  30. ycc_swe

    ycc_swe New User

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    Thank you for the link. I must gradually get used to looking at these videos. I agree that one component in Madison Keys' high ball speed can be less spin. It also seems that (using a grip "towards SW", like modern players do) the top spin comes from pronation/ISR and maybe elbow flexion. If this should happen, the wrist must keep some dorsal/radial flexion at impact, hitting the ball in front of you. It can not release fully through impact. Isn't that what is called the Windshield Wiper forehand? Madison Keys also looks very athletic, also a few cm taller than the top three WTA ranked I checked. But maybe all the women pros look like that, these days.

    (I played table tennis as young. And then the loop-topspin is often produced by hitting the ball at the side of the body, not in front of the body. The grip would be more like "Continental" and spin is produced by elbow and radial wrist flexion. At least that is what I would say off hand.)

    The members here have looked much more on these things, I just try to grasp the basics. Interesting as they are. I will gradually try to separate what I see in the thread you linked. Thanks.
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2016
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  31. ycc_swe

    ycc_swe New User

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    The players are even more fit today than 50 years ago. The materials are better. They can therefore hit the ball harder. To keep the ground strokes within the court they must trade off some racket head speed, from ball speed to spin. The balls bounce higher today so they can use a "E-SW" grip (instead of Continental) which trades off some ball speed but makes top spin easier.

    The 1st serve, the fastest stroke in tennis, is still hit flat since it is hit from such a high position that you don't need spin. (But the service court is shorter, of course.) In the first serve, you can also accept less margin of error (no spin) than for ground strokes, since you have a 2nd serve to rely on. So for the 1st serve you can still use Continental grip and make maximum use of the wrist.

    That's about it then. Or isn't it ? ;)
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2016
    #31
  32. Shroud

    Shroud G.O.A.T.

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    My two cents trying to understand this thread is that i am fairly certain you have never hit with a western. A continental can have the wrist break into the court. On a western the wrist will be breaking up mostly and not forward. So if you take the direction into account each will have more mobility in their given direction
     
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  33. Crie

    Crie Rookie

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    Are you trying to write an essay on this lol? If so, you are out of luck, none of us qualify for professional degree of any sort.

    If not, I'll try to answer your not-so-simly-put-queston, but I'll tell you, the answer is kinda useless.

    There is no flat forehand grip. You can hit flat with any grip, even Hawaiian which is your index knuckle on bevel 6. However, to hit flat, one's swing path has to change. You are no longer trying to go down to up/"brushing up." Instead, you swing down onto the ball, going high to medium. It's stupidly hard to explain in words, better explained visually.

    So the next logical question is: which grip can hit flat the easiest. Hitting flat is the result of less upward motion on the ball. So you would want your hand, behind the racquet rather than under it. The Eastern grip, employed by Grigor Dimitrov, Juan Martin del Potro, and Roger Federer, can naturally swing more through the ball. Just type these names in youtube along with "forehand" and you get the idea, especially on the inside out.

    The rest from here is just facts.

    Tennis has gone from a slower game to a faster one. To keep up with a faster game, players need consistency to hit faster. To get more consistency, you need more topspin. To get more topspin, you swing more down-to-up rather than through. The traditional Conti grip and Eastern grip allow for easier driving motion through the ball. The Semi-Western grip allow you to swing naturally, just like an Eastern, but gives you more topspin. One consequence is that you need more power, to get this people use the core and turn their shoulders more perpendicular to the net.
     
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  34. ycc_swe

    ycc_swe New User

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    Very important point.
    I have mostly assumed racket movement perpendicular to the racket string surface, like a flat shot.
     
    #34
  35. ycc_swe

    ycc_swe New User

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    The essay is already written.
    http://creatingspeed.com
    I just want to include a comparison to tennis. Very basic. I have learnt useful things here. Thanks to everyone posting.

    I agree you could never hit flat on a low ball with a Western grip. In fact it is difficult to make any shot at a low ball with a W grip?

    But for flat shots, wrist movement is perpendicular to the racket surface. That is more limited for Western.

    Thanks for other good points. I will check the videos. I think I already noticed that Federer forehand looks a little more like "in the old days" when I learnt the Continental grip. (Compared to players using SW, like Rafa.)

    I also think the ball is struck a little more at your side with Continental (Eastern) grip and more in front of you with SW-W.

    Angles are difficult to explain. But I also believe that if you measure the angle in the plane of the racket surface, there is less angle between racket and forearm, in SW-W grips, contacting the ball.
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2016
    #35
  36. Shroud

    Shroud G.O.A.T.

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    Yes and its no coincidence the the continental is the worst grip for topspin and the western/hawaiian is the worst for hitting flat.

    Same goes for ball height. Low balls are tougher with a western and high balls are tougher with a continental.
     
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  37. ycc_swe

    ycc_swe New User

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    That is something I want to discuss further.

    Facing a low ball, using Western is almost "impossible". That I can understand.

    But is a Continental grip equally bad for a high ball? Many use continental for the flat serve, which is a very position.
     
    #37
  38. Lukhas

    Lukhas Legend

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    Well, almost. Late reply I know.


    Even if I agree with that I've got not idea how he finds that comfortable. I probably shouldn't question it either.
     
    #38
  39. Shroud

    Shroud G.O.A.T.

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    Its not impossible. Its just harder. Remember you are hitting mostly up so at some point it is tough to get under the ball.

    Try hitting a flat serve with a toss around shoulder or head height. Its pretty hard and if you are trying to hit topspin on high balls its pretty difficult with a continental

    Imho you get to a point in their useable envelope that after a point you can only slice. Conti that is on high balls and W its on low balls
     
    #39
  40. Crie

    Crie Rookie

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    What? Western grip is fine for low balls. If you ask anyone who uses a Western grip, they will tell you they don't have a problem. You have to change your swing path, if you don't change that, then you will hit the ball right into the net. Watch Kyrgios' practice with Sock. Both use full western and both hit a few balls that are really low to the ground.

    To hit low balls you close your stance and move your weight backwards on to your right leg(if you are a righty) and you swing more higher up rather than through the ball.
     
    #40
  41. ByeByePoly

    ByeByePoly Hall of Fame

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    "none of us qualify for professional degree of any sort"

    I have to say ... that was one excellent "non-professional" reply. Sometimes someone just says what you are thinking better ... which is great, because we have this thing called "links to posts". My guess is that one will be linked a few time here. :)
     
    #41
  42. Crie

    Crie Rookie

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    Its just my personal experiences and watching replays, but thank you for the comment.
     
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    #42
  43. ByeByePoly

    ByeByePoly Hall of Fame

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    The reason I commented is I have found it hard to put tennis observations in concise, clear language. Turns out playing tennis and writing about playing tennis is hard.
     
    #43

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