Intuitive Tennis - too heavy racquets responsible for tennis elbow?

DustinW

Professional
what kind of playing style are you talking about? baseline basher? pusher? serve and volley? moonballer?
Nothing specific. Just trying to say that a certain playing style for a certain player might gel better with light vs heavy.

Not just that, but nobody ever talks about body types. For example, I have long skinny arms and I hold my racket with my hand partially hanging off the end of the butt cap. Simple physics would tell you that the stress on my elbow and shoulder would be much higher than for somebody with shorter arms that chokes up on the grip.

My point is... there are so many variables involved and everybody is different... so to make a blanket statement that heavy rackets are better for EVERY player's arm is total nonsense.
 

Shroud

G.O.A.T.
Nothing specific. Just trying to say that a certain playing style for a certain player might gel better with light vs heavy.

Not just that, but nobody ever talks about body types. For example, I have long skinny arms and I hold my racket with my hand partially hanging off the end of the butt cap. Simple physics would tell you that the stress on my elbow and shoulder would be much higher than for somebody with shorter arms that chokes up on the grip.

My point is... there are so many variables involved and everybody is different... so to make a blanket statement that heavy rackets are better for EVERY player's arm is total nonsense.
Yes I agree and this is why the original post is total nonsense too.

That said, I was reacting to: " If you are inconsistent in your technique you are at risk of elbow symptoms if your gear cannot absorb energy for you. "

Its 100% true that more mass will absorb more energy and less impact goes to the elbow.
 

Christian Olsson

Professional
Each player will have their own ideal weight and balance but I would say that if your technique is being compromised when playing with a so called heavier racquet, then a heavier could cause injury. The biggest culprit of injury is usually related to technique.
exactly. If you arm the heavy racquet it will hurt. No matter the RA. Finding the right weight and balance for your style is important. :)
 

toby55555

Hall of Fame
I am a posterboy for heavy racquets protecting you from arm trouble. I never get wrist issues but with a stock bab I was getting wrist issues. I added weight and problem solved.

On my blade 98 I went to kev/4g at 86/86. That was starting to get to the elbow. I added weight to bring the static weight to 422g. No elbow issues ever again.
What about your shoulder, my experience is that total weight regardless of how head light can be a strain on the shoulder. Lighter head heavy rackets aggravate the wrist. Obviously what weight an individual can cope with will vary but 422 seems excessive.
 

Shroud

G.O.A.T.
What about your shoulder, my experience is that total weight regardless of how head light can be a strain on the shoulder. Lighter head heavy rackets aggravate the wrist. Obviously what weight an individual can cope with will vary but 422 seems excessive.
shoulder was ok, but I bet there could be some truth to weight affecting it. Tennis is riddled with messed up shoulders with all kind of racquets.

The worst thing for my shoulder in the past 10+ years was grabbing luggage off the baggage claim. FWIW I would warm up serving and shadowing groundies with a 2 lb hammer so a less than one lb racquet was not a big deal.
 

Klitz

New User
Yes I agree and this is why the original post is total nonsense too.

That said, I was reacting to: " If you are inconsistent in your technique you are at risk of elbow symptoms if your gear cannot absorb energy for you. "

Its 100% true that more mass will absorb more energy and less impact goes to the elbow.
I struggle with the concept of folks having improper/poor technique, and then seeking out a racket that will attempt to mitigate the damage done to their body that results from poor technique.

If someone has a fender bender due to texting and driving, would you recommend that they need to go out and purchase a Volvo so that next time they are Facebooking and get in an accident they would get hurt less?
 

Power Player

Talk Tennis Guru
I finally got around to watching this video. He certainly has a very different idea on racquet weights than most people here. He wants anyone below NTRP 5.0 using 300g at most.
This is not totally true. He was clear that stronger players (muscles) can go a bit heavier than that.
 

Arak

Hall of Fame
Nothing specific. Just trying to say that a certain playing style for a certain player might gel better with light vs heavy.

Not just that, but nobody ever talks about body types. For example, I have long skinny arms and I hold my racket with my hand partially hanging off the end of the butt cap. Simple physics would tell you that the stress on my elbow and shoulder would be much higher than for somebody with shorter arms that chokes up on the grip.

My point is... there are so many variables involved and everybody is different... so to make a blanket statement that heavy rackets are better for EVERY player's arm is total nonsense.
Every racket is a compromise, and injuries are part of any sport. Just pick whatever works for you.
 

Shroud

G.O.A.T.
I struggle with the concept of folks having improper/poor technique, and then seeking out a racket that will attempt to mitigate the damage done to their body that results from poor technique.

If someone has a fender bender due to texting and driving, would you recommend that they need to go out and purchase a Volvo so that next time they are Facebooking and get in an accident they would get hurt less?
I personally am a big fan of proper technique and that is a given, but since this is a racquet forum and the topic is racquet weight, its only natural to focus on the racquet weight

You really need to do both IMHO but a heavy racquet is much easier than making changes in technique. but its not an either or. A heavy racquet kind of forces one to clean up technique. Though I am a big fan of technique changes and am in the forecourt:

 

Gee

Hall of Fame
I personally am a big fan of proper technique and that is a given, but since this is a racquet forum and the topic is racquet weight, its only natural to focus on the racquet weight

You really need to do both IMHO but a heavy racquet is much easier than making changes in technique. but its not an either or. A heavy racquet kind of forces one to clean up technique. Though I am a big fan of technique changes and am in the forecourt:

Big improvement for only one half an year! Your movements and swings have been much more relaxed and controlled.
 

Dartagnan64

G.O.A.T.
Another POV from Tom Avery that I agree more than the other aforementioned videos from Intuitive Tennis and Roman Prokes:

Have to say I agree with Tom for the vast majority of rec players. A heavier head light frame lets you swing smoothly through the ball with plow and minimal recoil into the arm. Doesn't need to be RF97 heavy though. But I think 12 oz is in the wheelhouse of every grown up male.

Yes if you swing 90 mph, always hit the ball out front and on the sweetspot, you can play with a light frame and never hurt your arm. Only a tiny sample of rec players can do that.

I will however say that for serving you need to pay more attention to weight as that can hurt the arm if you are swinging a heavy frame too hard.
 

Fxanimator1

Hall of Fame
Have to say I agree with Tom for the vast majority of rec players. A heavier head light frame lets you swing smoothly through the ball with plow and minimal recoil into the arm. Doesn't need to be RF97 heavy though. But I think 12 oz is in the wheelhouse of every grown up male.

Yes if you swing 90 mph, always hit the ball out front and on the sweetspot, you can play with a light frame and never hurt your arm. Only a tiny sample of rec players can do that.

I will however say that for serving you need to pay more attention to weight as that can hurt the arm if you are swinging a heavy frame too hard.
Yeah, the RF is an amazing racquet to play with. I can play really well with it, all shots, no issues at all, even for 4 hours straight...The problem was the next day, is when I paid for it. My body just doesn't recover like it used to anymore.
While I'm using it, great, next day, not so much. :(
 

Shroud

G.O.A.T.
Big improvement for only one half an year! Your movements and swings have been much more relaxed and controlled.
Thanks man. Sadly i dont think the form is as pretty these days and some things have reverted a bit. But changes can be made
 

socallefty

Legend
I think there is an optimal weight range for each player depending on their technique and physical strength. If you go lighter or heavier than this range, you increase the chance of injury - lighter affects elbows/wrists and heavier affects shoulders more. For the majority of men, that optimal range is likely between 10.5 to 12 ounces for a strung racquet.
 

tata

Hall of Fame
I think there is an optimal weight range for each player depending on their technique and physical strength. If you go lighter or heavier than this range, you increase the chance of injury - lighter affects elbows/wrists and heavier affects shoulders more. For the majority of men, that optimal range is likely between 10.5 to 12 ounces for a strung racquet.
Have to agree here. Especially on serve, your technique will play a big part. Some players use more arm, others use more shoulder, and others use more wrist action. When you factor this in, the physical strength and racquet weight plays a big part in whether you injure yourself and feel pain.
 

Pumpkin

New User
Well, in rather simplistic terms, if a beetle is going to collide with an eighteen wheeler I would like my arm to be in the eighteen wheeler. But obviously if my swing is bizarre with zero technique I might hurt myself with a heavier racquet, and with a lighter one too I guess.
Excellent summation. The only time I had a twinge in my elbow was when a coach put me onto a poly string with a light racquet. With a heavier racquet with the same string there was no problem.
 

Dartagnan64

G.O.A.T.
I think there is an optimal weight range for each player depending on their technique and physical strength. If you go lighter or heavier than this range, you increase the chance of injury - lighter affects elbows/wrists and heavier affects shoulders more. For the majority of men, that optimal range is likely between 10.5 to 12 ounces for a strung racquet.
Agree but I think a 10.5 oz strung racket is a little on the light side for any average male. I'd put the range more in the 11-12.5 oz strung range.
 

HitMoreBHs

Semi-Pro
I personally am a big fan of proper technique and that is a given, but since this is a racquet forum and the topic is racquet weight, its only natural to focus on the racquet weight

You really need to do both IMHO but a heavy racquet is much easier than making changes in technique. but its not an either or. A heavy racquet kind of forces one to clean up technique. Though I am a big fan of technique changes and am in the forecourt:

Really great progress, particularly the forehand side on the take back and racquet drop (y). It’s all about committing to the changes and working at it. I still have my frustrations with my forehand that had to be evolved gradually from 80s grasscourt, level swingpath strokes with an Australian grip, to a present day extreme Eastern and a modern WW motion. Old habits really die hard and the tendency to creep back is never ending.

Since you were working on shortening your FH take back loop, do you think a transiently heavier weight helps (makes you focus on keeping smooth and using the big muscles)? Or would dropping some weight for a period be better (less racquet weight to accelerate allows you to use a shorter take back)?
 
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Shroud

G.O.A.T.
Really great progress, particularly the forehand side on the take back and racquet drop (y). It’s all about committing to the changes and working at it. I still have my frustrations with my forehand that had to be evolved gradually from 80s grasscourt, level swingpath strokes with an Australian grip, to a present day extreme Eastern and a modern WW motion. Old habits really die hard and the tendency to creep back is never ending.

Since you were working on shortening your FH take back loop, do you think a transiently heavier weight helps (makes you focus on keeping smooth and using the big muscles)? Or would dropping some weight for a period be better (less racquet weight to accelerate allows you to use a shorter take back)?
Totally get the old habits creeping back!! They totally kicked my ass and that vid is the pinnacle sadly.

what i realized is that my stupid arm thinks it has to move to take the racquet back and i cant just turn and hit. Stupid arm moves. So over the years, that movement was always creeping in. We worked out a peace deal and today to keep it busy I do the next gen takeback.
Fwiw i have been all over the map weight wise and didnt find that it made a difference. Take back was take back.
Here is the fh these days and its the best i can get

 

Pumpkin

New User
Totally get the old habits creeping back!! They totally kicked my ass and that vid is the pinnacle sadly.

what i realized is that my stupid arm thinks it has to move to take the racquet back and i cant just turn and hit. Stupid arm moves. So over the years, that movement was always creeping in. We worked out a peace deal and today to keep it busy I do the next gen takeback.
Fwiw i have been all over the map weight wise and didnt find that it made a difference. Take back was take back.
Here is the fh these days and its the best i can get

That's a good forehand.
 

Shroud

G.O.A.T.
That's a good forehand.
Thanks man. I am pretty happy with it.
Forever my bh was better and just worked. Fh not so much. But last time i played i had just extended my racquet and the bh was struggling till the 2nd set. Fh had no issues and was a dominate shot that day.

2 habits that are hard to fix are hugging the baseline. Never will fix that as hitting on the rise is just part of the psyche. Chicken wing likes to come back…

some speculated that the heavy sticks lead to chicken wing but I dont think thahas anything to do with it myself.

technique is main thing imho for arm issues unless you are too light (wrist) or too heavy (shoulder)
 

Pumpkin

New User
technique is main thing imho for arm issues unless you are too light (wrist) or too heavy (shoulder)
Yes. You don't see pros getting TE much. One thing that sprang to mind about take back etc. There's many slight variations even amongst pros for the take back. As long as it doesn't interfere with the mechanics of the shot I think you should do what comes naturally. The reason I say that is because when we are under pressure in a match the mind, the nervous system tends to want to fall back to what comes natural. What is instinctive. It s like if you scare a monkey by firing a gun or something it will scamper up a tree. A rabbit will run down a hole. A crocodile will run into the water. If the rabbit tries to convince itself that it's better to run into the water then its instincts are telling it to run down the hole but its mind is trying to make it go for the water. It will get confused, become stuck and get shot.
 

guanzishou

Hall of Fame
I have been playing with heavy racquets for about 13 years now. From my experience, it hurt my arm when the string was polyester or kevlar. After I switch to softer string like gut or synthetic gut, it doesn't hurt my arm and it feels very comfortable.

I once played with a very light racquet and synthetic gut string, it hurt my arms.
 
I was occasionally using the TW 2014, ps85 reissue which was 374g strung. Trying to get more back into tennis the last few years, I'd switched to the k-factor ps88 about over a year ago. It was about 372g strung, now 365g after changing the original leather grip to the "feather-thin" wilson replacement grip. I'd "worked" through the tennis-elbow pain over time, now it's mostly gone, except for reoccurring inflammation when I was working on the backhand slice more. Trying to keep the initiating of my swings from the leg and torso, leading the shoulder, then rest of the arm and elbow has helped the most for me I think. Where the bh-slice seems to be the most danger to aggravate the elbow for me currently. These "Move Free" pills have helped too, imo.

The strings on my kps88 are lux 4g mains/solinco tb-diamondrough crosses, strung at 60/59 (tension tool measured it at 46/40 now), where I'd been holding out on changing the strings for a while, letting it gradually go lower, before changing it where then, I want to try a softer multi as the main, but keep the crosses a poly.
 
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Dartagnan64

G.O.A.T.
I was occasionally using the TW 2014, ps85 reissue which was 374g strung. Trying to get more back into tennis the last few years, I'd switched to the k-factor ps88 about over a year ago. It was about 372g strung, now 365g after changing the original leather grip to the "feather-thin" wilson replacement grip. I'd "worked" through the tennis-elbow pain over time, now it's mostly gone, except for reoccurring inflammation when I was working on the backhand slice more. Trying to keep the initiating of my swings from the leg and torso, leading the shoulder, then rest of the arm and elbow has helped the most for me I think. Where the bh-slice seems to be the most danger to aggravate the elbow for me currently. These "Move Free" pills have helped too, imo.

The strings on my kps88 are lux 4g mains/solinco tb-diamondrough crosses, strung at 60/59 (tension tool measured it at 46/40 now), where I'd been holding out on changing the strings for a while, letting it gradually go lower, before changing it where then, I want to try a softer multi as the main, but keep the crosses a poly.
Feels like this post should have been written in 1995. I don't see any good players using 85's and 88's except for giggles these days . They are about as dino as wood.
 
Feels like this post should have been written in 1995. I don't see any good players using 85's and 88's except for giggles these days . They are about as dino as wood.
uh huh, I had been away from tennis for over a decade without a racquet before I picked up the 2014 ps85 reissue. Granted it ultimately didn't fare well for me in today's (rec) game of spinnier shots of larger headsizes. But the kps88 (issued in 2009) is actually a 90 sq.in head size and analogous in frame to the 17mm beam ncode sixone 90 and the ktour 90. So it took me a while to adjust to the bigger headsize.
(TW review of the kps 88)
I do have a used ktour 95 and an o3 tour 100 I got off the bay as collectibles, stringing practice, and playing around with occasionally, but I prefer or am "addicted" to the kps88's oldschool thin beam , and heavier plow feel.
 
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Dartagnan64

G.O.A.T.
uh huh, I had been away from tennis for over a decade without a racquet before I picked up the 2014 ps85 reissue. Granted it ultimately didn't fare well for me in today's (rec) game of spinnier shots of larger headsizes. But the kps88 (issued in 2009) is actually a 90 sq.in head size and analogous in frame to the 17mm beam ncode sixone 90 and the ktour 90. So it took me a while to adjust to the bigger headsize.
(TW review of the kps 88)
I do have a used ktour 95 and an o3 tour 100 I got off the bay as collectibles, stringing practice, and playing around with occasionally, but I prefer or am "addicted" to the kps88's oldschool thin beam , and heavier plow feel.
I get you. I still like pulling out my old Don Budge Woodie from time to time for that old school feel. But from the 90's I was always an Agassi/Chang fan and loved the POG 107.
 
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