Is it poly? Elbow pain makes no sense

WestboroChe

Hall of Fame
The passively laid back wrist forms a stronger resistance against the forces of racket displacement and requires no contraction of the forearm extensors to fight against racket displacement like a neutral wrist would. A laid back wrist will also lead to passive shortening of the extensor muscles giving more slack and less tension into the extensor tendon complex.

This is why many cases of TE are related to hitting with 1HBH where the wrist is often neutral or flexed at impact even out front forcing the extensors to contract at impact and putting stretch on the tendon as the impact forces send kinetic energy into the arm.

And finally hitting out front allows you to generate more RHS and plowthrough letting the racket momentum mitigate some ball energy.
It’s also a matter of physics. Hitting the ball out in fromt
Means you are swinging through and imparting force to the ball where as hitting later near to or behind you means you are probably letting the ball hit the racquet.

The first example allows you to use the weight of the racquet to minimize shock to the arm. The second example means the racquet is getting hit by the ball and the shock is greater.

It’s not hard to test. Have a friend fire overheads at you. Hit them out in front and hit them much closer to your body. I think you’ll feel the difference.
 

FedGR

Semi-Pro
Yeah, it takes a little time to get it right, but you will hit a bigger FH with less effort. It’s not too tough of a fix since you already have the basics of the FH down though. The main thing is you want that left arm to be part of the core power you generate. Not a perfect example, but It’s almost like starting a hula hoop spinning from around your waist
I agree with you 100% and work towards that. But that requires a bit of extra work on my end and at the time the video was recorded, I haven't played for a bit so I was being lazy with my footwork/rotation. When I do it correctly, tennis is just much easier.

From the video I don’t think the FH is a problem for TE. There is nothing obviously wrong with your technique.

On the other hand one hand bh is always a suspect to consider with TE. That and your ultra lightweight racquet is a recipe for elbow problems. I’d need more video to see if your point of impact and overall swing is sound on the bh.

Get rid of your hyper lightweight frame. Both my 11 and 12 yo kids and GF play with over 300g frames. I mean come on now, you’re just asking for problems.
Thank you coach for all the advice! I will try record a video from the side and try upload it so you can have a better view of contact point and movement.

Regarding the light frame, I didn't know a lighter frame could cause issues. I tried it mostly as a baseline before I add weight to bring it to my specs. I typically play with Blade 98/IGRP/IGRMP.



If your FH is causing you TE ... you should fill your bag with TE arm straps and pass them out to those people playing on the courts next to you. 8-B
But why? :p:p


I'm in the school as @Dartagnan64 mentioned "footwork" as a leading cause of TE which causes you to hit late, trying to salvage something when you hit late. Also, unless you were trained at an early age to hold the racket loose and just "throw it" at the ball most of us rec hacks are going grip too hard enough to cause some issues. For twinges I generally use a handheld electric massage device to get the blood flowing and tension out. I never had any luck with the Flexbar - gave them away out on the courts.
I've been playing tennis for many years and I believe my technique is correct on the FH side. On the BH side, I am not that sure as I switched to OHBH a couple years ago without any proper coaching. It was more of trying to copy what the pros are doing and what feels good. The handheld massage device is one of these "TENS" devices?

upon 10 secs of seeing... sound of the ball impact seems to indicate a somewhat stiff stringbed... that coupled with the fact that you don't use your body that much (in the coiling / uncoiling) seems to point that you are in fact using your arms a bit much...

so I recommend:
1 - massage your forearm after each session... like hard with your finger knuckes in the forearms... muscle area and outside tendon area
2 - use more of your body in the coil / uncoil both backhand and forehand
3 - lower string tension ;)

P.S. you're right you don't have errors in your technique - but engage more of your core and legs in the shots...
I was indeed using Head Hawk on that setup! I really liked the sound on impact among many other things. Engaging core and legs is always a work in progress. It never ends! :D
 

am1899

Hall of Fame
Thank you for the nice words. You are very right about my body movement on the BH. I always used to play 2hbh and recently switched to 1-hander so that shot is faaaaar from being solid.
That makes perfect sense. Keep working on it.

I made the switch from 2HBH to 1HBH around 12 yrs of age. It was a terrible decision then, but it turned out to be the right one in the long run.

One suggestion I would make is hit some balls with a simplified swing. Start low, finish high - without shoulder rotation or wrist roll at the end. The goal here is to develop a strong base with your stroke - which should help you to commit to backhand drives more consistently.

Here’s a video just to illustrate what I’m talking about. The first 3 minutes or so is what I’m talking about, but no reason why you can’t watch the whole progression:

 
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FedGR

Semi-Pro
Was using the most comfortable racket I have ever played with, Dunlop Max200G.
No lightweight slouch. 350+ gms.

I want to add something here that may help someone in the future.
Whatever the cause of your discomfort/pain may be, NEVER ignore it!

I happen to have a high tolerance for pain.
Couple that with the fact that they don't teach you about tennis elbow in school
and you have a potential recipe for disaster, as happened in my case.
I started to feel pain immediately when I hit with the second player.
Instead of stopping right away I continued to play through the pain.

Since then I learned that our bodies send out pain signals for very good reasons
and have never ignored them again.
Sorry to hear about your experience. Has there been improvement since your "worst" TE? If yes, what do you attribute as the main improvement factors? What do you play with at the moment? Racket/strings?


Yep, concur. tennis and golfers elbow problems are weird fickle things .

I've used poly and gut poly.
Any poly hurts now..

I'm now on full bed of natural gut at 58lb lockout machine with double pull (racquet tune confirms 58lb after stringing).

I've tried Pacific and Klip legend nat gut in a Prince EXO3 tour 100.
Always got problems..

I like the feel, weight and play itf the 16 x 18..
I tried Völkl V1 classic and organix Racquets weighted the same but I missed the Prince EXO3.
With various tensions and strings..
Never poly! Gut and gut synth hybrids.
Slightly better than the Prince on my elbow.
Völkl have lots of tech in the handle to isolate you..

I got a Völkl V sense 8 (16x18) weighted it the same as the Prince. At 355g 10pts head light, strung..
Put Wilson natural gut mains and Prince Premier Control crosses at 58lbs..
Loved the way it played. Didn't serve that much, had golfers elbow tingles afterwards.
Cut out the day old crosses and put Wilson natural gut in the crosses at 58lb too!

Played the following day, much harder. 4 sets of serving as hard as I could. Plenty of hard forehands..
No tingling golfers elbow!..
Go figure?!

This is the first time I've used a full bed of Wilson natural gut!

I've tried Babolt team vs, Klip Legend and some Pacifics before..

Either Wilson gut is magic (the old Babolat stuff used to be the same apparently before the BT7 debacle), or it's just the ups and downs of my body..?

I dunno!

I'm carrying on with the V Sense 8 racquet and Wilson gut for the next few weeks to see what gives..

Sent from my Pixel XL using Tapatalk
Good to hear this setup doesn't give you any pain!!! Have you tried any ProKennex? They are supposed to have special tech for elbow protection. I have one and is very comfy indeed yet very muted. I need to play with it more.


That makes perfect sense. Keep working on it.

I made the switch from 2HBH to 1HBH around 12 yrs of age. It was a terrible decision then, but it turned out to be the right one in the long run.

One suggestion I would make is hit some balls with a simplified swing. Start low, finish high - without shoulder rotation or wrist roll at the end. The goal here is to develop a strong base with your stroke - which should help you to commit to backhand drives more consistently.

Here’s a video just to illustrate what I’m talking about. The first 3 minutes or so is what I’m talking about, but no reason why you can’t watch the whole progression:

Nice video, good progression. My only problem with "these" videos is that they don't explain the wrist very well and what it really does during the shot. You say "simplified swing" but that doesn't mean much, at least to the degree I understand. If this is the simplified swing what is the non-simplified one? Sorry if I don't understand something.

I had to change to 1 ohbh due to sciatica issues. I am glad I did. There is a lot to learn but I think I enjoy hitting more than the 2hbh.
 
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am1899

Hall of Fame
@FedGR What I mean by “simplified”:

- Low backswing (draw the racquet back beneath the level of the ball hit or fed to you). Need to turn your shoulders as well, obviously

- Don’t roll your wrist after contact (maintain a locked wrist from contact to finish)

- Don’t rotate you shoulders through the shot (stay sideways to the net throughout the swing)

- Finish the racquet as high as you can (again keeping your shoulders sideways to the net). In my view the very top of the racquet should point at the sky. As you are right handed, the hitting side of the strings should point to the court to your right. For example:



Once you become more comfortable at executing with this simplified, “base” stroke, you can later add a higher backswing, wrist roll after contact, and shoulder rotation through the shot to increase power and heaviness of shot.
 
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Dartagnan64

Legend
.


I had thought about the extensor muscle being shorter with wrist laid back, but under load. A laid back wrist sounds like the opposite of passive. Passive (relaxed natural state) seems like a neutral wrist.

Thx for input.
The wrist should be laid back passively by racquet lag in which case with a loose arm the extensors will be not over contracting and producing load. When the wrist is neutral the tendons will be on more stretch and the ball will deflect the racquet more leading to over contraction of the extensors. This will put load on the tendon complex.

Hold your hand with he wrist laid back and push on your fingertips. You shouldn't feel load on the extensors. Now hold your hand with the wrist neutral and push on the finger tips. You can feel the extensors contract to resist the deflection and load up the tendon.
 

ByeByePoly

G.O.A.T.
The wrist should be laid back passively by racquet lag in which case with a loose arm the extensors will be not over contracting and producing load. When the wrist is neutral the tendons will be on more stretch and the ball will deflect the racquet more leading to over contraction of the extensors. This will put load on the tendon complex.

Hold your hand with he wrist laid back and push on your fingertips. You shouldn't feel load on the extensors. Now hold your hand with the wrist neutral and push on the finger tips. You can feel the extensors contract to resist the deflection and load up the tendon.
"The wrist should be laid back passively by racquet lag in which case with a loose arm the extensors will be not over contracting and producing load. "

Yeah ... after I typed that I took a shadow swing the weight of the racquet bends the relaxed wrist back. Like you said, no load.

I pulled on the fingers, and yes ... extensors resist in neutral. Test with wrist laid back less clear ... I find that an uncomfortable position. I hit mainly Eastern ... probably weak eastern on most FHs ... roll to weak sw on max ts (my max). My wrist fully extends in backswing, and ends up closer to neutral at contact. A rec player hitting Eastern will not end up way in front like Fed ... at least not this rec player. You would think racquet head speed and hitting in the middle of the strings is the bigger issue than wrist angle. In my FH, I think I get added rh speed with the relaxed extended wrist moving toward neutral by contact. I would think all added rh speed around wrist with a fully extended wrist into contact has to come from rolling around the wrist (esr, pronation, ww).

Appreciate the feedback from a doc 8-B(y) ... I am asking out of curiosity. I have experimented with hitting with fully extended wrist ... couldn't do it if I wanted to ... but don't. To me, my release to more neutral is the relaxed passive swing. I would have to actively keep my wrist from moving toward neutral ... at least with my Eastern. If I shadow swing with a Western ... seems like less force toward neutral in forward swing.

The vast majority of my age group does not hit way in front with the wrist fully laid back ... and most of the wrists and elbows are still working without poly.

Edit: my thought is the same relaxed passive wrist extension from racquet mass on backswing, is the same relaxed passive move toward neutral by contact. If you watch Fed slow motion FHs, he hits both (fully laid back, closer to neutral). It seems most are laid back ... cc often more neutral). Obviously if you are the GOAT ... you have options.
 
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Mark-Touch

Professional
So long story short, I've been playing tennis for 2 years
I've been playing tennis for many years
I'm a bit confused by your above statements. Two years is not many years, especially for tennis. :)

Sorry to hear about your experience. Has there been improvement since your "worst" TE? If yes, what do you attribute as the main improvement factors? What do you play with at the moment? Racket/strings?
When you say improvement I will take it to mean improvement in my elbow problem (not my game).
I was warned that it would never heal completely at the time of injury by a physio specialist.
I didn't want to believe them, but they were right.

Long lay-offs always help and allow me to continue playing, this is the biggest "improvement factor".
I must monitor my arm each and every time I play, even now, decades later.
I usually wear an arm brace to provide extra support (it does help).

Just a little over a year ago I started on my racket change journey (together with a big FH technique change).
I really liked my Max200G but wanted to see if there was something lighter available without sacrificing any of its playing attributes.

I tried more than a dozen rackets and finally have settled on the following four in order of preference:

1. Dunlop Biomimetic 200 Plus
2. Wilson Ultra Tour
3. Wilson Triad XP5
4. Wilson Blade 98L

I'm still in the experimental stage with strings/tension.
Prior to my racket change I had always strung with Bab VS gut at around 48 lbs.

I just discovered poly strings by chance a couple of months ago and really took a liking to them.
I had only tried multi's before that.
I picked up a demo at my club (Wilson Ultra Tour) and after the first few swings I said "Wow!" to myself.
I was feeling the ball much better than with any of my rackets.

At the time I hadn't purchased my Ultra Tour yet.
So I bought one and tried to replicate the strings and tension.

I learned that the demo had Luxilon Big Banger Alu Power 125 and Head Hawk Touch 17 both @52 lbs.
I wanted to make sure the strings were as loose as possible (I heard about poly strings and elbow issues)
so I strung mine @ 48 lbs.
And that felt fine, but didn't give me the same control of the demo, (which makes sense).

I switched all my other rackets to poly too, as strange as it may seem.
Tensions range from: 45 lbs to 48 lbs.

All rackets have been weighted, ranging from 328-333 gm.

With me, the biggest trigger for my elbow issue is my flat serve.
It only takes a few flat serves for me to really feel it in the elbow.
And so naturally I avoid that serve.
My first and second serves are slice serves.
 
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TforTommy

Semi-Pro
Thank you for all the info and advice. My goal is not to test it further and see if the pain continues because I might reach a point where the condition is irreversible. I am far from that and hope to keep it this way. I switched already to my good ol' trusty IG Radical Pro (what an underrated frame) strung with gut/poly and there is 0 pain with this setup, at least for now.

Technique is very important like you said and also having the correct grip. I think I hit the ball well without any big technical deficiencies. But I am always open to feedback in case you see something you don't like. See below and let me know what you think (switch to 00:40, before that it's crap). I am the guy having the back to the camera.

What frame is that? And what string setup?
 

Dartagnan64

Legend
The vast majority of my age group does not hit way in front with the wrist fully laid back ... and most of the wrists and elbows are still working without poly.
I don't think you have to hit "way in front". You do have to hit "out front" i.e off the front foot rather than off the hip. Most older guys with solid strokes and eastern grips still get to the ball early and in front of their body.

It would be interesting to see in slow motion what the wrist looks like at contact for the average middle age amateur hitting a FH. The images of pros all show the wrist in a laid back position at contact. I suspect most amateurs are less so. But its pretty hard to hit out in front of your body with a neutral wrist position unless you always want to hit to the left. So some wrist lag must occur unless you are hitting the ball even with your shoulder and torso.
 

ByeByePoly

G.O.A.T.
I don't think you have to hit "way in front". You do have to hit "out front" i.e off the front foot rather than off the hip. Most older guys with solid strokes and eastern grips still get to the ball early and in front of their body.

It would be interesting to see in slow motion what the wrist looks like at contact for the average middle age amateur hitting a FH. The images of pros all show the wrist in a laid back position at contact. I suspect most amateurs are less so. But its pretty hard to hit out in front of your body with a neutral wrist position unless you always want to hit to the left. So some wrist lag must occur unless you are hitting the ball even with your shoulder and torso.
This isn't the best angle to see my contact point relative to "out front" ... but it shows how I go from small lag in back swing to pretty neutral at contact (not totally neutral ... still laid back some or it would not work ... i.e. you would have to be directly to the side). This particular shot went down the line. Most of the guys I have played with hit more like this, rather than contact way out front (like FireFTW FHs if you have seen his videos). Part of it is definitely grip ... and part of it is just how we learned "way back when". 8-B I should get updated video for both 2hbh and FH from the side to check contact point. I think I hit both just a little in front of front foot.



fyi ... Fed gets back to neutral on some FHs ... mostly when he is hitting cc I think. But even then (below) ... he hits way out in front. Nice to be the GOAT.



Edit: to me, the way out in front would be mainly about ATP FH than increased rhs (although no doubt you get increased rhs). If you have sw+ grip, and hit the atp fh ... it just seems obvious the arm rolling bringing the rh low to high would work WAY BETTER (technical term) out in front.

Edit #2: I would think another way (other than how far contact is in front) to gauge rhs potential is to check hand position relative to shoulder line at contact. The hand travels with shoulder line at the start of the forward swing. In order to transfer momentum from shoulder to arm ... the shoulder turn pauses/slows ... and hand/racquet continues on to contact. My fh shows the rec version of that ... arm has turned forward from shoulder line with hand in front by contact. If you want to see the Gold/GOAT standard of that, watch a Fed slow motion FH from the side. Djokovic's 2hbh (left arm) is also a great example. I would think a FH where hand is still in line with shoulder line at contact would indicate no momentum relay pass off to the arm (which would be safe without poly 8-B). Technique discussions are not required for gut and multi.
 
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Irvin

Talk Tennis Guru
Hello all,

So long story short, I've been playing tennis for 2 years (I probably tried about 40(??) different rackets ) using only poly with 0 pain until a couple months back where I felt a very minor and mild pain/stiffness in the TE area. Some very minor burning as well. Then I started stringing hybrids with gut/poly, multi/poly or fb multi to soften the stringbed.

Earlier this week, I played again with a super light (285gr) Graphene 360 Speed MP with full bed Yonex Poly Tour Pro and the pain situation is as follows:
Tuesday: Play for 1 hour, I can feel a little bit of stiffness in the area but nothing I would call pain.
Wednesday: Play hard for 1.5 hour, I do get a little bit more pain and then 5 seconds of a burning sensation very close to the elbow.
Thursday: Play hard for 1.5 hour, 0 pain at all. o_Oo_O

Does that make sense to you? Because it doesn't make any sense to me. I just have trouble processing how this is possible. Any ideas you might have based on your experience, I would love to listen (read) about them! :giggle::unsure::)
The Head Graphene Speed MP has an abnormally high TW (15+) and if you place weight at 3&9 it is even higher. Makes for a stable racket many people think. It is harder to twist so you really have to work to twist the racket on your serve. And it you ever hit a ball off the centerline the side of the racket farther from the ball will twist the racket in your hand which is also hard on your elbow because you’re trying to hold it in a vertical position. Watch the video below to see what happens on a mishit. The higher the TW the more work you have to do to control the racket and if your elbow is not up for it you will feel pain.
 

isukatennis

Rookie
I always used to play 2hbh and recently switched to 1-hander so that shot is faaaaar from being solid.
This could easily be the source of your recent TE... As a chronic sufferer of TE, a OHBH hurts me more than anything because I have bad technique with it. OHBH can rock your arm if technique is off.
 

ByeByePoly

G.O.A.T.
Let's see how @FedGR does on this 1) contact point ... 2) arm getting momentum from shoulder as shoulder turn pauses. This is a thing btw ... it's a consistent trait if you look at a lot of pro strokes slow motion.

That silky FedGR Forehand:



Hand travels with initial shoulder turn, has turned forward by contact, shoulder turn has paused/stopped (see pic #4) which means momentum was passed off to arm (he didn't rotate his shoulders through contact). To my non-coach eyes ... elements look good. (y) "How far out in front" grading is above my pay grade ... maybe some coach input here about pros and cons of trying to move contact farther in front that Mr FedGR here.

FedGR 1hbh (who else wants to see his 2hbh? I do):

Note: when I have looked at pro 1hbhs ... most end the shoulder turn with nipples pointing more or less at the net post (left net post for right hander) at contact. At that point, shoulder turn pauses and arm continues on into follow through. You can find exceptions ... Wawrinka, Chael 8-B ... that hit great 1hbhs rotating shoulder turn right through contact.





Mr FedGR chest still pointing at left net post as his arm releases from shoulder joint .... what's not to like? I saw a few where he was falling back ... but that's just a matter of enough reps to get the balance and weight transfer nailed down.

If FedGR gets past that sciatica thing ... don't play him. :cool:
 

Dartagnan64

Legend
This isn't the best angle to see my contact point relative to "out front" ... but it shows how I go from small lag in back swing to pretty neutral at contact (not totally neutral ... still laid back some or it would not work ... i.e. you would have to be directly to the side). This particular shot went down the line. Most of the guys I have played with hit more like this, rather than contact way out front (like FireFTW FHs if you have seen his videos). Part of it is definitely grip ... and part of it is just how we learned "way back when". 8-B I should get updated video for both 2hbh and FH from the side to check contact point. I think I hit both just a little in front of front foot.



fyi ... Fed gets back to neutral on some FHs ... mostly when he is hitting cc I think. But even then (below) ... he hits way out in front. Nice to be the GOAT.



Edit: to me, the way out in front would be mainly about ATP FH than increased rhs (although no doubt you get increased rhs). If you have sw+ grip, and hit the atp fh ... it just seems obvious the arm rolling bringing the rh low to high would work WAY BETTER (technical term) out in front.

Edit #2: I would think another way (other than how far contact is in front) to gauge rhs potential is to check hand position relative to shoulder line at contact. The hand travels with shoulder line at the start of the forward swing. In order to transfer momentum from shoulder to arm ... the shoulder turn pauses/slows ... and hand/racquet continues on to contact. My fh shows the rec version of that ... arm has turned forward from shoulder line with hand in front by contact. If you want to see the Gold/GOAT standard of that, watch a Fed slow motion FH from the side. Djokovic's 2hbh (left arm) is also a great example. I would think a FH where hand is still in line with shoulder line at contact would indicate no momentum relay pass off to the arm (which would be safe without poly 8-B). Technique discussions are not required for gut and multi.
I consider all those wrists laid back and all those balls hit out front. So it might be we are thinking different things.
When the fingers are flexed and the wrist ulnar deviated, the amount of passive wrist extension that can be achieved anatomically is very modest. So it will look pretty close to neutral. But it still forms a firm resistance against Racquet deflection that doesn’t require extensor activation.
 

ByeByePoly

G.O.A.T.
I consider all those wrists laid back and all those balls hit out front. So it might be we are thinking different things.
When the fingers are flexed and the wrist ulnar deviated, the amount of passive wrist extension that can be achieved anatomically is very modest. So it will look pretty close to neutral. But it still forms a firm resistance against Racquet deflection that doesn’t require extensor activation.
Yes ... that is why I posted my pics .... figured we were just thinking in terms of degree.

I have watched too many Fed videos :eek:

 

ByeByePoly

G.O.A.T.
I consider all those wrists laid back and all those balls hit out front. So it might be we are thinking different things.
When the fingers are flexed and the wrist ulnar deviated, the amount of passive wrist extension that can be achieved anatomically is very modest. So it will look pretty close to neutral. But it still forms a firm resistance against Racquet deflection that doesn’t require extensor activation.
Where else could I talk about FHs with a doc and tennis coaches. 8-B
 

FedGR

Semi-Pro
I'm a bit confused by your above statements. Two years is not many years, especially for tennis. :)



When you say improvement I will take it to mean improvement in my elbow problem (not my game).
I was warned that it would never heal completely at the time of injury by a physio specialist.
I didn't want to believe them, but they were right.

Long lay-offs always help and allow me to continue playing, this is the biggest "improvement factor".
I must monitor my arm each and every time I play, even now, decades later.
I usually wear an arm brace to provide extra support (it does help).

Just a little over a year ago I started on my racket change journey (together with a big FH technique change).
I really liked my Max200G but wanted to see if there was something lighter available without sacrificing any of its playing attributes.

I tried more than a dozen rackets and finally have settled on the following four in order of preference:

1. Dunlop Biomimetic 200 Plus
2. Wilson Ultra Tour
3. Wilson Triad XP5
4. Wilson Blade 98L

I'm still in the experimental stage with strings/tension.
Prior to my racket change I had always strung with Bab VS gut at around 48 lbs.

I just discovered poly strings by chance a couple of months ago and really took a liking to them.
I had only tried multi's before that.
I picked up a demo at my club (Wilson Ultra Tour) and after the first few swings I said "Wow!" to myself.
I was feeling the ball much better than with any of my rackets.

At the time I hadn't purchased my Ultra Tour yet.
So I bought one and tried to replicate the strings and tension.

I learned that the demo had Luxilon Big Banger Alu Power 125 and Head Hawk Touch 17 both @52 lbs.
I wanted to make sure the strings were as loose as possible (I heard about poly strings and elbow issues)
so I strung mine @ 48 lbs.
And that felt fine, but didn't give me the same control of the demo, (which makes sense).

I switched all my other rackets to poly too, as strange as it may seem.
Tensions range from: 45 lbs to 48 lbs.

All rackets have been weighted, ranging from 328-333 gm.

With me, the biggest trigger for my elbow issue is my flat serve.
It only takes a few flat serves for me to really feel it in the elbow.
And so naturally I avoid that serve.
My first and second serves are slice serves.
Regarding my tennis experience, I understand that what I said might sound contradicting. I played a lot of tennis from 9 to 17, competed a lot, etc. Then didn't play at all for about 12 years till I came back to tennis about 2 years ago! (y) And I agree with you on that 2 years is nothing for tennis.

It is very interesting that you are now using hybrid poly without any issues, I rarely/never read about this with players that suffer from TE. I really hope you don't have any issues ever again, thanks again for all the info provided, it is appreciated! :D:D
 

FedGR

Semi-Pro
The Head Graphene Speed MP has an abnormally high TW (15+) and if you place weight at 3&9 it is even higher. Makes for a stable racket many people think. It is harder to twist so you really have to work to twist the racket on your serve. And it you ever hit a ball off the centerline the side of the racket farther from the ball will twist the racket in your hand which is also hard on your elbow because you’re trying to hold it in a vertical position. Watch the video below to see what happens on a mishit. The higher the TW the more work you have to do to control the racket and if your elbow is not up for it you will feel pain.
Oh wow, this is valuable information. I will look into it further even though I rarely mishit the ball, at least I think so. :):) My coaches advice was always "look at the ball" so this has been hardwired in my brain! But I will definitely record myself some more and examine further.


This could easily be the source of your recent TE... As a chronic sufferer of TE, a OHBH hurts me more than anything because I have bad technique with it. OHBH can rock your arm if technique is off.
That could as well be the reason indeed. I never received coaching specifically on my OHBH. 3 different coaches that I worked with for a couple sessions, none of them had any comments on my BH. :(:(
 

FedGR

Semi-Pro
Let's see how @FedGR does on this 1) contact point ... 2) arm getting momentum from shoulder as shoulder turn pauses. This is a thing btw ... it's a consistent trait if you look at a lot of pro strokes slow motion.

That silky FedGR Forehand:



Hand travels with initial shoulder turn, has turned forward by contact, shoulder turn has paused/stopped (see pic #4) which means momentum was passed off to arm (he didn't rotate his shoulders through contact). To my non-coach eyes ... elements look good. (y) "How far out in front" grading is above my pay grade ... maybe some coach input here about pros and cons of trying to move contact farther in front that Mr FedGR here.

FedGR 1hbh (who else wants to see his 2hbh? I do):

Note: when I have looked at pro 1hbhs ... most end the shoulder turn with nipples pointing more or less at the net post (left net post for right hander) at contact. At that point, shoulder turn pauses and arm continues on into follow through. You can find exceptions ... Wawrinka, Chael 8-B ... that hit great 1hbhs rotating shoulder turn right through contact.





Mr FedGR chest still pointing at left net post as his arm releases from shoulder joint .... what's not to like? I saw a few where he was falling back ... but that's just a matter of enough reps to get the balance and weight transfer nailed down.

If FedGR gets past that sciatica thing ... don't play him. :cool:
LoLoL, you did some work here kind Sir. Thanks for that. For sure technique/movement/rotation is always work in progress. At the time of the video I had not played for a bit and was extra stiff, I was playing much worse than for example the end of the previous summer where my game was really dialed in. I was also +20 pounds! Now that the weather is better and I can hit outside, I will re-record myself for you to get a better picture!

Ps1: Sciatica is here to stay :(:(
Ps2: My 2HBH at my peak was a joke so I doubt I wanna record it now! :)
Ps3: Nice to see pics of you hitting as well, not many people with your experience!
 

ByeByePoly

G.O.A.T.
LoLoL, you did some work here kind Sir. Thanks for that. For sure technique/movement/rotation is always work in progress. At the time of the video I had not played for a bit and was extra stiff, I was playing much worse than for example the end of the previous summer where my game was really dialed in. I was also +20 pounds! Now that the weather is better and I can hit outside, I will re-record myself for you to get a better picture!

Ps1: Sciatica is here to stay :(:(
Ps2: My 2HBH at my peak was a joke so I doubt I wanna record it now! :)
Ps3: Nice to see pics of you hitting as well, not many people with your experience!
My wife went through Sciatica ... took over a year to resolve. She just had a recent reoccurrence... and immediately called doc for pills that helped last time ... steroids I think. She knocked it out in 3-4 weeks. I try and get her to do that one stretch daily with leg over other one every PT site mentions.

Your strokes said “jr tennis years” the first time I saw them. Which I guess was not correct on 1hbh. But hey ... 50% correct is good based on ttw batting avg.
 

Dartagnan64

Legend
Yes ... that is why I posted my pics .... figured we were just thinking in terms of degree.

I have watched too many Fed videos :eek:

A beautiful example of the perfect contact point and arm position :)

But the key lesson from that pic is how open the shoulders are at contact. Compared to to the rec player photos above, he's really generated power through core unwinding. To be young and talented, <heavy sigh>
 

Mark-Touch

Professional
A beautiful example of the perfect contact point and arm position :)

But the key lesson from that pic is how open the shoulders are at contact. Compared to to the rec player photos above, he's really generated power through core unwinding. To be young and talented, <heavy sigh>
His arm looks fully extended. How many players do that?
 

FedGR

Semi-Pro
@FedGR What I mean by “simplified”:

- Low backswing (draw the racquet back beneath the level of the ball hit or fed to you). Need to turn your shoulders as well, obviously

- Don’t roll your wrist after contact (maintain a locked wrist from contact to finish)

- Don’t rotate you shoulders through the shot (stay sideways to the net throughout the swing)

- Finish the racquet as high as you can (again keeping your shoulders sideways to the net). In my view the very top of the racquet should point at the sky. As you are right handed, the hitting side of the strings should point to the court to your right. For example:



Once you become more comfortable at executing with this simplified, “base” stroke, you can later add a higher backswing, wrist roll after contact, and shoulder rotation through the shot to increase power and heaviness of shot.
Sorry @am1899 , I just realized I never responded to this. Thanks for the detailed explanation of the simplified technique. I believe I am ok at hitting BHs with the simplified technique, my issues start when I use the wrist more. And at 5.9' height (on a good day), I am forced to use the wrist more to keep the ball in. Simplified is also obviously much more consistent but flatter and the ball doesn't do much after it bounces. But I get what you are saying!

Hopefully summer is here to stay and I'll be able to practice my shots more.
 

Dartagnan64

Legend
His arm looks fully extended. How many players do that?
Only 32 of 73 grand slam winners from 2000-2018.

Just like the 1HBH its rare because its more difficult to learn and hit consistently but offers leverage advantage over bent arm FH's. But you need pristine footwork to hit it.

It's still perfection in my eye.
 

am1899

Hall of Fame
Sorry @am1899 , I just realized I never responded to this. Thanks for the detailed explanation of the simplified technique. I believe I am ok at hitting BHs with the simplified technique, my issues start when I use the wrist more. And at 5.9' height (on a good day), I am forced to use the wrist more to keep the ball in. Simplified is also obviously much more consistent but flatter and the ball doesn't do much after it bounces. But I get what you are saying!

Hopefully summer is here to stay and I'll be able to practice my shots more.
No problem and you’re most welcome.

With respect to you feeling like you have to use your wrist - that is very important feedback for a coach to help you sort through. Indeed, the question is why do you feel that way? My guess would be that it has something to do with preparation, footwork, or anticipation, or all of the above. Perhaps something is causing you to feel rushed, and you feel it necessary to flick the wrist to get the ball down. For sure, the fact that the OHBH is relatively new to you is also probably “a thing” within this context.

Anyway, after seeing you hit a few BH’s on that video, my first inclination as a teaching pro would be to get back to the basics of the shot. As you solidify your fundamentals with your footwork to that side, the racquet work, and your confidence goes up, you can ramp up to more advanced iterations of the technique, as illustrated in the video I posted.
 

ByeByePoly

G.O.A.T.
Did not read thread, but your arm seems compressed at contact
You do this several times.

By "compressed" do you mean lack of clearance of elbow from body. If so ... that is a good question ... how much elbow clearance is a good minimum standard.

A quick Google of ATP bent arm FHs does show more clearance. Here were two that are fairly close to torso:


 
^^ Just goes to show you, technique is contradictory and overrated.
Even top ATP pros technique would get massacred on this forum. LOL

Never mind, looks like OP has a Fognini/Thiem FH.
How much for a lesson ?
 

ByeByePoly

G.O.A.T.
^^ Just goes to show you, technique is contradictory and overrated.
Even top ATP pros technique would get massacred on this forum. LOL

Never mind, looks like OP has a Fognini/Thiem FH.
How much for a lesson ?
Well ... I think you were on to something. OP could add some clearance (spacing). (y)

Edit: of course that would be half measures ... I don't see how anyone hits a chicken-wing FH .... straight arm FH or bust. :cool:
 
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FedGR

Semi-Pro
My wife went through Sciatica ... took over a year to resolve. She just had a recent reoccurrence... and immediately called doc for pills that helped last time ... steroids I think. She knocked it out in 3-4 weeks. I try and get her to do that one stretch daily with leg over other one every PT site mentions.

Your strokes said “jr tennis years” the first time I saw them. Which I guess was not correct on 1hbh. But hey ... 50% correct is good based on ttw batting avg.
I've been suffering from sciatica since I was 14.... :cry::cry: Both my parents have messed up backs so I got the genes there....:cry:

No problem and you’re most welcome.

With respect to you feeling like you have to use your wrist - that is very important feedback for a coach to help you sort through. Indeed, the question is why do you feel that way? My guess would be that it has something to do with preparation, footwork, or anticipation, or all of the above. Perhaps something is causing you to feel rushed, and you feel it necessary to flick the wrist to get the ball down. For sure, the fact that the OHBH is relatively new to you is also probably “a thing” within this context.

Anyway, after seeing you hit a few BH’s on that video, my first inclination as a teaching pro would be to get back to the basics of the shot. As you solidify your fundamentals with your footwork to that side, the racquet work, and your confidence goes up, you can ramp up to more advanced iterations of the technique, as illustrated in the video I posted.
Regarding the wrist, every coach I've worked with lately (sessions here and there, nothing consistent) have insisted that I use my wrist more. I use it in my forehand quite a bit and I am able to generate a good amount of spin so I believe I should be using it in the OHBH side too, both in the initial "grab"/brush phase but also when finishing to add some extra spin to the ball.

I also feel that I need to use it to add some pace on the ball. In 4.5 no matter how hard you hit, you need some extra spin to push your opponent back. Flat won't cut it, at least where I am playing where the hard courts are really hard and the ball bounces a fair amount.

The biggest different between my FH and BH is that in my FH I hold my racket very loose and I throw it on the ball however in the BH side, I hold it much tighter to control the spin better and that could probably cause the issue.


Did not read thread, but your arm seems compressed at contact
You do this several times.

^^ Just goes to show you, technique is contradictory and overrated.
Even top ATP pros technique would get massacred on this forum. LOL

Never mind, looks like OP has a Fognini/Thiem FH.
How much for a lesson ?
Thanks for the input, I really haven't noticed I have my elbow that close to my body.

Not sure what you mean about the lesson. :)
 

ByeByePoly

G.O.A.T.
I've been suffering from sciatica since I was 14.... :cry::cry: Both my parents have messed up backs so I got the genes there....:cry:



Regarding the wrist, every coach I've worked with lately (sessions here and there, nothing consistent) have insisted that I use my wrist more. I use it in my forehand quite a bit and I am able to generate a good amount of spin so I believe I should be using it in the OHBH side too, both in the initial "grab"/brush phase but also when finishing to add some extra spin to the ball.

I also feel that I need to use it to add some pace on the ball. In 4.5 no matter how hard you hit, you need some extra spin to push your opponent back. Flat won't cut it, at least where I am playing where the hard courts are really hard and the ball bounces a fair amount.

The biggest different between my FH and BH is that in my FH I hold my racket very loose and I throw it on the ball however in the BH side, I hold it much tighter to control the spin better and that could probably cause the issue.





Thanks for the input, I really haven't noticed I have my elbow that close to my body.

Not sure what you mean about the lesson. :)
Non-coach rec player opinions to follow:

Tennis with back issues sounds challenging ... I know tennis with 61 is. 8-B

I think "brushing up" is a way of expressing racquet head path to contact ... after contact ball is gone. Components of that rh path (hand path, degree of racquet head below hand in backswing compared to contact, any arm roll in forward swing that takes rh from low to high". When I see the actual low to high path angle of a Nadal, Fed, etc., to me "brushing up" is a misleading term ... angle is fairly moderate ... often aided with closed (again moderate) racquet face. We aren't swinging racquet head straght up ... we would be whiff/mishit machines.

I think the "elbow clearance/spacing" point would only matter if it aided the "fh throwing" you mentioned. To my eyes, that is why your (and others) strokes look effortless. It's what I posted ... arms sent on their way (throwing if one likes that erm) after shoulder turn completes. Maybe? ... your quality throw becomes even better with a bit more elbow clearance (more spacing from ball) ... allowing more momentum to be passed to the arm.

When these thoughts/questions occur to me, I check against pro players for common traits. In this case, the first half dozen bent arm FH pros I checked had significantly more elbow clearance from side of torso. Even with Thiem and Fognini fairly tight elbow-to-body ... I can't rule out @TimeToPlaySets observation that you might benefit from freeing up that arm a bit more. This is the kind of technical stuff that I think "could" matter, and a player could easily tweak if legit. This is when you want instructors that can say 1) that is a real thing ... or 2) not a real thing, your time is best used elsewhere. If it is legit, a bent arm player isn't going to change to straight arm without major pain ... but simply adding more spacing is not that major. I did that in one ball machine session with 1hbh (added more spacing) ... with immediate results. Easy to change while thinking about it ... would take a lot of reps to keep from reverting back to old habits.

Part of it might be video angle. The following pic was from a recent Thiem match. From the back elbow might look closer to body, but from side ... Thiem has a lot of clearance at contact. Seems like you can throw close to torso ... or further away.



Edit: maybe as far as "throwing efficiency" ... it's the position of the hand relative from the body that matters, and not the elbow. ???
 
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am1899

Hall of Fame
Regarding the wrist, every coach I've worked with lately (sessions here and there, nothing consistent) have insisted that I use my wrist more. I use it in my forehand quite a bit and I am able to generate a good amount of spin so I believe I should be using it in the OHBH side too, both in the initial "grab"/brush phase but also when finishing to add some extra spin to the ball.

I also feel that I need to use it to add some pace on the ball. In 4.5 no matter how hard you hit, you need some extra spin to push your opponent back. Flat won't cut it, at least where I am playing where the hard courts are really hard and the ball bounces a fair amount.

The biggest different between my FH and BH is that in my FH I hold my racket very loose and I throw it on the ball however in the BH side, I hold it much tighter to control the spin better and that could probably cause the issue.
To be clear, IMHO the wrist does play an important role in the OHBH. My point is, (again IMHO) it should be one of the last additions to the progression in the development of the stroke. If the foundation of the stroke is lacking in some way (including but not limited to preparation, footwork, balance, leg and core use, low to high and inside out swing path, shoulder rotation, etc.) then the wrist may be used to make up for deficiencies. You should be able to hit (at least) a hand fed ball with significant topspin, without using your wrist to get the ball to come down.

The feedback that you feel as though you hold the racquet a lot tighter on the BH side is also telling. To me that would signal someone who’s trying to muscle or even guide the ball, rather than apply a stroke to it. To be sure, one generally needs to be firmer through the OHBH swing than you would with a FH. For most people the contact point on the forehand side is inherently a stronger hand position than the BH side (with only one hand on the racquet). (The very existence of the 2HBH strokes is a testament this). But even with a OHBH, you should still be able to hold the racquet fairly loose, and should really only firm up (with respect to your hand) at contact.

I’ve already made this point, but I think it’s worth repeating - a lot of this is between the ears. Developing confidence with a new stroke takes time and patience. You’ll get there. :)
 

FedGR

Semi-Pro
You guys gave me so much great info regarding TE that I cannot not update the topic. Not that you necessarily still care! :-D :-D

But anyways, 0 pain lately and I still play with the same racket and poly. What is the cure? I think timing/contact point/weight transfer/core rotation. I try to be more disciplined with my footwork, hit in front of me at the center of the racket while putting my body weight behind the shot better.

I am really happy with the lack of pain as TE had me worried there for a second. I still get some stiffness in the area but I would call that more fatigue and not pain. I also make sure I warm up the forearm better and also stretch it well afterwards. I have also dropped the tension a bit (5#) and also use an electronic massager in the area that I absolutely love.

So I guess I've tried to make it better in many ways but probably the better timing is the biggest contributing factor for the reduction in pain.

Cheers everybody! (y)(y):D
 

Shroud

G.O.A.T.
@FedGR

The one who told you to ditch the light racquet got it right. Nothing will help the arm not get te like a light racquet. Get some higher swingweight stick.

Is that McFetridge? If so Look for my plaque on the wall.

Also my 2 cents is that TE is simply over worked forearm muscles that tighten up and pull on the tendon. A grip size where you can loosely hold the racquet and not tense up on both wings will help. And stretching and messaging the muscles before and after play is the way to go.

Its easy to think you licked it but one day some one will be hitting faster or flatter than you are used too and all it takes is a few minutes to come back.
 

FedGR

Semi-Pro
@FedGR

The one who told you to ditch the light racquet got it right. Nothing will help the arm not get te like a light racquet. Get some higher swingweight stick.

Is that McFetridge? If so Look for my plaque on the wall.

Also my 2 cents is that TE is simply over worked forearm muscles that tighten up and pull on the tendon. A grip size where you can loosely hold the racquet and not tense up on both wings will help. And stretching and messaging the muscles before and after play is the way to go.

Its easy to think you licked it but one day some one will be hitting faster or flatter than you are used too and all it takes is a few minutes to come back.
Damn, has everybody in this forum played at McFet? Good eyes Sir and where should I look for your plaque? :D :D

Regarding the light racquet, I am still playing with it! Even though I think I hit the ball better from the baseline with my heavy Blade, with my light Speed I serve the best than any other racket and that gives a huge boost to my game. I just serve too good with it to stop using it!

I also stopped trying 100 different rackets with 100 different strings, grip shape and sizes etc. I bet that helps too.
 

marsh

Semi-Pro
In fairness, I didn't read every single post here. I do think stiff racquets and strings can aggravate TE, but I believe it is fundamentally caused by gripping the racquet too tightly. Don't believe me? If you have any degree of TE, make a fist and squeeze tightly. Does that aggravate it?
 

ByeByePoly

G.O.A.T.
In fairness, I didn't read every single post here. I do think stiff racquets and strings can aggravate TE, but I believe it is fundamentally caused by gripping the racquet too tightly. Don't believe me? If you have any degree of TE, make a fist and squeeze tightly. Does that aggravate it?
In my case ... a tight grip didn’t cause my TE, but it was an education in which strokes we grip the tightest. When I could finally start hitting, full groundstrokes were fine, but volleys, mini tennis and serves hurt. That makes sense to me now (except maybe the serve). With full groundstrokes, you have full momentum of arm and racquet at contact/collision. With volleys and mini (even with brushing over) you have to grip harder than a full baseline stroke. I probably hit groundstrokes for a couple of months before attempting volleys again ... serve even longer.
 

Shroud

G.O.A.T.
Damn, has everybody in this forum played at McFet? Good eyes Sir and where should I look for your plaque? :D :D

Regarding the light racquet, I am still playing with it! Even though I think I hit the ball better from the baseline with my heavy Blade, with my light Speed I serve the best than any other racket and that gives a huge boost to my game. I just serve too good with it to stop using it!

I also stopped trying 100 different rackets with 100 different strings, grip shape and sizes etc. I bet that helps too.
Fwiw if you add 20-30g of lead or blutak to the top of the handle on the blade i bet it can serve just as well
 

Shroud

G.O.A.T.
In my case ... a tight grip didn’t cause my TE, but it was an education in which strokes we grip the tightest. When I could finally start hitting, full groundstrokes were fine, but volleys, mini tennis and serves hurt. That makes sense to me now (except maybe the serve). With full groundstrokes, you have full momentum of arm and racquet at contact/collision. With volleys and mini (even with brushing over) you have to grip harder than a full baseline stroke. I probably hit groundstrokes for a couple of months before attempting volleys again ... serve even longer.
What did??
 

FedGR

Semi-Pro
Fwiw if you add 20-30g of lead or blutak to the top of the handle on the blade i bet it can serve just as well
But that would also require me to significantly change my swing to accommodate for the extra weight and different balance but I wouldn't want to do that as I love the way the Blade plays stock. I actually think I hit a better 1st serve with the Blade but a significantly better 2nd serve with the Speed. And you know what they say, you are as good as your 2nd serve...
 

1HBHfanatic

Hall of Fame
ive developed tennis-elbow by changing grip to a smaller size
a smaller grip size than im "used to", I had to hold the racquet tighter, and thusly forced my forearm to stress more on everyshot
 

ByeByePoly

G.O.A.T.
ive developed tennis-elbow by changing grip to a smaller size
a smaller grip size than im "used to", I had to hold the racquet tighter, and thusly forced my forearm to stress more on everyshot
I have always played with a 1/4 + tournagrip

Edit: I would say the light blue grip that does not slip has a lot more to do with light grip than size of grip. If I had a leather grip during those summer tournaments... I would have had a constant death grip.
 
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Irvin

Talk Tennis Guru
The one who told you to ditch the light racquet got it right. Nothing will help the arm not get te like a light racquet. Get some higher swingweight stick.
Adding weight to the racket IMO can help but you don’t have to increase SW
Fwiw if you add 20-30g of lead or blutak to the top of the handle on the blade i bet it can serve just as well
Case in point 25 g at the top of the grip only adds 1.6 points to the SW but will make a big difference.
 

Shroud

G.O.A.T.
But that would also require me to significantly change my swing to accommodate for the extra weight and different balance but I wouldn't want to do that as I love the way the Blade plays stock. I actually think I hit a better 1st serve with the Blade but a significantly better 2nd serve with the Speed. And you know what they say, you are as good as your 2nd serve...
Check out Irvin's post. I think he sums it up. I think when you try it you will be really surprised. you can start with 30g and remove some until you get it dialed. Blutak to get it dialed than lead when you get the right amount. 30g is the amount for me where its super obvious what is going on. You can feel the racquet get faster.

Actually if you do it right your swing will be better naturally. Here is the theory (one that I think is dead on). Every racquet does something at contact...they either speed up or slow down during contact. Your arm is used to manually adjusting that during contact....those are small muscles and can get tired easily. Which can tighten up and pull on your tendons. When you get the weight just right the racquet doesnt accelerate or slow down during contact it just continues its flight...so the hand doesn't have to do anything and you can hit totally relaxed. Its kind of like things get quiet.

Anyhow there is thread about (2nd post explains the concept and how to tune):
 

landcookie

New User
For me, it is about timing the release of the arm and wrist. If, upon contact I don't feel like my wrist and arm are driven purely by inertia, Im either jammed or late. One indication is over rotating in the follow through which indicates an incorrect acceleration point - I was lucky enough to be coached out of this bad habit. This applies universally to all strokes I find, even the serve.

Secondly, a decent weight and flexier racquet would help. Then come the strings.
 
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