Most shoulder friendly serve motion?

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Deleted member 793875

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My shoulder has been bothering me when serving, specifically towards the front, I have more of a loopy take back, and I think my timing from my toss perspective is off, causing me to try to hit the ball before my full loop motion is actually complete, but it's also just a really long take back which I want to switch up.

So just wondering what are some of the most arm/shoulder friendly serve motions?
 

Chas Tennis

G.O.A.T.
My shoulder has been bothering me when serving, specifically towards the front, I have more of a loopy take back, and I think my timing from my toss perspective is off, causing me to try to hit the ball before my full loop motion is actually complete, but it's also just a really long take back which I want to switch up.

So just wondering what are some of the most arm/shoulder friendly serve motions?
Your serving technique is unknown. You have an unknown shoulder injury. It is not possible for anyone on the forum to tell you a new serve technique for your injured shoulder.

See a well qualified sports Dr and don't stress you injury any more especially by playing tennis.

When recovered find a well qualified instructor.
 
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mad dog1

G.O.A.T.
My shoulder has been bothering me when serving, specifically towards the front, I have more of a loopy take back, and I think my timing from my toss perspective is off, causing me to try to hit the ball before my full loop motion is actually complete, but it's also just a really long take back which I want to switch up.

So just wondering what are some of the most arm/shoulder friendly serve motions?
Don’t arm your serve.
 

johnmccabe

Hall of Fame
My shoulder has been bothering me when serving, specifically towards the front, I have more of a loopy take back, and I think my timing from my toss perspective is off, causing me to try to hit the ball before my full loop motion is actually complete, but it's also just a really long take back which I want to switch up.

So just wondering what are some of the most arm/shoulder friendly serve motions?
Less stress on shoulder and arm basically means energy generated more from somewhere else or more better mechanics. To me the most efficient motion is Kygrios. Not easy to pull off though for most people.
 

SystemicAnomaly

Bionic Poster
Less stress on shoulder and arm basically means energy generated more from somewhere else or more better mechanics. To me the most efficient motion is Kygrios. Not easy to pull off though for most people.
Not too sure about that. He does employ a moderate leg drive good not a whole lot of coiling of the upper torso. As a result of the lack of coil I'm not seen a whole lot of separation in his core.

Nick did experience shoulder issues 1-2 years ago
 

johnmccabe

Hall of Fame
Not too sure about that. He does employ a moderate leg drive good not a whole lot of coiling of the upper torso. As a result of the lack of coil I'm not seen a whole lot of separation in his core.

Nick did experience shoulder issues 1-2 years ago
I somehow find upper body coil is less effective than using legs and forward body moment, for generating power. It could be just me. They are both required though. I found it more beneficial to optimize the coordination of different power sources than cranking up individual source.
 

SystemicAnomaly

Bionic Poster
A decent knee flexion during the trophy phase and a vigorous leg drive as the racket is dropped should put less stress/ demands on the shoulder according to studies I've seen.

A decent offset between the hips and the upper torso can also help. This offset is known as separation
 

ppma

Professional
The right one.

Most rec players suffer from muscle or tendon impingment due to an incorrect technique that takes the joint to the limits of its range of motion in a very violent way.

To avoid it, these are the 3 key aspects are:
  1. Continental grip
  2. Serving motion to the hitting side net post (this translates to a diagonal motion in reference to the body instead to towards the front) with transition to internal shoulder rotation prior to arm extension.
  3. Shoulder height exchange. Start with non hitting shoulder up, and then reverting lifting hitting shoulder
All this ends with an arm - column angle that should be around 90 degrees (or hitting arm aligned with the two shoulders).
Step 2:
PaireFedRaonic-Trophy-Small.png


Step 3:

mqdefault.jpg
 

SystemicAnomaly

Bionic Poster
I somehow find upper body coil is less effective than using legs and forward body moment, for generating power. It could be just me.
I noticed that Nick appears to get a decent knee flexion with his R leg but not that much with his L leg. He might not be getting as much leg drive as he could because of this. He has been serving pretty big. This could explain the shoulder problems he seen in the recent past
 

Rosstour

G.O.A.T.
Something that helped me was to think about lagging the racquet. I was rushing the upper body motion and not letting the racquet drop fully. I was also coached to leave my tossing arm up a bit longer and that has really helped too.
 

fuzz nation

G.O.A.T.
My shoulder has been bothering me when serving, specifically towards the front, I have more of a loopy take back, and I think my timing from my toss perspective is off, causing me to try to hit the ball before my full loop motion is actually complete, but it's also just a really long take back which I want to switch up.

So just wondering what are some of the most arm/shoulder friendly serve motions?
Without seeing you hit any serves, this is what occurs to me:

Some years ago while hitting practice serves it occurred to me that I was snapping up to the ball in a rush with many of my serves. It seemed ridiculous considering that I'm not trying to catch up with an incoming ball from an opponent - the serve timing is all on me.

I used to use the "hands together" method for initiating my serve where the racquet hand and tossing hand start down together and then up together. It turned out that I needed more time to get my windup done ahead of my toss. Many of our pals out there with this sort of problem often get things more in sync when they take the racquet directly to the "set" or "trophy" position before tossing the ball. Almost right away, the racquet is essentially waiting for the ball to show up so that it can release up and over the top through the contact zone. Very hard to be late or rushed with the swing this way.

My solution is a little different because I like to do more of a long and deliberate windup ahead of swinging up through the ball. I let my tossing hand wait down around waist level while my racquet starts down, back, then up to where it's ready to drop, loop, and fire. It's a slower and more steady windup that lets me get much more loaded up to swing before I toss the ball. No more rushing or muscling the racquet up to the toss.

Everybody's serve DNA is a little different. You may find your way to a more shoulder friendly serve if you experiment with different practice motions that include raising your tossing arm like you're tossing a ball for an actual serve. Swing smoothly with a regular follow through and once you find that, then try to make the timing of your toss fit with that motion instead of the other way around. It may feel very foreign at first if you try to toss at a different point of your progression, but that might help you to get a lot more comfortable.
 

RajS

Semi-Pro
I ususally don't give advice since I am not a high level player, but this helped me get over shoulder issues.

Assuming you are a right hander, immediately after you toss, your right hand has to be ready to swing before the ball starts dropping.

Forget about the pro motions and all the complicated advice you get - just concentrate on keeping a really loose grip on the racket, and imagine you are throwing a ball, your hand being the racket head. And wait for the ball to drop to the right location.

Then, when the ball drops to the right height, swing!

Okay, this means you have to get the toss right. Toss in front of your body. In front of your chest. And look at the ball, as it drops in front of your chest (or almost). This works best for me, since if the ball is too far in front, I feel too disconnected from the ball. If this means you have to toss more than once, so be it. You can buy a beer for your opponent later!

Anyway, that's my 2 cents' worth. Wish you all the best!
 

SystemicAnomaly

Bionic Poster
Avoid raising the R elbow above the shoulder tilt line for most of your serve motion. Doing so could result in a shoulder impingement. At contact, it might be a bit above the shoulder line — but not very much.

Below we see Tomic with his R elbow quite a bit above the shoulder tilt line during his trophy phase. This could result in a bit too much stress to the shoulder.

1CB647984CF449B3B32F5AF93E479CF1.jpg


Preferred alignment:

FedPeteTrophyElbow.png
 

SystemicAnomaly

Bionic Poster
mqdefault.jpg


Note the R elbow relative to shoulder tilt line at contact (above). It is only slightly above that tilt line. Note also that neither the arm or the racket is vertical at contact. The arm is angled a bit to the Right while the racket is angled to the Left. This should help to keep the elbow from raising too much above the shoulder line
 

SystemicAnomaly

Bionic Poster
Avoid this:

incorrect-serve-contact.jpg


You never want the arm/ shoulder line angle shown on the left. Too much stress on the shoulder — impingement.

The image on the Right is not ideal but it is much better than the one on the Left. The server on the Right does not have very much tilt at contact. So the arm is angled quite a bit to the Right. With a better contact tilt, the arm angle would be closer to the image shown in my previous post.
 

SystemicAnomaly

Bionic Poster
My shoulder has been bothering me when serving, specifically towards the front, I have more of a loopy take back, and I think my timing from my toss perspective is off, causing me to try to hit the ball before my full loop motion is actually complete, but it's also just a really long take back which I want to switch up.

So just wondering what are some of the most arm/shoulder friendly serve motions?
I’d encourage you to abandon your full loop prep motion and adopt a simpler abbreviated (or semi-abbreviated) motion. This should be easier to time and easier to get the elbow in the proper position (to minimize stress to the shoulder.

First, try Jeff’s half serve implementation shown here. He is starting the arm & racket close to a “salute” position. Best to start close to a “palm down” salute position for this:


Eventually, you might want to start with a lower position (as show around 3:27 here). Notice how soon he gets his elbow to a 90° bend and into position

 

Chris B.

New User
Avoid this:

incorrect-serve-contact.jpg


You never want the arm/ shoulder line angle shown on the left. Too much stress on the shoulder — impingement.

The image on the Right is not ideal but it is much better than the one on the Left. The server on the Right does not have very much tilt at contact. So the arm is angled quite a bit to the Right. With a better contact tilt, the arm angle would be closer to the image shown in my previous post.
In which video does Tomaz demonstrate this? Already planned to analyze and copy his serve.
Thanks.
 

Fintft

G.O.A.T.
I’d encourage you to abandon your full loop prep motion and adopt a simpler abbreviated (or semi-abbreviated) motion. This should be easier to time and easier to get the elbow in the proper position (to minimize stress to the shoulder.

First, try Jeff’s half serve implementation shown here. He is starting the arm & racket close to a “salute” position. Best to start close to a “palm down” salute position for this:


Eventually, you might want to start with a lower position (as show around 3:27 here). Notice how soon he gets his elbow to a 90° bend and into position

Second vote for going kinda directly in the semi-abreviated position, with strings facing down, followed by "combing your hair".

Something that @RajS alluded above with his "Assuming you are a right hander, immediately after you toss, your right hand has to be ready to swing before the ball starts dropping."

Also I would start with a high, relaxed toss with a straight arm (after you touch the inside of your thigh), not a "placement" per say.
Pin point stance.
 

Morch Us

Hall of Fame
So just wondering what are some of the most arm/shoulder friendly serve motions?

We can argue all day about "proper technique" ... and yes I agree proper technique can avoid injuries... But I don't think we are really talking about "proper technique" here.

There are up and around motion (cart wheel) and "twist"/body rotation motion in any serve. Generally the "up and around" kind of motions do put more stress on shoulders than body rotation. To elaborate more, kick serves use more elaborated up-and-around, and slice serves you can hit with more twist motions.

Technically you can hit a good enough slice serve even with not much shoulder separation (both left and right shoulders relatively at similar level, and arm and toss more to the side). This is one reason, old/senior players lean more towards slice serves, even at relatively high levels.
 
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