Quick tips on FH and Serve please

Artanis

Semi-Pro
I know that can be late after all years of playing far from the textbooks, but why not give it another try :)
Any advice on how to improve those strokes would be appreciated:

I know I need to bend my knees more on my serve, and to take the raquet back earlier on my FH...
Don"t have too many clips with myself, maybe a few sets and some minutes of hitting at the wall.

Many thanks!
 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
On your serve, it looks like you're trying to do way too much with your wrist and not enough with your shoulder.

Not a fan of the extreme wrist flexion (and lag) that you start out with. Maybe it works for Milos Raonic but, for you, it creates other issues. You are probably better off starting with a neutral wrist (or a very mild flexion).

In your movement to your trophy position, your right hand & elbow appears to rise too high. Not good for the shoulder. Possible shoulder impingement that might bother you in the future.

Because of this you do not get a decent shoulder tilt. Refer to the image below. Note that the R elbow should be directly in line with the shoulders (which are tilted).

You do not pull your elbow back enough to get a stretch in your chest (right pectoral muscle). In the rear view that you provide that means pulling the elbow more to the left.


Note also that you're left hand does not rise after releasing the ball. Your left arm does not rise to the nearly vertical position seen in the images of Roger and Pete above. Once that hand opens up to release the ball it should keep moving upward to follow the ball. There are several reasons that you should be doing this that I can explain in a future post. One thing that it will do will be to get your left shoulder higher for that shoulder tilt (that can see above).
 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
I would try strongly suggest abandoning the wind up you use for preparing your arm and racquet for your trophy position and racket drop. It's resulting in a very wristy motion and the elbow issues I mentioned about. It is not giving you a very good racket drop either.

You have a hint of WTE (waiter's tray error) -- where the racket face opens up a bit toward the sky. It could be a bit more on edge. You want the palm of your right hand facing downward more. Your palm and racket face should not ever point upward during your motion.

To fix most of the problems I have mentioned, I would go with a simpler motion that incorporates a "salute position" and a "comb the hair" action. This is explained in the video below.


By employing this is simpler motion, you should be able to focus on your toss and develop a good motion for a spin serve. For less spin, you would simply square the strings up to the ball more by high-fiving the ball instead of brushing across the ball.

I did not notice what grip you were using. The continental grip is preferred. (If you have problems making that work, try a semi continental grip for a while).
 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
For now, there is only one other thing that I'm going to mention on your service motion -- even tho there are other things I could bring up. I do not want to throw too many different things at you. (But I'm sure when others chime in with other details, you may get overwhelmed with a lot of different things).

It is the way you over-rotate your whole body when you hit the ball and land. You are landing with your left foot angled way off to the left. As a result, your body falls way off to the left. Instead, you want to drive more upward and forward on your serve.

This can be achieved by landing with your left foot pointing (more or less) in the direction of your serve. And your right foot & leg should kick back toward the camera. This should help you drive upward and then fall somewhat forward (rather than off to the left). I would probably work on all these aspects of your serve before worrying about other details.

I have not even looked at your forehand video because I believe you have more than enough to work on with your serve as it is.
 

ballmachineguy

Professional
Time to chime. Nothing not already mentioned though. The wrist flexion is great as long as you use it for what it is meant for. It is supposed to make it awkward to let your arm go all the way straight behind you. In other words, it is used as a signal to bring the racquet up. Instead, you just override it and go back anyway. Either use it or lose it.
I’d use it if I were you, because overriding it has you getting your hand too far away and you fail to bring it in close enough for proper drop and required attack at the ball on an upward angle. Currently you kind of push the serve and probably have trouble creating spin. Also, the half slomo, half regular speed video isn’t very helpful.

Edit: Just read the rest of Systemic Anomaly’s posts and he is correct. You over-rotate. But instead of fixing by trying to control the feet (he should know better than that), first correct getting proper drop or this won’t help, any rotation of the body on a serve is caused by the swing path of the hitting hand/arm/shoulder. There is no spinning, initiating with the hips etc. Ever notice that a player is facing further right on a second serve? That isn’t controlled by hips or torso consciously tryin to “stay sideways,” (god I hate when a tennis coach says that), it is because the swing is more East/west in an effort to put spin on the ball. That’s it. The feet will find their own way, if you do that.
 
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SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
Edit: Just read the rest of Systemic Anomaly’s posts and he is correct. You over-rotate. But instead of fixing by trying to control the feet (he should know better than that)...
Actually, I do know better. Which is exactly why I suggested it. Quite often, fixing what appears to be a symptom will often fix what comes before it (as well as what comes after it). This is a technique that often works. For instance, fixing a follow-thru will quite often fix what happens shortly before contact.

I discovered this type of approach decades ago as a hardware & software troubleshooter. I've seen the same thing work with tennis students in the past three decades. Doesn't necessarily work with everyone but it has worked with a high percentage. So, you should really not dismiss it out of hand because it is not the approach that you would necessarily take.

There is always more than one way to approach a problem. Often, when one approach doesn't work, you find another. A lot of different ways of getting to the same place.
 
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SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
On the FH maybe take the racquet back with the tip pointing up?
Yeah, I'd be inclined to agree. And perhaps more racket head drop as well prior to the forward swing -- especially if you want more topspin. With the higher tip & lower drop, you'll get a bit more momentum or kinetic energy which can be transferred to the flip and then the forward swing.

OP, were you just going for an inside-out spin here? I'd probably add some TS as well. Limited sample but I'm thinking the serve might need more work than the Fh.
 

ballmachineguy

Professional
Actually, I do know better. Which is exactly why I suggested it. Quite often, fixing what appears to be a symptom will often fix what comes before it (as well as what comes after it). This is a technique that often works. For instance, fixing a follow-thru will quite often fix what happens shortly before contact.

I discovered this type of approach decades ago as a hardware & software troubleshooter. I've seen the same thing work with tennis students in the past three decades. Doesn't necessarily work with everyone but it has worked with a high percentage. So, you should really not dismiss it out of hand because it is not the approach that you would necessarily take.

There is always more than one way to approach a problem. Often, when one approach doesn't work, you find another. A lot of different ways of getting to the same place.
My signature must have disappeared. Or maybe I just don’t see it on my phone.

I just don’t think it would fix the problem, maybe improve it….My thought was, if he thinks he is supposed to rotate the way he is, the feet would just fight that. Now he would be actively fighting his own body while trying to serve when it should be the most relaxed shot of them all.
 

Artanis

Semi-Pro
Wow, guys, I'm impressed by the quality and quantity of your advices. Now I need a bit of time to digest everything. But you seem to be right about everything, I do serve with the continental grip and I did have issues with the shoulder...
Maybe will not be easy to just make the muscle memory to "forget" what it learnt wrong but I will try to apply some tips. For instance, the serve preparation is linked to the childhood when trying to copy Pete's motion :)
Usually, I can put a decent amount of kick/spin, and with a slight adaptation of the grip (semi-western I think) I can also serve flatter (even if not very consistent)


Agree those might not be the best samples, i will try to find more.
Thanks again for your time!
 
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SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
My signature must have disappeared. Or maybe I just don’t see it on my phone.

I just don’t think it would fix the problem, maybe improve it….My thought was, if he thinks he is supposed to rotate the way he is, the feet would just fight that. Now he would be actively fighting his own body while trying to serve when it should be the most relaxed shot of them all.
It is fine, often even useful, to present a different approach to a particular problem. Over the decades, I've worked with quite a few insightful coaches and have also observed dozens of different approaches or teaching styles from other coaches. "More than one way to skin a cat".

But there is no need to belittle or try to undermine other coaches or points of view to bolster your own status. I've seen you do this more than once. Not cool. You can do without th snide remarks and still make your point.

BTW, I can see your signature by rotating my phone to landscape mode.
 

Chas Tennis

G.O.A.T.
I know that can be late after all years of playing far from the textbooks, but why not give it another try :)
Any advice on how to improve those strokes would be appreciated:

I know I need to bend my knees more on my serve, and to take the raquet back earlier on my FH...
Don"t have too many clips with myself, maybe a few sets and some minutes of hitting at the wall.

Many thanks!
Your video has too much motion blur, your arm and racket can't be seen. Also, the video has to be recorded in high speed video at 240 fps to see the fastest parts of the serve.

Wow, guys, I'm impressed by the quality and quantity of your advices. Now I need a bit of time to digest everything. But you seem to be right about everything, I do serve with the continental grip and I did have issues with the shoulder...
......................................................
Agree those might not be the best samples, i will try to find more.
.............................
What issues did you have with your shoulder?

Search: Ellenbecker impingement "rotator cuff in jury" Chas
 
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ballmachineguy

Professional
"More than one way to skin a cat".

But there is no need to belittle or try to undermine other coaches or points of view to bolster your own status. I've seen you do this more than once. Not cool. You can do without th snide remarks and still make your point.
There were no snide remarks.
The OP apparently thinks he needs to rotate the body into the serve. Trying to adjust by messing with his feet wasn’t going to get it done. The footwork you suggested would apply a force counter to that rotation a which could actually, possibly, make things worse. Maybe, it makes it better, but doesn’t “fix” it. The language I used was to expedite him getting the, IMO, most correct advice. In short, the feet go where they do as a result of the serve stroke, they don’t control it.
 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
There were no snide remarks.
The OP apparently thinks he needs to rotate the body into the serve. Trying to adjust by messing with his feet wasn’t going to get it done. The footwork you suggested would apply a force counter to that rotation a which could actually, possibly, make things worse. Maybe, it makes it better, but doesn’t “fix” it. The language I used was to expedite him getting the, IMO, most correct advice. In short, the feet go where they do as a result of the serve stroke, they don’t control it.
I do not agree with you. I do not mind a difference of opinion but Please stop trying to undermine my posts.

The way you put it came off as dismissive & insulting. Not the first time you've used such a put-down in this manner to establish your own superiority. Putting it in parentheses doesn't make it somehow better. Don't know why you felt compelled to make the remark at all. You could have made your case without it.
 
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Artanis

Semi-Pro
Your video has too much motion blur, your arm and racket can't be seen. Also, the video has to be recorded in high speed video at 240 fps to see the fastest parts of the serve.



What issues did you have with your shoulder?

Search: Ellenbecker impingement "rotator cuff in jury" Chas
Hi,
Indeed, it was an impingement syndrome that kept me out of the game for more than an year.
I've uploaded a service game (from different angle), not my best, but at least is not in slow-motion :)


I have no hi-speed recording, maybe I will do it some day...

Thanks!
 

ballmachineguy

Professional
I do not agree with you. I do not mind a difference of opinion but Please stop trying to undermine my posts.

The way you put it came off as dismissive & insulting. Not the first time you've used such a put-down in this manner to establish your own superiority. Putting it in parentheses doesn't make it somehow better. Don't know why you felt compelled to make the remark at all. You could have made your case without it.
If I said, “don’t listen to that guy, he doesn’t know what he is talking about,” that WOULD be undermining. It was a compliment that I know you know what you are doing otherwise. I guess we will have to agree to disagree on that one. That particular advice I didn’t think was helpful. I wanted to make sure he approached it in a better manner. It is a message board/forum. Nothing to get too worked up about. Maybe I missed the other times I have tried to undermine you. Don’t think I have done it before.
 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
If I said, “don’t listen to that guy, he doesn’t know what he is talking about,” that WOULD be undermining. It was a compliment that I know you know what you are doing otherwise. I guess we will have to agree to disagree on that one. That particular advice I didn’t think was helpful. I wanted to make sure he approached it in a better manner. It is a message board/forum. Nothing to get too worked up about. Maybe I missed the other times I have tried to undermine you. Don’t think I have done it before.
Mincing words here. "You should know better" is hardly what I'd call tactful and come off pretty close to your statement above. You threw the exact same phrase at me late in July.

I've actually used that very approach I suggested with scores of students. And it is worked a whole lot more than it has not. Have also suggested it a number of times in the past decade+ with TT posters here. In the small percentage of cases where it did not produce the desired result, we went with a different approach. Despite your objections, I finally believe that this, along with the other suggestions I provided to @Artanis is of value and certainly worth trying. Your approach is not the only one that has merit.
 
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SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
Guys, I really appreciate both interventions, so if you don't mind to go back on topic please ? :)
My apologies for the detour. I was rather annoyed that he had done this more than once in the past month. Was hoping to get that message across in post #11 & be done with it. Unfortunately, it got dragged out.

At this point, you've probably already got enuff good info from various posters to chew on for a while. I will say one more thing about a possible shoulder impingement. While it might not bother you now, it could become an issue some years down the road given what I see in the image below:


Your right arm & racket are both too vertical in your effort to reach up to the ball. This does appear to be a classic impingement scenario. At contact, it would actually be better to have the R arm angled off to the right to minimize stress to the shoulder. At the same time, the racket would be angled off to the left as shown in the image below:

 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
Jim McLennan on preventing rotator cuff impingement injury:


JM uses the wrong phrase at 0:36 but, from his demonstration, we can tell what he actually meant.
 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
Good, where was this video 10 years ago...
I got over the issue eventually, but with little lessons learnt.
That video was actually up on YT 10+ years ago but appears to have disappeared from their site -- perhaps 4 years ago. Was able to dig it up on DM. But it was not easy to find (nor was the original video on YT).
 
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Chas Tennis

G.O.A.T.
Hi,
Indeed, it was an impingement syndrome that kept me out of the game for more than an year.
I've uploaded a service game (from different angle), not my best, but at least is not in slow-motion :)


I have no hi-speed recording, maybe I will do it some day...

Thanks!
With your videos, I can't tell if you do ISR or not.

For the time it takes internal shoulder rotation (ISR) to start and reach impact, my rough estimate is ~25 milliseconds. At recording speed of 30 fps, the time between video frames is 33 milliseconds - you could catch 1 or, occasionally, 2 frames of ISR from start to impact. That is not enough frames for anyone to analyze the most important joint motion of your racket motion to impact. I use 240 fps and catch around 6-7 frames. I still need to see some shadows at the elbow to be reasonably certain and that takes very small motion blur.

For impingement, you should search the forum posts that discuss it. I posted on many of them.

Compare your serve to others with the forum video technique, post one video above the other & follow instructions, that I have posted and explained many times. That will show you how your upper arm angle compares to pro servers. One slow video is not enough to see the technique.

Also, Ellenbecker has a video, "Rotator Cuff Injury" that discusses the impingement issue. It is available for viewing from Tennis Resources but you must join for a 3 month subscription for about $32. Considering a rotator cuff injury, pain, surgery and recovery it is well worth it. Digging for detail for the posts on this forum is a good approach.

The most thorough thread includes posts by Whiteside, some by me, and pictures & videos, it has Whiteside's picture on how to evaluate your upper arm angle. Compare your high speed video to ATP players if you have a high level serving technique. If you don't have a high level technique, you are on your own, there really is no information on lower performance serving techniques.

This is not an issue that can be described in a short paragraph of words.
 
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SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
Hi,
Indeed, it was an impingement syndrome that kept me out of the game for more than an year.
I've uploaded a service game (from different angle), not my best, but at least is not in slow-motion
Forgot to reiterate one thing about this. The image posted in #10 illustrates a major contributor to a possible impingement. However, the high elbow at your trophy, prior to the drop, can also be a contributor. Albeit, a lesser contributor.

I had mentioned this high elbow position in post number #2. Almost no shoulder tilt so your shoulders are pretty much level. But your right elbow appears to be higher than your right shoulder. Hard to tell from the angle in that OP video how high that R elbow about actually gets relative to the shoulder.

EDIT: Just closely watched the video you provided in #15. That right elbow does get pretty high for your trophy phase. This, combined with the shoulder angle at contact, is sure-fire recipe for impingement
 
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Artanis

Semi-Pro
Not as an excuse, but I think some of the pro's (at least in WTA) have also high elbow in trophy phase:


But the impact position on my serve could be indeed an issue for the shoulder...
 

Chas Tennis

G.O.A.T.
Not as an excuse, but I think some of the pro's (at least in WTA) have also high elbow in trophy phase:


But the impact position on my serve could be indeed an issue for the shoulder...
What is the reference on the "high elbow" issue?

Does that reference state "high elbow"?

Ellenbecker has spent years studying the serve and warned of the upper arm being at too high an angle to the shoulder, Whiteside spelled it out and showed a picture so that there would a clear point. This is not saying the elbow is high, it could be high. It is saying something about the upper arm bone in relation the shoulder joint and the upper arm bone angle. It also pertains to other times during the service motion other than just impact. Best to deal directly with creditable references and supply the links.

What's the angle of the shoulder throughout all the pros serves? Take a look at Stosur for a kick serve.

High elbow, but upper arm to shoulder angle OK.


Good Camera Angle, good form at impact.


Throw. High Elbow. Upper arm to shoulder angle OK. (How do you get ball & hand speed from ISR, bend in elbow)


Serve. High Elbow. Upper arm to shoulder angle OK. (How do you get racket head speed from ISR, bend in forearm-to-racket shaft angle)


In addition, the angle of the upper arm and the high elbow are seen in lots of serves. What's lost is the angle of the arm to the shoulder - that takes looking at proper images of good serving technique.

At impact, Federer sometimes shows 30 degrees up from a line drawn between the two shoulders (as Whiteside describes and illustrates) and other players seem high also. There are 'maybe yes' and 'maybe no' angles to be seen in the pros. First use the ATP men for serving techniques, most are examples of excellent technique throughout their service motions. So we should go to the origin of this information from the most creditable sources.

The OP frame of post #19 was from an unfamiliar camera angle for me. I can't even see his shoulder to tell its orientation. Compare videos from identical camera angles. Read the available information from Whiteside, see the video by Ellenbecker, or find other creditable sources yourself.

Recommend not taking a lot of significant information that is in videos, pictures and most ATP high speed videos and try and shrink it down to a few words that miss the point, "high elbow". Learn to look at high speed videos yourself.
 
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SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
Not as an excuse, but I think some of the pro's (at least in WTA) have also high elbow in trophy phase:


But the impact position on my serve could be indeed an issue for the shoulder...
I suspect that players like Caroline Garcia do quite a bit of work in the gym to help "bulletproof" their shoulder / rotator while many rec players do not. Do not know if she's dealt with any shoulder problems but I know that Stan Wawrinka, who also often has a high elbow, has suffered shoulder issues quite a bit. In the past decade, I think he's been out five or six times with shoulder issues.

I have actually seen quite a few players who have their elbow a bit on the high side as they prepare for the trophy phase. However, during the trophy phase or as they start to drop the racket head, the elbow drops down into the slot where it should be.

So they are not performing a lot of their external rotation of the shoulder while the elbow is in a high position (above the shoulder line). In the serves I've seen from Stan, his right elbow goes high but he does not drop it very much prior to his racket drop. This could be one of several reasons for his shoulder issues.

I noticed that Caro Garcia does allow her left arm to move upward (vertically) so she does get some shoulder tilt -- with the R elbow in line with that once it settles down. On her serves that I've watched, her right arm does not go vertical at contact. And she drops the left shoulder so she has a good reverse tilt at contact.

 

Chas Tennis

G.O.A.T.
High elbow on the trophy phase was discussed. By "high" I understood elbow with the racquet being a above the shoulder level:

The elbow is high for every serve, above the shoulder level. A problem with remembering things with a few words is that it misses when during the service motion.

What is the source reference that you are using? The McClennan video?

Here is an old analysis of Garcia's serve. Early in her motion she has her elbow higher than the average server. In my interpretation of Ellenbecker's video, the position of her upper arm is more important later in her motion when very rapid and forceful ISR occurs.
She has a thunderous serve compared to many of the WTA players.

Garcia doesnt do the pendulum swing. Instead she got into a trophy position first before lifting the ball. However the delay is very minimal and hence can be considered to be almost continuous.

Edit: skip straight to the 56 sec mark

Step through Garcia's serve and your OP serve frame by frame. On Youtube to use single frame use the period & comma keys.

The angle of your L shoulder to R shoulder to upper arm does not show the upward angle as high in my opinion. But your technique is not known and I suspect that a high speed video might show little ISR before impact. You know the old saying

'Speculate on a few things that can't be seen in a poor quality video, get a rotatory cuff injury.'

You have your upper arm high early and keep it high, I think, much later than Garcia. Then your chest lowers and aligns and the OP video looks like the angles are OK from that camera view. Due to video quality nobody can point out ISR before impact in your videos.

Unknown technique, past impingement injury, take high speed video and determine technique.
 
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Artanis

Semi-Pro
To my understanding (also mentioned by SystemicAnomaly), such a high elbow position in early phases (trophy pose) is not recommended:


Also not common in pro's, with some notable exception like the one above.

Did I get this wrong?
 

Chas Tennis

G.O.A.T.
From an earlier thread. Click on up arrow and read the thread. See Whiteside posts.

My last post in the thread.
Background.

The OP posted a question addressed to me because: 1) he had posted video of his serve earlier and I had said I thought that his upper arm looked too high and he should look into it. 2) he was concerned and we had discussed it in other threads. 3) in this thread I thought that he had a Waiter's Tray technique. 4) Available Information on how high the arm should be to minimize the risk of impingement applies to the high level serving technique. I don't know about other techniques such as the Waiter's Tray.

Todd Ellenbecker produced a video called "Rotator Cuff Injury" that used to be available free on Youtube. I referenced it many times on the forum. It is no longer available free. It is still available through Tennis Resources by joining (one month memberships are available, the lowest cost option). It may also be for sale from Tennis Resources but I don't know. ? It was the best thing I've seen to explain shoulder impingement during the tennis serve and I recommend it. From Ellenbecker's discussion, I believe that it applies to the high level serving technique involving internal shoulder rotation and it is not clear if or how it applies to other techniques. A majority of active tennis players do not use a high level serving technique.

Better ATP servers are examples of best practice. Videos and pictures taken from specific camera angles are the best references available for shoulder abduction or other useful angles. But they don't measure angles accurately because the camera image is only a 2D view of 3D space.

Anatomy references.
http://healthfixit.com/sternum/

Anatomy video detailing the sternum, clavicle and scapula. See the sternoclavicular joint and scapulothoracic joint.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

When the arm is raised high to impact the ball on the serve there are issues on how to measure "shoulder abduction" angle or other useful angles. I have never had a clear idea of how to accurately measure 'shoulder abduction' for this issue either from the Ellenbecker video or other sources. It seems there are working definitions of shoulder abduction that involve more than just the glenohumeral joint. These working definitions for shoulder abduction may include the sternoclavicular joint angle and scapulothoracic joint angle in addition to the glenohumeral joint angle.

What goes on during a serve to cause impingement seems to be somewhat uncertain but there are reasonable descriptions of what might cause impingement.

Shoulder impingement, as I understand it, directly involves just two bones, the humerus and the scapula. These two bones meet at the glenoid fossa, literally forming the one and only 'shoulder joint', the glenohumeral joint. The second part of the scapula bone involved in impingement is the acromion. The angle that is needed for impingement is the angle at which the humerus is too close to the acromion. The humerus also has boney high points that increase impingement when the humerus is unfavorably rotated. Needs more research on the issue.

We need a cook book type instruction to estimate the risk of impingement for the high level technique of the tennis serve.

I compare the upper arm orientation to the shoulder by: 1) drawing a line between the two shoulders, 2) extending that line and 3) measuring the angular orientation of the upper arm to that extended line. That usually produces an angle such as 10 to 30 d up. These lines are what David Whiteside described and I believe I have seen these lines described elsewhere for the tennis serve. But shoulder abduction for this issue seems to me less and less a useful angle for the average tennis player to use.

Reasons that I like using the extended line of the shoulders and the upper arm (humerus):
1) I am much, much more familiar with angles up to 90 d than I am with larger angles. For example, I know '45 d' very well but I have to think about 135 d. Therefore, I vote for using angles smaller than 90 d because they are much more familiar to the average person.

2) The angle of the upper arm to the extended line between the two shoulders is closely related to and similarly oriented to what the impingement risk is most likely related to - the upward angle of the humerus to the scapula/acromion.

3) We would like to see the orientation of the scapula but we can't see that in videos (maybe without a shirt?).

4) The locations of the left and right shoulders usually can be easily seen and estimated in videos.

5) Drawing a line between the two shoulders is not perfect because the right and left shoulders can be independently elevated. Each shoulder can be elevated up to 45 d and depressed down to 5 d. Although for a tennis serve, the two shoulders seem to be used in an alignment of one high and one low with the shoulder girdle is in a line. Drawing the shoulders line is a compromise to get a useful estimate. Needs more work.

6) The angle of the scapulothoracic and sternoclavicular joints have less influence when measuring from the shoulders line extended than measuring from a reference line on the thoracic chest. This issue needs more work.

7) I believe that 'shoulder abduction' as used for various purposes, such as clinical measurements and the tennis serve estimates, is not synonymous with the angle of the glenohumeral joint. In my opinion, the angle of the glenohumeral joint is the most important thing for impingement risk. I don't know if the angle of the glenohumeral joint itself has been defined. Were reference points on the scapula somehow used as a reference line? When the humerus gets too close to the acromion, impingement risk increases but we can't see how the scapula is oriented.

The shoulders line and upper arm angle seems to work pretty well.....

We need a cook book instruction for impingement risk.

Until then, look at the upper arm orientation of high level ATP servers in high speed videos using as near identical camera viewing angles as possible. I believe comparing shoulder angles to angles on high level serve works very well, but I'd hate to try to prove it.............
 

yossarian

Professional
The elbow is high for every serve, above the shoulder level. A problem with remembering things with a few words is that it misses when during the service motion.

What is the source reference that you are using? The McClennan video?

Here is an old analysis of Garcia's serve. Early in her motion she has her elbow higher than the average server. In my interpretation of Ellenbecker's video, the position of her upper arm is more important later in her motion when very rapid and forceful ISR occurs.


Step through Garcia's serve and your OP serve frame by frame. On Youtube to use single frame use the period & comma keys.

The angle of your L shoulder to R shoulder to upper arm does not show the upward angle as high in my opinion. But your technique is not known and I suspect that a high speed video might show little ISR before impact. You know the old saying

'Speculate on a few things that can't be seen in a poor quality video, get a rotatory cuff injury.'

You have your upper arm high early and keep it high, I think, much later than Garcia. Then your chest lowers and aligns and the OP video looks like the angles are OK from that camera view. Due to video quality nobody can point out ISR before impact in your videos.

Unknown technique, past impingement injury, take high speed video and determine technique.
Google posterior-superior impingement
 

Chas Tennis

G.O.A.T.
Google posterior-superior impingement

Thanks for the very relevant reference.

If you find any additional references for the tennis serve please post. That is what we really need, expert references for tennis.

Ellenbecker is a physical therapist that has specialized in tennis and the biomechanics of tennis strokes for years.

Usually everyone stops short of exactly describing how shoulder injuries occur. There's a lot of uncertainty. The best that I have found from reading descriptions is that tissues, including tendons, get squished during the most forceful and rapid motions of ISR.

There is another cause of shoulder injury of the external shoulder rotators during the follow through. Conditioning and strengthening of the external shoulder rotation (ESR)muscles, is recommended to condition for that.

This might indicate that the infraspinatus, an ESR muscle, injury might have been associated with the follow through. I believe that it was Ellenbecker that said the follow through can be stressful for the muscles that do ESR. Maybe this view of infraspinatus injury for the tennis serve has changed? Is it posterosuperior impingement of the shoulder instead?

A second description of shoulder injury for the tennis serve -

The picture below is the top of the humerus at the shoulder joint. In 25 milliseconds, ISR rotationally accelerates the humerus up to 2500 degrees per second and then slows it back down. Joint stability would seem an important issue.

This is the top of the humerus at the shoulder joint. The high points on the bones are tendon attachment areas. Rotator cuff tendons hold this part of the shoulder joint to the scapula during the high speed motions. If this were a little unstable during the service motion or the structure of the shoulder were unfavorable, you can imagine how injuries might occur. If some injury occurred and swelling followed, then the squishing would be worse. For the time being, there is uncertainty for me about what happens. I concentrate on the peak speed of approaching impact, descriptions that I have read, and note that I believe Ellenbecker has also said the follow through can be stressful for the muscles that do ESR. I believe the Ellenbecker recommendations are most important during the rapid parts of the serve.

If anyone has information for upper arm positions during the slower motions of the serve, as Garcia's high upper arm angle - well before rapid ISR - please post the references that address that.
 
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Chas Tennis

G.O.A.T.

The external shoulder rotation looks minimal.

Abduction is a problematic angle to measure for impingement, it been discussed. Look at Stosur's abduction angle in post #25.

Using the line between the two shoulders extended and the upper arm, the angle looks OK at impact, but check that for yourself with Ellenbecker, Whiteside and ATP servers as discussed. Other than impact if the arm is held high?

Don't hold the upper arm at too high an angle.

We need more information on posterosuperior impingement.
 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
High elbow on the trophy phase was discussed. By "high" I understood elbow with the racquet being a above the shoulder level:

The elbow is high for every serve, above the shoulder level. A problem with remembering things with a few words is that it misses when during the service motion.
Just to be clear... Might be missing an important / crucial part of the advice. It is not the height of the right elbow wrt to the right shoulder. It is the position of that elbow (and upper arm) relative to the line that connects the shoulders -- the shoulder tilt line.

At the trophy phase, elite servers will usually have their shoulders tilted with the elbow pretty much in line with that tilt. At contact, there is a reverse tilt now that the front shoulder is lower than the back shoulder. The right elbow (& upper arm) will definitely be much higher than the right shoulder. However, for top servers, it is only slightly higher than the tilt line (if higher at all).

Chas, please do not respond to this with another epic length post. My poor aging eyes cannot handle it and, at best, I would only skim a novel-length reply.
 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
To my understanding (also mentioned by SystemicAnomaly), such a high elbow position in early phases (trophy pose) is not recommended:


Also not common in pro's, with some notable exception like the one above.

Did I get this wrong?
Not wrong. Most elite servers will have the elbow lined up with the shoulder tilt. But some will have some deviation from this but then adjust it as they start the racket drop.

As mentioned previously a couple of times, a slightly-to-moderately high elbow at the trophy might be a minor contributor to shoulder / rotator issues.

But it can also have an impact beyond that. It is conceivable or possible that it might affect the quality of the racket drop. It might limit the external rotation of the shoulder and the stretching of the internal rotators during the drop phase.

A misplaced elbow might also limit stretch in the pectoral muscle (& interior deltoid). The release of this stretch can be utilized later.

A mis-positioned elbow might also affect the drop and swing timing of the serve. Novak is a good case in point for this. However, instead of an elbow position that was too high his was significantly too low. After struggling with a mediocre serve earlier in his career, he finally fixed this elbow position in 2010 and his serving results were much better in 2011 and onward.
 

Chas Tennis

G.O.A.T.
Just to be clear... Might be missing an important / crucial part of the advice. It is not the height of the right elbow wrt to the right shoulder. It is the position of that elbow (and upper arm) relative to the line that connects the shoulders -- the shoulder tilt line.

At the trophy phase, elite servers will usually have their shoulders tilted with the elbow pretty much in line with that tilt. At contact, there is a reverse tilt now that the front shoulder is lower than the back shoulder. The right elbow (& upper arm) will definitely be much higher than the right shoulder. However, for top servers, it is only slightly higher than the tilt line (if higher at all).

Chas, please do not respond to this with another epic length post. My poor aging eyes cannot handle it and, at best, I would only skim a novel-length reply.
I posted that it was not the line between the two shoulders. I posted that that line was a compromise, the best that we could do for estimating and I listed the other joints that complicated the issue. Post #31.

I posted the information that I had from creditable sources.

Best of all @yossarian replied and identified a very important new injury association that I had not heard of before. Have you read it? Didn't you post on that subject?
 
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Artanis

Semi-Pro
The topic of serve mechanincs can become very complex.
For now I will focus on raising a bit more the left hand after ball launch and lower the right shoulder on trophy pose.

PS. Speaking on weird pro serve mechanics: just watching Shapovalov vs Delbonis. The latter I think has one of the most awkward service motions ever :)
 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
The topic of serve mechanincs can become very complex.
For now I will focus on raising a bit more the left hand after ball launch and lower the right shoulder on trophy pose.

PS. Speaking on weird pro serve mechanics: just watching Shapovalov vs Delbonis. The latter I think has one of the most awkward service motions ever :)
Weirder than the Jay Berger implementation of an abbreviated serve rhythm? Or how about the rather bizarre but effective serve motion of Julia Görges?
 

Chas Tennis

G.O.A.T.
This reference describes impingement of the shoulder and makes a distinction between cocking and the early acceleration for throwing (very similar to serving). To hear sound I have to view by clicking Youtube.


This mentions the cocking phase of the serve as important for injury.

Next, we should learn the percentages of tennis shoulder impingement injuries that are due to the cocking phase vs the acceleration phase.
 
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