Serve Help and Shoulder Pain

picklesqq

New User
I've recently been trying to improve my serve. I always had shoulder pain, so I took some slow motion videos with my phone to try to see what I was doing wrong. I figure that it must be something with my technique, so I'm looking for advice on what I'm doing wrong with my serve. Does anyone have thoughts on what I can fix, or what might be hurting my shoulder?

My personal thought after watching these videos was that I keep my racquet too low while tossing the ball. I keep my right arm really low, so when I rotate my shoulder to hit the ball, I have to raise it at the same time, which I think puts weird strain on my shoulder and causes pain/injury.

(These are two separate serves, not the same serve from different angles)

Thanks for any advice :)


 

LeeD

Bionic Poster
Too much motion.
Before you add all that windup, try KISS.
Look at Jay Berger's serve. Emulate that motion for a week, 30 easy serves a day.
Or Stan Smith, Peter Korda.
You are currently over muscling your motion before your skinny frame can handle all those parts.
Walk before running.
 

picklesqq

New User
Too much motion.
Before you add all that windup, try KISS.
Look at Jay Berger's serve. Emulate that motion for a week, 30 easy serves a day.
Or Stan Smith, Peter Korda.
You are currently over muscling your motion before your skinny frame can handle all those parts.
Walk before running.
So it's more of a muscle strength issue than a technique issue? I've been doing rotator cuff/shoulder exercises for the past couple weeks, and I do think they've been helping.
 
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S&V-not_dead_yet

Talk Tennis Guru
How does your shoulder feel when you throw a ball? Maybe you have a shoulder issue that's independent of your serving motions. You mentioned rotator cuff and I was about to suggest just that.

Also, how much warmup do you do before you start hitting serves?
 

picklesqq

New User
When I just toss the ball, it's usually fine, and I can practice tossing without any pain. It usually happens some time between when I get into position after tossing and when I swing for the ball: I usually finish the serve and get some pain in my shoulder/upper arm when I land on the ground.

I usually do some stretches and then about 5-10 minutes of light serves or serves without jumping to warm up a bit.
 

S&V-not_dead_yet

Talk Tennis Guru
When I just toss the ball, it's usually fine, and I can practice tossing without any pain. It usually happens some time between when I get into position after tossing and when I swing for the ball: I usually finish the serve and get some pain in my shoulder/upper arm when I land on the ground.

I usually do some stretches and then about 5-10 minutes of light serves or serves without jumping to warm up a bit.

I wasn't talking about tossing with your left. I was talking about throwing with your right [ie stand on the BL and throw at the opposite fence].
 

picklesqq

New User
Oh, my bad there. If you're talking about throwing a ball, then I can do it without pain. If you're talking about just going through the serve motion without actually hitting a ball though, I get a little pain in my shoulder pretty much no matter how slow I go through the serve motion.
 

S&V-not_dead_yet

Talk Tennis Guru
Oh, my bad there. If you're talking about throwing a ball, then I can do it without pain. If you're talking about just going through the serve motion without actually hitting a ball though, I get a little pain in my shoulder pretty much no matter how slow I go through the serve motion.

Housekeeping note: If you hit "Reply", it sends me a notification. If you just start a new message, it does not.

Video yourself throwing and compare it to serving just to see if you can spot a big difference. Your motion does not look "shoulder-unfriendly".

Check out this video:

 

picklesqq

New User
Housekeeping note: If you hit "Reply", it sends me a notification. If you just start a new message, it does not.

Video yourself throwing and compare it to serving just to see if you can spot a big difference. Your motion does not look "shoulder-unfriendly".

Check out this video:

Thanks for the tip about the reply thing! I'm new here, so I didn't know.

Alright, I'll definitely try that when I go play. When you say "throwing," do you mean throwing a ball, or pretending to serve without actually hitting a ball?

And my arm has been a little better recently, so none of the things mentioned in the video cause a lot of pain, but if anything, I think it might be impingement.
 
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eah123

Professional
Your shoulder pain may be due to going outside the normal range of motion for your shoulder. Watch this video which give advice for avoiding shoulder impingement on your serve.
 

picklesqq

New User
Your shoulder pain may be due to going outside the normal range of motion for your shoulder. Watch this video which give advice for avoiding shoulder impingement on your serve.
That "chest faces into the ball and goes into it" idea is also helpful, I'll try that as well. It sounds like that could help with my shoulder. Thanks!
 

Hit 'em clean

Semi-Pro
I think your problems arise from your ball toss and where you make contact with the ball... looks not very shoulder friendly.

Toss is too high and too far forward into the court (from the side view video) and your contact point ends up being really high and extended forward. That puts a lot of pressure on your shoulder to be that extended, that far forward... at contact.

Your toss (from the behind view) is too far left... almost looks like your tossing for a kick server except your trying to hit flat.

Combine these elements and you're extremely extended (I would say to your limits) and putting a lot of pressure on you shoulder joint at the point of contact. You might be feeling a jarring sensation in your shoulder (especially if you mishit the ball)?

Work on a toss point that is more on the right side of your body or right side of your head. Ideally you want contact between your head and shoulders from the back view.
Also toss the ball so it only lands about a foot inside the baseline. You are a good 2ft inside the baseline... which is great if it doesn't bother you, but...
Use a lower toss... that will also help you keep from going up too early. When you go too early... you also are losing a lot the easy natural angles and speed you need.

To practice a toss... don't hit the ball and let the ball drop. I it should land about a foot inside the court and maybe about 6" to the right of your big toe on your left foot.
 

Dartagnan64

G.O.A.T.
Can you smoothly shadow swing through the motion with your arm and not feel pain? If you still feel pain doing that, there is something wrong with your shoulder (impingement, rotator cuff weakness or tear). If it only hurts with the actual serve but not the shadow swings, then it's likely you are "muscling" too much for your shoulder to handle and need to both strengthen your rotator cuff but also work on a more smooth easy swing.

Looking at your video, the motion doesn't look like it should cause pain, in and of itself.
 

picklesqq

New User
I think your problems arise from your ball toss and where you make contact with the ball... looks not very shoulder friendly.

Toss is too high and too far forward into the court (from the side view video) and your contact point ends up being really high and extended forward. That puts a lot of pressure on your shoulder to be that extended, that far forward... at contact.

Your toss (from the behind view) is too far left... almost looks like your tossing for a kick server except your trying to hit flat.

Combine these elements and you're extremely extended (I would say to your limits) and putting a lot of pressure on you shoulder joint at the point of contact. You might be feeling a jarring sensation in your shoulder (especially if you mishit the ball)?

Work on a toss point that is more on the right side of your body or right side of your head. Ideally you want contact between your head and shoulders from the back view.
Also toss the ball so it only lands about a foot inside the baseline. You are a good 2ft inside the baseline... which is great if it doesn't bother you, but...
Use a lower toss... that will also help you keep from going up too early. When you go too early... you also are losing a lot the easy natural angles and speed you need.

To practice a toss... don't hit the ball and let the ball drop. I it should land about a foot inside the court and maybe about 6" to the right of your big toe on your left foot.
Both of those (toss too high/forward and body too extended) make sense as well, and I will try to work on these too. Thank you!

And yes, whenever I mishit the ball, it hurts a LOT more. If I mess up at all, I usually can't really raise my arm for 30 seconds or so without a large amount of pain in my shoulder, and I'm forced to wait for a bit to keep practicing/playing.
 

picklesqq

New User
Can you smoothly shadow swing through the motion with your arm and not feel pain? If you still feel pain doing that, there is something wrong with your shoulder (impingement, rotator cuff weakness or tear). If it only hurts with the actual serve but not the shadow swings, then it's likely you are "muscling" too much for your shoulder to handle and need to both strengthen your rotator cuff but also work on a more smooth easy swing.

Looking at your video, the motion doesn't look like it should cause pain, in and of itself.
No, which is why I thought I was doing something wrong. Whether I swing fast or slow, whether I hit a ball or not, and even whether I'm holding a racquet or not, just the service motion I currently use causes me a small amount of pain whenever I go through it :(
 

samarai

Semi-Pro
serve looks pretty good to me for a recreational player. the shoulder is a complex joint it really depends on where the pain is in the shoulder and which motions cause the pain to accurately diagnose it.
 

S&V-not_dead_yet

Talk Tennis Guru
Alright, I'll definitely try that when I go play. When you say "throwing," do you mean throwing a ball, or pretending to serve without actually hitting a ball?

I meant literally throwing a ball. Your second description is what many would call a "shadow swing".

The point of the suggestion is to figure out the differences between your throwing motion, which does not cause pain, and your serving motion, which does.
 

picklesqq

New User
I meant literally throwing a ball. Your second description is what many would call a "shadow swing".

The point of the suggestion is to figure out the differences between your throwing motion, which does not cause pain, and your serving motion, which does.
After watching some videos yesterday, I realized what you meant. My throwing and serving motion were drastically different (I keep my elbow much higher when I throw the ball). I tried changing this yesterday, and serving with more of a throwing motion, and although I was only going through the motion or hitting really light/slow serves, I was actually able to serve without pain for the first time in a long time! So thank you again, this was really helpful!
 

picklesqq

New User
Thank you again everyone! I went to go practice yesterday, and although I was only going through the motions slowly or hitting very light serves, I was able to serve without pain for the first time in a while :D I have a lot to work on to get it fluid and up to speed, but at least I know I'm able to hit a serve without it hurting immediately afterwards
 

S&V-not_dead_yet

Talk Tennis Guru
After watching some videos yesterday, I realized what you meant. My throwing and serving motion were drastically different (I keep my elbow much higher when I throw the ball). I tried changing this yesterday, and serving with more of a throwing motion, and although I was only going through the motion or hitting really light/slow serves, I was actually able to serve without pain for the first time in a long time! So thank you again, this was really helpful!

So I think the low elbow is not good, as I think you're discovering, but I'm also not sure a high elbow is good either, from a serve efficiency standpoint, not necessarily whether it's going to cause you pain.

Check out this segment from Jeff Salzenstein called "Elbow the Enemy" where he talks about extending the elbow backwards, not upwards.

In any case, you'll have to experiment and find what works for you. But I'm glad the pain is gone. Just don't ask me how to serve 120mph, because I can't.

 

Chas Tennis

G.O.A.T.
You are developing your technique on your own.

Your serve does not look like high level pro serves - so it is an unknown technique with unknown stresses.

Specifically, your upper arm seems to be at a high angle to your shoulder joint. Todd Ellenbecker has clearly made the case, that if the upper arm is angled too high up, it can cause impingement on the tennis serve. His video "Rotator Cuff Injury" is available on Tennis Resources but you have to join for a 3 month membership ~$32. (Recovery from a torn rotator cuff injury is 9 months to a year, then slowly ease back to tennis.) If Tennis Resources offered the video for free it would be a nice service for all tennis players. Tennis Resources is associated with the USPTA.
USPTALogoWebNew.png

I have posted many times on this issue with videos and pictures.

If your shoulder gives you any pain stop tennis immediately, see a Dr, and learn about impingement. Search forum- Ellenbecker Whiteside shoulder impingement Chas

Estimating the angle is not so simple because the scapula moves around on the body and tilts. Also, I believe the Ellenbecker advice applies to the high level serving technique with internal shoulder rotation (ISR).

Compare your serve in this post single frame and one above the other. To single frame on Youtube, stop video and use the period & comma keys. To select the video always use the alt key + left mouse click, otherwise the video starts playing. Go to impacts and work back and forth comparing frames with the closest racket positions. You can go full screen and come back down and the video stays on the same frame. Make lists of all differences. Try to identify serve types if possible. For most accurate comparisons, find similar camera angles.


The most critical thing to compare for shoulder pain - that might be impingement - is the camera view from behind or in front looking along the ball's trajectory. Imagine or draw the line between the two shoulders, take the line of the upper arm. For the angle between the shoulders line extended and the line of the upper arm, how far up does that angle go? If it goes up too much, the risk of impingement increases. While the angle is estimated at impact this upper arm angle to the shoulder applies throughout the stroke. See the Ellenbecker video.

This was from Dave Whiteside's post.
qDYZwD6.jpg

I extend the line between the shoulders and get angles like 0 d., 10, 20 and 30, etc. Above 20 degrees up is too much in my opinion. Federer gets about 30 d. sometimes, too much. There are more details........... 179 degrees in above picture is 1 degree up in my measurements. I usually don't observe angles that small in ATP serves. Also, the angle observed depends on the angle of the chest in 3D.

On the high level serve, there is a general appearance at impact from behind, the arm tilts to the right and the racket tilts to the left.
A4372D758A914684926524633ADD81DB.jpg


Quality of one of your high speed videos is very good.

I can see shadows at your elbow in one, that indicates ISR.
Update - ISR looks late so it would not be adding much racket head speed.

Update - Your toss is very high. That has a large effect on timing.

On your serve, on the behind camera view, impact at 23 sec, the arm and racket appear near vertical - you are not looking at high speed videos of high level servers. Compare your tilts to arm and racket tilts in the picture above and videos.

Note - the shoulder has a great deal of leverage so large forces may occur from improper technique. Don't serve with any pain. The injured tissue may swell and make things worse. ??
One serve could tear something because of the leverage working at the shoulder joint.

Federer is not a good example of good practice for this angle, his upper arm goes up about 30 degrees from the line between the two shoulders extended. OK for Federer but not recommended by Ellenbecker for others.

Observations of angles on the high level serve.
 
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Chas Tennis

G.O.A.T.
Here is some more detail and clear illustrations. See also the entire thread as it has some detailed discussions on the impingement issue.

Note - I extend the line between the two shoulders and work with smaller, more familiar angles such as 0, 10, 20, 30, etc. degrees. It's the same angle. In my opinion, 20 is max and 30 d. is too high. See videos of ATP servers for good practice. Federer is about 30 degrees sometimes, and that is too high in my opinion.


Wow, this is a really refreshing thread ... heartening to see so much interest in mechanics.

In hindsight, in my post from a few years back I was trying to provide a layman's description of how to evaluate that angle. But once you start getting into computations, what I posted a couple of years back is so simplistic that it can actually throw you off. Apologies. Since some of you are interested in the mechanics of the computation here, so I want to clarify things (some have already pointed it out).

Before I explicate that method, everyone should be cognizant of the fact that we traditionally evaluate mechanics in 3D (ie when we have the dots on them in the lab). When you look at video, parallax error can really throw you off and make postures appear different to what is actually occurring. So any angles that are computed from a 2D image should, at best, be taken with a grain of salt (i.e., interpreted accounting for a relatively wide margin for error). Further, even in a controlled lab setting, quantifying shoulder rotation in the serve is a challenge due to the motion involved. So if one is genuinely trying to quantify discrete shoulder joint angles in the serve I would recommend a simpler alternative ... fill a hat with the numbers −180 to 180 and pick one out of the hat!

In any case, to conceptualize the angular displacement that is "shoulder abduction":

(1) Draw a line from the shoulder of the non-hitting arm to the shoulder of the serving arm
QEFaGVE.jpg


(2) Draw a line between the shoulder and elbow of the serving line
2uHOIFG.jpg


(3) Take the angle between those two vectors (lets call it θ)
qDYZwD6.jpg


(4) shoulder abduction = 270°−θ
In Sam's case, above, it'd be 270°−179° = 91°
Note that if you computed the angle of the upper arm, relative to her side here you'd get a different result (that is primarily an atrifact of the vantage point).

Even here, I'm making scientific concessions in the description and it's a roundabout way to calculate it (in the lab we don't compute an angle and subtract it from 270 etc. because we're working with 3D coordinate systems), but the above is the simplest way to think of it.

I clearly didn't give this readership enough credit last time so I'm no longer afraid to provide the research grade answer for those who'd like to know:

(1) Create a 3D reference frame defining the thorax segment:
origin = suprasternal notch
x-axis = cross-product of z and y axes
y-axis = vector from (midpoint of xyphoid process and 12th thoracic vertebra) to (midpoint of suprasternal notch and 7th cervical vertebra)
z-axis = vector from left shoulder joint centre to right shoulder joint center

(2) Create a 3D reference frame defining the humerus:
origin = shoulder joint centre
x-axis = cross-product of y and z axes
y-axis = vector from elbow joint centre to shoulder joint centre
z-axis = vector from medial humeral epicondyle to lateral humeral epicondyle

(3) When computing 3D joint rotations, shoulder abduction is then defined as rotation of the humerus about the x-axis of the humerus reference frame (note that there are different sequences of rotation that can be employed). See this for the technical nitty-gritty.

I hope that is helpful.

Cheers,
Dave
 
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steve s

Professional
I suggest you toss the ball more toward the right,

You could start with out the ball, just swing more right, and see if it feels better, than your present swing.
 

SystemicAnomaly

Bionic Poster
@picklesqq

I've not looked at any of the other replies in your thread, so I do not know if the issues I see have been addressed at all.

The very low elbow during the trophy phase can certainly be a contributing factor. Usually, I've seen high elbow positions resulting in stress to the shoulder more than I've seen it with low elbow positions. Tho, in your case, it could be a factor. Normally, a very low elbow position like yours often results in swing timing issues and sometimes a reduction in racket head speed. 10+ years ago, Novak Djokovic had a very low elbow position. I do not believe he had any shoulder problems (prior to 2011) but his serve timing & effectiveness was not up to the rest of his game until he fixed it late in 2010.

Leg Drive issues:

Problems with leg drive might be a very significant factor wrt to your shoulder pain. I am seeing problems with both the timing and the direction of your leg drive. A proper leg drive should assist in rotating your shoulder (externally) for a good racket head drop with minimal stress to the shoulder (rotators).

Despite your sub-optimal leg drive, you appear to be getting a pretty decent racket head drop. But, as a result, you actually might put more stress on your shoulder / rotators.

You achieve a decent knee bend but you are late in extending your legs (leg drive timing). Maximum knee bend will occur during the trophy phase. But, as the racket head starts to drop from the trophy position, the legs should start to extend.

Your knees are still at max flexion for the 1st part of your racket head drop. Your leg extension does not seem to start until you are well into your racquet head drop. This is late = not optimal.

The other issue with your leg drive is its direction. It should be primarily upward and somewhat forward. Yours is a lot more forward than upward. Actually, it is off to the left rather than directly forward. You get quite far into the court when you land but you have not gotten very high off the ground. Driving upward might help with your ESR (external shoulder rotation) w/o putting as much stress on your shoulder.

Try to more of your drive upward rather than trying to get so far into the court. If you can do both that would be fine but you should not be driving into the court at the expense of driving upward. And the forward movement you do get, should be more in the direction of your serve (target area) rather than falling off to the left.
 

SystemicAnomaly

Bionic Poster
So it's more of a muscle strength issue than a technique issue? I've been doing rotator cuff/shoulder exercises for the past couple weeks, and I do think they've been helping.
Nah, I would not think so. Rotator / shoulder exercises, like The Thrower's Ten, can certainly help but I do not believe that is the underlying issue. See my previous post for details.

While some servers experience less shoulder stress with an abbreviated motion, I am not a huge fan of the Jay Berger serve. Jay had a weird windup that put his elbow in a very high position. That high elbow position can be stressful to the shoulder. If you can implement the Berger serve without that strange wind-up, you might be better off. I would actually look at Jeff Salzenstein (or Todd Martin) for a clean, simple abbreviated motion. Andre Agassi used a similar motion back in the early 90s when he was recovering from a wrist injury.

However, some players find the abbreviated motion to be more stressful rather than less stressful to the shoulder. It probably depends largely on your particular implementation of that serving style. My preferences are either an abbreviated rhythm or a staggered rhythm.

Other than that technique issues I mentioned in my previous reply, I'm wondering if there are some equipment factors in play here. If you are using a frame that is particularly light or has a low swingweight, the impact shock might be taking its toll on your shoulder. Do you know the mass (weight) and strung swingweight of your racket? Are you using polyester strings? This can also exacerbate the problem if your technique is not optimal.

Many will tell you to stay away from stiff frames but I'm not a huge fan of stiffness ratings for determining how much frame shock a racket will produce. In general, frames with higher stiffness (flex) MIGHT tend to produce more frame shock. But this is not always the case. Some of the most arm-friendly rackets available actually have a very high stiffness rating. And a few with fairly low ratings might be overly stressful to the arm (shoulder, elbow, forearm, wrist or hand).
 
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Demented

Semi-Pro
I think you've got the same issue I do. When you come out of your back bend, you need to basically stay leaning left to keep your shoulder from hitting the top of your shoulder socket. The further you toss over your head, the more you need to lean to keep your shoulder healthy. I watched a youtube video about the biomechanics of serving and it really helped me.
 

Chas Tennis

G.O.A.T.
..................................................................................

While some servers experience less shoulder stress with an abbreviated motion, I am not a huge fan of the Jay Berger serve. Jay had a weird windup that put his elbow in a very high position. That high elbow position can be stressful to the shoulder. If you can implement the Berger serve without that strange wind-up, you might be better off. ..............................
................................

I read that Jay Berger developed his unusual serving technique because he experienced his shoulder joint coming out of joint more than one time.

In next post, link to Jay Berger news story from 1985 that mentioned the reason for the unusual serving technique.
 
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Chas Tennis

G.O.A.T.
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SystemicAnomaly

Bionic Poster
Jay Berger
jay-berger-of-the-usa-in-action-during-the-lipton-open-tennis-in-key-picture-id672319434
I read that Jay Berger developed his unusual serving technique because he experienced his shoulder joint coming out of joint more than one time.

In next post, link to Jay Berger news story from 1985 that mentioned the reason for the unusual serving technique.
I can see why JB might have gone with an abbreviated motion. But still don't understand why he had that very odd windup prior to his eventual trophy position. It is certainly not anything I would recommend to students or other rec players.

tenor.gif



OTOH, I can understand why Andre was serving this way in 1993 after recovering from a wrist injury

 

Chas Tennis

G.O.A.T.
The first time that I heard the terms 'leaking' or 'racket leaking' to the racket drop position, the comments were by Jay Berger. 'Leaking' or 'racket leaking' was a flaw that he compromised to use because of his shoulder separations. He recognized 'racket leaking' as a flaw in the high level serve.

I believe the context was that the hitting arm should not be simply placed into the position of the racket drop but other body motions, such as leg thrust, should be used to cause ESR that stretches the muscles that will perform ISR. He couldn't do it but must have studied the service motion and understood how it was being done and that he was 'racket leaking' and had to live with that flaw.

That seems to be what is observed in the high level serve but there are the complications of Thoracic Extension - that particularly slackens the lat - and therefore complicates the stretch shorten cycle in a very interesting way. See high speed videos on Thoracic Extension.

His comments are interesting and may have been an instruction to not leak the racket into racket drop position for the high level serve.

For his original comments on "racket leaking"
Search forum: racket leak leaking Jay Berger Chas
Google: similar terms

(Jay, sign up on this anonymous forum and set the record straight.)
 
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SystemicAnomaly

Bionic Poster
@Chas Tennis

Looks like the OP has left building already. He signed up last Tuesday. Asked his question on Wednesday. Replied on Thur and then, for the last time, early Fri. Seemed satisfied with his results & has not been back since. So he's not even seen the last 10-11 replies. And might not bother to check back in. So you might consider putting your energies elsewhere.
 

Chas Tennis

G.O.A.T.
@Chas Tennis

Looks like the OP has left building already. He signed up last Tuesday. Asked his question on Wednesday. Replied on Thur and then, for the last time, early Fri. Seemed satisfied with his results & has not been back since. So he's not even seen the last 10-11 replies. And might not bother to check back in. So you might consider putting your energies elsewhere.

I post for interested and motivated posters and readers.

Side-by-side video stroke comparisons are the most important capability that any interested tennis player can have, at low cost.

Did anyone else in the thread mention the Ellenbecker video? That seems like the best available information for someone that has shoulder pain when serving.
 
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SystemicAnomaly

Bionic Poster
Did anyone else in the thread mention the Ellenbecker video? That seems like the best available information for someone that has shoulder pain when serving.
I believe Ellenbecker addresses nerve impingement with a high elbow position (wrt the shoulder line). OP has a very low elbow position that might result in a shoulder issue other than an impingement.

Don't believe that Ellenbecker is germane to this discussion and I fear that we've already overwhelmed the OP with waaaay to much input. already. Exccess info / detail tends to be counter-productive & may obscure more important factors.
 

Chas Tennis

G.O.A.T.
I believe Ellenbecker addresses nerve impingement with a high elbow position (wrt the shoulder line). OP has a very low elbow position that might result in a shoulder issue other than an impingement.

Don't believe that Ellenbecker is germane to this discussion and I fear that we've already overwhelmed the OP with waaaay to much input. already. Exccess info / detail tends to be counter-productive & may obscure more important factors.

I look at the upper arm at serve impact. David Whiteside is a biomechanics researcher in tennis and I provided a link to his work on the shoulder describing upper arm alignment. I have not seen the Ellenbecker video in some time, but the angle of the upper arm should be limited over more of the service motion that at just impact. I saw the OP's low elbow early but I don't know the risks at that time. At impact work of Ellenbecker and Whiteside addresses the upper arm being high as Whiteside's picture illustrates. I looked at the OP's serve at impact and thought that his upper arm might be high, but that his chest was tilted is a way that made estimating the angle uncertain. This is where better videos and comparisons to high level ATP serves are needed.

I don't recall seeing that Ellenbecker addressed nerve impingement. Do you have a reference?

Google: shoulder impingement pictures
I think Ellenbecker addressed the impingement that the pictures show.

Impingement can make the tissues under the acromion inflamed, especially if the upper arm bone was high and farther reduced the space between the acromion and humerus.

ShowImage.ashx

Picture from Cleveland Clinic.

I believe that the OP should be informed of this information as number one priority as he has shoulder pain and needs to understand this issue. The upper arm at impact looks high to me ? - - something to be seriously evaluated.

I tore my rotator cuff and it was a 9 month recovering to reduce the chance that the supraspinatus tendon, that had been sewn back onto the bone, does not tear off the bone. There was 6 months of no strength training only maintaining range of motion and then 3 more months for light strength building. Injuries are very high priority.
 
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SystemicAnomaly

Bionic Poster
@Chas Tennis

Not sure who else is reading this but I certainly hope you are not overwhelming the OP with a lot of extraneous information if he should ever decide to return to the thread. Hopefully, he will not get lost in all this peripheral information. Or maybe it's something he can come back to after wading thru all of this.
 

yossarian

Professional
OP is about to have to break out the kinesiology textbook when all he probably needs to do is some posterior capsule stretching and the thrower's ten (he himself directly said shoulder exercises were helping)
 

Chas Tennis

G.O.A.T.
Here is a comparison of impacts for the OP and a high level server. It does not appear from this camera angle that the upper arm is high. The camera should be looking along the ball's trajectory (toward ad court). This video should be repeated looking along the ball's trajectory to get a better view of the upper arm angle to the shoulder joint.

CBEE107C407444858B761AA0A5A07D9A.jpg
DB30A2B8FFC048EA980B8CAC29C2CD29.jpg
's

A few other things show up:
1) The OPs arm is nearly straight up at impact. The pro's arm tilts left slightly, at this camera angle straight into the court.
2) The OPs racket is also nearly straight up. The pro's racket tilts to the left.
3) The OP's wrist is ulnar deviated and looks stressed at impact. The pro's wrist is not ulnar deviated and does not appear stressed. This wrist angle varies among servers at impact.

One frame vs all video frames. This was the only frame extracted from the videos for analysis. The videos allow all frames to be examined in a short time. The heart of the serve is the last 25-30 milliseconds before impact. At 240 fps, or about 4.3 ms between frames, there are about 5-7 frames. Looking at those 5-7 frames in the video set up is quick and flexible. Once you or the OP spend a little time, anyone can look for differences in the acceleration part of tennis strokes. Side-by-side videos are a great feedback tool.

One technique flaw is that the OP does not have a suitable angle between his forearm and the racket shaft during the swing. We see the OP's angle at impact and it varies approaching impact. At impact, the forearm and racket are nearly in a straight line. When he is performing ISR, the racket head does not move far enough or fast enough as the shoulder joint rotates with ISR. The racket head does not pick up enough speed from ISR because of this angle. This angle is a flaw for the OP and readers to observe in side-by-side videos. dragy

Demo. Take a racket in your hand, arm straight out to the side and do gentle ISR with a relaxed neutral wrist and the racket shaft at relaxed angle to the forearm. The racket head picks up speed. In the serve, this is how IRS produces racket head speed - using this critical angle! Now use the impact wrist angle of the OP - racket in line with the forearm - the racket head spins but picks up no speed.

A second problem is that the OP's ISR is seen to start late & too close to impact. The racket head cannot develop enough speed if ISR rotates, say, only 30 degrees, start to impact. See the long shadow at the OP's elbow. That shadow is an excellent indicator of ISR, when it starts and how much it rotates. You can look at it in the high speed video and directly see when ISR starts and get some idea of how much ISR rotated. A second observation at this same time is how much the wrist and racket head rotates (from ISR + pronation). The pro's elbow does not show a clear shadow because his arm is in shadow and not in direct sunlight, a better pro video is needed. It is a safe assumption that the pro's elbow would show adequate ISR if in direct sunlight.

SEARCH+ISR
 
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