Shoulder friendly serve?

Lautrec

New User
I have trouble with my shoulder threatening to dislocate when I serve. Even if it's never happened, I sometimes get a sore shoulder for a day or two after serving, and I can feel right away when I've made a serve that's bad for my shoulder.

I seem to have the least trouble when i toss the ball straight above my head, but I can never be completely sure if a serve is going to cause pain or not.

Any ideas what I should be thinking about when serving?
 

Salar

New User
Hi
i practiced serve to much so i had must of the possible pain in my arm :)
yes top spin serve can hurt you so much the one that you toss the ball just top of your head.
1.your racquet weight and its swingweight can cause the pain
2.your shoulder position can cause pain keep oyur elbow and shoulder lower and closer to your body when toss the ball(you may keep your shoulder up for more power but keeping it low is more arm friendly and its better for topspin serve)
3.MUST IMPORTANT THING IS ALWAYS WARMUP BEFORE SERVING(turning your arms and do some butterfly moves)
4.practice tossing the ball and dont go for hiting the serve that you did bad toss for it
5.for now dont play for 2-3 days and dont practice serving for 2 weeks or pain will back
 

SystemicAnomaly

Bionic Poster
The most arm friendly serve is an underhand serve. :twisted:

There are a number of possible causes for your shoulder issues. If you are using polyester strings, replace them with softer strings NOW. The racket you're using might also be a major factor. Some frames deliver quite a bit more shock to the shoulder and arm than others. Weight, swingweight, frame stiffness, shock dampening or isolation and other factors all have a bearing on this. Babolat racquets, in general, are brutal on the shoulder/arm. Arm friendly racquets include some of the Volkl, ProKennex and Prince line. More details can be provided on this. What frame are you currently using?

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/09/08/phys-ed-how-to-fix-a-bad-tennis-shoulder/

Rotator/shoulder weakness might be an issue in your case. Try a search for the Thrower's Ten in the Health & Fitness forum (posted by CharlieF). However, the primary culprit could be your serve mechanics. Check out this post for more insight:

http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?p=5687057#post5687057



This is an excellent video. I mentioned this one and several others in the link that I posted above.
 

Chas Tennis

G.O.A.T.
Stop serving with any technique that is causing pain and find out what you are doing that might be causing the pain.

Study the Ellenbecker video on serving. If I search "Ellenbecker video" I find many threads on serving with several on pain or injury.

Get some videos of your serve from behind and see how you line up at impact in comparison to the pros. High speed video is necessary to see the serve.

The pros serve using internal shoulder rotation (mislabeled 'pronation') and achieve service speeds of over 130 MPH safely. Serves using internal shoulder rotation, watch the elbow bones as they rotate - https://vimeo.com/user6237669/videos

Average players use other techniques and might achieve serves in the 80s. Who knows what they are doing?

First, you should be very careful serving with any pain in your shoulder. Maybe you are making impingement or any number of other injuries worse. With impingement some tissue (tendon, bursa, etc ?) rubs. If there is pain there is probably also some swelling of the tissue - you can see what swelling might be doing to the pressure where the tissue is rubbing.......

Thread with some shoulder injury discussion.

http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=459571

Watch the Todd Ellenbecker video in the above link, especially the serve advice at minute 8. There are biomechanically sound ways to serve that the pros use for performance and to minimize injury risk.

https://vimeo.com/27528701

367314822_100.jpg


Notice the line between his two shoulder and how it lines up with his upper arm bone. They tend to be aligned much more than would be done on one's own.

But most players have developed their service motions on their own. Who knows what they are doing? Nobody............ Why does a slice serve work better with your injury?

One question resulting from the Ellenbecker video is: Are your shoulders too level? When you are medically cleared to serve, take some videos of your serve from behind, viewing in the direction that the struck ball travels (as in the above video). Always shoot in direct sunlight so that the shutter can be fast to reduce motion blur. If your camera has a burst mode for stills, that might catch your shoulder-arm angle as well. Use a very fast shutter to minimize motion blur.

Get frames clearly showing the angle between:
1) your upper arm AND
2) a line joining both your shoulders

Follow the guidelines advocated by Ellenbecker for serving to minimize impingement risk.
 
Last edited:

Dimcorner

Professional
Shoulder injuries are the worse!

I had one from badminton and it took about 3 months of not touching a racquet. I could barely lift my arm in front of me with my thumb pointed down past horizontal. Took months of just slowly trying to lift it then adding a rubber band do it to rehab. I think it was called shoulder impingement, I didn't have a tear and it doesn't really hurt now.

In the end I had to change my swing completely because I was doing it wrong. I was swinging about 45 degrees out instead of over my head. When I was at rehabbing the shoulder I would do slow swings at home (without racquet) and just visualizing the shot and swinging.

I slowly got back into the game with a new swing and worked on timing and form, no power, for about another month or two before I started cranking it up. Now I have more power on the shot and more control.

I think you need to work on correct mechanics (maybe even take a private lesson for 30 mins or so) and just hit it SOFT. Work on the mechanics and motion for a month or two and then when you feel comfortable with the motion you can add a little more power.
 

Lukhas

Legend
Well, I get a sore shoulder if I try to serve buckets and buckets of balls in the same day. I typically lower the amount of serves in a run by putting less balls in the bucket. Quality over quantity. And I take a day of rest after that. I guess that's why pitchers don't throw to their hearts content, trying to save the shoulder.
 

newpball

Legend
Well, I get a sore shoulder if I try to serve buckets and buckets of balls in the same day. I typically lower the amount of serves in a run by putting less balls in the bucket. Quality over quantity. And I take a day of rest after that. I guess that's why pitchers don't throw to their hearts content, trying to save the shoulder.
I practice serves with three balls only, serve three times, walk over to the other side, pick up the balls, and start allover again.

It takes more time but this gives me the best rhythm.
 

SystemicAnomaly

Bionic Poster
Shoulder injuries are the worse!

I had one from badminton and it took about 3 months of not touching a racquet...

Badminton appears to be worse than tennis in this respect. So much of badminton is overhead strokes (clears, smashes and o'head drops). Also the setup time for many of the overhead shots is very quick. One does not always have the luxury of a moderate tempo and a tennis server does.

I know several players who had go give up badminton because of shoulder issues. However, the players are still able to play tennis (and serve decently). I have been in the same boat myself -- switched to the opposite arm for badminton for quite a while but could still use my dominant arm for tennis.
 

newpball

Legend
TIf you are using polyester strings, replace them with softer strings NOW.
Since we are talking about serves I am not so sure if the string matters that much. Serves are usually hit at the dead spot and the bounce of any string is minimum here.

Serving with poly does not feel any stiffer to me than with any other strings.
 

SystemicAnomaly

Bionic Poster
^ Some servers contact close to the sweetspot while others contact higher in the stringbed (closer to the tip). In either case, I might expect some added shock to be generated with poly strings. Better to be safe than sorry if the shoulder is at risk.
.
 

SystemicAnomaly

Bionic Poster
Shoulder problem? What's the weight of the racquet?

A racquet that is too light or too heavy wrt (static) weight or swingweight can be an issue. String and several other racquet factors can contribute to the problem. that is why I asked the OP to let us know what he/she is using (in post #4). Perhaps we'll hear back from the OP in the next 12 hours.
 

SystemicAnomaly

Bionic Poster
^ There is more than underspin and sidespin (Y-axis) for this serve. There is also a strong component of spiral spin (Z-axis) present. This is what accounts for the wicked bounce off to the side. Regular sidespin does NOT produce this effect at all. I can point you to a book on tennis physics if you doubt me on this. There is a bit about it in this TWU page (he refers to spriralspin as gyrospin here):

http://twu.tennis-warehouse.com/learning_center/kickserve.php
.
 
A

Attila_the_gorilla

Guest
Try to practice the serving swing without a ball, at a comfortable speed. It's very important to do that "cartwheel" motion, so your left shoulder is well below your right (assuming you're right handed), your head out to the side as your swing upwards. This way you can avoid impingement.
 

GuyClinch

Legend
I find external rotation exercises to be very helpful with shoulder pain. I think the problem is tennis causes an imbalance as it overworks the internal rotator muscles.

Try it out - it really makes your shoulder pain disappear. Also make sure your technique is solid. If none of that works you can serve just fine underhanded..
 
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