Stopping my non hitting arm from straightening out

InSydeOut

Rookie
When I go to hit any forehand, at the end of the finish my non hitting arm fully straightens out, backwards, and down. Anyone else have this problem?

Hard to illustrate what's happening via text, but ill try my best here.

1. Prior to contact with the ball, my left arm is outstretched for measuring proper distance.
2. At contact with the ball, my left arm is bent, elbow tucked into side/waist
3. After contact with the ball after my right arm is now finishing across my body, my left arm is locked out, pointed straight back/down. Kinda like I'm dabbing. My left arm might even be over to my forehand side at this point.

Its pretty similar to Novak's first forehand here:

I really want to stop doing this but subconsciously I keep reverting to it esp on hard rallies. I tried thinking about catching my racket but I end up straightening my arm out first and then catching the racket after, which is just weird. I feel stupid when I catch myself doing this constantly and I never saw anyone else having the same issue. Any advice would help. Thanks.
 

user92626

G.O.A.T.
When I go to hit any forehand, at the end of the finish my non hitting arm fully straightens out, backwards, and down. Anyone else have this problem?
Oh yeah!

It's a strange and difficult habit to correct. I guess we're really afraid of wacking our nonhitting arm with the racket.



Try to catch the handle with your nonhitting hand.


Believe me, my FH was in a big funk and I corrected this error (as much as I could) and my FH is getting back to being lethal again (for the group I play with :)) It's just great to feel balanced when I wack the ball really hard. As hard as I can. :giggle::)
 

InSydeOut

Rookie
Oh yeah!

It's a strange and difficult habit to correct. I guess we're really afraid of wacking our nonhitting arm with the racket.



Try to catch the handle with your nonhitting hand.


Believe me, my FH was in a big funk and I corrected this error (as much as I could) and my FH is getting back to being lethal again (for the group I play with :)) It's just great to feel balanced when I wack the ball really hard. As hard as I can. :giggle::)
Ill try catching the handle, I usually try to catch the throat. Glad to know I'm not the only one that experienced this issue!
 

Dragy

Legend
If at contact it’s properly tucked, and gets stretched after, it may even have balancing value for better recovery. Some pros sometimes do this on FH, and many do this on serves. I wouldn’t worry much.
 
As soon as you let go of racquet throat with your hand, spread your fingers apart and bend your elbow. That helps a lot with rotation and not letting arm drop. If you got any questions, watch Thiem's FH.
 

smalahove

Hall of Fame
Imo, analyzing the swing based on the non-hitting arm will lead to all sorts of errors because it is the result of prior actions in the kinetic chain.

In the first FH in the clip of Novak, he (jumps up and) hits a flat ball. If you look at his upper body rotation, you'll see him rotating completely around a vertical spine. Keeping the non-dominant arm up high here makes no sense, and will only be the result of an unnatural movement.

When does it make sense then? When you want to hit up on ball (low to high trajectory).
When this is done correctly, you should have a 20-30% spine angle (compared to the vertical axis) and if you rotate naturally around the spine (keeping it stable into impact), the hitting shoulder gets "lower", the non-hitting shoulder get "higher" and to keep the body balanced as the hitting arm and hand goes (often "low") into impact , the natural thing is to raise the non-hitting arm.

Torso tilt and spine angle is much more important than how the non-hitting looks, as seen here, where none of these players have that high non-dominant arm through impact, but they do have the proper torso tilt (when that is needed):





 

Chas Tennis

G.O.A.T.
There is a function of the off arm for the high level forehand. The arm is not held out mostly to locate the ball.

The off arm is held straight out, accelerated to high speed before the hitting arm starts forwards and then is pulled in with timing. This transfers angular momentum to the uppermost body (seen as a line between the two shoulders) for more racket head speed. For lower intensity shots, as for practice, there may be less use of the off arm. Look for shots where the player wants to add pace. The OP video shows it.

There are many posts on this topic. There is a demo with a 1 lb dumbbell or can of soup that gives you the feel of the momentum transfer.

@Curiosity first explained this to me.

Search forum: off arm forehand Curiosity
Member: Chas Tennis

https://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/ind...nd+Curiosity&c[users]=Chas+Tennis&o=relevance

The overhead camera view is best to show this issue. Fuzzy Yellow Balls video of Frank Salazar with video processing added by Toly. See timing of pull in (the pull in timing may also assist in aiming?).
 
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Arak

Legend
When I go to hit any forehand, at the end of the finish my non hitting arm fully straightens out, backwards, and down. Anyone else have this problem?

Hard to illustrate what's happening via text, but ill try my best here.

1. Prior to contact with the ball, my left arm is outstretched for measuring proper distance.
2. At contact with the ball, my left arm is bent, elbow tucked into side/waist
3. After contact with the ball after my right arm is now finishing across my body, my left arm is locked out, pointed straight back/down. Kinda like I'm dabbing. My left arm might even be over to my forehand side at this point.

Its pretty similar to Novak's first forehand here:

I really want to stop doing this but subconsciously I keep reverting to it esp on hard rallies. I tried thinking about catching my racket but I end up straightening my arm out first and then catching the racket after, which is just weird. I feel stupid when I catch myself doing this constantly and I never saw anyone else having the same issue. Any advice would help. Thanks.
I have the same issue and I only became aware of it after a friend took a video. I solved the issue by not looking at videos of me hitting. What you don’t know can’t hurt you.
 

SystemicAnomaly

Bionic Poster
I have the same issue and I only became aware of it after a friend took a video. I solved the issue by not looking at videos of me hitting. What you don’t know can’t hurt you.
That's simply not true. If you don't know that mixing chlorine bleach with an ammonia cleaner is not a good thing to do, it could very well kill you. This combination sounds like it might make a good heavy duty cleaning solution. But, in reality, the chloramine gases it releases can be quite toxic.

While non-optimal actions in tennis might not kill you, it can result in inferior performance. And it might even lead to an overuse injury in a few years. (Not saying that this will necessarily happen with this particular non-optimal action).
 

SystemicAnomaly

Bionic Poster
There is a function of the off arm for the high level forehand. The arm is not held out mostly to locate the ball.
The extended arm serves a variety of functions. Ball location & spacing is just one of several functions that the extended arm serves. (Please do not feel compelled to reply to this with a long-winded dissertation. Doubtful that I will read it).
 

SystemicAnomaly

Bionic Poster
@InSydeOut

Does your arm tuck into the body at all before it sweeps back and down? The talking action can help to promote the uncoil speed of the body -- just prior to and during contact. Sweeping it back and down later can assist in decelerating that rotation.

I very much like the idea of catching the racket on the follow-thru. This can help you to tuck the arm in earlier. Should be able to implement a racket catch with and over the shoulder finish or with a finish that is close to the side of the shoulder or upper arm.
 

Chas Tennis

G.O.A.T.
The extended arm serves a variety of functions. Ball location & spacing is just one of several functions that the extended arm serves. (Please do not feel compelled to reply to this with a long-winded dissertation. Doubtful that I will read it).
For evidence, I confirmed in high speed videos that many pro players accelerate the off arm and pull it in.

As the ball is approaching, I see the off arm moving rapidly in the opposite direction to the line pointing to the ball.

How do the location and spacing functions work?

At what distance from impact is the ball being located?

Do you have a reference on the ball location and spacing technique?


I post the extra information on subjects for the OPs not for the regular posters. And I'm tired from writing the stuff........
 
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SystemicAnomaly

Bionic Poster
For evidence, I confirmed in high speed videos that many pro players accelerate the off arm and pull it in.

As the ball is approaching, I see the off arm moving rapidly in the opposite direction to the line pointing to the ball.

How do the location and spacing functions work?

At what distance from impact is the ball being located?

Do you have a reference on the ball location and spacing technique?


I post the extra information on subjects for the OP's not for the regular posters. And I'm tired from writing the stuff........
Affirmative. We know of the action that you speak of in your 1st ¶ here. Not disputing that at all.

Most elite players do not point at the ball in the modern game. Pointing at the incoming ball was old-school tennis (prior to the 80s or 90s?).

With the arm extended to the side (sideline or side fence), the extended hand can serve as a general guide for the preferred spacing to the incoming ball. If the ball appears to be headed toward your elbow, that spacing needs to be increased. If the observed spacing is too far beyond the extended hand, then the spacing should be adjusted accordingly.
 
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SystemicAnomaly

Bionic Poster
Do you have a reference on the ball location and spacing technique?
No, no reference for this technique. I developed this concept, independently, on my own some 2 decades ago and have been promoting it for the past decade and a half on TT.

I have not bothered to look around to see if any one else has explicitly or formally stated this idea / concept. However, in the past 2 decades, I have noticed quite a few other coaches using the same idea.

I have always stated that this is only one function of the arm extension to the side.
 
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SystemicAnomaly

Bionic Poster
I don't know the answers to the questions.

The OP seems to believe "for measuring proper distance."

How does it work?
Don't understand this post. I believe the OP is talking about measuring in the pretty much the same manner that I described in post #14.

If the OP believe that is the only reason for the arm extension, then he is mistaken. Otherwise I don't see a problem with that statement.
 
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Chas Tennis

G.O.A.T.
I believe what I can see in high speed videos, such as in the Salazar video in post #7 backed by other videos. I don't believe anything in conflict with high speed videos of high level players. There is a lot of other stuff, to be determined.
 
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SystemicAnomaly

Bionic Poster
I believe what I can see in high speed videos, such as in the Salazar video in post #7 backed by other videos. I don't believe anything in conflict with high speed videos of high level players. There is a lot of other stuff, to be determined.
The off-arm action that Frank employees is somewhat similar but a bit different than that of Agassi, Federer, Nadal & others.

These elite players already have superb hand eye coordination & impeccable judgment / spacing. They may or may not be using their off-arm as a "spatial reference". It doesn't really matter if they do or not. It is an observation by coaches that this extension of the arm can be used as an aid for spacing. Irrelevant if the pros use it for that purpose or not.
 

InSydeOut

Rookie
@InSydeOut

Does your arm tuck into the body at all before it sweeps back and down? The talking action can help to promote the uncoil speed of the body -- just prior to and during contact. Sweeping it back and down later can assist in decelerating that rotation.

I very much like the idea of catching the racket on the follow-thru. This can help you to tuck the arm in earlier. Should be able to implement a racket catch with and over the shoulder finish or with a finish that is close to the side of the shoulder or upper arm.
I was looking at my footage and confirm I am tucking the elbow to help the rotation of the forehand. I almost tuck it 'behind' me even, almost elbowing the space above my lats. It's just that sometimes I do tuck the arm but it is relatively straight instead of bent, and it locks out at the very end of the stroke at times.

I wasn't able to hit today but tomorrow Im going to try catching the handle or literally touching my hand to my waist to keep the arm bent.

Whats interesting was if I focused too much on my left arm my entire FH went to crap so it's hard to really work on this as it is a very subconscious movement.

Anyone know why in the pics above that Rafa and Stan have their off palms down while Novak is palm up?
 

SystemicAnomaly

Bionic Poster
All I meant was I just find that using it to prevent being too close to the ball is more beneficial than not. Sometimes my FH gets jammed up and to remedy this keeping the arm outstretched helps surprisingly well TBH
@Chas Tennis, this is the very reason that I came up with the idea of using the off-arm as a "spatial reference"

I teach the same thing for the serve. The arm extends upward after the ball release to a position that is nearly vertical. This provides a "spatial reference" to the location of ball. It helps both with timing the swing and with the exact swing path of the racket must take. Generally, that spacing is approx 2 feet above again tossing hand when it is fully extended upward.
 

Chas Tennis

G.O.A.T.
Before training to hold your arm, say, toward the side fence, try this so that you understand.

Demo.

Nothing fast, no motions to the end of the ranges of motions. Get a one pound dumbbell or a can of soup to demo the feeling of speeding up at low speeds. Look at videos of pro players and use the forehand body angles as a guide. Look at the Salazar video. Have your off arm straight out in front of your chest as it would be for a pro forehand. Accelerate the off arm with weight - using moderate force and speed - to your left with shoulder joint, little body turn. Pull in, tuck, the off arm into your body. Your trunk should be stiff enough in one direction to accelerate the off arm but also be relaxed in the other direction for free forward uppermost body rotation. You should feel a small boost to the rotation speed of your uppermost body when you pull your arm into your body.

I felt the boost and a small speed increase. I can add it to my forehand if I am not pressured by the incoming ball.

If you train another arm action it will becomes more difficult to change it later, maybe much more difficult.

The high level forehand uses significant uppermost body turn by using twist of the trunk. You may not be doing that with your present forehand technique. The above off arm sub-motion applies to high level forehand techniques.

You should get an instructor to move you along.
 
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Chas Tennis

G.O.A.T.
I was looking at my footage and confirm I am tucking the elbow to help the rotation of the forehand. I almost tuck it 'behind' me even, almost elbowing the space above my lats. It's just that sometimes I do tuck the arm but it is relatively straight instead of bent, and it locks out at the very end of the stroke at times.

I wasn't able to hit today but tomorrow Im going to try catching the handle or literally touching my hand to my waist to keep the arm bent.

Whats interesting was if I focused too much on my left arm my entire FH went to crap so it's hard to really work on this as it is a very subconscious movement.

Anyone know why in the pics above that Rafa and Stan have their off palms down while Novak is palm up?
X- For the forehand, always check first whether it is bent elbow or straight elbow forearm? In this case, Nadal is straight elbow and Wawrinka and Djokovic are bent elbow. Djokovic is only up. So that characteristic cannot explain palm up or down for those players.

X- The moment of inertia is important. For an arm and hand around an axis through the shoulder joint the maximum moment of inertia is straight arm held out high, perpendicular to the axis of rotation. (leaving out some details). The mass of the hand with palm being up or down would be the same and not matter for that.

? - Maybe up or down palm is better for the tuck in? Study videos.... Does one hand look awkward?

? - When I try it, palm down feels better. It could be how the lat attaches to the upper arm? With palm down the tendon is under the arm and feels better. Turning the palm up stretches the lat tendon farther, while it is still under the arm.

? - Maybe it is just an option?
 
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Chas Tennis

G.O.A.T.
Another camera view for Feliciano Lopez's use of the non-hitting arm on his forehand. He speeds up his non-hitting arm before his forward swing and pulls it into his body to increase the rotation of his uppermost body. Transfer of angular momentum.

Search for Lopez forehands. Observe timing and use of the non-hitting arm.

Lopez comes to the net often and he slices his backhand more often than he drives it with 1HBH.
 
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