Tension / Strings /Avoiding Arm/Elbow Problems

Discussion in 'Strings' started by 55 Feelin' Alive, Aug 6, 2009.

  1. 55 Feelin' Alive

    55 Feelin' Alive New User

    Jun 1, 2007
    I plan to buy a stiff racquet, perhaps an OS, such as the Babolat PD 107, to help with power and to anticipate changes in my game over the next 10 years, (57-67 years old)...

    I'm concerned alot about avoiding arm/elbow problems.
    Although I don't have a fast swing at my advanced age, I did want to choose a string and tension level carefully. I presently play singles and doubles at an intermediate level on public hardcourts with a tweener Head LM 4, strung at midtension plus 2, with TNT 16 stringing. I play with a one hand BH, and with topspin on both forehand and BH. No arm or elbow problems. (just a step or 2 slower)

    I have been advised that stringing with low tension will provide me with more power, but also may provide more arm problems. A higher tension will provide more control. Does anyone who has bought a stiff racuqet (70 lbs plus), and purposely strung at the low end of the tension level to get more power, find that low tension has provided arm/elbow problems?

    Further, I don't want to bust strings, so I'm going to keep my 16 gauge...but if I change to a Babolat, someone told me that the Luxillon are very stiff, that may or may not be for an intermediate wkend warrior like me. I don't know where to find resiliency levels of the strings, but for my present Head LM4, as I said, I string with TNT 16. I don't know where TNTs are in the stiff/resilient spectrum, but if anyone has preference for stiff racquets, such as the Babolat PD, the Prince Black speedport, etc., in terms of making sure there's not too much arm/elbow strain, PLS advise asap regarding type of strings...

    55 feelin' alive
    (sson ot be 58 feelin' great)
  2. tata

    tata Professional

    Apr 3, 2008
    Definitely avoid the poly strings. They dont have the same elasticity as synthetics so it will be harder on the arm (as well as harder to generate power). But from what i know stringing lower tensions should be easier on the arm since it will allow more flex on the string to cushion the impact and shock of balls.If you want a pretty good racquet to play with that isnt too expensive and too harsh on the arms. Id say so go one of the older prince 03 models (perhaps the 03 red or maybe even the blue).

    They may be bigger frames than what most people use (i know the blue is about 110sq inch) but i think those are very playable yet also cheap. Not to mention that most of the prince racquets have a 'trampoline' like feel so im assuming it means soft.
  3. hoodjem

    hoodjem G.O.A.T.

    Aug 12, 2007
    IMO stiff racquets and tighter tensions create a proclivity for TE. Stiffer strings also, of course.

    To preclude TE, IMO avoid stiff racquets, stiff strings (like poly or kevlar), and higher tensions. Go for flexier racquets, softer strings (like nat gut or multis) and lower tensions--if possible.
  4. 55 Feelin' Alive

    55 Feelin' Alive New User

    Jun 1, 2007
    THX for both of the responses. Tension levels are purely personal, although there are some objective standards that deal with power, control, and avoiding arm problems. I'm interested in TW players personal preferences if they play with stiff racquets, 70 lbs and above, and swing with long topspin swings.

    As I understand it, if I would like to hit hard and close to the lines, tighter strings are probably better for me, since it would engender more control, and may get more spin because the ball will flatten out more on the strings.

    However, I've been advised that if I don't hit particularly hard or close to the lines and thus don't need especially precise control, looser strings make sense for the sake of my arm. It would be the trampoline effect....the shock is not as great to the arm.

    When I demoed the Babolats, I hit harder than ever. Some groundies went long, some didn't. The demo was strung at the midrange, with TNT 16. The question I have for the stiff racquet player is, in terms of selecting a tension level (very important issue!) how loose is loose? Did you take the midrange and subtract a certain number of lbs if you want looser tension in order to gain more power, less control, but avoid arm problems? Stay at midrange? Did you select a lower tension, but a stiffer string?
  5. cadfael_tex

    cadfael_tex Professional

    Sep 4, 2005
    Fort Leavenworth, KS
    Ulitmately your arm will be the test of what works and what doesn't. The variables work together in interesting ways. You could go with softer string (maybe natural gut) and stay on the higher end or you could go with crisper string and go lower.

    There is a complex interaction with string, frame, tension, and swing. I am getting back into the game and had limited arm problems the last time I tried so when I restring I'm going natural gut and dropping down to the middle of the lower half of the range.

    I would try a softer string at the middle of the tension range if I were you - but then again I'm not you ;)
  6. tennisdad65

    tennisdad65 Hall of Fame

    Feb 29, 2008
    somewhere in calif
    If I was gonna buy a Babolat PD 107 (RA = 70!), I would use full natural gut with it and use lower tensions. But that would be too powerful for a full/fast swing. If you have a slow controlled swing you could pull this off and generate enough power at the same time.

    I have seen 60 yr olds use the Gamma Big Bubba, and hit serves at 100+ mph and 80 mph forehands without too much effort.. keeping it in play is another story :)

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