The wta forehand explained by anatomy

Rubens

Hall of Fame
Do you know why women flop their forearm back so far on the backswing of their FH? It's all in their carrying angle, which is significantly wider than men's. Look it up. Here is a picture showing the carrying angle in men vs women:


Several studies have shown that that angle is significantly wider in females, possibly to adjust to their wider hips. Now picture that arm doing a backswing for a forehand, especially with the SW grip that most ladies use. It's all science, my friends. So I don't want you to blame them ladies anymore for flopping their forearm til it points to the left fence on their FH takeback, ok? Instead, understand, and love them. Thank you. You're welcome.
 

HitMoreBHs

Semi-Pro
This is the best video on YouTube explaining the difference between ATP vs WTA forehands based on anatomy and biomechanics; as well as cogent reasoning why players should just use what suits their body type best. I agree it’s a topic we should put to bed forever.


Try telling this guy that keeping the elbow down/in and laying back the forearm, whilst generating arm speed through rotation around the trunk by driving with the hips is an inferior technique.

 
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ChaelAZ

G.O.A.T.
The anatomy stuff was always off point to me since we see men doing what is called WTA and a lot of women doing what is called ATP. It is what is promoted and trained, or not trained, that sticks. The efficiency and plus/delta can be discussed Ad Nauseum.
 

Dartagnan64

G.O.A.T.
The anatomy stuff was always off point to me since we see men doing what is called WTA and a lot of women doing what is called ATP. It is what is promoted and trained, or not trained, that sticks. The efficiency and plus/delta can be discussed Ad Nauseum.
You can work against your natural anatomy just as much as you can work with it. There are exceptions to every rule. I don't think it explains everything but flexibilty, muscle power and cubitus valgus does affect your natural biomechanics. That's going to affect how you learn and develop unless someone is working with you constantly to change natural tendencies.
 

ChaelAZ

G.O.A.T.
You can work against your natural anatomy just as much as you can work with it. There are exceptions to every rule. I don't think it explains everything but flexibilty, muscle power and cubitus valgus does affect your natural biomechanics. That's going to affect how you learn and develop unless someone is working with you constantly to change natural tendencies.

Having with with younger kids often I find most boys and girls load high and drop back behind when trying to get power. It allows them to throw their lighter weight into it. I don't have TONS of experience there, so just my observations and why I think what is called a WTA forehand is the more natural stroke for most (all things being equal and if they are not prompted to do different). Would be curious to hear what long time coaches have found.
 

Rubens

Hall of Fame
Having with with younger kids often I find most boys and girls load high and drop back behind when trying to get power. It allows them to throw their lighter weight into it. I don't have TONS of experience there, so just my observations and why I think what is called a WTA forehand is the more natural stroke for most (all things being equal and if they are not prompted to do different). Would be curious to hear what long time coaches have found.
I'm not a coach, but I'd say it is natural to most kids, not sure about adult beginners. Would be curious to hear from the coaches as well. The so-called wta FH is the result of several factors, some of which are anatomical, hence this thread. I admit I jokingly overemphasized the role of carrying angle (cubitus valgus) for shock value, but I'd say it is still a significant part of the anatomical contributors, along with differences in flexibility (which could explain why most kids use that technique, and then most boys grow out of it??), body proportions, muscle distribution.
 

Dragy

Legend
Talking about all that “natural” stuff, have you witnessed the way a kid (and actually any untrained person) uses his/her arm and fist to hit somebody? Does it resemble a high quality, efficient punch (straight or hook or any)? It’s highly technical, complex skill. By now people have figured out, tested, documented and developed learning method, so that anyone motivated can learn the way to do it efficiently without years of “natural” inefficiency.
WTA FH is a product of heavy training, not some kids’ natural swing. As is ATP FH. All high level players likely developed their techniques out of triad:
- instruction;
- mimicking;
- practice.
 

Rubens

Hall of Fame
Talking about all that “natural” stuff, have you witnessed the way a kid (and actually any untrained person) uses his/her arm and fist to hit somebody? Does it resemble a high quality, efficient punch (straight or hook or any)? It’s highly technical, complex skill. By now people have figured out, tested, documented and developed learning method, so that anyone motivated can learn the way to do it efficiently without years of “natural” inefficiency.
WTA FH is a product of heavy training, not some kids’ natural swing. As is ATP FH. All high level players likely developed their techniques out of triad:
- instruction;
- mimicking;
- practice.
I understand your point, but we are talking about broad technical characteristics, not stroke quality which can be achieved with many different techniques. Look at this 4-year old boy hitting some groundies. He is super talented, but I doubt he's had long years of training at 4. Look at the FH backswing, more 'wta'-like:

Now look at these adult male beginners. Actually more beginners than the kid above. Yet their FH have shorter backswing.
I know it's a small sample, but it's not like I cherry-picked these examples. I simply searched "boy practice tennis" and "adult tennis lesson" and those were the first or second search results that appeared.
 

giantschwinn

Semi-Pro
Halep is a bad example. She has since got a breast reduction. I think growing up her large bosom doesn't allow her to pad the dog.
 

Rubens

Hall of Fame
Halep is a bad example. She has since got a breast reduction. I think growing up her large bosom doesn't allow her to pad the dog.
Yes, what a sacrifice she made! Brave gal. I've always wondered though. If she gets implants after retiring, is it considered cheating?
 

Fintft

Legend
This is the best video on YouTube explaining the difference between ATP vs WTA forehands based on anatomy and biomechanics; as well as cogent reasoning why players should just use what suits their body type best. I agree it’s a topic we should put to bed forever.


Try telling this guy that keeping the elbow down/in and laying back the forearm, whilst generating arm speed through rotation around the trunk by driving with the hips is an inferior technique.

But Simona just suffered a lot b/c of her lack of pace and depth on the FH against Serena, whereas Sabalenka (Serena's previous round opponent) caused more problems for Serena using an ATP FH.
 

Dragy

Legend
Look at this 4-year old boy hitting some groundies. He is super talented, but I doubt he's had long years of training at 4.
No long years of training, but clearly enough instruction to use loop takeback with both hands on the racquet. Kids are very responsive. If you get them interested in learning things, they will get somehow proficient in no time.
 

Rubens

Hall of Fame
No long years of training, but clearly enough instruction to use loop takeback with both hands on the racquet. Kids are very responsive. If you get them interested in learning things, they will get somehow proficient in no time.
So are you saying that the racquet takeback to his left side behind him is the product of instruction? Then why do most children seem to have that kind of takeback? (I am not talking about both hands being on the racquet at takeback, but just the racquet being flopped to the nondominant side at takeback.) I still can't find an example of a child beginner who doesn't do that!


As I said in the other thread, I find it mildly intriguing that females tend to keep that tendency as they grow/advance whereas males don't.
 

Slowtwitcher

Hall of Fame
So are you saying that the racquet takeback to his left side behind him is the product of instruction? Then why do most children seem to have that kind of takeback? (I am not talking about both hands being on the racquet at takeback, but just the racquet being flopped to the nondominant side at takeback.) I still can't find an example of a child beginner who doesn't do that!


As I said in the other thread, I find it mildly intriguing that females tend to keep that tendency as they grow/advance whereas males don't.
Women's rate of force development is smaller than men's, on top of smaller maximum forces. Likely why they use racquet head paths that are longer, aka WTA forehand.
 

Dragy

Legend
So are you saying that the racquet takeback to his left side behind him is the product of instruction? Then why do most children seem to have that kind of takeback? (I am not talking about both hands being on the racquet at takeback, but just the racquet being flopped to the nondominant side at takeback.) I still can't find an example of a child beginner who doesn't do that!


As I said in the other thread, I find it mildly intriguing that females tend to keep that tendency as they grow/advance whereas males don't.
Look, there are several points to this:
- I don’t argue against taking arm farther back is first choice approach for kids and adults. Not just for racquet sports, but for throwing as well. Straight arm far back. Now it’s evidently far from being best way to throw things hard. One should get instruction and/or lots of practice to actually throw efficiently. So, again, I suppose this may be a straight-forward path a person takes when the goal is to get more power. Is it the best way to get more power while minimizing drawbacks? I doubt.

- Also, I know the laid back, supinated takeback to be coached directly. It might not have goal to develop WTA-like FH. May be an intermediary step to teach the laid back, supinated wrist and arm position for forward swing (where it’s present for all solid players). So yes, that part may also be product of coaching.

- With regard to female tendencies, I won’t drop mimicking out of equation. And latent mimicking (one done by coaches rather than players themselves). It’s been “natural” to copy Serena for someone who has associated future career with WTA tour.

PS the 2 yo boy is unbelievable, that follow-through, again, is coached - and my experience with 2 yo is that you don’t get them learn motor skills until they directly transfer into some fun activity...
 

Fintft

Legend
Look, there are several points to this:
- I don’t argue against taking arm farther back is first choice approach for kids and adults. Not just for racquet sports, but for throwing as well. Straight arm far back. Now it’s evidently far from being best way to throw things hard. One should get instruction and/or lots of practice to actually throw efficiently. So, again, I suppose this may be a straight-forward path a person takes when the goal is to get more power. Is it the best way to get more power while minimizing drawbacks? I doubt.

- Also, I know the laid back, supinated takeback to be coached directly. It might not have goal to develop WTA-like FH. May be an intermediary step to teach the laid back, supinated wrist and arm position for forward swing (where it’s present for all solid players). So yes, that part may also be product of coaching.

- With regard to female tendencies, I won’t drop mimicking out of equation. And latent mimicking (one done by coaches rather than players themselves). It’s been “natural” to copy Serena for someone who has associated future career with WTA tour.

PS the 2 yo boy is unbelievable, that follow-through, again, is coached - and my experience with 2 yo is that you don’t get them learn motor skills until they directly transfer into some fun activity...
I was thinking also about mimicking (even for adults to learn say an ATP FH), but I also agree with you on coaching (the second point).
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
What kind of forehand does Jen Brady have? I suspect WTA. Her takeback goes behind her butt. She is in the AO final.
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
Do you know why women flop their forearm back so far on the backswing of their FH? It's all in their carrying angle, which is significantly wider than men's. Look it up. Here is a picture showing the carrying angle in men vs women:


Several studies have shown that that angle is significantly wider in females, possibly to adjust to their wider hips. Now picture that arm doing a backswing for a forehand, especially with the SW grip that most ladies use. It's all science, my friends. So I don't want you to blame them ladies anymore for flopping their forearm til it points to the left fence on their FH takeback, ok? Instead, understand, and love them. Thank you. You're welcome.
Why is only the women's top masked off? Sounds like sexism. Please remove the patch and let me see what is beneath.
 

Dragy

Legend
Jen can crush a ball. Very aggressive baseliner for sure.
Was a good clash against Muchova. Karo is very smart versatile all-court player, but she clearly lacks some explosiveness to create that heat. I believe she could improve with this if she goes for physical training. But never know if it’s right investment of time and effort. However, with her great technical toolbox and high tennis IQ, physical side seems not the worst choice to focus on.
Jen meanwhile just has that explosive power and bases her game thereon. With great modern techniques as well.

Good players on female tour nowadays, fun to watch. Players win, not techniques...
 

ChaelAZ

G.O.A.T.
Good players on female tour nowadays, fun to watch. Players win, not techniques...
I've said how much more I enjoyed WTA tennis the last few years over ATP, with Fedal era marching on and all the hype next gen failing. Things are getting a little more interesting there, but I still love the variety of play on the WTA side, and the competitive leveling there.
 
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