What muscles are key to hitting big forehands?

Chas Tennis

G.O.A.T.
Let's wait until we have some specific information and cut and paste it on another appropriate thread.

As long as the OP gives a thought to the stretch shortening cycle and conditioning for SSC, the microscopic Sarcomere details can wait, I think, until future research resolves what is going on.
 
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julian

Hall of Fame
I assume that you know

Let's wait until we have some specific information and cut and paste it on another appropriate thread.

As long as the OP gives a thought to the stretch shortening cycle and conditioning for SSC, the microscopic Sarcomere details can wait, I think, until future research resolves what is going on.
https://www.researchgate.net/publication/51626286_Is_titin_a_'winding_filament'_A_new_twist_on_muscle_contraction
https://www.researchgate.net/publication/51867476_What_is_the_role_of_titin_in_active_muscle
http://www.jbiomech.com/article/S0021-9290(13)00343-6/abstract
http://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-1-4614-5465-6_6
 
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agradina

New User
We can make some logical conclusion just watching the best atp players. For example roger federer , young players have normal arms usually, with some forearm developement mostly for stabilizing the racquet at impact , but absolutely all players from young to older have strong abdominis so its clear that the primary source of power is not arms,otherwise all of them will have storngbuilders arms.Also u can see that in practice a lot of heavy fast balls are send with small effort from legs but using a complete core rotation and just let the racquet go trough.So probably the most important muscle for generating easy power against the ball is the CORE muscles and rotation from right to left or viceversa.
But its also true that the core rotation can be even more eficient if its conected in a kinetic chain from legs to the wrist involving almost all the muscles of human body .The fluidity of this kinetic chains is wat generates efortless powers and capability of hiting the ball powerful and much more eficient than a player that is using only a part of his muscles.
 

Chas Tennis

G.O.A.T.
We can make some logical conclusion just watching the best atp players. For example roger federer , young players have normal arms usually, with some forearm developement mostly for stabilizing the racquet at impact , but absolutely all players from young to older have strong abdominis so its clear that the primary source of power is not arms,otherwise all of them will have storngbuilders arms.Also u can see that in practice a lot of heavy fast balls are send with small effort from legs but using a complete core rotation and just let the racquet go trough.So probably the most important muscle for generating easy power against the ball is the CORE muscles and rotation from right to left or viceversa.
But its also true that the core rotation can be even more eficient if its conected in a kinetic chain from legs to the wrist involving almost all the muscles of human body .The fluidity of this kinetic chains is wat generates efortless powers and capability of hiting the ball powerful and much more eficient than a player that is using only a part of his muscles.
Djokovic is slender and Simon is very slender. To me this suggests that strength - that is defined by producing active force with Actin & Myosin and might increase visible muscle size - is not necessarily the only important source of stroke force. Titin is the elastic part of the sarcomere. It is in each sarcomere just like the Actin & Myosin. Titin has the structure of a thin filament with kinks, it may not contribute to muscle size. Consider also how the elastic part of the muscles is contributing to the strokes.

The abdominal muscles seem very important. The legs rotate the pelvis through the hips and the pelvis rotates everything above. I don't understand the many muscles of the spine and how much they contribute to turning the uppermost body. The abdominal muscle are easier to understand from their drawings.
 
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zaph

Professional
I am not sure the answer to this is simple. I am 5' 6", weigh 140 pounds soaking wet, yet I have one of the bigger forehands in my club. I can certainly hit it harder that a lot of players who are bigger and stronger than me. So I suspect it has a lot to do with technique.

My other guess is it is it is like the difference between a sprinter and a distance runner. A sprinter uses fast twitch muscles, an endurance runner doesn't. It could be the composition of your muscles has as much to do with it as their size.
 

Chas Tennis

G.O.A.T.
@agradina @zaph @Chas Tennis

Just an FYI (in case you hadn't noticed)... the OP has not been around here at all in 3+ years. And the last person who posted in this thread back in 2015, unexpectedly passed away in 2016.
I usually check the dates and did notice the date on the OP.

But I did not notice that it was Julian who wrote the last 2015 post. I miss him on the forum. He was coming up with interesting stuff. It looks like we had some discussions in 2015 in this thread.
 

pencilcheck

Professional
Dunno why revive old threads but to respond for future readers: Do more medicine ball exercise, it would help there is a reason all high level performance coach mention and encourage doing this exercise.

Also didn't expect someone responded to this thread died, that is weird to think about.
 
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mtommer

Hall of Fame
What muscles are key.....?
Muscles aren't the key. If you want to hit "bigger" shots, develop footwork and timing. Hit hundreds of thousands or millions of balls against a wall/board or with a hitting partner. No matter how much work you do in the gym, it will never compensate for the afore mentioned two essentials.
 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
Muscles aren't the key. If you want to hit "bigger" shots, develop footwork and timing. Hit hundreds of thousands or millions of balls against a wall/board or with a hitting partner. No matter how much work you do in the gym, it will never compensate for the afore mentioned two essentials.
He can't hear you. He's been out of the building for quite some time now.
 

Curiosity

Professional
I was kind of amazed at the guy that Matt played last year I think (he posted a video). I think that he weighed 140 pounds but he's in the top 1,000. I guess that muscles aren't everything. I think that they are important but there are certainly other factors that can result in tennis success.
Wish I had saved a link, but: Recent research on forehand velocity showed that strength was not very important. Form is what delivers it. The sequence of muscle actions in correct coiling and uncoiling, together with synchronized timing of actions which support each other in the forward swing, were the key. Having seen Goffin beat well-muscled and much taller players makes me a believer.
 

tlm

G.O.A.T.
If you watch a pro forehand in slow motion they usually come off the ground slightly. So what I see is they combine pushing up and rotating together, so yes they use their legs, core and shoulders in just the right order.

Which is difficult to master and that’s why most rec players use too much arm. They do have an overdeveloped forearm on their racket arm but I think that’s due to gripping a racket for so many hours over their career.
 
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agradina

New User
Also i would like to add a observation that if u have for example powerful legs but no core power u would be able to hit with power but u will have less spin and control , because u wouldnt be able to coup the ball rotate her fast against the spin efect and put in her ur own spin all this by plow-trowing the ball to give the heaviness which all of this came from ur core .The power leg are more for initial effort to lift the racquet from the ground against gravitation to impact but during the impact and after ur core will do the most important job.Also the efort from ur core is more sustainable and smaler than effort make from ur legs i to deliver a powerful forehand so its much more practical to develop core more than legs.Watch how fast and heavy are the rally from practice between atp player just using their core and their feet barely pushing up the ground.
 

StringSnapper

Hall of Fame
Thiem has a bigger ass than the girls on instagram, does that answer your question?

But in all seriousness, being able to train this I dont know. Theres a product online called the "power flail" that looks interesting. Because it seems the power move is essentially thrusting the hips violently in a horizontal plane.

In saying this - is power really the problem? I'd say the problem is more about being apply to apply and control that power to actually keep the ball in, most of the time anyway for an adult man.
 
It is all technique and timing. Unless you are trying to make your living at tennis, correct strokes and the repetition of those strokes will provide all of the strength you need.
 

Sweets3450

New User
Have somebody feed you 200 high forehands in the middle of the court and hit them as hard as you can. You'll get tired before you're half way. Finish the entire basket. With good technique, your legs, abs, forearm, lungs, everything will be burning. Do more sets if you can. Rest and recover, repeat this dozens and dozens of times. Your forehand will be much more powerful as your muscles get stronger and as your body learns and figures out how to be more efficient with the stroke while tired. Try to get away from this forum and its suggestion to watch videos. Get a coach and if you can't, get out on the court and train hard and focused. Hard work is how you get power.
 

lwto

Hall of Fame
Rotating your hips around and forward.. letting your arms sling shot through the ball... works for back hands, forehands, overheads and serves.
 

GuyClinch

Legend
So wrapping this up, your contention is that the muscles in the forearm are a significant source of power on a modern fh.

Then we shall agree to disagree.

This. Problem with forearms are big theory is that muscles contract while holding position or resisting impact. For example the calves can be well developed in a larger person simply because they deal with the impact of each step. They can be developed on a ballet dancer because they area always on their toes - not because the calves power the dancer..

In short if you play alot of tennis you will develop a bigger forearm. This doesn't mean the forearm is power the stroke..
 

bjk

Hall of Fame
Agassi hit his biggest forehands when he was a 150 pounder. The forehand seems to disappear early in a lot of careers. Roddick and Ryan Harrison come to mind as players that never got their forehand back.
 

GuyClinch

Legend
Roddick still hit big forehands.. if you looking at MPH. Almost all pro men have massive forehands..

I think of it like this - there is some maximum potential you get get with technique and your current build - and you can increase your general power through training.

But most people are like at only 30% of their potential power in match play - so technique is far more useful then building muscles for most players. But its actually worse then this - many players are not even hitting out yet - aka they are swinging at what they feel a comfortable speed - the swing extra slow to not send the ball long! So they purposely limit their power.

Assuming OP is not at that stage and at least swings out - then most players can put out a ton more pace and spin just by improving technique.. Pros OTOH are much closer to perfect technique and already hit like at 80 or 90 percent of their potential. So they can benefit from general increases in power and strength to move up their overall power.
 

5263

G.O.A.T.
Well, look at it this way.

If you watch the famous coach Robert Lansdorp video on the Tennis Channel, he talks about his belief that the shoulder rotation is the biggest key to power in contrast to some other coaches who advocate the hip rotation.
Generally, this is just a limited understand of the K-Chain...Lansdorp may get it or maybe not, but you can't get great shoulder rotation without the hips doing their part, but in-turn, the hips can't do it with poor shoulder action to drive.
 

5263

G.O.A.T.
Roddick still hit big forehands.. if you looking at MPH. Almost all pro men have massive forehands..
...................................................

- the swing extra slow to not send the ball long! So they purposely limit their power.

Assuming OP is not at that stage and at least swings out - then most players can put out a ton more pace and spin just by improving technique.. Pros OTOH are much closer to perfect technique and already hit like at 80 or 90 percent of their potential. So they can benefit from general increases in power and strength to move up their overall power.
yes, but even the pros avg only a hitting 60-70% of their max and only push to 85% or so when they really T one up.
 

GuyClinch

Legend
yes, but even the pros avg only a hitting 60-70% of their max and only push to 85% or so when they really T one up.
Oh I agree - those numbers are about right. That's why I tried to clarify that what I meant by swinging out is swinging at good comfortable level thats say 60% of your max power and still keep the ball in play. If you can't do this its not that helpful to worry about swinging faster - because you are not going to use it. But maybe that's not the best phrase to use..

Anyway don't mean to derail the thread.. OP wants to know about muscles - I think general strength does help - especially in the legs and hips. All things being equal a stronger player will hit with more energy. But even at the pro level its technique that matters more because their is so much room for improvement there.

I don't play much golf but I feel its kind of the same. Where having good technique is enough for someone small to outdrive someone bigger and stronger (assuming we factor in accuracy).. The long range champions though seem to be pretty big guy. Once you get the technique down then size matters.
 

acintya

Legend
Core rotation and loose arms.

Some time ago, I suffered a calf injury. I should have stopped playing immediately but wanted to finish the match (doubles).

Since I could not run around, I decided to just crush every ball.

I couldn't load on the injured leg, so most of my power simply came from core rotation. But boy, was I crushing the ball. Hit lots of winners that day.
this - core rotation is the most important thing, and that you stay loose. Jimmy Connors used only his core to drive a heavy racquet. If he would use his arm muscles he would have been tired so fast.
 
The most important thing is the arm. Yeah core and hips are important too but I have seen a test with a baseball pitcher who got about 80% of his max velo with no stride and fixed hips and still like 60% just with the arm and no shoulder turn.

There also is a video of kyrgios serving bombs with just a bit of body turn and mostly arm.

That doesn't mean leg and hip drive isn't important as those last 25 mph you gain from the legs make a big difference at the highest level but this 80% comes from the legs and core and the arm is just along for the ride is probably BS. Federer could probably hit a 70 mph forehand with minimal shoulder turn even though that wouldn't be very economical
 

GuyClinch

Legend
By arm I think its mostly internal and external shoulder rotation.. Pros can use ESR and ISR to hit serves in at 70-80 or so miles per hour. But those muscles are fairly small so not sure you can get that much more out of them with training. So I think most throwing athletes instead train the large muscles to enhance the power generated by those small muscles.
 
I think it is really both ISR but also horizontal adduction and flexion. Those muscles also tend to be the same (pec, delt) with the exception of the lat. In the swing the arm does those 3 moves which are the main drivers. Still of course you still want to use legs and core
 
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