Double-Bend Forehand (role of the wrist)

by  |  earlier

0 LIKES UnLike




  1.  I'll address a couple of problems here:

    Firstly, the wrist is a joint... if you're going to use your joint to move, rather speak properly and consider the hand or the forearm.

    Secondly, What you read on the internet about the so-called wrist action is probably a nice pile of confused ramblings people put on because they have been told that it's right. Of course, they have not bothered checking out or thinking before they did since they relied on a tennis pro or coach - like experience alone does not provide knowledge! I'll put those pieces back into place further down.

    Thirdly, you do not need a bent elbow to perform a WW forehand; Federer, Nadal and Verdasco are professional - and very good ones - examples of the use of a straight arm in a windshield wiper action. You certainly understand that a theory such as his which is not coherent with reality by matter of facts can't be understood as correct; there are missing elements in his explanations which would provide sense to those very powerful forehands we see around. Further, I am a tennis player and I use a straight arm forehand over 90% of the time, like all of those 3 players do, so even an amateur can do it and I'll teach you how.


    Let's start with the beginning: what is a WW forehand? It's a forehand which encompasses a full body rotation and derives its power from a relaxed upward driven action; such a forehand thence culminate in a forearm pronation as the arm comes across one's body during the follow-through, producing this rounder shaped action - up and down - whence the name of windshield wiper. Professional players, let it be said, use it between 80 to 90% of the time; all forehands left from the baseline are reversed forehands a.k.a Nadal's favourite shot finishing over the head. A single exception remains on very low balls; you may see a pro not following through exactly the same way if he bears a very conservative grip and uses it as an approach and he may also use some sliced forehands to lift up the ball when he charges the net, but those might not occur once in a month.

    Now that you bear in mind an idea of what it is, you'll get to know what produces this follow-through and what to do with your arm to get it right with power. This movement is related to which priorly set the action going and is predicable to the MANNER in which you racket has been brought up to the ball. In simple terms, the angles of attack in all three dimensions is what forces you to get your forearm pronating - that is the movement which allows you to force your palm to face the ground - and continuing around your body. Once you understand that you can't just line up any forehand action and trigger the WW ending afterward, you get to know what is important to produce it properly. That is about a very few things: it has to do with the position of your hand in relation to your forearm, the grip you use and most of the important phase of a classical forehand.

    The wrist - YES, the wrist! - will play an important role as your whole motion will rely onto this little joint to work at full pace properly. However, biologically speaking, we should say that you are placing your hand and using your forearm to do so. A professional tennis player is seen to have its racket at an angle from his forearm and this is what coaches call the "laid back wrist"; basically, as you move your racket forward to swing up to the ball, you let your hand loose and it will, as the name exposes, catch up your arm later in the swing, being left behind. Now, the manner in which you will do it will depend on the type of motion you use and this will itself be predicable to your racket grip. If you are stuck with an Eastern grip, you have no possible choice but to hit it "a la Federer", with the elbow extended. Your wrist allows hand movement and, on the intensity of potential movement, relies the Windshield wiper forehand; if you can't get your racket head at the right place and time, it won't work. Hitting an Eastern grip forehand is much like hitting the ball with your palm; if you have not yet realized, your hand can't get up and down much on a karate chop-like action - that is pulling your hand up or pushing it down without moving any other body part with the fingers perpendicular to the ground. You'll notice quickly that if you have an Eastern grip, that's the only up and down action you get; try and use a double bend right by your side and the result is a racket pointing the sky at an angle. However, if you start it by your side, aligned with your body, and constantly try to get your racket in the right position, you'll notice that as your arm gets straight and away from you, you can adjust your hand position more and more properly, with an increasingly relaxed forearm. So, if you use that grip, you'll get to hit just as you were used to, but with a different manner to bring the racket there and end your swing. That's compulsory. But, there are also other grips, like the semi-western, western and any hybrid combination of any of all of those three grips. They all allow a double bent as well as a straight arm forehand...


    But you may ask yourself if all those videos and lines were right: does the wrist moves? Not really. The idea of leaving your wrist behind is to create a lag and a form of tension; you do not a properly spoken use it. However, when you follow-through properly and have swung up with enough force, it appears to they eye as if you were using pretty wristy forehands, although it wasn't the case. Your coach is probably an experienced player, not a biologist or bio-mechanical engineer and the least does he seem to be a philosopher; he just passed on the impression he had to explain as well as he could what happens, but, as I tried to tell you, experience alone doesn't make knowledge... of course, if he can't get this impression with you, there's a problem with your motion. Relax your joints a bit and let it go where it has to go. I could expose my thoughts and make you a demonstration of why and how we can't consider an experienced player to be a good coach, but I've already been quite long here, so...

    Finally, I told you that I would betray the secrets of the straight arm forehand. It's fairly simple. As players take their racket back, you'll notice it's mostly up, straight. From that point, they all drop it, but a few players do an extra movement as they drop it down: they supinate their forearm. Supination is the opposite of pronation: you use the muscles which would turn your palm toward the sky. This compels their arm to extend to retain a loosened state... Yes, even an amateur can do it. Don't worry about it if you can use a double-bend, it's fine too.

    A WW forehands takes time to practise as your constantly on the verge to frame the ball; it takes much more motor skills and coordination to perform than a traditional forehand. However, you'll be rewarded by a much greater energy transfer; more spin, more pace - a better and safer shot; the best of both worlds.

Question Stats

Latest activity: earlier.
This question has 1 answers.


Share your knowledge and help people by answering questions.