Forehand power and control

December 2, 2014 10:00 am

Playing a forehand with a biomechanical technique is important so that you can hit harder, with more spin at the same time as you reduce your chances of getting injured. Follow me out on court and I will show you what I mean. When you are playing with the correct biomechanical technique there are three concepts you should be familiar with. The first one is your weight transfer. Move your weight towards the direction you are hitting when playing a forehand. It could look like this when using straight stance and then step-in. I am moving my weight from my back leg to the front leg. Then I rotate around with a step-in. If I stand with a half open stance I have got my weight on the back foot hit the ball and move my weight forwards to my right foot. This is a good example of weight transfer. It is important to combine your weight transfer with your body rotation. If you can do this, your racket will move further towards the goal. It will go straight towards the goal, which will give you better timing and speed in your forehand. Your body rotation could look like this. You turn your upper body so that you can look over your shoulder. When you have finished your swing, you should be able to look over your other shoulder. Then you are rotating more than 180 degrees. Weight transfer in combination with body rotation will make you hit clean forehands with lots of speed. The third concept you should be familiar with is your vertical work. Your vertical work from the bottom up, when you play with topspin and from the top to bottom when you play with slice. A forehand could look like this with your vertical work from the bottom up. I bend my knees and rise while I hit. A sliced forehand can look like this. I start high and swing downwards, at the same time I bend my knees and finish lower. There are two forces going down. Weight transfer, body rotation and vertical work are three concepts to be familiar with. I also want to speak briefly about the moment of inertia. This will also help you get more rotation power in your swing. When I take back my racket, I use a circular swing that is divided into two parts. I take back my racket like this and reach out with my left arm like this. The left arm is in line with the baseline. Then I direct the left arm forwards and rotate. In this situation I am static. I am big and then I become small and then finally big again. I am big then I become small and then finally big again. This can resemble figure skaters. When making a pirouette they are first big, then bring their arms in towards the body before spinning. If I am static here and swing with force, I can achieve a lot of speed in my forehand. The racket speed will increase during impact. You saw that I got so much power that I spun around. This is not good, since I cannot get the power in the right direction. I need to stop this rotation somehow. In order to stop the rotation I use a forward motion and counter movement. It can look like this. I stretch out, stretch forward and with my left arm I accomplish a forward motion. I will start my swing this way and get high racket speed. I have to stop this rotation so I don’t lose control. To stop the acceleration, I use my feet. I have a straight stance and then I use a step-in to stop the rotation. This is how I could look. Here I finish the rotation. It can look like this when I hit a forehand with semi-open stance. Here I stop the rotation. Amplify the rotation and the forces by using moment of inertia. Use a forward motion in your forehand. To summarize playing a forehand with a biomechanically correct technique, you should be familiar with these three concepts. Weight transfer: transfer your weight towards the direction you are hitting. Combine your weight transfer with body rotation. Look over your shoulder and after you finish your swing look over the other shoulder. That way you have a good body rotation. Combining your weight transfer with your rotation will give you a good contact, since the racket will travel further through the ball. In order to increase your spin, it is important to have good vertical work. From the bottom up when playing with topspin and from top to bottom when playing slice. I spoke about moment of inertia and forward and counter motion. Unfortunately, amateurs tend to have a counter motion in their forehand. You see how my left arm is in the way. I spoke about forward motion using the left arm that will help you rotate and give you speed. Practice these three concepts, hit your forehand using a biomechanical technique and become a better tennis player.

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