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Thread: The free arm

  1. #1
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    The free arm

    What do people here do with their free arm while hitting a forehand? In particular, I am curious what the free arm does when the follow through is level with the free arm as opposed to shoulder height.

  2. #2
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    I kind of have my hand like it's setting on a table as I start my swing. When I finish my arm is a bit behind me. I actually never thought about it until this topic but Federer and Nadal both bring their free arm across their body's a bit.
    Last edited by clock-; 02-04-2010 at 02:04 AM.

  3. #3
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    That makes sense - for balance. I'm guessing your arm drops a little too. When you say Fed and Nadal bring the arm acroos, which way do you mean?

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    Looks like, as in a serve, you keep it bent and close to your body to ALLOW your body to pivot, or spin thru the ball for a longer followthru.
    I know in the old days, lots of EFH players extended the oft hand straight towards the target, before, during, and after the ball strike.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by clock- View Post
    wow, their free arm follows very similar paths. and it kind of looks like their arm comes into their body.

    Quote Originally Posted by LeeD View Post
    Looks like, as in a serve, you keep it bent and close to your body to ALLOW your body to pivot, or spin thru the ball for a longer followthru.
    I know in the old days, lots of EFH players extended the oft hand straight towards the target, before, during, and after the ball strike.
    ok, that coincides with the video clock provided.

    now what would be the advantage in keeping the arm extended toward the ball the whole time?

  7. #7
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    An extended arm tends to stabilize the body, limiting spin axis or twist, so the groundstroke should be more consistent.
    Downside, less power and slow swingspeed!
    Since modern tennis is all about hitting out, swingspeed, and spin over ball pace, using a free arm OUT away from your body would retro you back to 1975.

  8. #8
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    I assume we are talking forehand here. The free arm should be across the body with the initial turn to really get the shoulder turn and then it tucks itself close to the body and out of the way just like a quarterback throwing a pass. It helps to balance the body and the racquet should come back to or at least close to the free hand in the follow through. It's mainly for balance and stability. Elbow low and hand high. It is a good reference point because you want to keep that free hand up and near the shoulder and head so that your follow through finishes up around the neck. Especially with today's western and semi-western grips. LeeD mentioned the older way of doing it and that tended to be when the continental and more conservative eastern forehand grip were the main ways of hitting the forehand. If you hit those style of older forehands, that is completely acceptable.....

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    Quote Originally Posted by LeeD View Post
    An extended arm tends to stabilize the body, limiting spin axis or twist, so the groundstroke should be more consistent.
    Downside, less power and slow swingspeed!
    Since modern tennis is all about hitting out, swingspeed, and spin over ball pace, using a free arm OUT away from your body would retro you back to 1975.
    Quote Originally Posted by tennisking1 View Post
    I assume we are talking forehand here. The free arm should be across the body with the initial turn to really get the shoulder turn and then it tucks itself close to the body and out of the way just like a quarterback throwing a pass. It helps to balance the body and the racquet should come back to or at least close to the free hand in the follow through. It's mainly for balance and stability. Elbow low and hand high. It is a good reference point because you want to keep that free hand up and near the shoulder and head so that your follow through finishes up around the neck. Especially with today's western and semi-western grips. LeeD mentioned the older way of doing it and that tended to be when the continental and more conservative eastern forehand grip were the main ways of hitting the forehand. If you hit those style of older forehands, that is completely acceptable.....
    very interesting stuff. thanks. so the initial reason the arms comes out is for depth perception. then it stays out for balance or folds into the swing behind the racquet-wielding arm for power.

    TK, i would imagine you use the modern method. how about you Lee?

  10. #10
    On my forehand, i keep the left hand on the grip until my swing is all the way back (Just like a two handed forehand). Then i release the hand and let it follow trough.
    This makes my forehand so much stabler then when i had my left hand on the left side of my body.

    Maybe a bit odd technique but I'm odd so that owns and it works for me! xD

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    Quote Originally Posted by Erik View Post
    On my forehand, i keep the left hand on the grip until my swing is all the way back (Just like a two handed forehand). Then i release the hand and let it follow trough.
    This makes my forehand so much stabler then when i had my left hand on the left side of my body.

    Maybe a bit odd technique but I'm odd so that owns and it works for me! xD
    well everybody is a little different. as long as you have confidence in the motion and maybe some patience and rhythm, you're good to go.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Erik View Post
    On my forehand, i keep the left hand on the grip until my swing is all the way back (Just like a two handed forehand). Then i release the hand and let it follow trough.
    This makes my forehand so much stabler then when i had my left hand on the left side of my body.

    Maybe a bit odd technique but I'm odd so that owns and it works for me! xD
    It is fine to take the racquet back and keep your hand either on the throat or the grip. I recommend taking the racquet back with the free arm so that you get a good shoulder turn. When you let go is what he are talking about on this post. That free arm should pull out of the way so your chest muscles can elongate. As for the take back, definitely use it to take the racquet back......

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by tennisking1 View Post
    It is fine to take the racquet back and keep your hand either on the throat or the grip. I recommend taking the racquet back with the free arm so that you get a good shoulder turn. When you let go is what he are talking about on this post. That free arm should pull out of the way so your chest muscles can elongate. As for the take back, definitely use it to take the racquet back......
    Okey, nice to hear some support about it, thanks guys.
    About the shoulder turn. Is that why it works so good for me? Because when i don't keep my hand on the racquet the forehand it's a whole different hit, i do mostly get over topspin and bad length without it on.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Erik View Post
    Okey, nice to hear some support about it, thanks guys.
    About the shoulder turn. Is that why it works so good for me? Because when i don't keep my hand on the racquet the forehand it's a whole different hit, i do mostly get over topspin and bad length without it on.
    i bet it's just what you're accustomed to doing. changing your ways and doing something the first time or even tenth time will never be as good as what you've practiced.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Erik View Post
    Okey, nice to hear some support about it, thanks guys.
    About the shoulder turn. Is that why it works so good for me? Because when i don't keep my hand on the racquet the forehand it's a whole different hit, i do mostly get over topspin and bad length without it on.
    I'm a righty, but sometimes play left-handed with lower level players or beginners, just for fun. Since I have a 2-handed backhand, I can do a lefty forehand. If I use my right hand to push the racquet back, and keep it on the racquet for as long as I can, I get a great lefty forehand. If not, it is a weak one. I think it's the shoulder turn that goes with keeping the off hand on the racquet for as long as possible that makes the difference for me.

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