Increasing flexibility of the chest and shoulders regions of the upper body will aid in improving range of motion. This in turn can help improve one's power on the serve. Improving the strength in the chest, external and internal rotators of the shoulders, and latissimus dorsi can also be helpful if one desires a more powerful serve.
Learning to "Feel" for certain cues during technique is important in understanding triggers that lead to a desired result such as balance, spin, or power etc. In today's instructional we we will focus on one cue "to feel for" that aids in greater external rotation of the shoulder and in turn increases one's internal rotation range of motion, allowing for greater opportunity to generate what everyone craves on the serve...MORE POWER while at the same time reducing injury potential. (Wilk, 2012)
Studies have shown that over half (54.2% based on one study) of your serve racquet speed comes from upper arm internal rotation and over 31% comes from hand flexion which in layman's terms is wrist snap (Elliott, Marshall, Guillermo, 1995) uh...that is 85% of serve racquet speed generation...pretty much the entire ball of wax.. wow...that's some powerful data.
Logic would then state if one desires to improve serve racquet speed one might be compelled to increase their ability to facilitate greater internal rotation and hand flexion.
Therefore the opposite movement of the shoulder (external rotation) and the hand (extension) should be maximized as well as this also aids in facilitating greater internal rotation and hand extension through creating greater distance (Range of Motion) from the racquet drop to ball impact...which in turn allows for more time to generate racquet speed....do you have the visual yet?!
Today's Serve Technique Instructional Key Terms
Internal Rotation of the Shoulder:
The internal rotators of the shoulder are muscles attaching to the humerus that internally rotate the arm.
Flexion refers to a movement that decreases the angle between two body parts and in this case the body parts are the hand and wrist...bending the palm down towards the wrist.
Click the button below to check out the tennis instruction video on how you can get more power by achieving this one reference point...a power domino effect occurs if you do...
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1. Wilk KE, Macrina LC, Cain EL, Dugas JR, Andrews JR. Rehabilitation of the Overhead Athlete’s Elbow. Sports Health. 2012;4(5):404-414.
Bruce C. Elliott, Robert N. Marshall, and Guillermo J. Noffal Journal of Applied Biomechanics 1995 11:4, 433-442