What sets great tennis strokes apart from mediocre tennis strokes ? How come someone like Justine Henin at roughly 5 feet 6 inches and 125 lbs. can hit the ball just as hard as some of the much bigger and stronger players on the WTA Tour ? The answer can be found in the kinetic chain.
My Video Tip On The Kinetic Chain
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Power in tennis is generated through all the different body parts/segments working together as a chain or linkage system!
This is why you can see body builders on the tennis court that cannot hit the ball very hard. A strong arm alone does not do much for you in terms of power. In fact most of the power on ground strokes comes from the lower body!
Have a close look at this video of a 14-year old student of mine showing great use of the kinetic chain in a forehand. Try to see how he winds up and unwinds all of the body segments!
You can see that he pre-stretches the legs by bending them, he pre-stretches the hips and shoulders by turning the upper body and then he unwinds everything into the shot.
Mastering this process is how a 14-year old boy
can hit the ball incredibly hard!
Trust me, you do not want to play against him! Also try and pay attention to the sound when he hits the ball. If you have been around Tennis long enough, you can actually hear the difference between great and mediocre tennis shots. Great strokes have a certain look and sound to it that experts can recognize very quickly.
With the kinetic chain, energy is stored and transferred from one body part to the next. This energy accumulates and is transferred into the hitting arm just before contact with the ball. The muscles of the individual body parts are pre-stretched and then released.
You can imagine this like a rubber band winding and unwinding!
This winding and unwinding of the individual body parts then has to be timed well so that all the segments work together in perfect order. If you master the kinetic chain, you will be able to hit the ball hard and consistent!
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In my upcoming video series I will show you step by step how you can master the kinetic chain and get all the important body segments working together to develop great strokes!