The Forehand Backswing – Tennis Technique Fundamentals (How-To)

by | May 18, 2018 | Blog, Technique | 0 comments

What is up athletes you are here because you believe that you can achieve greatness with our three words: learn, apply, and win. In today’s video, we’re going to be answering the question:

What do you do on the forehand backswing?

Let’s go.  


There are three main reasons why you need a solid backswing in your forehand. The first reason is that you need to load all of your prime muscle movers, your legs your hips and your shoulders, all to be able to get into the proper position in the acceleration phase. Secondly, you need to start generating racket head speed in this position. And third but certainly not least you need to set the racket up in the perfect optimal position for contact.  

Step by Step Tutorial

First things first you need a solid split step and first step. There are three main ways to split step but I’ll have Daytri cover that in another video and I’ll link it down in the description below. We’re going be breaking down the backswing into two phases – the initial unit turn and the actual backswing of the racket head. The reason why this is important is that a lot of players tend to you know take their racket independently or actually start a backswing with their arm instead of their entire body. To start your initial unit turn you’re going to want to turn your hips and your shoulders about 45 degrees which would point you roughly at the net pole. Your racket would naturally move with your body and you want to keep your off-arm hand on your racket because otherwise, you’ll be doing a lot of unstable movement like some players do on the tour. After your initial unit turn, you’re going want to release your off-hand off the racket more or less than when your racket is about above head level then afterward you’re going to start straightening your off arm until it’s parallel to the baseline. With your hitting arm, you’re going to want to do a slight external rotation with your shoulder right around where your hand is at shoulder level. Then your body continues to turn until your chest is parallel to the sideline. Here, you want to make sure that you’re turning your shoulders more than your hips because you don’t want to over-rotate if you over rotate you’re not actually eliciting your external obliques these muscles right here and you won’t create as much power as you can.  

Over-Rotation Drill

If you are suffering from over-rotation in your forehand one drill is to sit down and rotate because what this will do is prohibit your hips from moving with your shoulders and you can see how much turn you can do.  

Elbow Position

So now let’s talk about the elbow position the position of your elbow will determine the size of your backswing if you’re higher and away from your body think them or Gonzales then you’re most likely going to have a noticeably larger backswing and because of that you’re going to need to start your backswing sooner to meet the contact point for a compact backswing your elbow is much closer to your body. Think Agassi or Federer. Regardless of your backswing, a key note that you want to remember is that your elbow never goes behind your hitting arm shoulder because if you do it will stretch your chest muscles and result in much less control.

Swing Curve

so the racket moves in three dimensions along the vertical and the horizontal axis if you look at it from the side you’ll see that the racket goes up and then down. You’ll also see that it goes backward; hence the name a back swing from the front view the racket will straighten away from your body and stay on the hitting arm side of your body.  


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