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Forehand whip question

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    Posted: 03/27/2018 at 10:13pm
I was wondering  about the forehand snap at the end of the forehand topspin stroke. I see online advice telling you to contract your arm muscles just before the contact to develop a faster swing. However it seems the arm snap happens naturally when the forward movement of the shoulder stops causing the forearm to snap without any thought of contraction. Am I right?
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zeio View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote zeio Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/27/2018 at 10:39pm
Yup. You're on the right track. Let inertia take over once you've started your swing. The issue with many people having trouble mastering the loop stroke has to do with coordination in which various parts of the body gets fired off in quick succession. Many of them exert uncoordinated force throughout the entire body during the swing, when in fact there should be stages of acceleration. That's why many of them look stiff.

Edited by zeio - 03/27/2018 at 10:42pm
Viscaria FL - 91g
+ Neo H3 2.15 Blk - 44.5g(55.3g uncut bare)
+ Hexer HD 2.1 Red - 49.3g(68.5g 〃 〃)
= 184.8g
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote maurice101 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/27/2018 at 11:24pm
So right leg fires right hip forward first causes right shoulder to move forward causing arm to straighten in backswing due to slight lag between forward rotation and arm movement which then starts forward arm swing. Shoulder stops and fires whip action of arm. Sort of correct??
A faster hip movement leads to a more explosive  faster racket stroke.
I am starting to feel the acceleration though the stroke when I get it more correct.


Edited by maurice101 - 03/27/2018 at 11:26pm
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zeio View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote zeio Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/27/2018 at 11:59pm
Yep, that's how the principle goes.

In biomechanics, it's called the kinetic link(also kinetic chain), where the distal segments are accelerated by proximal segments.

In layman's terms, the objective is to get the racket moving as fast as you can. So your goal is to figure out a way to make the best use of your body.

Edited by zeio - 03/28/2018 at 12:00am
Viscaria FL - 91g
+ Neo H3 2.15 Blk - 44.5g(55.3g uncut bare)
+ Hexer HD 2.1 Red - 49.3g(68.5g 〃 〃)
= 184.8g
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tom View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tom Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/28/2018 at 10:08am
Originally posted by zeio zeio wrote:

Yup. You're on the right track. Let inertia take over once you've started your swing. The issue with many people having trouble mastering the loop stroke has to do with coordination in which various parts of the body gets fired off in quick succession. Many of them exert uncoordinated force throughout the entire body during the swing, when in fact there should be stages of acceleration. That's why many of them look stiff.

are you saying no added forearm contraction on any kind just before it snaps
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote opinari Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/28/2018 at 10:56am
Just to throw my two cents out there, I think that's right.

However, you shouldn't keep your forearm from contracting if it's naturally closing - your "snap" is just a natural added motion in line with where your legs, body and upper arm have already taken your swing.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote patelaaaa Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/28/2018 at 11:41am
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tyCTDQRkPHo

Forehand whip lesson


Edited by patelaaaa - 03/28/2018 at 11:44am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tom Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/28/2018 at 11:58am
Originally posted by patelaaaa patelaaaa wrote:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tyCTDQRkPHo

Forehand whip lesson

good video, but his student has no snap of his forearm, so it doesn't address the OP question on the snap
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Leshxa Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/28/2018 at 1:23pm
In my experience, I always had large strokes and had no problems having a big swing, but had a ton of problems with shortening the stroke when playing closer to the table. The biggest issue is not blowing away the winners, but staying in the rally. 

So for technique, I guess there is no perfect answer. Closer the table, you can't use straight arm as often especially on topspin ball - no time. So you need a shorter stroke. In a shorter stroke, which is what I am working on now, there is a need to better use the forearm.

Perhaps folks can post their videos of "winner shots" vs "rally shots". And its probably best to show both "training" and "match" examples. I think that will be interesting for all forum members. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote maurice101 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/28/2018 at 4:16pm
I am working on this issue too. If I lacked body rotation my stroke would always go across the body. Now if I do a full rotation I do not go across the body. (except in games at times!!) But my question is how to do a shorter stroke where you do not have time to do a full rotation. (Return of serves) I think for me the key could be the forehand snap issue. If the shoulder stops its forward motion somewhat the forearm can slow down its swing allowing the arm to snap naturally without effort.  So in a shorter stroke perhaps the key is a explosive short forward movement of the shoulder from explosive hip movement that then slows the shoulder forward motion? So the elbow is more out from the side of the body at the end of the stroke rather than across body.
I had a lesson with a top coach last week and he talked about the importance of the shoulder movement in the forehand. He said we all look at the arm but the body and shoulder movement is the thing to focus on. He said if you got time increase the back swing and straightening the arm whip motion at the end of the backswing. Less time less backswing, less straightening arm.
Then my question is why is a straight arm forehand that lacks this whip is more powerful? I looked at video above and I can now see the shoulder does slow down in a straight arm shot. It stops as you hit the ball then comes forward after the hit?
Perhaps someone could post a shadow swing video of a full rotation swing and a shorter version?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=135&v=J_TZUUvkqVE


Edited by maurice101 - 03/28/2018 at 4:30pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote zeio Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/29/2018 at 1:45pm
Originally posted by tom tom wrote:

are you saying no added forearm contraction on any kind just before it snaps

Yes and no. It depends on the situation.

When I started out learning to loop, my swing was limited to the forearm, with the upper arm held essentially static. The stroke basically consisted of just flexing and extending the forearm. By cutting down on the upper arm movement, I was forced to initiate the stroke by drawing power from the ground and transfer that to the forearm through trunk rotation, where the upper arm moves in sync. For a long time, I made a conscious effort to snap the forearm shortly before impact. That also helped to hone my grazing contact, which is an integral part to looping. When I moved to the stage where the upper arm is liberated for more power, I found the forearm snap hard to pull off, due to the extra motion involved.

That's when I ran into a program on Wing Chun on youtube that I'd watched before on TV.


@9:04, the master told actor Vincent Sze(a taekwondo practitioner) that his arm was still tight when his fist reached the sandbag. The sandbag met resistance and thus failed to jump. What the master means here is actually inertia. The moment he thrust his fist forward to the maximum velocity, the fist was already traveling on the inertia of the arm(with muscles loosened up) just before it reached the sandbag.

Does that mean I have to give up on snapping my forearm? I thought at the time. That's when I ran into another term - stretch-shortening cycle(SSC). What that term refers to is a safety mechanism that happens at the subconscious level of the nervous system. In simple terms, SSC means when a muscle is stretched, it would cause an involuntary contraction that produces extra force in an attempt to protect the body from damage. It happens a lot in daily life.



All 3 types are utilized in table tennis. They happen alternately throughout the body when we make a stroke, but for simplicity I'll just focus on the arm. From the backswing to forward swing, the forearm and upper arm muscles would get stretched, where the SSC kicks in, causing the elbow to snap. So, the important thing here is to time it well such that it happens roughly upon impact. That's also why I felt more resistance snapping the forearm before, because my conscious effort(the source of resistance) was impeding the SSC.

Take the animated GIF below for example, which some of you have seen a dozen times already:



The 3rd ball was supposed to be a winner seeing it was a pop-up, and so I went all in. The snap there came from the SSC. My elbow was bent in the followthrough. But my opponent anticipated the path and used the 快帶(quick guide). The return was really fast but thanks to the SSC from the deceleration, I managed to recover just enough to make another 快拉(quick loop). Though, this time the forearm snap was a conscious effort, because my right foot lagged behind and so I couldn't make use of the trunk to generate another SSC.

So as opinari commented, the snap happens naturally, but also intentionally.

Edited by zeio - 03/29/2018 at 8:38pm
Viscaria FL - 91g
+ Neo H3 2.15 Blk - 44.5g(55.3g uncut bare)
+ Hexer HD 2.1 Red - 49.3g(68.5g 〃 〃)
= 184.8g
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tom Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/29/2018 at 2:57pm
Thanks Zeio.  To relate the above to my experience, by coincidence I did the loop yesterday while not conciously adding the forearm snap it went smoother and with greater or equal power than my stroke with the arm snap.  To relate to your theory, timing the SSC forearm snap with the contact would add to the speed. At this point if the stroke is given enough time to perform I would just forego the forearm snap as it it too complicated to successfully incorporate and might even backfire.  the  problem is when I have to do a quick return/ attack, where the snap is needed.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote zeio Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/29/2018 at 11:30pm


Above is a clip of FZD doing quick loop practice with 2 teammates sometime before WTTC 2017.
Viscaria FL - 91g
+ Neo H3 2.15 Blk - 44.5g(55.3g uncut bare)
+ Hexer HD 2.1 Red - 49.3g(68.5g 〃 〃)
= 184.8g
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote maurice101 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03/31/2018 at 8:09pm
To me it seems I can get the forehand contraction just before hitting the ball by 2 methods. One is contracting the forehand muscles and the other is by stopping the elbow moving forward somewhat and getting whip. Trying both the second in a short stroke with less hip rotation feels much more relaxed and easier compared to the first. But then maybe top players use both??


Edited by maurice101 - 03/31/2018 at 8:10pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote icontek Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/22/2018 at 9:50pm
Originally posted by zeio zeio wrote:



Above is a clip of FZD doing quick loop practice with 2 teammates sometime before WTTC 2017.


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