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The Mass of the Torso Rotating

I recently wrote about how the mass of the entire arm pushes and lifts the ball on the forehand. When you increase body mass into and through the ball, you increase the force of the shot. While the mass of the arm driving the ball is crucial to power tennis, there is an even larger mass moving through the ball - the torso.

I just filmed Andy Murray from this overhead view - and it gives us an extraordinary picture of how he rotate his torso into - and through - the ball. Watch how the double bend remains passive as the torso rotation rotates this hitting structure into, and through, the ball. Focus your eyes on Murray's shoulder line and watch how his shoulders start perpendicular to the net and rotate until they are parallel to the net. You can even see him rotate his torso THROUGH contact as the shoulders continue to rotate, powerfully adding body mass through the ball.

In the Hingis clip, we see the same thing. She doesn't "swing" her racket at the ball at all. Instead she locks into a double bend and uses torso rotation (and a lifting of the arm) to get the racket to contact. The torso rotation and the double bend give weight and power to her forehand by maximizing body mass into the ball.

Think of torso rotation as the "engine" that powerfully drives your forehand. The racket and arm should never get ahead of this massive source of power.

Safin powers the ball with torso rotation and a lifting of the arm. The torso and arm movements maximize body mass into every single forehand he hits.

Open the Shoulders/Torso First
   
Murray's torso rotation rotates the double bend into - and through - the ball.

Hingis' shoulders move from perpendicular to the net to parallel to the net. Her rotating torso is the "engine" that drives her great forehand.

Hewitt uncoils his torso 90 degrees into contact.