There is a common misconception about the role of your wrist at contact on your forehand. A lot of people think that you are supposed to snap your wrist as you hit the tennis ball, but that is not what should be happening.

When you swing forward, your wrist gets into a position that you keep prior to, at, and after contact. This position does not change during that time. Let’s look at Frank Salazar hitting a forehand and see if this holds true. As he drops the tennis racket down and begins to swing forward, he lays his wrist back. He then maintains this wrist position through contact. If you look Frank at the moment of contact with the tennis ball, his wrist is in the same position as when he was swinging forward. His wrist position does not change until well into his follow through.

Let’s now look at Oliver Akli’s forehand. Oliver is hitting a Windshield Wiper Forehand in this video clip, which is where a lot of the confusion arises because he will follow through a little lower. Again though, as he drops the tennis racket and begins to swing forward, he lays his wrist back just like Frank did. He swings forward and makes contact, and then follows through. The whole time, his wrist stays in the same position. It may be visually confusing, but Oliver is swinging from the shoulder and not with his wrist. The wrist stays in a fixed position until the racket is more or less pointed straight at the net during his follow through.


  1. Andrew Mast says

    If you have the butt of the racket facing the ball, you automatically have your wrist back. It’s one and the same and a great technique to ensure the wrist is back. No snapping is required and it only introduces a variable of instability, hence an inconsistent return.

  2. Andrew Mast says

    Wrist/arm supination is completely bio-mechanical and natural as the arm comes forward after contact. It’s takes no fore-thought. If you tried to keep your wrist back the whole time, you’ll see that it’s almost impossible and will result in injury. The shoulder rotates, the wrist and forearm naturally rotate inward to the “reading the time on your watch” effect.

  3. Andrew Mast says

    “cocked back” is a good term. And someone’s wrist is hurting, I have to say, they are doing something wrong and need to analyze their stroke. If they are not using your core to uncoil, they are compensating by introducing the arm (bicep too) and wrist and this will (in the long run) fatique the player and can be injurious, especially if they hit the ball too late. 

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