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Swing and Movement Exercises article

Published: 05 Aug 2009 - 15:49 by Alder

Updated: 07 Aug 2009 - 08:58

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I've got a question on this article:

According to this topic  and to other google topics, Pronation and Supination is rotation of the arm. I.e. if i stand still with my hands extended in front of me, then Pronation and Supination will be turning my palms from facing upwards, to facing downards and vice versa. so during the shor, pronation and supination I guess are rotation of arm that close the racquet during the shot (but you hit while it is still opened).

Hower in the examples giving in the article ( "On the backhand side the rotation is referred to as supination (much the same as throwing a frisbee).") it is quite different.

When throwing a backhand frisbee you don't do supination at all - the only thing you do is unbend your arm (and use wrist, which we ignore here) i.e. do kind of whip movement in horizontal plane with your hand. so if i do pronation or supination with a frisbee, I will end up with frisbee looking up side down.

Do I get something wrong?

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From rippa rit - 07 Aug 2009 - 08:47   -   Updated: 07 Aug 2009 - 08:58

Bosartek - thanks for your theory.  Good one.  Actually I learnt to throw a frisbee after I learned to play a backhand so that is why I understood the mechanics of the frisbee throw!  Once players realise the geometry of the game, ie a squash court is a rectangle, the ball trajectory is about the angles within the rectangle, and the bounce is the height from where the trajectory begins, the game then suddenly becomes so much more simple.

PS - It is this open face (angle of the blade) that has so much to do with spin, eg backspin, sidespin, cut, etc all of which interfere with the ball bounce, and so we now open up another "can of worms". Now take another look at the Relevant Content since I added this dimension to the post!


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From Alder - 07 Aug 2009 - 00:45

Bosartek, that's indeed not how I thow frisbee (at least backhand), and neither I saw other players throwing it like this, although I never really saw a professional frisbee players.

However it makes sense now with your explanation, thanks!


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From bosartek - 06 Aug 2009 - 16:57   -   Updated: 06 Aug 2009 - 17:04


Frisbee may not be the best analogy for everyone as good technique still applies (I don't mean to criticize your frisbee skills!), but the movement is indeed similar. If you watch an ultimate frisbee match, or anybody who looks experienced with a disc, you will notice more use of the forearm when attempting to throw farther. Why? When thrown over a greater distance, a disc must be released at more of a negative angle in order to fly straight. For those interested in honing their frisbee skills, please continue reading.

Imagine holding a disc level (i.e. horizontal) on the backhand side. Now relax your elbow and lower the disc so that the opposite edge drops towards the ground and the inside/bottom of the disc is angled more towards your body; this is the proper release position. This angle is necessary because the forearm rotates (i.e. supinates) into the follow-through and creates angular rotation. The harder the throw, the more vertical the release in order to correct for this and allow the disc to rotate back to a horizontal position during flight. Confused? Look at a frisbee edgewise and imagine a clockface behind it. Looking edge-on, "horizontal" means the disc points from 9 to 3 o'clock; throwing harder/farther means releasing the disc at an 8 to 2 o'clock position or even a 7 to 1 o'clock position. The wrist snap is only to generate spin, necessary for stabilization. So for maximum distance, the disc is released at an almost-vertical position with as much spin as possible to keep it flying for longer. During flight the disc will flatten out back to a 9 to 3 o'clock position and float down as it loses speed. If you were to throw a frisbee as hard as possible, with a horizontal release, the natural forearm rotation over-rotates the disc to a 10 to 4 o'clock position or beyond and it veers way off to the right until meeting with an unsuspecting family enjoying their picnic lunch.

The point here is that there is indeed rotation of the forearm and, if you read back over my description, you'll realize that the overall throw or "swing" is vertical and to the side of the body rather than horizontal and around the body. This should be sounding familiar by now (vertical swing, follow-through toward your target on the frontwall, etc.)! The forearm and wrist mechanics are not exactly the same, but the basic nature of the backhand throw is analagous to a squash swing... unless you don't play frisbee, which is what prompted my explanation in the first place. Sorry Rita, I should be posting this on, but I used to play a lot of ultimate frisbee. Apologies!

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From rippa rit - 05 Aug 2009 - 17:24   -   Updated: 05 Aug 2009 - 17:26

OK Alder - put a ball in a sock as per the photo in the link above, use your forearm (not your arm) when you supinate.  Your elbow will be bent and your wrist controlled. Get the power from the supination and release of the forearm (elbow).

You must be getting close to the action now?

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