|courtesy WTA @ Brisbane 2014|
Sure, we see upper body strength, but what fuels the upper body is the lower extremity. Pure physics, if nothing else. Notice also that Serena wears some sort of ankle support, and it looks like tape underneath. She knows well the importance of powerful legs, and the support thereof begins at the foot and ankle.
Like a racehorse, Serena supports her body from the ground up. No detail is left unturned, and her immaculate attention to detail shows in her game play as well. All the moving parts begin to take shape and form, coming together to create a champion.
Next, go back to this picture, as it evokes total tennis chi.
Regard how her weight is leaning on her left side. Her weight is on her left foot, her left shoulder is leaning in with a fist pump, her right side leaning to the left as well while gently holding her tennis racquet for balance with her right hand (see my post on SOFT HANDS FOR TENNIS for more on how to hold a racquet gently for power and finesse).
Here, Serena acknowledges the importance of side to side body dominance. Her weight will shift depending on how she decides to hit the ball. Watch professional tennis, and you will see what I am talking about. Look at the ground shots, the best players will hit from the outside leg, harder at first to balance but with practice, this effort gives you extra time to make the shot, plus rob your opponent of their time, thus forcing errors.
Naturally, your core and upper body, shoulders, arms and hands, eyes, neck support and mental attitude ALL come into play in tennis as well, but again, the total power initiates from the legs.
You have heard of the "kinetic chain?" This term comes into play especially with the serve, but its principle applies to ground strokes as well. Again, the power coming from the legs, to uncoil and spring the rest of the body into action, for a winner or that coveted ace. Click here for a great link discussing the biomechanics of the kinetic chain in tennis.
There are also multiple YouTube videos on kinetic chain, here's a good one~
To see the power in action, here's a video of Serena Williams and opponent Vika Azarenka in the final 8 minutes of their very close Brisbane International match, watch how each player moves her weight and uncoils on her serve, commentary in Spanish~
Get the legs going, focus on the leaning in from one outside leg to another, and you have a chance playing against worthy tough opponents.
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