The best analogy for the proper body turn on the forehand is to have the arms hand-cuffed together.
When both arms move back to prepare to hit a forehand, there is a good shoulder turn. Getting a good
upper body rotation is one key to hitting a powerful yet controlled forehand.
The proper technique is to turn the shoulders sideways with both hands together and the palms of the
hands facing out. This will lay the racquet hand back for a good contact position in front of the body.
Having the hands close together on the backswing helps prevent an excessive take back which makes
it harder to rotate the body and contact the ball. Those that use a loop backswing and take the racquet
back high also benefit from having handcuffs on. Both hands are circled above the contact point and
then continue to circle under the contact to create topspin.
Keeping the hands together like you have handcuffs on also helps the forward swing. Bringing both
hands forward for the ball contact creates an excellent shoulder rotation. This upper body shoulder
rotation is the most important aspect of a good forehand.
Separating the arms for a forehand stroke creates a mostly arm swing that uses very little body
rotation. This makes for late ball contact which causes a lack of directional control.
Try handcuffing your forehand for better results!
Doug Hofer, USPTA www.hofertennis.com December 18, 2007