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Internal Shoulder Rotation: Key to Serving Power

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  • Internal Shoulder Rotation: Key to Serving Power

    Let's discus Chas Stumpfel's article, "Internal Shoulder Rotation: Key to Serving Power"!

  • #2
    Nice to dedicate an article to this very important aspect. Glad to have it as a reminder!

    It's important to note that the orientation of the arm to torso is critical to minimize the risk of shoulder impingement when unleashing this powerful force. For safety, the upper arm must always be positioned in the proper orientation relative to the shoulders.
    Just to be clear: in a practically straight line..
    Regards, Phil


    • #3
      external rotation

      I can tell that my internal rotation with my arm straight out is significantly greater than my ability to externally rotate. Is the rotational difference common? Are there stretching exercises that can increase my external rotation?


      • #4
        ralph, did you see this article?
        Regards, Phil


        • #5
          Phil you know the site better than I do. Personally I think massage therapy can help and also help identify what can be stretched and how...


          • #6
            External rotation

            Thanks for the advice. I am familiar with most of the exercises and have done them off and on over the past few years. I will get back to them. Thanks for the reminder.


            • #7
              Hey, Ralphie

              I am pretty perverse, so maybe you should discount my viewpoint, but I am just as interested in this subject as Phil.

              Every word I have ever written under A New Year's Serve about "rotorded serving" addresses this very point.

              If these exercises and procedures are as great as they are cracked up to be, where are the success stories? I have yet to hear or read one but am open to the possibility.

              Also, precisely at what age should one kiss one's wife goodbye, walk out the door, and drive one's old car to the high tech dump?

              At the dump, as everyone should know by now, you drive your car up to the crusher, but unlike the other motorists, you stay inside.

              That way the crusher can crush the adhesions in your shoulder at the same time as it crushes your car.

              You can call this a paranoid fantasy if you want (after all I have a scheduled knee replacement on Friday the 13th).

              On the other hand does it not make sense, in most cases, for the rotorded server to work within his limitation rather than try to destroy it?
              Last edited by bottle; 02-05-2015, 07:07 AM.


              • #8
                What is "rotorded"?
                Regards, Phil


                • #9
                  Wow it works.

                  So I read this this afternoon and went out played a match this evening. With a few practice serves this totally worked. My serve is decent but this added a ton of pace. My opponent was good so he was often able to block them back but they were humming in.

                  Two things that I'll need to work on - 1) incorporating spin (these tend to be flat out of the box) and 2) making sure my second serve is near 100%.

                  This was the first single thing I've done with the serve that made such a clear improvement right away.

                  Gonna be back to the court with a ball hopper and an hour to work on this.

                  Thank you!!


                  • #10



                    • #11
                      One thing that JY has mentioned in his serve series that may help get the feel for this goal of more, or incorporating External Shoulder Rotation(or shoulder/forearm suppination) into one's serve is experiment with a higher elbow position on the serve take back. You may sacrifice some depth in the racquet drop, but it may help with the feel of External Shoulder Rotation, which of course loads for more Internal Shoulder Rotation(or pronation). If one just raises their arm at shoulder line level or a little above, bend your elbow at 90 degrees, and then stick your thumb out hitchhiker style and rotate and point it to your right away from your body(if you are right handed), you may see what I mean.
                      Last edited by stroke; 02-06-2015, 04:44 AM.


                      • #12
                        Stupendous Question

                        Originally posted by gzhpcu View Post
                        What is "rotorded"?
                        Puerto Vallarte. And deserving of answer better than "YOU are rotorded!" or as my former Hungarian girlfriend used to say, "If you don't know, I can't tell you."

                        Xanadu X factor in lousy serving however may be too limited a subject, too self-referential and self-pitiful for mainstream elitist concern.

                        The author of this article, Chas Stumpfel, defines internal and external rotation ad infinitum and seems to understand the clotted pedestrianism of this hence his promise to titillate us through providing molecular level research.

                        Also, one would hope, he will stay close to earth by discussing the English game of skittles, which seems to offer the best explanation of how humeral twist works-- a string wrapped on something round.

                        Does the rotorded server have a short or stiff string as well as a short fuse? Or are the "adhesions" that everybody talks about little bumps on the round thingie? Or bumps on the string? Or conglomerations of scar tissue in the rotator cuff that have nothing to do with the top other than to slow it down?

                        Finally, precisely how do arm straightening and internal arm rotation combine with each other to produce maximum racket head speed and how does this relationship differ, if differ it does, for the Xanadu X server?

                        To me as somebody who has thought about this stuff before, Stumpfel's most provocative detail is the assertion that internal arm rotation is faster near the end of itself than at the beginning. How can this be true if everything is accomplished with initial muscle contraction? Or is one supposed to start spinning the top slowly and only add on speed at the end?
                        Last edited by bottle; 02-06-2015, 06:07 AM.


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by bottle View Post
                          ................... Stumpfel's most provocative detail is the assertion that internal arm rotation is faster near the end of itself than at the beginning. .........................
                          I'm not following this wording very well.

                          Could you point out the part of the article that you are referring to.


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by bottle View Post
                            Puerto Vallarte. And deserving of answer better than "YOU are rotorded!" or as my former Hungarian girlfriend used to say, "If you don't know, I can't tell you."
                            So now I know less that before (and before was nothing...)
                            Regards, Phil


                            • #15
                              As I said it works now to develop it

                              So as I said in my earlier comment this thing worked wonders for me right off the bat. I took 6 practice serves and went on to serve with much more pace to win 6-1. The only negatives I could see were less spin on the ball in general (slice or topspin depending on what I was going for) and a lower percentage second serve. These might get fixed with some practice buckets once I get some time to hit them.

                              The real question is how to improve the rotation. I notice that mine is pretty limited relative to the demo in the article. I'm 51 and getting stiffer as I age. I did see the link to exercises you can do to work on this rotation so I'll be trying those exercises and seeing if I can stretch this area more to get more movement.

                              As a final thought I paired this with some lessons talking about using racquet momentum and elasticity rather than muscle to drive the service motion and this seemed to be a good companion to focusing on the shoulder rotation.


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