Influence of restricted knee motion during the flat first serve in tennis

Olivier Girard, Jean Paul Micallef, Grégoire P. Millet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

26 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Girard, O., J.P. Micallef, and G.P. Millet. Influence of restricted knee motion during the flat first serve in tennis. J. Strength Cond. Res. 21(3):950-957. 2007. - The aim of this study was to examine the influence of restricted knee motion during the serve in tennis players of different performance levels. Thirty subjects distributed in 3 groups (beginner, B; intermediate, I; elite, E) performed 15 flat first serves with normal (normal serve, SN) and restricted (restricted serve, SR) knee motion. In SR, the legs were kept outstretched by splints with a knee joint angle fixed at 10° (0° fully extended) to prevent any knee flexion/ extension. Vertical maximum ground reaction forces (Fzmax), ball impact location (Limpact), and ball speed (Sball) were measured with force platform, video analysis, and radar, respectively. Fzmax, Limpact, and Sball were higher (p < 0.001) in SN than in SR. Sball was significantly (p < 0.001) dependent on performance level, with higher values recorded in E than in B or I. From SR to SN, increase in Limpact was greater (p < 0.01) in E than in other groups and increases in Fzmax and Sball were correlated (r = 0.69, p < 0.01) in E only. Knee motion is a significant contributor to serving effectiveness whatever the performance level. Skilled players perform faster serves than their less skilled counterparts, and this is partly related to a more forceful lower limb drive.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)950-957
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Strength and Conditioning Research
Volume21
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2007
Externally publishedYes

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