Tennis Serve Lesson – How To Use Pronation On Tennis Serve

How To Use Pronation On A Tennis Serve

The tennis serve is the most complex shot in the entire game, it takes lots of high quality serve training to master the motion however you can spend your entire life hitting serves, but if you don’t use pronation on serve, you will never reach your maximum serving potential.

What Is Pronation On A Tennis Serve?

If we are serving with a continental grip, prior to contact the racket will be on edge, as you can see below. The racket then starts to open up towards the ball, this is the start of prontion. Once we have hit the ball, we want the racket to then continue turning outwards towards the right side of the court (assuming we are right handed). This is full pronation on a tennis serve.

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What Exactly Is Forearm Supination & Pronation?

The easiest way to understand and feel this motion is to turn your palm upwards, towards the sky. In this position your forearm and hand are now supinated (supination).

Now turn your palm towards your body, by simply turning your palm towards you, you are now pronating the forearm and palm to reach a neutral position.

Now if you turn your palm downwards towards the ground you are pronating your hand and forearm fully. So Supination – palm up, pronation – palm down.

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Do You Pronate On All Tennis Serves?

If you are serving with a semi western forehand grip, it will be almost impossible for you to use this motion and get the ball anywhere near the service box. This is when pronation wouldn’t occur.

However if we use the continental grip, and have a relaxed arm/forearm we will likely get into a slightly supinated position (some of the best servers reach a fully supinated position) which will then force us to pronate to make contact with the ball.

If we don’t pronate, we will hit the ball with the side of the racket.

However this is not full pronation. We have pronated to make contact but we still have some more range of motion to go through to reach a fully pronated position as we can see below.

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How You Can Master Supination & Pronation On Your Serve

When trying to learn these movements, it’s very important to break down the serve into smaller segments. If you try to master the entire motion at the same time, you will likely end up developing bad habits in some or all the stroke.

We can only truly focus on one or two things at a time. Trying to think about the grip, stance, ball toss, reaching a good trophy position, using the legs and so forth all at the same time is impossible.

That is why you should work on one element at a time, for instance, master pronation firstly by working only on that.

This is exactly why we have built our entire serve course around progressions, which include of course supination and pronation as the first step to serving properly with a continental grip.