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Killing my back w/ serve

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phenom34:
I had a big city tournament today and switched to my flat on serve all day long.  I used to practice it a lot and always hurt my back so  stopped doing it and just usually do two slice serves or for the first one do a flat one with some moderate spin.

For my flat on serve,  Im 6'2'' and I have a good ball toss, jump into the ball and smash it down.  I was getting it in all day which surprised me since I havent done it in a while.  I've had it clocked at 95mph.  I was wondering if its normal to hurt your lower back when doing this?   My back is killing me.  Anyone got any tips to not messing your back up?  I am liking my serve and it gets me a lot of points but not worth it if im gonna walk funny for a day or two.

Arcforce:
I'm not the expert to ask about serves but Tennis4you (scott) can probably give you better insight into it because his game is based around his serve a lot and besides that -- he's a walking tennis manual and I'm not  :)~  anyhow, I HAVE heard horror stories about people dealing with serious pain in their lower back from the AMERICAN TWIST serve (which is similar to what you'd call a "kick" serve, I believe). But I've never heard any consistent stories about trouble with flat serves.

Just from my own speculation -- maybe you're tossing your ball too low OR you're not tossing it out in front of you enough. If its too low it could cause you to bend your back akwardly to get underneath it. If its not far enough out front -- it could also make you bend your back akwardly because your actually springing straight up (which is kinda like pushing a coil down and letting it go) instead of springing forward like you should be. its important to remember that when you serve you should be going UP and AFTER the ball instead of letting the ball come to you or akwardly repositioning yourself from a bad toss.

Again, wait for Scott's input but that's my 2 cents :).

Tennis4you:
It is tough to tell without seeing your serve.  My lower back can be stiff the next day after tennis, but not so much that it hurts or bothers me, just stiff.  

Do you do any strength training?  It could help.

Do you take lessons?  Have a pro look at your serve.

I wish I could be more help.  Just a tough call without seeing you serve some balls.  If you are hitting a flat serve it is hard to image you are all bent out of shape trying to hit it like you could be a kick serve or something.

Is it the lower back muscles?

wilsonboy:
I found that stretching the back before playing will prevent strain. If you just bend backwards as far as you can (try and touch the floor) you will expand how far you can bend back to serve without hurting yourself. And then if you do some forward stretches, that also helps!! At least...it helps me. :a)

thejackal:
Scott, get a vid of my serve on here, that's what's NOT to do.

Toss the ball and see where it lands.  If it's behind you, then toss it more out front.

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