Is a head-heavy racquet worse for tennis elbow?

I’ve had tennis elbow before and I don’t want it to happen again. Should I buy a racquet with a lighter head? I’ve heard that the type I have right now is better for beginners (I consider myself past that first stage), but may lead to tennis elbow faster. Is this correct? Logically, it makes sense because if the end of the racquet is heavier when you swing, it puts more pressure on your arm. And when it’s lighter, you’re relying more on just your muscle power. Help me out? 🙂

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  1. gr8ss4opper, 13 February, 2010

    I think a head heavy racquet does contribute to tennis elbow. Good strings (softer strings like Natural Gut) also help prevent tennis elbow. Hitting with just your arm, and not bending your knees and turning your shoulders also contributes to tennis elbow. Cross training (weight lifting) helps strengthen the supporting muscles and joints to help prevent tennis elbow. But personally, I think the biggest culprit to blame for tennis elbow is mishitting the ball. All it takes is a weird tweak/mishit to mess up your elbow – especially, if you don’t have some decent muscle strength to withstand the jarring impact.

  2. ralphster35, 13 February, 2010

    One. Head heavy rackets compromise with power and do pack a punch.
    Two. Head heavy rackets are for more advanced players.
    Three. I recommend to buy balanced rackets because they weigh fairly lighter than heavier rackets. Beginners need to learn control and balanced rackets provide sustainable and wonderful forgiveness (feel).

  3. voluntarheel, 13 February, 2010

    I remember reading in Tennis magazine that a one handed backhand is a major contributor to tennis elbow. It makes sense if you think about the torque and unnatural movement. I would think a head heavy racquet would contribute. But some folks I know who’ve had it in the past use a combination of elbow brace, tennis elbow friendly racquet, softer strings and even changing to a two handed backhand grip. I even have a friend that has a racquet with some sort of sand in it to absorb the shock. It’s odd, you shake it and it rattles. But it works for him – needless to say he gives up a lot of power, but he’s still able to play.

  4. gramgram, 13 February, 2010

    Head-heavy rackets are meant for beginners who have bad strokes. Sure it produces more power, but when you return shots, it is less stable which is bad for your arm. People think light rackets are good for your arm when it’s not. Light rackets are also very bad for returning heavy shots. Use a weight that you can handle. Heavier rackets are more stable and produce better plow through the ball. You should also look for rackets that have lower stiffness, maybe below 65. Stay away from Babolat. Get soft strings and lower your string tension.

    Also, if you have bad technique, that can cause tennis elbow. You should get rest if all else fails.

  5. Satchman, 13 February, 2010

    Usually, lighter racquets have a head-heavy balance to add some mass for more power and control. From experience, I feel that it’s not racquet head balance that contributes to tennis elbow but is the overall weight of the racquet that’s important.

    I feel that, to avoid tennis elbow or wrist problems, one should use a racquet that’s at least 280g above (unstrung). The racquet should then have a head-light balance to make it more maneuverable and easier to swing.

    Racquets like the Wilson KFour 105, Prince Speedport White or Ozone 7 and Babolat Pure Drive Cortex should fit the bill.

    Strings also play an important part and if you’re prone to wrist or elbow problems, go with a soft multifilament like Wilson NXT, Dunlop Max Comfort or Babolat Excel Premium. Good luck!

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