Pelvic Rotation and Lower Extremity Motion With Two Different Front Foot Directions in the Tennis Backhand Groundstroke
When a tennis player steps forward to hit a backhand groundstroke in closed stance, modifying the direction of the front foot relative to the net may reduce the risk of ankle injury and increase performance. This study evaluated the relationship between pelvic rotation and lower extremity movement during the backhand groundstroke when players stepped with toes parallel to the net (Level) or with toes pointed towards the net (Net). High school competitive tennis players (eleven males and seven females, 16.8 ± 0.8 years, all right- handed) performed tennis court tests comprising five maximum speed directional runs to the court intersection line to hit an imaginary ball with forehand or backhand swings. The final backhand groundstroke for each player at the backcourt baseline was analyzed. Pelvic rotation and lower extremity motion were quantified using 3D video analysis from frontal and sagittal plane camera views reconstructed to 3D using DLT methods. Plantar flexion of ankle and supination of the front foot were displayed for both Net and Level groups during the late phase of the front foot step. The timings of the peak pelvis rotational velocity and peak pelvis rotational acceleration showed different pattern for Net and Level groups. The peak timing of the pelvis rotational velocity of the Level group occurred during the late phase of the step, suggesting an increase in the risk of inversion ankle sprain and a decrease in stroke power compared to the Net group.