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On August 31, 2009 New York Times posted a very interesting video; a graphic analysis of Roger Federer’s biomechanics. Not only is the clip well chosen, but the audio commentary by Geoff Macdonald, women’s tennis coach at Vanderbilt University, is specific and excellent, as are the accompanying animations and graphics.
I find this video to be a wonderful illustration of some of the Feldenkrais principles of well organized movements. In his book “Awareness Through Movement” Dr. Feldenkrais writes “Under ideal conditions the work done by the body passes lengthwise through the spine and the bones of the limbs, that is as near to straight line as possible. If the body forms angles to the main line of action, part of the effort made by the pelvic muscles will not reach the point at which it was directed”. Notice in the video how Roger gets taller while hitting the ball.
What also caught my attention was efficiency and clarity of Federer’s use of the ground (please observe the interaction of his feet with the floor - from the ground up). In the part comparing his footwork to a slalom skier’s technique (1:59), the concept of equal and opposite force is demonstrated. Watch how he pushes the foot down into the ground in order to generate upward force and lateral movements.
Here’s the link:
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