Researchers led by Dr. Geoffrey D. Adams and colleagues at Stanford University looked at three different types of tennis serves to see if certain serves were more strongly associated with musculoskeletal injury.
The three types of tennis serves considered in this research study included the flat serve, kick serve, and slice.
According to the analysis published in the 2014 British Journal of Sports Medicine, the kick serve had the highest force magnitude at the back and shoulders. Compared to the slice, the flat serve required more maximum shoulder internal rotation velocity. This is important information for tennis players trying to prevent common tennis injuries including a shoulder injury.
Researchers did not find any significant differences between the serves in terms of force and torque magnitudes at the wrist and elbow.
The researchers concluded that the kick serve puts the highest physical demands on the shoulder and back while the slice serve places the lowest. This could potentially have implications for preventing shoulder and back injuries for tennis players. This may be especially important for those with prior tennis injuries.