One of the most common questions I get from beginners is how to get more power. First, I need to stress that power should be developed after control and topspin, otherwise you’re just shooting yourself in the foot. You can be very powerful but hitting the ball out on every shot and that’s not what we want.
But to get into power development, the main thing to understand is that you want to be using the large muscle groups to generate power. So the largest muscle groups in your body include your hamstrings and quadriceps, your glutes, your core, and shoulders. These muscle groups are the power generators for your game.
The second thing to understand is that power is primarily generated by using your body’s momentum and rotation. If you maximize your quickness, and are moving forward into every shot, your power will increase dramatically. Similarly, if you maximize your body rotation through every stroke, you will begin to generate enormous power.
To demonstrate this concept to students, I typically will show that if I hold my arm completely still, and only rotate my body with bent legs, I can generate enormous power, whereas if I stand stiff-legged and only use my arm, the maximum power generated is not even half. Try this drill to get used to using your body to generate power, not wrist or small muscles.
So if you want to increase your power, bend your legs, realize that the power generation comes from momentum into the ball and body rotation, NOT arm swing. You definitely don’t want to think about your wrists or elbows at all for power generation.