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Do You Serve Hip or Waist in Padel?

When diving into the world of padel, a question that frequently pops up among both newcomers and seasoned players is about the optimal serving technique: do you serve from the hip or the waist?

The answer isn’t as straightforward as one might think. Both methods come with their unique merits, tapping into power, accuracy, agility, and strategy.

As we delve deeper into the dynamics of hips and waist in padel, we’ll uncover the secrets behind each technique and help you find the perfect fit for your game.

So, are you ready to master the art of serving in Padel? Let’s get started!

The Factors Influencing the Serve Choice

Player’s Style and Strategy:

Aggressive players might opt for the hip serve, catching the opposing team off guard with its speed.

In contrast, those aiming for control over the rally could choose the waist serve, making it difficult for opponents to deliver a strong return.

Adapting to the Game’s Dynamics:

Padel isn’t just about serving. Factors like skills, strategy, and even the court’s condition can influence the choice.

It’s essential to be flexible and adjust one’s technique to achieve optimal results in each match.

two women playing padel

The Basics of Padel

Rising in global popularity, padel is a thrilling fusion of tennis and squash. Played on a uniquely structured court with walls, the objective remains straightforward: hit the ball over the net and into the opponent’s court.

To commence a point in padel, players must serve the ball below waist level. Unlike some sports, the emphasis isn’t on targeting the opponent’s hip or waist, but on strategically placing the ball to secure an advantage.

The game’s unpredictability is further amplified by the ability to use the court’s walls for strategy, demanding varied techniques from players.

a woman playing padel

Decoding the Padel Terminology: Hip vs. Waist in Service Dynamics

For anyone delving into padel tennis, understanding “hip” and “waist” within the milieu of the game is paramount.

  • Hip: Located between the waist and thighs, the hip comes into play notably during the padel serve.

    As players stand behind the service line, ensuring at least one foot remains grounded, the hip drives power.

    Whether players opt for an underhand serve, which should remain below waist level, or a rare overhand serve, the hip’s power is unmistakable.

  • Waist: The narrowest part of the midsection, the waist in Padel serves as the rotational core.

    It plays a significant role when a ball bounces for a serve, ensuring shot consistency, especially when adhering to padel serve rules.

Delving deeper, when serving in padel, one aims to have the ball land in the opponent’s service box, avoiding service faults such as touching the service lines or the ball bouncing incorrectly.

The serving player gets two chances – the first service followed by a second service if there’s a fault. If the serving team commits two consecutive points as faults, it results in a lost point.

However, it’s not all about service. When the ball hits the opposite service area or the opposing team’s court, the point begins.

And in this rhythmic dance of the padel game, every move, from the knees being slightly bent to ensuring the ball doesn’t touch the net, counts.

Following games and matches, whether in the world padel tour or local games played, one can observe professional padel players leveraging both their hips and waists to their advantage.

It’s not just about hitting the ball; it’s about mastering the basic rules, serving with proper technique, and understanding the unique dynamics of playing padel.

a man's hand holding ball and padel racket

The Art of Serving in Padel: Hip and Waist in Focus

In padel, serving is a delicate balance of power and precision, where the hip and waist shine.

Originating in Mexico in the late 1960s, padel’s serve rules have evolved, emphasizing the importance of these body parts.

Players serve from behind the service line, with at least one foot grounded. The serve, done underhand, must stay below waist level.

It’s aimed to land within the opponent’s service box without errors like touching the service lines. A service fault grants a second-serve opportunity, with repeated mistakes leading to a lost point.

Professional tours like the World Padel Tour showcase players using their hips for power and waists for balance, ensuring accuracy.

As the game progresses, each serve embodies the strategic dance of force and stability, governed by the game’s rules.

In essence, in Padel, the serve is more than just a hit; it’s a testament to the player’s skill, history, and the game’s evolution.

women playing padel

Mastering the Hip and Waist in Padel: Technique and Rules

Delving deeper into the technicalities of padel, one discovers the indispensable roles of the hip and waist. Beyond the realm of basic understanding, real mastery is achieved by:

This is paramount especially when the ball bounces for a serve. Players need to align correctly on the side of the court relative to the central service line.

Ensuring the hips and waist move cohesively is vital. Whether executing a backhand serve or responding to a fast serve, these rotations determine the power and direction of every play.

This is crucial when the ball lands on the opponent’s court or when receiving a serve in padel.

Transferring weight effectively ensures you’re always ready, knees slightly bent, for the ball’s next move—whether it bounces correctly or bounces incorrectly.

This revolves around the precise targeting of the receiver’s service box. Players must be especially wary of service rules, avoiding situations where the ball touches the net or results in a double hit.

On the padel match court, swift lateral movements and reactions are essential.

Whether aiming for the first game’s point or the tiebreak’s fourth point, being able to adjust quickly—especially when the ball simultaneously hits the court or splits—can be the difference between winning and losing.

Mastery over the serve in padel is paramount. From the way a player serves, ensuring at least one foot remains grounded, to deciding whether to serve overhand or underhand, the choice must be deliberate.

The importance of a valid service cannot be overstated; it’s the initiation of every rally.

With the hip and waist acting as the core of movement and force, every padel player, whether serving from the service box located at their end or reacting to an opponent’s serve, must ensure proper technique.

Their moves should reflect the nuances of padel rules, guaranteeing an engaging and rule-abiding game.

mastering the hip and waist in padel

The Final Verdict

Hips in padel enhance agility, especially evident during a first serve or when the ball bounces unexpectedly. The waist, on the other hand, bolsters stability—vital during the third point or when the ball splits in an unpredictable manner.

The perfect padel serves bounce or the intricate play hits showcase a harmony between the hip and waist. Padel Research Institute’s studies echo this, highlighting their combined significance.

With precise serving rules and strategies like hitting from the center line or leveraging the same side for consecutive points, mastering the hip and waist movement is key.

Next time you’re gearing up for a tie break or practicing that second point, remember: it’s not just about skill but also outclassing your opponent in style—even if it means distracting them with an eccentric outfit choice!


In Padel, the server begins from the right side of their opponents’ court, behind the service line. The objective is to ensure the ball bounces in the opponent’s service box.

The first game of a match always starts with a serve from the right side. The same player continues to serve from alternating sides until a point is lost.

Waist height refers to the midpoint of a player’s torso, approximately in line with the navel. In the context of padel, many serves and shots are struck around this height to optimize control and power.

Yes, in fact, underhand serving is standard in Padel. The ball must be dropped from hand height and hit at or below waist height. The ball must then cross the net and bounce once in the opponent’s service box.

A strong padel serve combines positioning, accuracy, and technique. The server should stand with their feet shoulder-width apart for stability. The ball should be served in such a way that it bounces correctly in the opponent’s court, preferably near the corner to limit the returner’s angles.

Yes, using the wrist can add spin and control to your shots. However, while serving, the emphasis is more on the serve hip and waist movement to generate power and ensure the ball bounce is as intended.

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