Ping-pong is like other sports which needs a specific set of training. Ping-pong is a fast-paced game and it is unique in terms of the gameplay and the fitness requirement. As there is a saying ‘You are what you eat’, similarly this one is for sports, ‘you become how you train’. If you train fast, you become fast, if trained slow, you become slow.
Am I table tennis fit? You need to ask this question to yourself and will definitely get the answer. If you are the person who is generally fir for the sports and stuck at the level where you think you ought to improve but cannot somehow, then this article is for you. You are not ‘table tennis fit’.
Moreover, you need to ask some more questions to yourself thereby understanding what is required to get the ping pong fitness right. So the next time you hit the gym you know that you are forging your body well for ping pong. These questions will also determine your exercise planning for any sport you’re training for.
So there are basically 5 questions: What are the main muscles used? What kind of movements are used? What is the muscle fiber type of the main muscles used? Is it an aerobic or an anaerobic sport? What stage of the season is it?
This article will be the most helpful to the sportsmen who have been indulged in playing ping pong for several years. Because they have the general fitness, the five exercises I am going to share here will help them get fitter and climb the ranking of best ping pong players and get on to the top of it.
I have observed ping pong players are following general fitness training with a lot of running. Running uses slow twitch muscle fibers, this has negligible relevance with the ping pong fitness. Moreover, ping pong is a fast-paced game requiring anaerobic movements to hit the ping pong balls right. If you see how successful ping pong players are following their training plan, you will come to know the things better.
These five tips will help you get better fitness for ping pong as well as your overall health and fitness.
- Lateral Training
Ping pong is the game that involves lateral body movements. I have observed ping pong coaches and trainers don’t include lateral (side to side) exercises in their training plan. So, an ideal ping pong training plan must include lateral exercises, for an example, lateral jumping.
As I said earlier, ‘You become how you train’, so train laterally, exercise laterally and you will become stronger and sift in side-to-side movements. Your legs will get accustomed to moving easily while playing the game.
2. Bounding and Jumping Exercise
If you observe the lateral movements of ping pong players closely you will feel your legs and core has to work more than the rest of the body to move and change the place. Add more jumping and bounding exercise to your training program, this helps in building strength to move and agility.
Star jump, tuck jumps, and pike jumps with variations such as adding a sprint and sidestep movements can do all for you. Jumping on and off the box is another good exercise of the same kind. This exercise is also known as Plyometrics and athletes add this exercise to their program to build superior strength.
Are you running much to achieve the fitness? Maybe you should stop doing that and tweak your running exercise. Break down your running into short sprints of 10, 20, 30, and 40 meters. Repeat sprints in this order as much as you can. Take breaks in between to get your strength back.
You ought to know the reason for breaking down longer and slower running. Ping pong requires fast movements of limbs, so does sprints, it requires energy explosions for a shorter period of time, so does sprints. This is the relevance between the two. Longer and slower running will not help much being ping-pong fit.
4. Arm Exercises to Improve Speed
Arm exercises are crucial as they help you have a proper control over shot with high arm speed. If you’re training with resistance bands, you will have the superior control over the arm movement to hit the shot. Moreover, this helps you to target the right muscle to play the particular shot swiftly.
I believe more your arms can accelerate (change the velocity of arm) more the shot can be perfect. And to achieve this, you need to do include arm exercises to increase your arm speeds in your training plan.
Imagine you’re playing ping pong and you’re not fast enough to swing the bat, stop it and pull it back for another stroke. Acceleration here plays the key role. Arm exercises like resistance bands and heavyweight training help in this case.
Using heavy bats can also help. The momentum you will able to transfer to the ball would be the same if you hit the ball with low weight bat and a high velocity. Now, when you consider high velocity to compensate the lower weight (mass), the problem of floppy control can be a culprit. You can read the ping pong paddle reviews here and select the right one for you.
5. Train Quick
We like to think we would get fit by exercising and there’s nothing wrong in it. But what if I tell you that you can be better by making a particular plan for a particular sport? It is better than general fitness.
Exercises like push-ups, crunches, sit-ups, lunges, and squats are definitely helpful for your fitness and well-being but they never should be the main focus of your ping pong fitness. The reason? Again, you become how you train. However, some core exercises are crucial for being ping-pong fit. Let me clarify that I’m not saying general exercise are useless, they are great. All I’m saying is they should not be your main focus.
Ping pong is a fast-paced, anaerobic, explosive energy requiring sport. If you don’t include exercises in your plan which engages same muscles and limbs moving in the same pattern as when you will play the sport, you might end being an average player of the sport and won’t see your game improving.
Ping pong requires lateral movements, then exercise that way, it requires anaerobic explosive energy, exercise the same way. All in all, train the way your sports demands. This concludes for all the sports. Train like an athlete.