Contrary to what most people tend to regard as the norm, table tennis is a physically intensive game that demands the right stamina. Just like any other game, there is need for a fitness program that ensures all the necessary tendons, ligaments and body muscles are fit to tackle all kinds of matches.
Exercises could run concurrently with practice sessions for general fitness and to guide you on the recommended, most effective exercises, a certified personal trainer might come in handy. But if you opt for a gym session, inform your fitness instructor of the key purpose of your workout session to ensure you don’t overdo the training and affect your general fitness of forthcoming matches negatively. Besides these, the following are some of the most effective tips to increase your stamina playing table tennis.
Footwork is undeniably one of the most important aspects of playing table tennis. As a matter of fact, it is the foundation on which all the strokes are based. Having the correct positioning of the feet and body before learning the strokes is a primary focus for any player. The aim for this is to develop speed and stamina while performing the correct feet movements. Being flexible allows you to shift in all directions and by imagining the possible strokes when you move to a new position; you can replicate the game situations quite fast. Footwork combinations can go a long way in shaping your matches by allowing maintain flexibility and consistency to perfect your skills. Pingthatpong shares some really cool guides on improving your table tennis skills. You may check them too.
While it may not seem like it, table tennis is a pretty demanding sport that requires constant movements even when you no longer can. Technique and consistency are considerably significant, and matter more than fitness when you are starting out. But as you progress and advance, physical exercise becomes a part of you because it’s at that point that potential opponents become more consistent and improve their techniques. This means that they will be placing the ball in places that are hard to reach forcing you to move even more.
There are certain exercises specifically designed to make you fitter for your next match. Jogging and running can give your muscles and overall workout and increase your lung capacity thereby improving your stamina, allowing you to last longer. Other activities that can help with stamina include swimming, dancing, stationary and cycling. Weight training might seem a little too intense but it will strengthen your strokes making it harder for your opponent to respond. However, more focus should be placed on weight muscles especially because that’s where most stroke power comes from given that it helps in rotating the torso.
Every table tennis point starts with the serve. One can gain the advantage or send the ball too high or into the net. Until you can’t miss any serves, it’s important to practice your service techniques. Once you master the art, you can start working on other types of serves just to build a reliable repertoire that you can depend on. To get the most out of your service practice, the following are a few things to keep in mind:
- Serve one ball at a time. Having more than one ball in your hand can affect your ball toss.
- Aim for low serves by tying a string to two drying tips and attaching them next to each other on top of the net to create a 10cm gap between the string and the net. The purpose is to pass the ball through this gap and get it to bounce twice on the other side.
- Set short targets you are sure you can hit. This helps in assessing your success.
- Take your time, don’t rush and remember that the objective is not to become the fastest; rather, it’s to become more consistent. Few successful serves will therefore have a greater impact than many unsuccessful ones.
- Try out long, fast serves using similar arm movements as those you employ in short serves. This is meant to keep your opponent on their toes, preventing them from predicting your next move.
- Return to the ready position every time with one forearm length from the edge and a little to the table’s left side.
This may not be considered by most people but watching professionals play cannot just teach you new techniques, it can equally help you visualize strokes that you can implement and incorporate into your own game. It’s an ideal option particularly when you are fatigued physically. You can similarly analyze your own footage to note where you are slacking and where you see improvements. This should help you rectify mistakes and instill in you valuable insights on the decisions you are required to make. By comparing your footage with the best player’s, you can learn a few tricks that will push you into becoming a better table tennis player.
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