Body and Arm Coordination is the main power source in table tennis. The arm is the connection between your body core and your racket. How to increase the power and the speed of your stroke? It is all about this connection.
The connection between the arm and the body
A player asked me:
Good day. Thank you for your videos, they are very good. I want to share with you my thoughts. I watched your videos and tried to achieve a good forehand and backhand. But I could not even use your videos. I saw how the best players make their strikes and I was interested in the question. Why do they strain the forearm so much when hitting the left and right? When I tried to stretch my forearm and elbow and biceps, it turned out that this creates a connection between the arm and the body. When I tried to do forehand and backhand with a relaxed forearm, there was no connection between the arm and the body, the elbow was constantly dangling separately from the body.
So, what is the problem here?
Amateur players do use their arms in the stroke, but there is no “connection” between the arm and the body. Why does this happen?
Because there are 3 phases in the stroke-timing: relax, explode, and relax. If you don’t know to “explode” at the right moment, at the moment you hit the ball, there is not connection between your body and your forearm.
Therefore, you will lose all of the power “from the ground“.
Amateur players: Use only 1 phase during the stroke (relax all the time, or tensed all the time). No connection between the forearm and the body. No acceleration, and no force transferred from the body to the forearm (racket, and the ball). So the speed, power, and spin of their stroke are low.
Pro players: Do connect between the forearm and the body. Accelerate at the right time, and in a short moment. Use 3 phases in every stroke. Ability to transfer the force from the ground to the body rotation, to the forearm, and to the racket.
Arm Coordination like a Pro
So here is the proof of the arm and body coordination of the top professional table tennis players.
This is the moment they hit the ball. You can see that the muscle is so tense. It’s the “Explosion phase”. You need tense muscles to make the connection between the body and the arm. So that you can transfer all the power to the racket. If you miss this phase, you will lose all of the power you prepared before (by footwork).
Reference: The role of head, eye, and arm movements during the execution of a table tennis forehand stroke.
Please note that:
- The correct form between the body, the elbow, and the hand is the “Z” form (look at the forearm of Fang Bo). This form ensures a good “rotation axis” during your forearm snap (topspin, loop).
- Always make a “triangle” between your body, your arm, and the ball. Look at these 3 photos. Don’t hit too close, nor too far. That’s why learning and improving footwork to keep a good distance is the key to improve your skills.
Look how Ma Long performed his forehand attack. He always does the “Z form forehand loop“.