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Chinese Table Tennis Training Methods “Power From The Ground”

China always has the best training system in table tennis. Today we learn the fundamental Chinese table tennis training methods “Power From The Ground”. One of the most important philosophy in table tennis that you should know.

Why You Need Chinese Table Tennis Training Methods

Because there are the differences between the old techniques and the Chinese table tennis techniques. Chinese training methods help the player improve faster. 

For example, take the forehand topspin technique as an example.

The Old Forehand Techniques:

Old technique forehand topspin technique which is mostly taught in the Western country (USA, Europe).

  • “Snap the arm only”
  • Hit mostly by folding/snapping your arm around the elbow
  • Finish the stroke when the racket is at the height of your nose
  • Increase the power by rotating your shoulder

However, this old technique has a limit:

  • The power of the ball is not good enough. This technique is only good to counter-hit the ball
  • The muscle of the arm is not strong enough to hit harder and faster.

Chinese Forehand techniques

Have you ever wonder why Asian player can hit the ball very fast? Asian players are in general weaker than European player (physical strength). However, they hit the ball very fast. Why?

You need to note this:

  • The ball from Chinese players is even faster than the European player. When they loop kill the ball, it’s impossible to block.
  • It doesn’t come from the table tennis equipment
  • It is due to the technique “Power from the ground”

This technique is taught in the Asian country (China, Korea, Vietnam) mostly for female players, and then adapted to male players.

What is “Power From The Ground” concept?

A player has asked me “What does taking power from the ground” means?

What is Power From the Ground Concept?
What is Power From the Ground Concept?

In Chinese, we say “hit the ball by your leg”. It seems strange when you first hear it. However, it’s true!

Hit the ball by your leg!

“Power From The Ground” concept consists of:

  • Use your leg to support your stroke
  • Rotate your hip, waist and use your leg to topspin the ball
  • Leg 1st, Rotate the hip 2nd, snap your forearm 3rd
  • And combine all of these, you will get a better quality stroke
  • The legs and the ground is the support. While with the old technique, you rotate only the shoulder and use the forearm to hit the ball.

Watch this tutorial and notice how well that Zhang Jike rotate his hip, waist. At the last moment, he uses his forearm to transfer this power.

The forearm muscle is too weak to generate this power. It’s not the forearm, but it’s the legs, the hip has generated this power. The forearm only transfers this power to the ball.

Zhang Jike applied the concept Power From The Ground to make a powerful forehand attack
Zhang Jike applied the concept Power From The Ground to make a powerful forehand attack
"Power From The Ground" Chinese table tennis techniques

Watch video above ☝.

Improve your technique with Chinese training exercises

That’s why sometimes you will notice that Chinese player jump while hitting the ball. It’s because they transfer the power from the ground by make a little jump to add the power to the stroke.

If you want to add power in your stroke, learn how to use the legs from Asian players. Xu Xin was once asked, “Which is the most important muscle in table tennis?”
He answered:

“The hip. I want to train the muscle of the hip”.

I hope you understand better now! Where does the power come from in table tennis? It’s “The Power from the ground”. It’s time to stop investing in “EJ” (Equipment Junkie), but you should focus more on tactics and fundamental techniques. Better technique will make your table tennis more fun!

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Table tennis coach in France since 2012, founder of pingsunday.com (the best online coaching program for table tennis players). Born in Vietnam in 1983, Ph.D. in Université Pierre Marie Curie. Read more about him.

2 thoughts on “Chinese Table Tennis Training Methods “Power From The Ground””

  1. i think this all makes sense. it is amazing to watch top asian players do this. my question is…can older adults learn this way to improve their table tennis strokes? or is this technique only for young players?


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