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How to block in table tennis using the penhold backhand grip

How to block in table tennis using the penhold backhand grip.

Today let’s see how coach Ma Lin uses the backhand block with the traditional penhold backhand.

In table tennis, the backhand block is a great way to control the fast and spinny shots from your opponent. It’s often used right after the opponent attacks, giving you a quick way to defend yourself and regain control of the game.


How to block using the penhold backhand

Blocking with a penhold backhand grip in table tennis can be challenging, but with practice and proper technique, you can learn to do it effectively. Here are some tips to help you improve your penhold backhand block:

How to block in table tennis using the penhold backhand grip

Watch this video.



Using the penhold grip, you need to lift up the elbow. Relax your wrist, so you can rotate the penhold grip and close the racket.

Using a short stroke, lift your racket arm away from your elbow in a horizontal motion. The Chinese coach often said to me that “block with your stomach”. That means that you need to absorb the energy with your body, your hips.

Block with the backhand penhold of coach Ma Lin
Block with the backhand penhold of coach Ma Lin

Stand in a ready position facing your opponent with your feet shoulder-width apart and your non-dominant foot slightly behind your dominant foot.

Keep your arm extended and use a relaxed grip on your racket, with your elbow bent slightly.

As your opponent hits the ball, move your racket into position to meet the ball by sliding your arm forward. Aim to hit the ball back to your opponent with a short, choppy stroke.

The grip for the backhand block penhold
The grip for the backhand block penhold

Pay attention to the spin on the ball and adjust the angle of your racket accordingly. For example, if the ball has topspin, you’ll need to slightly tilt your racket forward to “slice” the ball. If the ball has backspin, you’ll need to tilt your racket back to “flip” the ball.

Practice your blocking skills by rallying with a partner and focusing on keeping the ball in play rather than trying to win points. As you become more comfortable with blocking, you can start to vary the placement and spin of your shots to keep your opponent off balance.

the stance for the backhand block
the stance for the backhand block


Some tips for block techniques

Some tips about the block technique with your backhand

There are a few things you can do to improve your backhand block:

When doing a backhand block, timing is also very important. The basic technique is the same as when you block with your forehand. Some players block the ball too late or with too much force, which sends the ball out of the table.

close the racket angle
close the racket angle

The backhand block is much easier and more useful than the forehand block. Try to block the ball back to your opponent’s baseline so that he can’t easily loop back.

You should try to close your racket, but you could alter the angle based on how the ball is spinning.

Start the backhand block by standing on your right foot (if you’re right-handed) with your hip turned toward the incoming shot and your arms relaxed but ready to move.

absorb the power of the shot
absorb the power of the shot

When the ball comes, your paddle should swing back just past your hip, as if it were an extension of your body.



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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.

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