Ma Long amazing forehand textbook skill

Welcome back to PingSunday (table tennis tutorial every Sunday). Today, we learn the forehand topspin of Ma Long. 4 basic steps of Ma Long’s technique.

Ma Long’s forehand technique is one of the best forehand techniques in the world. His technique is almost perfect. Today, we will learn the textbook, the classic forehand topspin of Ma Long.

There is another article about the Ma Long backhand textbook skill.

Ma Long said

“Life lies in sports. Do sports in the right way. Please follow “Guidelines for National Fitness”

Ma Long demonstration for textbook
Ma Long demonstration for textbook


This is the demonstration of Ma Long’s forehand attacks for the new book “Guidelines for National Fitness” by the General Administration of Sport and Beijing Sport University.

Forehand topspin technique of Ma Long

There are 4 steps:

  • Step 1: Stance
  • Step 2: Yin Pai
  • Step 3: Power Generation
  • Step 4: Follow Through and Recovery


Watch this tutorial:


Step 1. Stance

This is the stance for the forehand topspin. Stand with your feet parallel and slightly wider than the shoulders. Left foot in front, the right foot is behind. Bend the knee. Put your left hand in front of the abdomen naturally. Relax at this moment.

The Stance
The Stance

Step 2. “Yin pai”.

What is “Yin pai”? “Yin Pai” is the way that Chinese players prepare for the stroke. Watch this video to understand this principle.
The center of gravity is shifted to the right foot when leading the shot. Snap the shot back and put your body down. Turn the right shoulder. This is the way to generate power. “Power from the ground”.

Bend your legs while turning your waist. Prepare the energy to rotate the hip, forward-leaning.

step 2 - Yin pai
step 2 – Yin pai

Focus on your thumb. This is the micro-adjustment skill. Very important to improve the quality of your shot.
Hold the racket firmly with your index finger.


Step 3: Power Generation.

The center of gravity shifts from the right foot to the left foot. The body kicks when you hit the ball. Chinese coach often says, “hit the ball with your body”. That’s the body the main force to generate the power to your forehand. By hitting this way, you will have more power, and your shot is more consistent.

This is the reason why Ma Long’s forehand is so powerful and special. Remember this: The body kicks when you slap the ball.

the body kicks - generate powerful forehand with the body
the body kicks – generate powerful forehand with the body

Hit the ball upward and forward. Follow through with your shot. Hit at the high position. You can see that Ma Long has naturally followed through his gesture. Close the forearm at the end of the gesture.


Step 4: Follow Through and Recovery

Step 4: Recover. After hitting the ball, follow through the upper left front.

Recovery after follow through
Recovery after follow through

Then retract the back, and restore the center of gravity. Then you should prepare to hit the next ball. You can see that Ma Long follows his gesture until the upper left front. Then he rotates his hip, do the weight to the right foot, and comes back to step 1.


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