This is the ultimate analysis of Ma Long’s table tennis techniques. This tutorial includes several aspects of the advanced table tennis skills: Ma Long’s grip, Ma Long’s serve, Ma Long Ma Long’s service receive, changing the grip during the rallies, etc. This tutorial will answer these questions:
- Should I change the grip during the rallies?
- Does the professional player change his grip?
- What is the best grip for a table tennis serve?
- What is the grip when you receive a serve?
Basic techniques in table tennis
In your first 2 years of ping pong career, you should focus to learn these techniques correctly!
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Here is the full analysis of Ma Long’s techniques, translated from Chinese Table Tennis World Magazine. You can download it here in PDF.
Ma Long’s advanced techniques
These are advanced skills in table tennis to improve the consistency and the power of your shots. There are several aspects for you to improve!
But mainly, they involve around:
Today, there are some tips for you to “modify your grip” to enhance the power of your shots in table tennis.
Read more about Ma Long:
- Ma Long training: Powerful Forehand
- Ma Long childhood and personal life
- The Truth about Chinese Rubbers | Ma Long Forehand Rubber
- 5 Steps to Do Backhand Loop Table Tennis (with Ma Long)
Ma Long’s specific grip for forehand
Ma Long’s forehand is one of the best in the World. His backhand is not bad. Very consistent, and fast too!
Today, we learn the advanced tips. If Ma Long does change the grip or not?
Let’s see his training session, for the forehand, and then the backhand. We will study something.
Ma Long forehand – multiball training
Look at his grip for the Forehand. The thumb is on the edge of the handle!
Now, let’s see what is the grip of Ma Long for the backhand?
He changes or keeps the same grip?
Does Ma Long change the grip for his backhand?
This is his neutral grip during the forehand rallies. The thumb is always on the edge of the handle.
You will see, to gain more power, Ma Long changes the grip for both Forehand and Backhand.
When he does the Backhand topspin, he moves the thumb up, to support his stroke.
So the answer is: Yes, he does change the grip for his backhand!
Ma long backhand techniques
Look! After finishing the stroke, he just releases his thumb. This is called as “micro-adjustment”. He does this step, to relax, explode, and then relax! So please, always loosen your grip after the stroke. And always apply pressure at the moment you hit the ball!
His backhand is very fluid and strong too!
Ma Long footwork for Backhand to Forehand transition
Ma Long using the 2 steps footwork pattern during the backhand to forehand transition.
This footwork pattern is the optimal one which helps you rotate your center of gravity from left to right and inversely.
Advanced skills: change the grip for the serve?
A player asked me “I would like to know how to hold the racket correctly while serving.”
This is a very good question. The serve is very important in table tennis.
Every shot always begins with the serve.
That’s why the serve and the service return takes more than 40% of the rallies in table tennis.
Let’s learn from Ma Long’s technique, his grip, his service and more. So Ma Long uses 3 types of grip:
- Forehand grip
- Backhand grip
- Loosen grip for serve
I’ve explained in the previous video “Ma Long’s technique”. That the pro players do change the grip for his forehand, and backhand topspin.
This is the grip of Ma Long used for his Forehand drive. You can clearly see this is a neutral grip, his thumb is put on the edge of the handle (not the rubber). His index finger, and his thumb “pinch” the racket to support his forehand drive.
The grip for his powerful Forehand topspin is the same as the grip for the Forehand drive.
Look how he applied the pressure through his fingers.
Remember: Relax, Explode, and Relax. Appy the pressure at the moment you hit the ball.
This is his grip for the backhand drive. His thumb is pushed up higher, vertical to the rubber. This grip supports his backhand drive. The pressure comes from the thumb during the stroke.
So changing the grip for each stroke is necessary, which can increase the quality for each type of shots. Some coaches prefer “fixing the grips”, but I recommend you to “adapt and change the grip for each type of stroke”.
Grip for serve
Here is Ma Long’s grip for the serve. He does change his grip during the serve.
For the serve, you can’t use a lot of your forearm to create spin in your serve. The main source of spin is your wrist. So you should hold your racket loosely, to freely “accelerate” into the ball by using the wrist. That’s why Ma Long holds the racket loosely, mainly at the handle edge.
So he can impact a lot of spin with the quick acceleration from the wrist.
Grip for serve receive
For the grip when receiving the serve, you should use the same grip. For example, when you receive the ball with your forehand, use your forehand grip.
Some players asked, “Do I have enough time to change my grip during the rally?”.
Yes, you have enough time to do that. Changing grip can help you increase the quality of the shots.
Look at this replay, you can see that Ma Long has anticipated, and changed his grip from the forehand to the backhand.
Read all the tutorials in the Advanced table tennis skills category here.
What is the personal racket of Ma Long? Read it here.