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What is the Correct Stance in Table Tennis?

I have explained the table tennis ready position. But today, we learn the basic stance in table tennis.

Basic stance in table tennis

Here is the photo of the basic stance of the top Chinese table tennis players: Ma Long, Yan An, Fan Zhendong, Wang Chuqin (compiled by @table_tennis_forever). Have you mentioned something interesting?

Basic Stance of the top Chinese player
Basic Stance of the top Chinese player

You would wonder why they put their free hand on the left leg? Here is the basic stance that we learn from them. I will explain it right now.

So here is the basic stance in table tennis.


For the stance, you should have feet wide apart. Most beginners have feet too close or too wide. This will make your body unstable. The rule of thumb is to have your feet just a little bit wider than your shoulder.


The body should be slightly bent forward. Your head should be facing the table. Look at the stance of Fan Zhendong and Ma Long. They lean toward the table. This stance will make them responsive to both short and long balls.

Arm and freehand

Their arm is low. Lower than the table, both for playing hand and freehand. Ma Long put his playing hand (right hand) very low. Interesting points: Top Chinese players put their free hands on the left legs. This could give the stability and the focus.

You should have a “stable stand”. That’s why top Chinese players always put their free arm on the legs.

The ready position of Fan Zhendong
The ready position of Fan Zhendong


The knees should be slightly bent. Don’t bend your knees too much. Find your comfortable height. Some players just stand too high. And some just stand too low. Optimal distance helps you balance! Too high standing prevents you to move fast.

Read more about the grip, and the fundamental skills for beginners.


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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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