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How do pros train footwork?

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cls2222 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote cls2222 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: How do pros train footwork?
    Posted: 12/28/2010 at 3:56pm
Do pros drill footwork to improve their speed or do they incorporate strength training or some other kind of "non table tennis" training to help them gain speed in lateral movement, step-around, or cross steps? For me it is very difficult to train footwork because I am 6'2 and weigh 185 pounds, so I am at a dilemma in what kind of exercises I should do to improve explosive footwork. When I run side to side, similar to the video below, I gain a lot of muscle (I can squat 450 lbs. 8 times due to the footwork training). However, many players, such as Eric Owens, told me it is not efficient to have a lot of muscle mass in table tennis. Since I am 6'2, I have to stand lower to the table when performing topspin or going in for short balls, so my quadriceps are being exercised either way. Should I downsize a little to lose some weight and try to develop styles with more relaxed footwork, such as Oh Sang Eun's close to the table defense and counter, or Samsonov's all-around attacking game?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bj1LO67XuaY
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Gr8GrZ Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12/28/2010 at 4:29pm
Best way would be multi ball, if thats not available do the short sideways running kinda like what basketball teams do during physical training on the court. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote JohnnyChop Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12/28/2010 at 5:07pm
i think jump rope are good... increase breathing, stamina, strength and agility....
i try doing HIT with them... its a good exercise... 
as for the actual footwork i'll leave it to the more experienced players to tell you....
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote EZRO Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12/28/2010 at 5:28pm
Multi Dimensional Drilling and multi balls, the one two step when hitting the ball, basic jogging for stamina.   Basic Rule, just don't stand when hitting the ball, don't just extend your arms when hitting your ball, try to move your feet and step to the proper position when hitting the ball so that you can position again to your next move.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote EZRO Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12/28/2010 at 5:36pm
Be like Samsonov.  he's almost the same height as you are... even though he has reach advantage, he's footwork is excellent.  Yes its true you don't need alot of upper body muscles for table tennis, but you need to work out on your leg muscles and stamina.  Tone your muscles not to be big and bulky but to be flexible for speed.  To avoid injuries Ying Yang
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote JimT Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12/28/2010 at 6:23pm
I am 6'1" almost 6'2" myself and weigh 200 (alas!) so for me footwork is a problem as well. There are of course exercises to work on - like Falkenberg drill - which are usually extremely demanding. I, for one, cannot do stuff like FD for longer than 2-3 minutes at a time. I am not sure that it helps my footwork but it certainly helped my foot-leg stamina - I used to get cramps in my calves and aching pains under my knees etc. I also use 2-3 times-a-day 2-3 minutes stretches to reset my legs.

It really depends on your physical shape and your age etc - if you feel like you can do footwork drills, then you should do them even if balls don't hit the table that well when you do them. I decided that in my shape and age I would do better to concentrate on better general positioning of the body, on proper recovering technique (that is, quick return to the neutral stance and proper return of the racket), on quick recovering of your balance, on correct breathing etc. As a result I am not very fast on my feet - for instance I cannot do stuff like a lot of my younger opponents do when receiving a not extremely fast diagonal serve, they simply manage to shift left so much that they run around it and attack it with FH stroke instead of trying for a BH push or opening loop (because they feel that would be not aggressive enough). However, I try to always be where I feel the ball will be - and I keep teaching myself to
a) never be caught off-balance
b) try and see the opponent's next move
c) do not over-commit before you see the other guy's stroke,... etc.

I know this is not exactly the answer you wanted but it could still help... perhaps other players of my shape/weight/generation Wink will think about it too.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote cls2222 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12/28/2010 at 7:20pm
Thanks a lot for the advice. I try to do as much multiball as I can, but there is only one guy in my city who knows how to play multiball well and charges a fair price. I drill a lot of step-arounds and 3rd ball attack drills. I try to train irregular drills as much as possible, although it's not as effective for footwork because of the high margin for error. Falkenberg is really good for footwork; slow shots but fast movement really helps in consistency for the drill.

I actually do ankle exercises to prevent me from tearing or pulling any tendons, and so far haven't had an injury. Ever since I tore both of my patellar tendons, I started wearing knee supports and doing a lot more running to prevent that from ever happening again.

Thanks for the advice.

Bull_Harrier, do you have any advice for what muscles to train?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote stoic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12/28/2010 at 7:32pm
The stick training on that video looks painful!Shocked but also good training. Its similar to a basketball drill to improve defense.
 
For table tennis, this is how they train the kids in China, or specifically Chengdu:
 
 
I would not recommend this "Jump jump" training for older players or those with a lot of weight, it puts a lot of pressure on your knees. Confused
 
The man with the fastest foot work in the world trains like this:
 
 
I would suggest doing these simple exercises over and over because you get the leg work out and improve your consistency at the same time.
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Pioneer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12/28/2010 at 8:23pm
What about playing football ? LOL
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BH-Man Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12/29/2010 at 1:47am
CLS, 185 Lbs for your height is not all that massive, at least not near enough to be worried about. Brian Pace looks a lot more massive than that and is over 2400 USATT easily.
 
You can suppliment training in a number of ways outside TT training, but look at your TT training first. If you are in a situation that allows some training, instead of matchplay only, then have someone tap some balls for you as you hit. There is an unlimited number of on the table stuff to do if you have a partner to feed you the balls for it. Just a few suggestions below.
 
You serve chop, partner pushes to your BH, you step around and loop at partner's body. Partner blocks to wide FH, you use quick two step or crossover to loop that ball and play out.
 
Similar drill, partner feeds you light chop to your BH, you step around FH loop, partner blocks to wide FH, etc.
 
You are ready for either a chopped ball to your BH or FH. Partner feeds random, you use step around or two step to get into position and loop.
 
Falkenberg if partner can block.
 
Two step footwork drill - Partner feeds ball to middle of table, you loop to partner's body, partner blocks to FH corner, you use two step footwork to get there and loop to body, partner blocks to middle of table, you two step back and loop, partner blocks to FH corner, etc...
 
Step in footwork - partner makes very short chop near net on FH or BH side, you move in and flick, move back quickly, partner repeats...
 
Small adjustment - Partner feeds you ball and blocks to FH corner, you loop back to partner's FH, partner blocks to FH corner, but 6-12 inches form last spot, repeat.
 
These are some basic footwork and hitting exercises. When you get real good at these, then you can make them into combination exercises, like partner serves you deep side/chop right at your body, you step around and FH loop, partner blocks to wide FH, you two step or crossover to hit the wide ball, you recover as much as you can, partner blocks anywhere, finish point.
 
Again, 185 Lbs is nothing to be so worried about. Our club No 1 is very short, but has the same massive Hamstrings I got, and is easily 3 inches shorter than me. That dude is hyper quick on footwork. Pushing to his BH is futile, unless you are almost smashing it. That dude could step around a tornado and hit. It can also be about where your mass is at.
 
The body is very adaptive. If you are training the multiball things in TT 3-5 times a week, your body will adapt, no matter where the starting point. We could all profit more by taking better care of the intake/rest portions of our fitness.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote APW46 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12/29/2010 at 3:14am
The initial thing has nothing to do with fitness, you have to know where to put your feet, that is why any well drilled TT player, however unfit, has better footwork than Usain Bolt. So initially, you need either a coach or good player to show you basic footwork.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote cls2222 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12/29/2010 at 3:41am
Originally posted by APW46 APW46 wrote:

The initial thing has nothing to do with fitness, you have to know where to put your feet, that is why any well drilled TT player, however unfit, has better footwork than Usain Bolt. So initially, you need either a coach or good player to show you basic footwork.


Sorry for the misunderstanding. I was asking about the fitness aspect of footwork.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tinykin_2 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12/29/2010 at 6:45am
Let's face it, TT drills can get boring. That's why most players choose to simply play matches during their 'training' session. But they are also the ones that are satisfied with their playing level.
If you want to improve, do the TT drills. But some drills from other sports can improve the overall fitness and lightness of feet necessary. Sprint training has similarities to TT training and most pros do sprint training at some time or other especially the ladder steps.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tinykin_2 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12/29/2010 at 8:23am
Originally posted by stoic stoic wrote:

The stick training on that video looks painful!Shocked but also good training. Its similar to a basketball drill to improve defense.
 
For table tennis, this is how they train the kids in China, or specifically Chengdu:
 
 
I would not recommend this "Jump jump" training for older players or those with a lot of weight, it puts a lot of pressure on your knees. Confused
 

That frog-jump training enables you to do strokes like this:



Or if you are really into plyometrics, check this out:






Edited by Tinykin_2 - 12/29/2010 at 2:40pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Aforoazuzv Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/14/2017 at 5:44am
But they are also the ones that are satisfied with their playing level.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kenneyy88 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/14/2017 at 6:35am
Moving correctly with proper footwork is the best training like with the Falkenberg drill, 3 point forehands. Doing plyo jumping will improve your explosiveness.  Agility ladder drills will help your footspeed. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Baal Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/14/2017 at 9:18am
Originally posted by cls2222 cls2222 wrote:


Originally posted by APW46 APW46 wrote:

The initial thing has nothing to do with fitness, you have to know where to put your feet, that is why any well drilled TT player, however unfit, has better footwork than Usain Bolt. So initially, you need either a coach or good player to show you basic footwork.


Sorry for the misunderstanding. I was asking about the fitness aspect of footwork.


Yes but it becomes less of sn issue if you know where to put your feet, in other words if your movement efficient. APW46 has very good footwork (we have played some years ago when I was last in UK) and he is a really good coach, but at least a few years ago he was not the fittest guy in table tennis! But he is very efficient and ridiculously quick for his size.

Fitness helps.

So from a fitness perspective let me ask you this because it is actually something Eric told me long ago. Are your legs equally strong? Do you favor your strong side a bit? That can cause problems with footwork. I can elaborate more on this if you are interested.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BMonkey Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/14/2017 at 10:59am
Originally posted by BH-Man BH-Man wrote:

CLS, 185 Lbs for your height is not all that massive, at least not near enough to be worried about. Brian Pace looks a lot more massive than that and is over 2400 USATT easily.
 
...
 
Again, 185 Lbs is nothing to be so worried about. Our club No 1 is very short, but has the same massive Hamstrings I got, and is easily 3 inches shorter than me. That dude is hyper quick on footwork. Pushing to his BH is futile, unless you are almost smashing it. That dude could step around a tornado and hit. It can also be about where your mass is at.
+1 That's not large for the height.

You sure that Eric Owens wasn't specifically referring to upper body mass? Most guys who lift weights focus on building up the upper body rather than the lower body, and really bulky upper body muscle is pretty useless in table tennis.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NextLevel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/14/2017 at 11:29am
Necromancer in the house...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Baal Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06/14/2017 at 12:07pm
Why yes. Zombies.  I should have noticed that.

But even if the OP is not going to see it anymore (his last visit was five years ago), it is still something useful to talk about.
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