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Make your forehand loop even more powerful!

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    Posted: 05/21/2015 at 7:13pm
Hi everyone,

I tried writing a small article about a part of the forehand loop technique that is, in my opinion, not talked about enough and more than slightly misunderstood.

You can see it on there, it's the only posted article and I will gladly write more if it seems like something some of you enjoy.


I'm not sure this is allowed on the forum, so if it isn't don't hesitate to tell me so I can remove it :)

And if it is allowed, please make sure to leave me feedback, questions or comments on the blog post or on here so we can discuss :)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote zeio Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/21/2015 at 10:33pm
I feel more puzzled after reading the article without any graphical demonstrations.
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+ Neo H3 2.15 Blk - 44.5g(55.3g uncut bare)
+ Hexer HD 2.1 Red - 49.3g(68.5g 〃 〃)
= 184.8g
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jrscatman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/22/2015 at 12:48am
Not a big supporter of using wrist. 
Good luck with your blog.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Crowsfeather Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/22/2015 at 1:45am
Great job bro!!!

I dont think I can help much,it is based on style of swing and personal technique.
But I have disscuss this matter with my clubmates times to times, to get a perfect swing.
This is a concept in my mind.

1 Basement, give a power from foot to hip then to arm, as usually seen in martial art , can acc arm swing. It is also include wrist job as said in the article. imagine a whip swing.

2 positioning yourself in the right place gave an advantage of power as you can easily hit from normal position.

3 arm power and arm swing speed!!! This is the most matter to get the speed, the snap of your arm and forearm, you might need to work on both power and endurance of your muscles.

i think this would not be all

Edited by Crowsfeather - 05/22/2015 at 1:47am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote neutronbomb Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/22/2015 at 7:46am
I agree with his tutorial. When I first started playing, I had knee issues so the proper "bend at the knees and transfer weight, etc" was out of the question. I developed quite a good grazing loop using just my arm and wrist. The spin was almost always underestimated. When I dealt with my knee problems and was able to combine this with body power, the result was a topspin shot well above my level of play. Using the wrist can also help change direction very deceptively, as JO demonstrated through his career. Plus, the wrist makes it easier to perform a dead loop while maintaining a full body and arm swing.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NextLevel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/22/2015 at 11:00am
Originally posted by jrscatman jrscatman wrote:

Not a big supporter of using wrist. 
Good luck with your blog.
Where do you play?

Smart question.

This topic is complicated enough that the credibility of the writer is important.

I largely agree with what he is saying (I do it much better on my backhand than my forehand), but the example of Timo Boll is probably not the best, though it does make the contrast clear.    Han Xiao makes a similar point when comparing the loops of Timo Boll and Jum Mizutani in one of his recent articles.


Edited by NextLevel - 05/22/2015 at 1:49pm
I like putting heavy topspin on the ball...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote V-Griper Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/22/2015 at 3:34pm
Just wanted to add some terms. 

Radial/Ulnar deviation- this is the motion of the wrist you are saying not to do. Note most players hold the paddle in a fixed position with some degree of ulnar deviation with a slight amount of wrist flexion.

Flexion/Extension- this is the movement you are promoting. If you hold out your hand palm facing the floor and bend your wrist so that your fingers point towards the floor that is the flexed position. If you point them towards the ceiling then the wrist would be in the extended position. 

There is one other movement I think you need in there and that is Pronation/Supination. So arm out palm facing the floor. If you rotate your arm so the palm faces up that movement is supination. If the palm is up and you rotate it down that is pronationation. 

So the FH stroke usually goes in the sequence of pronate on the take back, supinate at the transition along with some wrist extension and then pronate again with wrist flexion going into ball contact. 


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NextLevel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/22/2015 at 4:06pm
What V-Griper said. My backhand usually does that and my forehand is schizo about it.
I like putting heavy topspin on the ball...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pgpg Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/22/2015 at 4:13pm
I was wondering about that too lately - I see our better players do the wrist 'slap' thing, I think. 

Somehow all this time I was thinking that wrist action everyone talks about (and which I lack) should be of radial/ulnar deviation variety, since it kind of enhances the brushing of the ball, at least in theory. I guess I was wrong, but my question is how do you learn to do it the right way. Just trial and error? 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote zeio Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/22/2015 at 4:19pm
You let "inertia" take over during the late stage of instantaneous acceleration some time before impact.  It is achieved at the subconscious level.  You fail the moment you force it.

P.S.  There is a name for this kind of explosive contraction of the muscle - the stretch-shortening cycle.  It basically involves a conscious movement that causes an eccentric contraction which then induces a subconscious concentric contraction.  The motion is so small that it is hardly visible but you can feel it.  There is a lot written on this for tennis, such as this one.


Edited by zeio - 05/22/2015 at 5:14pm
Viscaria FL - 91g
+ Neo H3 2.15 Blk - 44.5g(55.3g uncut bare)
+ Hexer HD 2.1 Red - 49.3g(68.5g 〃 〃)
= 184.8g
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tassie52 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/22/2015 at 6:34pm
I'm just trying to work out why zero of the coaching manuals/tutorials teach this?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote V-Griper Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/22/2015 at 6:39pm
Another point is that this is fundamental to most single arm throwing or swinging motion. So throwing a baseball, swinging a tennis racket, javelin throw, golf swing it's all the same thing just different applications. Pronate/supinate/pronate +- wrist extension/flexion. One way to look at it is that you are throwing the paddle into the ball, which is not far from what is actually happening.

I think the wrist flexion used in high end loop strokes is proportionally very small. So I would say if you are having problems with it, less is more. If you are going to emphasize something emphasize the pronate/supinate motion of the arm, pivoting around the elbow, and keep the extension/flexion of the wrist very small. Less is more in this case. 



WLQ- This is as good as you will ever see imo. You can clearly see the rotation of the arm but you can barely see the wrist movement. Also see how similar it is to a throwing motion.  






Edited by V-Griper - 05/22/2015 at 6:48pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote zeio Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/22/2015 at 6:48pm
It is indeed poorly, if at all, documented in table tennis.  This is supposed to be "mastered" from motions that we all experience on a daily basis, not something that is left to those "gifted and talented" to figure it out on their own.
Viscaria FL - 91g
+ Neo H3 2.15 Blk - 44.5g(55.3g uncut bare)
+ Hexer HD 2.1 Red - 49.3g(68.5g 〃 〃)
= 184.8g
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Crowsfeather Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/22/2015 at 9:56pm
I think WLQ was not using the wrist but let them loose and go with the momentum.


The guy in this video said about using wrist momentum.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FgvxkRaSZQk 

And trust me this might be the funniest and greatest TT tutorial.

Edited by Crowsfeather - 05/22/2015 at 9:56pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote zeio Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/22/2015 at 10:48pm
At 1:19 in Brett's video, it can be seen he let the inertia from the backswing aid the wrist cock right before the swing.  That's the stretch shortening cycle.

Edited by zeio - 05/22/2015 at 10:50pm
Viscaria FL - 91g
+ Neo H3 2.15 Blk - 44.5g(55.3g uncut bare)
+ Hexer HD 2.1 Red - 49.3g(68.5g 〃 〃)
= 184.8g
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lau_hb Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/22/2015 at 10:55pm
Hey everybody thanks for all the attention. I will try to answer everyone individually tomorrow but for now :

1) I used to play and coach in a suburb of Montreal. Currently don't get much time to practice so that's why I want to write about table tennis, fills my need for TT a little bit. I am a 2000 rated player in Canada, so do the calculation for what it's worth in the US and if you find that credible!

2) If I can add to what I wrote, I think I did not emphasize the fact that the motion should not be forced backwards. The forward motion of your arm and your relaxed wrist should let the wrist cock backwards as the swing is in motion. As you are approaching the ball, the motion of throwing the wrist forward, or slapping should be something that is actually "forced" for a lack of a better term.

As I said I'll read through the answers more tomorrow and try to answer everybody more so we can keep the discussion going! :)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lau_hb Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/22/2015 at 10:59pm
Thank you for precision of the terms. I left them out because I don't think most people would have been familiar with them but I could add them next time I talk about them, thank you!

I also agree with the pronation and supination part.

My way to think about it is that when trying to do the motion I am trying to explain in the article, the pronation of the wrist will happen on it's own. I don't want to promote pronating by itself as readers might get the wrong idea that you have to pronate as you would when doing a tennis forehand which is not exactly the case in table tennis.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ringer84 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/23/2015 at 12:00am
Is the slow, spinny loop that Schlager plays @ 3:57 of this video an example of using the wrist in the way the OP is talking about?




Edited by Ringer84 - 05/23/2015 at 12:02am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kenneyy88 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/23/2015 at 12:16am
This kinda wrist motion is good but I end up using too much arm and my shots become way too spinny. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lau_hb Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/23/2015 at 12:16am
Originally posted by Ringer84 Ringer84 wrote:

Is the slow, spinny loop that Schlager plays @ 3:57 of this video an example of using the wrist in the way the OP is talking about?

You can definitely see it in that stroke. I think it is hardest to do on a slow spinny shot like this though!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lau_hb Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/23/2015 at 12:24am
Originally posted by V-Griper V-Griper wrote:

Another point is that this is fundamental to most single arm throwing or swinging motion. So throwing a baseball, swinging a tennis racket, javelin throw, golf swing it's all the same thing just different applications. Pronate/supinate/pronate +- wrist extension/flexion. One way to look at it is that you are throwing the paddle into the ball, which is not far from what is actually happening.

I think the wrist flexion used in high end loop strokes is proportionally very small. So I would say if you are having problems with it, less is more. If you are going to emphasize something emphasize the pronate/supinate motion of the arm, pivoting around the elbow, and keep the extension/flexion of the wrist very small. Less is more in this case. 



WLQ- This is as good as you will ever see imo. You can clearly see the rotation of the arm but you can barely see the wrist movement. Also see how similar it is to a throwing motion.  

I do agree it does not need to be a big motion, because then you would be overusing your wrist in comparison to the rest of your motion.

Looking at this WLQ video does demonstrate that he does not use his wrist too much. If you slow down the moments he starts the swing, and unfortunately the video is not slowed down enough for it to be obvious, you can see his racket head is slightly lagging behind his wrist, as a result of the slight extension of his wrist caused by the momentum of his swing. As stated above, the extension should not be forced, it should be created by the swing itself and a relaxed wrist. Now, however small that extension may be, to get the most out of your forehand you do need to force the flexion and slight pronation to compensate from this lag and gain the most racket speed. This is my view on the matter at least, hopefully that clarifies it! :)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lau_hb Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/23/2015 at 12:31am
Originally posted by NextLevel NextLevel wrote:

Originally posted by jrscatman jrscatman wrote:

Not a big supporter of using wrist. 
Good luck with your blog.
Where do you play?

Smart question.

This topic is complicated enough that the credibility of the writer is important.

I largely agree with what he is saying (I do it much better on my backhand than my forehand), but the example of Timo Boll is probably not the best, though it does make the contrast clear.    Han Xiao makes a similar point when comparing the loops of Timo Boll and Jum Mizutani in one of his recent articles.

In case you miss the answer below, I am a 2000 canadian rated player with a decent amount of coaching experience. Just like anything table tennis is subjective though, this is all just food for thought in the end however credible I might or might not be ! ;)

I definitely used Timo as an exemple in an effort to make it as obvious as I could. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lau_hb Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/23/2015 at 12:36am
Originally posted by Tassie52 Tassie52 wrote:

I'm just trying to work out why zero of the coaching manuals/tutorials teach this?

From my limited experience with ITTF manuals that I had for coaching certification, my answer to this would be that it might be too fine of a detail for something that is not really trying to be too specific and is also outdated.

For tutorials, it may be because it is a quite difficult matter to try to explain. I do know chinese give a lot of importance to it as I've seen in different videos from chinese coaches. It may simply not have reached to western coaches as much yet. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lau_hb Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/23/2015 at 12:43am
Originally posted by pgpg pgpg wrote:

I was wondering about that too lately - I see our better players do the wrist 'slap' thing, I think. 

Somehow all this time I was thinking that wrist action everyone talks about (and which I lack) should be of radial/ulnar deviation variety, since it kind of enhances the brushing of the ball, at least in theory. I guess I was wrong, but my question is how do you learn to do it the right way. Just trial and error? 

This is a very common mistake in the understanding of table tennis. From a purely rational standpoint it would be normal to think that this  brushing motion is what enhances the spin in the ball the most. The thing is with how rubbers are designed, spin is achieved by compressing the sponge and hitting through the ball a lot more than you can first think.

Now how to learn it the right way depends on a lot of things that have to come together in your forehand technique to make sure you can incorporate everything in a way that works as a whole. I will cover that in a next article so make sure to stay tuned for that.

In the mean time, I would simply try to get a feel for hitting through the ball more and incorporate this wrist motion that way. Try to keep your shoulders mostly leveled through the swing. With your leveled shoulders try to emphasize a backward / forward motion in your swing, by purposely finishing your stroke way more in front of you than what feels normal. This may help you get a feel for hitting through the ball and not trying to brush up on the ball!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NextLevel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/23/2015 at 1:10am
Many of you may have missed the tick whip thread I opened but ob it, Brett showed the motion in my backswing and Ma Lin as well on the forehand loop. Will find it when I get home and to a PC...
I like putting heavy topspin on the ball...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote zeio Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/23/2015 at 1:47am
Viscaria FL - 91g
+ Neo H3 2.15 Blk - 44.5g(55.3g uncut bare)
+ Hexer HD 2.1 Red - 49.3g(68.5g 〃 〃)
= 184.8g
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tassie52 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/23/2015 at 3:04am
I'm sorry, folks, but I fail to see any significant Flexion/Extension when the FH loop is played correctly.

In WLQ's FH (hailed as the stroke of the decade):








Brian Pace's (inferior) FH - from his training video







In each of these sequences, there is a (virtual) straight line from elbow through wrist and blade.  The most significant deviation from that straight line is Radial/Ulnar deviation - the sort of movement the OP is advocating not to use!

And in Brett Clarke's tick/whip FH, we see Ma Lin (a penholder):







I couldn't get a follow through shot of Ma Lin's "tick/whip" because it's off screen, but the main point is the difference in wrist position between the first and second shots: in 1. the wrist is cocked, not with Extension but with Radial/Ulnar deviation.  Try for yourself: hold a bat penhold style, drop you forearm and try taking your hand back in Extension. It is possible, but it's extraordinarily uncomfortable and look's nothing like Ma Lin's picture.

Lau_hb is advocating "slapping" the ball and that IMO is a no-no during the FH loop.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lau_hb Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/23/2015 at 3:21am
From the first picture of WLQ you posted, I can personally see some degree of extension as he is starting his swing. The bat is slightly angled. Let's remember that the idea I am promoting is not to overdo it.

For the two other examples, without even seeing them in videos, you can clearly see they are hitting half-long underspin balls, which is not a shot where you can not hit through the ball nearly as much. That could definitely be a reason why this motion is not really present.

As far as the slapping go. I definitely don't mean it in a literal way. Slapping the ball would not be advisable for a forehand loop at all, but it is the best image I could come up with to represent the motion your wrist should do in my opinion.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NextLevel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/23/2015 at 9:05am
In addition to the wrist motion, like I said, the wrong players are being chosen as examples of the slapping motion.  Here is an article by Han Xiao that describes it by contrasting Boll and Mizutani.    I just started working yesterday on adjusting my loop to match this technique.  It's going to be work, but I will give it a shot.

You see it on Mizutani's shot here.  This is the kind of loop that works with max sponge.  I am working on it because I use a slower racket and I think I can take full advantage of that with this stroke.



Full article:





Edited by NextLevel - 05/23/2015 at 9:11am
I like putting heavy topspin on the ball...
Carbonado 245
FH: D09C 1.9 R/B
BH: D09C 1.9 B/R
Lumberjack TT, not for lovers of beautiful strokes.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tassie52 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05/23/2015 at 9:52am
Aha! I stand corrected - there IS a coaching tutorial which clearly demonstrates the Extension and Flexion of the wrist during the forehand loop:


The wrist clearly opens and closes through the motion:



Having conceded that there is clear evidence of Lau_hb's suggested wrist movement, I would still want to argue that this is nowhere near as evident in WLQ's video (or any other elite player's stroke that I can see).  I'd love to hear Brett's comments on this thread because I have my suspicions that he would want to talk about relaxing the arm (Playing like a bear) much more than consciously taking the hand back and slapping through the ball.
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