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Use of the Wrist

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AnthonyTT View Drop Down
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    Posted: 01/16/2012 at 8:31pm
Recently switched from a grip that literally allows NO wrist movement (modified seemiller), to a grip that arguably uses the most wrist (J-Pen). I'm just wondering, should the wrist usage flow naturally or should you really cock your wrist back and snap at the point of contact? Or should the hand be loose enough that it snaps back naturally? Thanks for the help!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote richrf Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01/16/2012 at 9:08pm
I am sure there are all kinds of replies. My approach is to practice relaxation and let the movement happened based upon the compression of energy around the hips and then the unleashing of the energy creating a motion not unlike a wound up spring that is released. BTW, the relaxation is not like a wet noodle. It is energetic like a spring. These are tips from Waldner:


Tip #3

3. Develop a relaxed technique Table tennis requires a tremendous amount of practice. Always try to play as relaxed as possible. This will increase your chances to play relaxed even in tight situations and at the same time decrease your susceptibility for injuries. Personally, I have managed to avoid lengthy injuries, which is one of the reasons why I have been able to remain at the top for so many years.

This thought is very much part of the Chinese martial arts and athletic philosophy. I feel that Waldner in part may have been influenced by the Chinese approach while studying the Chinese players.

In your case, I would suggest that you shadow your stroke in front of a mirror, always being relaxed and allow the wrist to break backwards and forwards in the direction that naturally flows from the stroke technique. 

I'll be interested in what others have to say on this subject. 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BH-Man Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01/17/2012 at 12:50am
The use of wrist snap depends on your abilities and williness to use it. Some shots you don't need a lot of wrist, like a FH drive, but on max spin shots, like a FH opener vs underspin, you really need to finish the shot with wrist snap.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote stiltt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01/17/2012 at 1:32am
I read once about the "table tennis hell" in this forum; it was a bout the grip.
 
I do think messing with the wrist is another circle of tt hell. It is soooo complicated.
 
In the bh it's your best friend (we can't put much of our body on the bh so the wrist adds up); in the fh it should be the cherry on the cake only, and only on balls over the table. On the fh, anything allowing full body stroke (ball outside the table) should not involve the wrist (other than locking it) because the wrist can cancel some of the power developed by the body more often than not. 
 
Of course we see Timo using the wrist a lot on his fh and changing his grip b/w fh and bh. He is a genius; We are not.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote richrf Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01/17/2012 at 1:57am
At the end of this video, Stefan Feth suggests that the whole body should be working in harmony including the waist, forearm and wrist. 


Another article I read a while ago describes the Chinese technique (of course, this is the author's viewpoint), that includes the wrist in the loop. 


I am sure there are many ways to look at this question. My preference is to keep the body relaxed, pivot around the hips, and allow the body to naturally unwind. One thing I don't want to do is purposefully not use the wrist. However, it a player's body is too tense and it doesn't come naturally then it shouldn't be forced. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote stiltt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01/17/2012 at 2:19am
I love to try finding simple formulas to explain complicated ideas and I sense it is valuable to see everything in the bh serving the king wrist while the wrist should be a slave and serve everything else in the -outside of the table- fh. Over the table the wrist is still the king on the bh side but also plays a major role on the fh (flicks, pushes, placement drives etc...).
 
Past a certain level, on the fh oustide the table (full body stroke possible) the wrist may play a bigger role because timing is mastered while at a lower level, a very tiny lack of timing at the wrist level may ruin the whole stroke.
 
Note: of course it is possible to have a full body fh stroke over the table and in that case the wrist should be locked as well. I just used the "outside the table" expression as an imaging tool.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote One Table Tennis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01/17/2012 at 6:13am
These two videos from William Henzell and Stefan Feth are my favorites for this topic.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3inKrRCDiCY&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f4w0J-8xzEU
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kenneyy88 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01/18/2012 at 1:23am
For backhand I intentionally use the wrist to start, then I let it go loose. Forehand I don't think about wrist at all. Over the table, use more wrist. 

Edited by kenneyy88 - 01/18/2012 at 1:23am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote king_pong Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01/18/2012 at 3:45am
      Seems like using the wrist is important to some of our sport's biggest stars....

Waldner on the wrist:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oajchNpOuHs&feature=related

Timo on the use of wrist:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KhAI64BtQ_c&feature=related#t=05m21s

Kong Linghui (don't know what they are saying, but he sure is a good example of using the wrist correctly! Smile):
FOREHAND COUNTER:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z5HQpL9cbN8#t=04m21s

FOREHAND LATERAL DRILL:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c5q0xdSwiXM&feature=related
LOOPING UNDERSPIN:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c5q0xdSwiXM&feature=related#t=04m03s
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c5q0xdSwiXM&feature=related#t=06m31s

FOREHAND DRIVE:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rszTmfzdluY&feature=related#t=05m11s

LOOP DRIVE
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FY6OO43GrM8&feature=related#t=00m38s
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c5q0xdSwiXM&feature=related

     It appears from these videos that as Kong gets further from the table he uses even more wrist (abduction/adduction), rather than less.  Kong became my favorite player after witnessing the effectiveness of his loose and relaxed technique.  With no apparent wasted effort, Kong puts tremendous pace and spin on the ball, using only the required movements.  I think wrist flexibility, relaxation and tension at the precise moment is paramount in his forehand technique.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Krantz Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01/18/2012 at 5:44am
They seem to use the wrist in almost every shot - its scary..

I usually add a wrist movement to the stroke after a few exchanges in a FH rally- if I'am in a good position and I have enough time for preparation of the full stroke - and (if it connects:D) it usually ends the point due to its immense spin (and probably added variation after a couple of 'wristless' strokes).

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote richrf Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01/18/2012 at 11:49am
Originally posted by Krantz Krantz wrote:

They seem to use the wrist in almost every shot - its scary..

I usually add a wrist movement to the stroke after a few exchanges in a FH rally- if I'am in a good position and I have enough time for preparation of the full stroke - and (if it connects:D) it usually ends the point due to its immense spin (and probably added variation after a couple of 'wristless' strokes).


The use of wrist and the amount of wrist used should be a natural reaction to a relaxed swing. The longer the swing and the faster the swing, the more wrist will be naturally used. This is not too dissimilar from the action of a whip.

I think the problem in many cases is that players are taught not to use wrist (even if it is a natural action).  Players then tense their body and arms so as to no to use wrist which slows down the natural speed and fluidity of the stroke. 

Learning to relax is paramount in any sport. I can show you clips of top tennis players, basketball players, pool players, archers, etc. who stress the importance of being relaxed. It is fundamental to any sport. As you relax, everything including your wrist relaxes. So, you don't use your wrist. Instead the thought process is to relax and allow the wrist to flow naturally. If it isn't flowing then you are probably not relaxed. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote richrf Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01/18/2012 at 11:50am
Originally posted by king_pong king_pong wrote:

      Seems like using the wrist is important to some of our sport's biggest stars....

Waldner on the wrist:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oajchNpOuHs&feature=related


Thanks for the video links. I am watching them all. Very nice!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote king_pong Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01/18/2012 at 12:29pm
Originally posted by richrf richrf wrote:


The use of wrist and the amount of wrist used should be a natural reaction to a relaxed swing. The longer the swing and the faster the swing, the more wrist will be naturally used. This is not too dissimilar from the action of a whip.

I think the problem in many cases is that players are taught not to use wrist (even if it is a natural action).  Players then tense their body and arms so as to no to use wrist which slows down the natural speed and fluidity of the stroke. 

Learning to relax is paramount in any sport. I can show you clips of top tennis players, basketball players, pool players, archers, etc. who stress the importance of being relaxed. It is fundamental to any sport. As you relax, everything including your wrist relaxes. So, you don't use your wrist. Instead the thought process is to relax and allow the wrist to flow naturally. If it isn't flowing then you are probably not relaxed. 
+1 Aye-aye!  Couldn't have said it better myself.  Good point distinguishing "using" the wrist from "relaxing" the wrist and letting the whipping action occur naturally.  Kong's form illustrates that so well.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote king_pong Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01/18/2012 at 12:57pm
Originally posted by king_pong king_pong wrote:

Originally posted by richrf richrf wrote:


The use of wrist and the amount of wrist used should be a natural reaction to a relaxed swing. The longer the swing and the faster the swing, the more wrist will be naturally used. This is not too dissimilar from the action of a whip.

I think the problem in many cases is that players are taught not to use wrist (even if it is a natural action).  Players then tense their body and arms so as to no to use wrist which slows down the natural speed and fluidity of the stroke. 

Learning to relax is paramount in any sport. I can show you clips of top tennis players, basketball players, pool players, archers, etc. who stress the importance of being relaxed. It is fundamental to any sport. s you relax, everything including your wrist relaxes. So, you don't use your wrist. Instead the thought process is to relax and allow the wrist to flow naturally. If it isn't flowing then you are probably not relaxed. 
+1 Aye-aye!  Couldn't have said it better myself.  Good point distinguishing "using" the wrist from "relaxing" the wrist and letting the whipping action occur naturally.  Kong's form illustrates that so well.

     Is it coincidental that I picked up the latest copy of the Paddle Palace catalog and found an article in teh Coach's Corner by Massimo Costantini about just this? Smile  Massimo talks about "touch" and relates that to grip pressure.  Holding the paddle too tensely and rigid diminishes a player's touch


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote richrf Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01/18/2012 at 1:08pm
Sounds like a great coach. I like the way he tries to imparts the feeling in several different ways. It shows that he is really thinking about how different students learn and how different methods can be utilized to teach a given lesson. A coach to my own heart! I teach Taijiquan, and I know that I have to be very observant of the student and I change my teaching approach for each student in order to impart the knowledge.

Thanks for sharing the article!
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