Table tennis is a game of speed and reflexes, but as you continue to improve and your shots get faster, you’ll find that you need more than just your weekly practice sessions to get better. Like any athlete, a combination of speed and strength training will play a vital role in improving the speed of your smash and how fast you can get to the ball. While not as crucial as in other sports like track and field, strength training at least twice a week will still have a positive impact on your tennis game. Away from your gym sessions, you may also be looking for the best equipment you can find for your table tennis practice. For this, we recommend checking out DDPLAN Tennis Table Reviews to see the best table tennis table for your needs.
Maximise your efforts.
For table tennis, you won’t want to have strength training as the main focus of your training, but it should still be used as a supplement to your broader training regime. If you’re only going to be in the gym 2-3 times a week at most in between table tennis practice sessions, then you need to make sure you’re getting the most bang for your buck with the time you have. With this in mind, we recommend that most of your workouts consist of exercises that work your whole body, rather than isolations exercises that will only work out a certain body part like your biceps. Big arms aren’t going to improve your game, but explosive legs will. Full-body exercises are called compound exercises, and the most effective are the squat, bench press, deadlift, and overhead press. With just these four lifts, you can get very strong with only 45-minute sessions 2-3 times a week.
Focus on progression.
The mistake that many people make in the gym is that they do the same thing every session. They will bench press 135 pounds for sets of 10 every time they go to the gym and wonder why they don’t progress. A great simple progression plan that’s perfect for table tennis players wanting to improve their strength is called 5×5 – named after the rep and sets you do for each lift. Every time you go to the gym, start by squatting and doing five reps. This is called a set. Do this five times in total to make up your 5×5. You can then go to your next exercise and do the same rep scheme. The trick is to try to increase the weight by 2.5 pounds every time you go to the gym. By doing this, you’ll be constantly focused on progression, rather than doing the same thing every week.
For table tennis, you’ll also want to focus on exercises that give you explosive strength. One of the best exercises for this is the power clean, which you may have seen at the Olympics. The movement takes the bar, and you lift it explosively to end up at your chest in the ‘rack position.’ We recommend finding a coach if you want to try this exercise as it can be very technical.