Table Tennis, the world’s fastest sport and also called chess at lightning speed, requires a great level of fitness, strength, speed and focus if you are planning to play at a competitive level. Every Table Tennis athlete needs certain strong pillars for his overall development viz. The right level of physical fitness, solid temperament, solid technique, right coach, etc.
If either of it goes missing, then it would generate a weak link in the chain which eventually degrades the player’s performance. Today, we will be covering in detail about the necessary WARM UP & COOL DOWN exercise that every Table Tennis player should do no matter which level he or she is playing at.
Even if you believe in another set of Warm Up exercises, go for it! However, if you directly start playing without warming up your body, then you are inviting a guest which we fondly call it as “INJURY’’. To prevent any kind of muscle pulls or muscle tears while playing, make sure you free those muscles and heat all of them up. Believe me! The game will be much more enjoyable and with a greater amount of fun too! For Table Tennis, it’s dynamic warm up that is more productive than the static warm up exercises.
So here are some DYNAMIC WARM UP EXERCISES. These exercises have been performed by me over all these years. I have been practicing professionally and it has helped me in my overall development for Table Tennis and physical fitness too.
We recommend skipping always on an even surface which is rough. It’s not recommended to do skipping on a smooth surface or on grass. For a beginner, 100 skips are good to start off with and as soon as your heart rate becomes better, you may consider increasing the count to 150-200 skips before you start playing on the table. Don’t know how to do skips? Here’s a quality video below:
If you don’t have a skipping rope, you may visit your nearest Decathlon store or buy one online. It ranges between INR 99 to INR 599. You may visit the link below if you want to check out the different types of Skipping ropes that exist:
This exercise will help your blood circulation in your arms and mainly in the shoulders. Doing this for 10 to 15 reps clockwise and anti-clockwise should solve the purpose. Watch video below for proper form:
This exercise will help you mobilize your wrists which will help you in serving effectively ,playing backhand strokes and forehand and backhand flicks too. Here are a few series of exercises for wrists in the video below:
This is a great exercise for your thighs, glutes and core at the same time. Doing it for 60 seconds before starting the game will get your heart rate pumping. Check out the video below to do high knees properly:
It is important to make sure that your hips free up too before you start practicing. A side stretch would help you improve your hip mobility which is helpful for hitting your forehand topspins more effectively. Here a video below to make sure you do it with a proper form
This exercise will help you improve your balance and also mobilize your abductor and the groin muscle. Watch the video below for the correct form:
Standing Knee Hugs
This exercise works on your balance and also activates blood flow in your groin muscle. As Table Tennis requires a lot of squatting, this exercise helps improve your thigh mobility. Watch the video below for the correct form:
Standing Quad Stretches
This exercise will mobilize your quads and also works on your one foot balance. Watch video below for the correct form:
This exercise would complete your full body dynamic warm up.
Note! Never start your warm up with any hamstring exercises. As these are big muscles, you need some form of previous warm up exercises like rope jumps, jumping jacks, high knees before you stretch your hamstrings. Below is one of my favorite high quality content videos which explains how to stretch your hamstrings properly to prevent any kind of muscle pulls and strains.
If you have any more questions related to the above article, feel free to drop them in the comments box below. I would love to answer them. Till then, stay healthy and spread happiness through Table Tennis.