Hi Dan and Tom,
I’m seeking an advice on fitness or rather strenght conditioning.
I’m a player in my late 40’s, playing table tennis for 6 years after almost 30 years pause, I’d call myself an intermediate-going-on-advanced player, primarily an attacker with strong focus on a forehand loop.
Physically, I am lean/lanky, flexible, quite quick with good enough stamina. But…
Even after the 6 years, I still find it almost impossible to play a strong game in two consecutive days, especially competitive games. I can manage a training session where I move mostly in a controlled fashion, but when playing matches there’s more instinctive/reaching/non-standard strokes performed with more power, resulting in my body aching like hell from head to heels the next day(s) even though I do a proper warm-up and cool-down excercise before and after each session. Legs and lower body are areas which I can deal with, but aching upper arm and shoulder is causing me big trouble as it’s greatly limiting my game.
So, here comes my request to you – could you share some TT-specific tips on building muscle strenght in the upper body area (chest, shoulder, arms) to increase fatigue/strain resistance, perhaps even make a video on this topic. Weight, resistance bands, whatever works optimally in home conditions.
Yes it can be really frustrating when you feel you can’t play your best because your body is aching and you are in pain. I’ve had a tennis elbow type issue for a while and other aches and pains in the past too. Match play is for sure when it gets worse as there is more strain and unexpected movements and that little extra effort on every shot like you said.
We will definitely add some upper body strength exercises in the near future, we’ll doe some resistance band ones and also other drills you can follow at home to give you some exercises that will help. I think the best exercises for table tennis aren’t heavy weights but more body weight drills like press ups etc and also resistance bands as you can kind of mimic the action of shots but with a little force resistance. These type of drill also but less stress on the body compared to heavy weight lifting which some people do.
My other advice before we create a video on this topic would be to maybe identify if there is a reason in your technique that could be causing extra stress and strain on the shoulder and upper arm that could be changed slightly to make it easier on your arm. We’d be happy to have a look at a video of you playing and see if there is anything that might help save energy and maybe reduce the aching afterwards. We’ll work on those videos too so hopefully have them on the Academy soon!