Staying low is the foundation for everything you will do on the table, it gives you the base for solid movement, shot production and maintaining balance. One of our recent videos looked at this topic and what differences it could make to you and your game, so here’s exactly why getting low and staying low is a must and will add points to your game!
Olympic Champion Ma Long staying low on the receive of serve – Photo by; djimenezhdez
Footwork and Movement
Firstly footwork and movement, being low with a good bend in the knees will enable you to make dynamic changes in direction quicker and transfer your weight more effectively. If you are too upright changing direction quickly becomes difficult without losing balance and therefor getting caught out of position more often. If you can get lower your movement isn’t only quicker but also more balanced and efficient, which can only be a good thing in a sport where getting around the court can make all the difference!
Efficiency in your strokes
Staying low improves your center of gravity and efficiency when playing your strokes as well as the quality in the short game. With a wide base and getting low to the table you’ll find your contact with the floor is more solid and you can transfer this energy from the ground into your shots, whether it be going for aggressive topspin attacks or playing a short push all will benefit from being lower. When trying to generate power it’s key to use the strength of the legs to create a good weight transfer and rotation, this is much more difficult and puts a lot more strain on the body and arm if you are too upright. In addition your short game will also feel the impact of being low.
Serve and return
When returning serves or playing shots over the table control is gained by having your head and body close to the ball. So by starting the rally in a good low position with your feet over shoulder width apart makes stepping in for a push or flick much more stable and consistent, you can get over the table faster and cut out mistakes caused by being late to the ball or off balance. You’ll be able react to unexpected balls quicker, and make your overall form and posture when moving around the court more compact and solid. These all useful benefits of something that is relatively quick and easy to improve, albeit taking good concentration and stamina to stay low.
Of course keeping low isn’t easy physically, it takes good fitness, stamina and leg strength to do consistently but the benefits are well worth it, we have a whole fitness videos section on the Academy where you can find physical training exercises specifically designed to improve your table tennis fitness. So just remember if you want your playing standard to be higher there are many reasons to get lower!