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Advanced Table Tennis Techniques: How To Loop?

Advanced Table Tennis Techniques: How to Loop?

In table tennis, mastering various strokes is crucial for advancing your game. Among these, the loop is one of the most powerful and effective offensive strokes. Whether you’re a budding enthusiast or an aspiring pro, understanding how to execute this technique can significantly elevate your play. In this blog, we’ll explore advanced table tennis techniques, particularly focusing on how to loop, while sprinkling in some essential table tennis tips. 

Understanding the loop

The loop in table tennis is a quintessential example of an aggressive topspin stroke, pivotal in the dynamic between offensive and defensive play. It’s used to counteract defensive strokes and backspin balls. The primary goal is to generate a heavy topspin, causing the ball to dip down onto the opponent’s side of the table and bounce forward sharply, making it difficult for them to return. 

By mastering the loop, players add a powerful tool to their offensive arsenal, enabling them to break through the defensive barriers put up by opponents. This stroke not only counters the backspin commonly used in defensive strokes in table tennis but also shifts the momentum of the game. It forces defensive players to switch from their comfort zone of controlled, reactive play to a more challenging, aggressive response.

Key steps to execute a loop

Step 1: Starting position

Begin in a balanced stance with your feet shoulder-width apart. The knees should be slightly bent, and the body leaned forward.

Step 2: Grip and racket angle 

Hold your table tennis racket with a relaxed grip. For a forehand loop, angle the racket slightly closed (facing downwards), as this helps generate topspin.

Step 3: Backswing

As you prepare to hit the ball, rotate your hips and shoulders backward. This movement is crucial as it generates the power needed for the loop.

Step 4: Strike and follow-through

As the ball approaches, start your forward motion by rotating your hips and shoulders forward. Strike the ball upwards and forward, brushing the ball with your racket to generate topspin. Ensure a smooth follow-through in the direction you want the ball to go.

Step 5: Recovery

After executing the loop, quickly return to your ready position to prepare for the next shot.

Tips to master the loop

  • Focus on spin, not speed: When learning to loop, prioritise generating spin over speed. The topspin is what makes the loop effective.
  • Use your whole body: The power of a loop comes from your legs, hips, and torso, not just your arm. Ensure you’re engaging your entire body in the stroke.
  • Adjust your distance from the table: Depending on the incoming ball, you may need to adjust your distance from the table. Loops against backspin are typically executed a bit further from the table.
  • Practice drills: Regular practice is essential. You can practice looping against backspin by using multi-ball training or with a training partner who consistently delivers defensive strokes.

Choosing the right equipment

Your choice of equipment, especially the table tennis racket and rubber, plays a significant role in your ability to perform advanced strokes like the loop. Select a racket that offers a good balance of control and power. Advanced players might prefer a heavier racket for more powerful strokes. Browse and do research on offensive table tennis rackets to find one that feels most comfortable to you. 

The rubber on your racket also directly impacts the amount of spin and speed you can impart on the ball. For looping, a rubber with a higher level of tackiness and thickness is preferable, as it will aid in generating more topspin. Select a rubber that complements your playing style. If looping is a significant part of your game, look for rubbers that are designed for offensive play and offer high spin potential.

As you advance in your table tennis journey, the rubber on your bat will wear out and may need replacement. This is a normal part of maintaining your equipment.

Explore table tennis equipment with Sin Ten

Mastering the loop in table tennis requires practice, the right technique, and the appropriate equipment. Sin Ten’s selection of equipment, ranging from table tennis rackets with the ideal balance of control and power to high-tackiness rubbers designed for offensive play, caters to all your needs.

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