Should You Use Wrist in Forehand Topspin Table Tennis?

Welcome back to my channel. A player asked me “Should we use the wrist
in the Forehand Topspin Stroke in Table Tennis?” This is a very good question, but
there are 2 opposite answers. Some coaches said “You should fix your wrist
in the Forehand stroke”. Another
said “You can use the wrist”. So which one is the correct answer? We already know that using the wrist is crucial
in the backhand stroke. The wrist
is the main rotation axis to topspin the ball in front of your body. You should use the
wrist not only for the BH flip, but also for the BH topspin far from the table. So the question is: Does using the wrist in
the FH topspin increase the quality of the shot? It’s unclear to confirm that, because the
main rotation axis for the Forehand is your waist/ hip. So wrist is only the additional force. Should we use the wrist? Let’s me share a story about my old coach. He gave me great advices. At the beginning,
I didn’t understand it, but many years later, I can feel his advices are amazing. For example, he asked me to topspin with my
legs. I said myself, “What, why hitting
with my legs, but not with my hand”. Later, I understand that it’s the main concept
of “Power from the ground”. In the video “New Level of Archery” of Lars
Andersen, he also learned from the ancient techniques. The modern archery technique requires you
to put the arrow on the left around the bow. But the ancient technique shows that you should
put the arrow at the right of the bow. By learning this technique, Lars can now shoot
faster. He can shoot multiples shots at the same time. You can not do that with the
modern archery technique. He also learned from the Ancient technique. The ultimate level in Archery is
holding the arrows in draw hand. Lars can manage to shoot 3 arrows in 0.6 second. In table tennis, you shouldn’t underestimate
the ancient advices. It can
take you several years to discover that this advice is correct. The modern table tennis technique discourages
the player to use the wrist in the Forehand stroke. Using the wrist can decrease the stability
of the stroke. However, I still remember the advice of my
coach. He said “In table tennis, using
the shoulder is Elemetary School level, Using the elbow is the High School Level. Using the wrist in table tennis is the University
Level. And using your fingers in the stroke is the
Master Level in table tennis. So if a coach said “No, you should fix your
wrist in your Forehand Topspin”. He has reason. You should learn the basic first. Use your hip, and rotate
to hit the ball. Some players don’t do the basic, but just
snap the ball with the wrist. This is a very bad habit, and can lead to
wrist injury. However, if you master the basic technique,
you should also use the wrist in your forehand loop. This is a training session of a young player
with Zhang YiNing. She is considered one of the greatest female
table tennis players in the history of the sport. You can see that the young player has a solid
technique. Her forehand
loop is very consistent. She does the weight transfer, and applies
“Power from the ground” to lift the ball. However, coach Li Sun asked her to relax more
the wrist, and use the wrist in her forehand stroke. Relax and Increase the Explosiveness in the
shot. Relax, and contact the ball at the head of
the racket. Hit like the cowboy whip. You
can see that Chinese coach focuses on the small detail in every technique. That’s why
their technique is the top. Using the wrist is the way to learn the fine
technique. Now, you understand that to archieve the superior,
best quality shot, you should use your wrist. However, it’s the additional detail, not the
main force, learn the basic first, and then add the wrist
later. So what are you waiting for? Go to the training hall, try relax, and
use the wrist in your shot. You will feel something different in your
table tennis. See you, coach EmRatThich.

64 thoughts on “Should You Use Wrist in Forehand Topspin Table Tennis?

  1. emrathich can u answer this question

    Emratthich please can you answer this

    So i go to my club right next to me and im a beginner at the moment as the coach says because i am doing ma long forehand topspin loop powerfully.The coach says to me that you need to use your elbow (Basically not straightening your arm) and topspin to keep rallying, he also says you will not improve

    I can return backspin balls with ma long backspin loop but it very powerful and the coach says bring back your racket to your butt (sorry about the language lol) then use your elbow just like a bird loop pretty much and I only see it just plain top spin

    There is no power and no force in the shot

    So whos right?

    Me seeing ma long forehand copying the technique and do powerful shot and practice with it


    Listen to the coach what he says by not straightening your arm

    Also i watched the video this one

    your one and I was wondering how to do a proper forehand

    i watched it and understand it because when i saw master wu jingping saying " You mostly forehand like this (hitting it upward), there is no force going into the shot you need to straighten your arm to bring up force so it can be power and speed

  2. So why timo boll is using wrist in forehand topspin. He said itself in one video that using the wrist can generate more power.

  3. Coach. I usually generate a lot of spin with my forehand loop but not enough speed. What can I do to remedy this

  4. Emratthich can u answer my question
    U said backhand players use reverse pendulum serve but fan zhangdon is a backhand player but he use pendulum why? And how much should I bend in Backhand stroke
    I saw Chinese players bending a lot in backhand strokes

  5. great stuff as always!!! thanks for another unique advice video, im gonna apply what you said in my training today. i have one question tho, how can you use your fingers in your strokes?

  6. best coach. I have so much improved my forehand loop over the past 6 months thanks to his videos. The video about the forehand grip more open and letting the ball come, hit it later was a real breakthrough for me. Now I would love to see a video about foot work.

  7. Sir what should be are ready position? Should we bend to much or stand a little bend ? As I watched ma long stand a little bend however timo boll bend to much. Thank you.

  8. Exactly.
    I use wrist tu put the ball short the net and move my opponent to his right and worth it because almost all he can recover when I do a side spin return to his left, it is very effective. Cheers
    And your accent is getting better, nice

  9. I learned most from watching that tiny kid practicing in the end.
    His hit is always the same and his body movement is so quick and allows that

  10. Super! My coach Joe Low in Vancouver taught me to use the wrist right away. But one has to be careful as the wrist can compensate for body rotation and one can develop a bad habit.
    May I pls suggest (English is not my first languauge) but the word ADVICE does not have plural. There is no such word as ADVICES. I am a teacher and am saying it in the most educational and positive way.
    One question pls: short racket, body travel to accelerate in the serve for more spin. A video about just this aspect, if possible, Sir
    Merci et vos videos sont toujours attendues avec impatience!

  11. Great lesson. I recently started using the wrist in practice. I am curious, however, about your statement that using the fingers is the "Master" level. Can you explain this?

  12. okay, so we know that we should use the wrist after we got the basics down. My question is how? how should we be using the wrist?

  13. hello emrat thich This is syed jabir from pakistan,please upload video about shakehand grip of malong that how to hold shakehand grip without changing for backhand as well forehand

  14. Hello Emrathich… yours videos about Asian players and their techniques is really good…I'm using Dhs rubber(FH) and stiga blade since 7years…mastered that Asian technique..but I have a question…as table tennis geting update.. in future will it be close to table play? hitting off the bounce…

  15. Hey I am looking for some advice, I am looking for a hard table tennis rubber to go with the stiga infinity blade … Any suggestions ?

  16. Hi Guys , coach mentioned that the master level is using finger with stroke , so which finger he mean ? and how we practise it ?

  17. I started to play table tennis at an advanced age (37). Used to play around one month in a year during summer vacation in our country. Now I am 47 and just two years back I started playing more frequently. Applying the technique as seen in the tt videos in you tube. However when i chanced upon your videos I have understood the intricacies of the game much better. What I have understood about the use of wrist is that when you keep your hands loose, and play with rotation of your body with no pressure on your arm, the resultant effect is an automatic slight moment of the wrist. I understood it as a natural moment when the hands are kept loose and not a deliberate act.

  18. Read more at:
    Next level, using Fingers:

  19. Good pts. I like how you make us think, "Is this correct or not?" You ultimately said it depends on the person's lvl. The answer, unfortunately, always depends. I'm not quite at the lvl of using wrist on my FH. I just use it on my BH. But my Chinese coach does emphasize to me to stay relaxed, loose, and use a "cowboy whip" technique like you mentioned.

    This leads to my question:
    When doing FH loop, some say (pointing to a European style) that you should hit the ball in front of you at its peak height. Kind of like Timo Boll. My Chinese coach says no, that it's not necessarily a European style (Timo Boll, he says, uses the whip style), pointing to Samsonov as the prime example of a European who uses and derives power from the "whip" style.

    That's where my Chinese coach says to me to wait for the ball. So, rather than hitting the ball when it's in front of you, hit the ball when it's almost at your side and somewhat falling downward. You derive tons of power and spin that way, and it's the way all the pros do it.

    So, the question is: Which is the "correct" way of FH loop? The whip style, or the hitting-ball-in-front-of-you style that lots of non-Chinese coaches teach?

    (I've had 2 non-Chinese coaches and neither mentioned the whip style. Whereas the whip style is the 1st thing the Chinese coach taught me.)

    For me, interestingly, the answer lies in the answer to the next question: Which style has benefited me most? Strangely, it's the whip style. Still gotta refine the technique though.

  20. wrist very vulnarable part of the hand..some get musclepain with block..i think wrist need warming up for tabletennes and maybe little powertraining too for pros

  21. Hi coach,
    Thanks for the super helpful video! I stopped trying because it was less consistent but will have a go again and keep practising. But why not give a chopping with backhand tutorial? In depth like these videos. As defensive tutorials are lacking. Especially how to play styles like Gionis/Filus where they don't chop on forehand, as pure chopping tutorials are there.

  22. hey! thanks for another great vid! could you tel me, is holding the non playing hand like it's in a cast the optimum body attitude?

  23. 영상은 좋았는데 한글 자막이 매우 안타깝네요.
    see you가 당신을 참조하라고 번역을 하다니 대박!

  24. Wow THAT WAS some advice. As a tt average player from India and NO stranger to ancient advice I fully applaud your video 🙂 !!

  25. Hello EmRatThich ,

    I asked this question from a few other people too but I wanted to get your advise on it !
    Thanks for all the great videos and very helpful tips and has helped me quite a bit. I have played tt for a 4-5 yrs but not regularly so would say am around 6/10 !

    I have a question on returning a heavy underspin especially a very low serve with topspin when the ball is very low and deep. I wanted to give an insight into what the situation is and then ask the question for THAT situation.

    The table we are playing is an average one. We were playing with a 3 star stiga ball with quite an even bounce (very rarely like 1 in a 50 it gets low bounce). I am using: Racket Assembly Yasaka Sweden Extra – Flared Handle, F/H: Yasaka Rakza 7 – Red 2.0, (for forehand) B/H: Yasaka Mark V – Black Max. My aim was to go with a bat which is a balanced one with good spin control. The other people are using just general racquets which are stiga entry level ones (not the worst) and have been used for a bit so are like 4/10 now.

    I find that when I am using those general racquets I am fine with the game. When I use mine and the opponent is using the general ones to play it is also fine. The other day the opponent was using his personal racquet and doing underspin and deep serves. I found that if I used the general racquet to return I can do it comfortably. However when I used my personal racquet I find the ball not THAT easy to control (my fault too coz I wasn't practicing with it 🙁 ) for that serve. So here is the situation

    Situation: Deep and low underspin serve keeping very low and also bouncing low (ie 6 inches or less after SECOND bounce). When using my racquet to push it is fine. When I try to top spin or loop it is going out of the table. I was trying to USE low racquet speed (not High) to do the top spin. I believe HIGH speed is what is recommended in these cases but I just want to use low to see if I can do it rather than just powering through it. So here are my questions.

    1). Is is possible to topspin for my case above with low racquet speed or do I HAVE to use high speed? I thought that since the ball already has a spin and I am merely adding to it INSTEAD of reversing it , hence low speed should have worked. Is this correct ? Please advice
    2). Are the rubbers correct esp the FOREHAND one for such a low speed shot or should I have chosen something with MORE spin to it to do this ?

    I am sorry for the long winded question but hope you can advise. Thanks!

  26. using wrist, OK will do.. but honestly using the waist in every single top spin is very very tiring to be played?

  27. My questions would be if there is a little bit of wrist lag on the forehand like in tennis, i can see It on penholders like xu xin but dont know if shakehand players do It aswell

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