Forehand loop

Table Tennis Strokes and Technique

Last updated 8 years ago

Linh Vu

Linh Vu Asked 8 years ago

Everyone tells that my forehand loop is not right.


- because I brush the balls with fine contact, my loop is spinny. If my opponent underestimates my spin, the ball will bounce off the table.

- my loop is very effective with underspin balls. Most players, including myself, don't understand why loop against underspin generates more spin than no spin or topspin.

- my forehand loop is fairly consistent as brushing the balls with fine contact is relatively easy to execute.

- my forehand loop has clockwise side spin. Most forehand loops have counter clockwise side spin. Because of the unusual clockwise side spin, it is more difficult for my opponent to block my loop.


- Most players swing their arms in a circle. I don't swing my arm in a circle. I swing in a straight line. This is the reason why my loops always have clockwise side spin instead of counter clockwise spin.

- Most players hit the balls a little to right, according to most players. I hit the ball in the center.

In practice, I try to swing in a circle like they tell me. Many times, I miss the ball entirely. If I don't miss the ball, my racket has a firm contact with the ball. That is not my intention. I want a fine contact. It looks like I cannot have fine contact and the brushing action when I swing in a circle. Because of the firm contact, most of my loops are out of the table by a wide margin. A few times, my loops make inside the table. These loops are so amazing. They have tremendous speed, counter clockwise side spin, and less spin. It looks like my partner cannot even block them. My partner miss my loops entirely. The problem is they are just a few successful loops (3 out of 10 during practice). I spent 10 hours practicing circular swing. But it does not get better (still 3 out of 10).

Question 1: circular swing and hitting the ball a little to the right for a forehand loop. Is this the correct way to loop?

Question 2: If it is correct, how do I practice? It looks like I cannot swing in a circle, hit the ball a little to the right, touch the ball finely with my brushing action.

Question 3: As I mentioned earlier, a few successful loops are amazing. But I don't know how to replicate those loops. They just come unexpected. It looks like swing in a circle, hit the ball a little to the right, touch the ball FIRMLY (but not solidly, solid contact is for smash) can generate loops with a lot of speed, counter clockwise side spin, and spin. Is this the correct way to power loop. if yes, how to practice it?



Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario Answered 8 years ago

Hi Linh,

I have found the best way to correct these types of swing errors is to focus completely on the start and finish positions of your stroke.  If you do this slowly at first you will start to get the swing in the correct direction.  There is no simpler way to do it.

Forget about all of the other swings that you are trying and just focus on this for a week of training.

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Linh Vu

Linh Vu Posted 8 years ago

right handed shake hand. My hand start position is the around middle of my back. underspin ball hand start position at the left of my back. topspin ball hand start position at the right of my back. My elbow end position is above my right ear. for underspin ball elbow end position is still above my right ear and in addition behind my head. for topspin ball my elbow end position is still above my right ear and in addition in front of my face. I use elbow position instead of hand position as the reference end position. it is more accurate the hand position. Are these the correct start position and end position?

In any cases, I focus on the start and end position. As I swing in a circle from start position to end position, I miss the ball entirely many times. At other times, the ball goes to the net or falls off the table. I don't know what else to try.   

Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario from PingSkills Posted 8 years ago

The elbow position sounds like it is too high.  At the end of the stroke keep it at shoulder level.  Try to move the bat more forward during the swing to get a better contact on the ball if you are missing the ball a lot.

Linh Vu

Linh Vu Posted 8 years ago

My racket is blade Butterfly Sardius forehand rubber black DHS hurricane neo 3 2.2mm hardness 39 (commercial version, no boost) backhand red DHS Hurricane 3-50 2.1mm hardness 37 (commercial version, no boost). I am a right-handed shake hand player.

after about 50-60 hours of practicing, I now have the correct forehand loop stroke according to my friends. I swing in a circle. My elbow starts from my right back and ends at between my right shoulder and my right ear.  I still feel something is not right. My friends tell me that I use my body too much and I should hit the balls rather than brush the balls. They also tell me that I should be Japanese/European rubbers instead of Chinese DHS Hurricane rubber.  

1. I use my full body to forehand loop. I use my knees to push up my body, to rotate my body, and to transfer weight. I use my tummy and shoulder to rotate my body. I use upperarm and elbow to generate additional power. I rarely use my wrist on the forehand loop. I am usually exhausted after 4 sets. With a long pips opponents, I am exhausted after only two sets.

2. I only know to how forehand brush loop the balls. The ball contact point is 3 AM/PM position for underspin balls; 12PM position (north pole) for no spin/topspin balls. I don't know how to forehand hit loop the balls. My friends tells me that it is relatively easy to block, punch, or counter loop my forehand loops.

My questions to you:

1. How do I remedy the exhaustion issue? Should I hit the balls when possible? Should I use less body motion(DHS Hurricane requires full body motion)? Should I change to Japanese/European rubbers? what should I do or no other ways? I don't know how to fake a forehand loop yet. That is another way to address the exhaustion issue. You still win the point with much less energy. The opponent thinks it is a loop and blocks accordingly. The opponent ends up with the ball under the net. On the backhand, I do that all the time.

2.  What is the correct way to forehand loop? Do I hit the balls as suggested by my friends or brush the balls as I currently do?

3. I feel my backhand attacks are more effective. I use my full body (which is unusual) for my backhand flip, loop, smash. I also use a little body motion, upper arm, and elbow to block, punch, and counter loop. In many cases, I use backhand strokes instead of forehand strokes. For example, I backhand flip even if the ball is on my forehand side (right side). I backhand light loop when the ball just clears the table even if the ball is on the forehand side (right side). I feel my backhand is more effective as it generates more spin on the backhand than on the forehand. And best of all, my opponents don't know how much I put it on. Sometime no spin. Other times a lot of spin. Also my ball trajectory curves a little to the left. When where I should I use backhand and forehand? It looks like I use my backhand more than I should.



Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario from PingSkills Posted 8 years ago

Hi Linh,

Try to relax the arm especially the shoulder.  I find that this tightness often leads to too much body rotation and unnecessary movement.

Relaxation is a key to all of your strokes.  If you can work on this you will find the game a lot less physically draining.

Jean Balthazar

Jean Balthazar Posted 8 years ago

"my loop is very effective with underspin balls. Most players, including myself, don't understand why loop against underspin generates more spin than no spin or topspin." I think that is because when you recieve a backspin ball, it is already rotating in "your topspin direction". So when you topspin it, you increase the initial rotation. With a no spin ball, your topspin action has to build up the spin from zero.

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