Table Tennis Loop: How and When to Perform

We'll discuss forehand and backhand loops, how to master the technique, and when to use it to get the most of it.
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Last updatedLast updated: May 21, 2022
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Table tennis is a game that requires spinning, and looping (a form of spin) is a skill that is incorporated during a rally. For all lovers of the game, a loop is an important skill to learn. Many people (players and coaches) will fail to believe that you can play table tennis unless you can loop.

A player should not see the table tennis loop as an advanced skill. It’s simply a technique that should be learnt after knowing the basic forehand and backhand drive. It adds excitement and variety to a player’s game; it helps in boosting the game of an unconfident player.

Below, we’ll discuss what a loop is, how to loop in table tennis, and so much more.

What Is Loop in Table Tennis?

In table tennis, a stroke that generates a lot of topspin is known as a “loop,” and it happens to be the most popular playing style executed by players. This is because it’s an offensive style, and most players love to play more offensively. They do this to transmit a fast and difficult ball that their opponents will not be able to respond to. However, to be able to play a loop perfectly, you must have one of the best ping pong paddles. They will help you to learn and master the skill.

The loop is a fantastic stroke because the powerful topspin aids the ball’s descent back to the table while still allowing it to travel quickly.

When you brush the top of the ball with your table tennis paddle during a topspin shot, the top surface of the ball moves quicker than the bottom surface. As a result, the top surface collides with the air particle more than the bottom surface, thereby resulting in a high-pressure region at the top and a low-pressure region at the bottom. This in turn makes the force act downward, forcing the ball to drop downward at a faster rate.

Because of the speed and spin the ball carries, the shot becomes lethal and could give you the victory you desire. In fact, you could play a table tennis counter loop if your opponent sends you a backspin ball.

There are two types of loops, and they are amongst the essential strokes used in table tennis Trusted Source Table Tennis playing guide covering the strokes and drills Table tennis training guide, drills with graphics, and fitness. What you need to know to win in table tennis. www.pongworld.com . They are the forehand loop and the backhand loop. With these two loop-types, you can force the ball to dip and brush off the table at a fast speed.

Backhand Loop

When you want to play the table tennis backhand loop, your stance and paddle should face the line of play. This should be your position:

  • You should stand close to the table tennis table, but your shoulders should be 1.5 times apart from your legs.
  • Approach the table with a squared-off stance. Your wrist should be able to move freely.
  • The essential propellers of the table tennis backhand loop are your wrist and forearm, so make sure that they are flexible.
  • Your upper arm and your flexible wrist should form an “L” shape with your forearm.
  • For players that use their right hand: Bring your wrist back with the paddle close to your left hip. For left-handed players, do otherwise.
  • Throughout, swing your racket in an upward and forward motion.
  • When the stroke is finished, your upper arm, forearm, and wrist should all be in a straight line.

You will have more time for your strokes if you impart the backhand loop away from the tennis table. At that point, your hip will rotate more to allow you to swing your paddle through a wider arc.

The video below will help you improve your backhand loop technique.

Forehand Loop

Your posture for the table tennis forehand loop is side-on the table. This will let your paddle face the line of play and at the same time, create enough room for you to swing. Follow these steps:

  • Just like the backhand loop, stand close to the table tennis table, but your shoulders should be 1.5 times apart from your legs.
  • For right-handed players: With a side-on stance, your left leg should be slightly forward than your right leg. For left-handed players, the opposite should be done.
  • Bend your knees to lower your center of gravity.
  • For right-handed players: When the ball comes closer, shift your weight to your right leg. For left-handed players, the opposite should be done.
  • Move your trunk, and then swing your paddle from the height of your knee to the height of your head.
  • Transfer your body weight from your right leg to your left leg during the stroke.
  • In the table tennis forehand loop, the movement of your trunk is important. While moving your trunk, let your elbow be higher than your wrist.
  • To get the loop right, your wrist must be flexible. Maintain flexibility and give the ball a final hit to maximize the amount of spin and speed.

After you’ve successfully played a forehand loop, the follow-up of your paddle should not cross your body’s vertical centerline. Otherwise, your body equilibrium will be disrupted, and it will be tough for you to return your body to the perfect posture for the next shot.

If you are interested in a video explanation, check Britannica for the perfect table tennis loop video.

Fast and Slow Loop

A loop could be fast or slow. Sometimes, it could be because the body of the player is too rigid, which makes him miss the timing of the ball, thereby resulting in a late and wrong reply.

Also, it could be intentional. If a player plays a fast loop, it means that he wants both speed and spin to accompany the ball. But when he plays a slow loop, all he wants is the spin.

So, you can choose to play whichever loop you want. However, to achieve your aim, you will need to use one of the best paddles, and according to the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) Trusted Source International Table Tennis Federation - Home of Table Tennis Welcome to the home of the International Table Tennis Federation! The latest Table Tennis news and results can be found here on the official ITTF website. www.ittf.com , the STIGA Supreme Performance-Level Table Tennis Racket and the Killerspin Impact D9 PowerGrip are the most suitable.

The Difference Between Loop and Drive

Table Tennis Loop: How and When to Perform

Loop and drive are two strokes used in table tennis. They might seem similar, but they are different. Below are the basic differences that exist between them.

  • Looping is a forceful topspin executed by a player with the primary goal of getting as much spin as possible on the ball. With looping, speed is a secondary goal. On the other hand, speed is the major aim of the table tennis drive, with the spin coming in second.
  • The loop is an offensive and attacking stroke that is played away from the table, while the drive is a compact-stroke that is played close to the table.
  • The loop stroke starts with the paddle in a significantly lower position than the drive stroke.
  • The heavy brushing in the loop stroke causes the ball to create a curved trajectory, while the trajectory of the ball in the drive is nearly straight.
  • The loop stroke is for players of all skill levels (beginners, intermediate, and advanced), whereas the drive is mainly for beginners who are still learning.

When Can You Use This Technique?

As you already know, the table tennis loop is an offensive and attacking style. So, the best time to use this technique is when you want to be more aggressive in the game. You can use it when you want to make the rally more intense and difficult for your opponent. Players usually use this technique to kill a game.

Any player with a sponge should at least use this technique from time to time. Players with sponge, even pips-out players usually loop against backspin. This table tennis technique should be used by all players.

Tips on Mastering the Technique

One of the essential tips you must master is to get acquainted with the body position and posture you need to play a loop. The position and posture for the forehand and backhand loop has been discussed above.

Also, to master this technique, you will need to use a robot. The robot will be the one throwing the ball on the table.

Mastering how to loop with a robot is better than a live player. This is because a live player can block the ball, or even change the style of the rally. Also, a live player will keep changing the position of the ball, which is the last thing you will want while learning how to loop.

One other thing you need to master this technique is one of the best table tennis rubber and one of the best table tennis blades. It’s essential that you learn with the best equipment.

Beginners

For beginners, the most important thing is to learn the stroke and make correct contact. Begin by putting the robot on backspin in a location and practicing it over and over, preferably with the help of a coach or a player. The primary aim is spin, not speed.

Intermediate Players

You’ve mastered looping, but want to improve? You should practice forehand loops against topspin and backspin, with slow, medium, and quick loops, to all parts of the table. You should also include backhand looping. Intermediate players can also try the footwork drills that are meant for advanced players.

Advanced Players

It’s time to add some footwork and spontaneity to the mix. Set the robot to cover 50 to 75 percent of the table (both topspin and backspin) and loop them all with your forehand. You can also use a backhand loop for several strokes if you have one.

Final Thoughts

The loop is an offensive and attacking table tennis stroke that will give you more points if executed properly, so you need to learn it in order to defeat your opponent.

If you were formerly confused as to what a table tennis loop is or how to master it, this walk-through must have shed more light on your path for more clarity. However, while learning the table tennis loop, you must know that the process cannot be fast-forwarded. Rome wasn’t built in a day, so you must take your time. For beginners, it’s advisable that you’ve known the basic forehand and backhand drive before learning how to loop.

References

1.
Table Tennis playing guide covering the strokes and drills
Table tennis training guide, drills with graphics, and fitness. What you need to know to win in table tennis.
2.
International Table Tennis Federation - Home of Table Tennis
Welcome to the home of the International Table Tennis Federation! The latest Table Tennis news and results can be found here on the official ITTF website.
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