Strikes are strokes in which most of the force printed on the ball is converted into translational speed. The racket strikes the ball frankly by moving perpendicular to the trajectory of the ball. In practice, the ball always has a little rotation before, but the player does not try to rotate it. In some countries table tennis also called Ping Pong Paddle, if you are looking for the best ping pong paddle, before buying any paddle make sure you have read the reviews about them.

Depending on the strength, rotation, and trajectory of the opposing ball, there are a variety of variations of these moves.
We speak according to the case of:

  • Striking attack of high ball
  • flip
  • counterattack
  • of lift

In these various variants, one meets as well of the strikes executed in forehand as in reverse.

 Also Read: How Ping Pong Balls Affect The Game?


The attack of the forehand is a striking movement executed on the right side of the body. The execution of this move allows the mobilization of powerful segments, possibly having a considerable amplitude.

Principles of execution

When making a forehand, the player searches for:

  • optimal acceleration
  • an optimal ball shot
  • An overall movement of the body that is economical and facilitates movement for the next stroke.

The fundamental structure of the shot has been studied and developed according to a correct grip of the racket: it is therefore the first condition to fulfill to execute an effective shot.

The momentum

The momentum must be correlated with the movement of the legs. When switching to the execution of the stroke, there must be no downtime because the slightest braking causes a waste of time and a waste of energy.

An opening of the wrist in the execution of a right stroke of attack and a rotation of the trunk lengthen the momentum backward. The right foot is back, the weight of the body is mainly on the back leg; the legs are semi-flexed. The trunk is substantially parallel to the trajectory of the ball, often more profile than the line of the feet and the pelvis. The trunk is slightly leaning forward. The elbow is off the body; in the momentum phase, the angle of the arm and forearm is about 150 °.The racket is slightly closed, at the height of the hip.

Also Read: The Top Leading Manufacturer of Table Tennis Accessories

The striking movement

Thanks to the backswing and the striking of the ball vertically from the top of an imaginary triangle formed by the forearms, elbows almost to the body, the racket travels an optimal distance. It describes an arc forward and upward, the forearm flexing on the arm primarily using the elbow joint.

The center of gravity of the body moves forward on the left foot. The trunk and the pelvis rotate, the right shoulder moves forward and the left shoulder is released behind.

The dosage of the force must be done very shortly before throwing the arm forward. It is necessary that the orientation of the paddle and the direction of movement be determined early enough, and the wrist fixed in time, since there is little possible correction during the movement just before striking the ball; a movement of the wrist may accompany that of the forearm (in the same direction); it allows to place the ball well and to bring a greater acceleration to the racket. To obtain better control of the ball with the racket, it is necessary that the trajectory of the racket coincides as early and as long as possible with the trajectory envisaged for the ball. This could be called snowshoeing in the direction of the shot.

Also Read: How to Choose Table Tennis Accessories

The terminal phase

The end of the gesture is used to ensure optimal control of the racket in the direction of the stroke, as well as a gradual relaxation of the muscles. With a sudden stop of the movement, the energy expenditure would be greater. It is only necessary to consider the finishing blow after the player has repositioned, which supposes a displacement of the legs and the arm in the optimal position to answer the next stroke of the opponent.

At the end of the movement, the weight of the body is mainly on the front leg.

The line of the shoulders is parallel to the net. At the end of the execution of the stroke, the racket is in a closed position in front of the head; the elbow has followed the movement of the racket, it is raised and is not tight against the body.

The most frequent faults

The attack of the forehand is one of the first shots tackled during the learning. In the beginner, we often meet the same mistakes that must, of course, be corrected immediately:

  • the racket is too close or too open at the moment of impact with the ball
  • the elbow raises vertically during the execution of the stroke the player raises the shoulder to adjust the height of the racket in the preparatory phase of the stroke the elbow is tight against the body of the player during the execution of the stroke
  • only the arm makes the gesture (the body does not participate enough)
  • the racket is pushed with the whole arm
  • the momentum of the racket is insufficient in the preparatory phase
  • the shot is performed only with the forearm
  • the shot is made by mainly rotating the body
  • the tip of the racket is too downward in the momentum phase (wrist "broken")

The variants of the forehand attack

The free strike

These are more violent attack strikes than the previous ones usually executed on defensive shots, whether they are cut or lifted (high balls).

On the defense balls, it is not possible to use the energy of the opponent's ball as is done in counter-attack. The gesture is wider because the attacker usually has more time to prepare his shot.
However, on the cut ball, the amplitude does not change much, because the acceleration is not proportional to the length of the momentum.
Depending on the height of the rebound of the ball and according to its rotation, the movement takes place in a plane more or less horizontal or vertical. In a terminal blow on a cut ball, the gesture is performed forward and upward; during a violent counter-attack, the upward movement is not accentuated, and in a terminal blow on the high ball, the direction of movement is towards the

It is the momentum (bigger) and the active engagement of the upper body and shoulders that will favor a greater power of the blow.

The essential difference between the preparatory move and the attack stroke of the forehand is in the power of the stroke, that is to say, essentially the speed with which the racket strikes the ball, the technique of execution being hardly different. The violence of the blow depends largely on the ability of the muscles to contract quickly and consequently the intensity of the acceleration just before the point of impact between the racket and the ball, to bring the racket to an optimal speed.

The attack of the high ball

It has some peculiarities, the bullet being struck approximately at eye level, with movement starting behind and above the ball, and directed forward and downward.

The player hits the ball in front of him. When he hits the ball at eye level, the main joint involved in the shoulder. The sooner the ball is touched after the rebound, the more the elbow joint is solicited.
One of the major difficulties of this forehand attack is the need to be in an excellent position to reach the ball. The attacker must take into account the rotation of the ball, usually a forward rotation, which is sometimes combined with a lateral effect on the right or on the left, which considerably modifies the trajectory of the ball after its rebound on the table.

This change of trajectory is particularly pronounced when we let the ball bounce off the table and hit it on its downward trajectory.

It is much more advantageous to hit high balls very early on their upward trajectory after the rebound; the ball loses less speed because the shot is executed near the table and the opponent has less time to react and position themselves.


It is executed on the attack of an opponent that is to say on a fastball more or less lifted. The momentum is sometimes quite limited because the time available for its execution is very short.

The momentum is created by a rotation of the trunk, upper body, the shoulders sometimes pivoting from 30 ° to 45 ° with respect to the line of the legs and the pelvis. The counter-attack is executed by a powerful movement of the arm and the trunk.
In forehand it is rare to see prolonged exchanges of counter-attack: in general, we avoid the right forehand or hit hard enough (sometimes we try the impossible) so that the ball does not come back.

The lift

On a cut ball, players who use a soft racquet or beginners perform a move that might be considered preparatory to a more violent shot, and which has the same structure as the attack of the forehand.
Before the appearance of the top-spin, this type of blow had the same role against the defensive game that the top-spin today. By moving the racket up and down, the lift movement is usually accompanied by a powerful wrist stroke to lift the cut balls.
In relation to the movement of the top-spin, it is slower, less ample in the momentum, and less powerful; the main role being provided by the wrist.

In the current game, it allows interrupting a series of top-spins on a defense game.

Author's Bio: 

I am Michael John, The Gadget Lover & Sports Trainer from California, western U.S.
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