Table Tennis Techniques
The Loop

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The loop shot - it's fast and furious ...

 By Martin Hughes
 Owner and Editor

Table tennis technique - loop by courtesy of the ITTF

The modern game of table tennis has become one that's dominated by players who play very fast aggressive loop shots and who use an attacking / offensive style of play.

Timo Boll (pictured right) is one of the top players in the world and he imparts tremendous spin onto the ball, particularly with his backhand loop.

He generates this heavy topspin with a combination of a very loose wrist action, his body movements and his attacking / offensive rubbers.

The loop shot is used frequently by all the top players in order to play aggressively and to minimise the opportunity for their opponent to play an attacking stroke.

Other advanced techniques

Of course, coping with your opponents fast attacking shots is an advanced technique, so it's important that you've mastered the basics of table tennis first, such as the table tennis grip, the table tennis stroke and the basic table tennis serve.

But once you've mastered the basics, you'll be ready to move on to an advanced level of table tennis. If that's you, I hope you'll find these tips and techniques useful.

I'll also be covering other table tennis techniques including - mastering spin, the backhand block and forehand block, the backhand chop and forehand chop.

Then I'll move on to the advanced table tennis serve including the short backspin serve, the backhand sidespin serve, and the forehand high toss serve.

Finally, I'll cover the advanced return of serve including the short push return, the fast attacking push return and the forehand flick.

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The basic backhand and forehand loop

To play this stroke, stand close to the table and

  • for the backhand loop - face the line of play, and
  • for the forehand loop - take a sideways stance facing the line of play

Using a medium stroke, your racket arm should move forward and upwards in the direction that the ball is going to travel, whilst your free arm should point towards the ball to assist with your body turn and balance.

During your stroke, you should use all three joints of your playing arm to produce maximum spin and you should push strongly with your legs to accentuate your body movement.

The racket angle should be slightly closed to impart topspin.

Hit the ball at the top of the bounce (i.e. when the ball it at its highest point) using 50% of your stroke action before hitting the ball and 50% after hitting the ball.

Backhand Loop

table tennis loop

Forehand Loop


Here are video demonstrations of the backhand and forehand loop.

(If you have problems with the sound, there are captions/subtitles that you can turn on. Just click on the captions/subtitles button)



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My top table tennis techniques

This shot would normally be used when your opponent plays his shot in such a way that the ball approaches you with height and/or depth.

The purpose of this stroke is to play aggressively and stop your opponent from playing an attacking stroke, so you should try to make sure that your shot lands close to your opponent's baseline or sideline.

To vary the amount of spin on your shot, hit the ball either before or after the top of the bounce and also ensure that you use a loose wrist action to help you generate racket speed and spin.

As you perfect your basic loop technique, you'll be able to play even more aggressive loop shots, from positions further away from the table.

Standing further away from the table enables you to have more time to react to your opponent's attacking shots.

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For more information on how to play table tennis and improve your game, take a look at my other tips and techniques articles...

Basic Skills

And watch these video demonstrations...


Advanced Skills


Strategies and Tactics




Skill Tests






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