In table tennis, our large muscles do most of the work, but because they’re large, they’re slower than our smaller muscles, which we need to make small, quick, initiating movements, allowing crucial milliseconds for our larger muscles to begin their larger movements.
As with running, table tennis is one of the most rhythmic sports in existence, so why not apply the same principles of rhythm and movement efficiency to our table tennis footwork training?
#1 Stretch to prepare your muscles
This technique, as we’ll see below, aims to keep your heels off the ground at all times. As a result, while it does take stress off your knees, it can be a lot harder on your calves and Achilles tendons if you are not prepared properly. Stretches I’ve read as recommended by FHB for attempting this style of running are:
Hip flexors and quads: This video shows the recommended hip flexor stretch using a couch. These muscle groups are often tight among desk workers, and as a result, can lead to leaning forward too much when running or when in table tennis stance.
Glute flexibility: Place your leg on a table top with your knee bent at 90 degrees as shown. What this picture doesn’t show is that you can lean forward to intensify the stretch, which you should feel in your glute muscle, in the back of the upper leg. You can also rotate your body 45 degrees so your ankle is hanging off the edge of the table if it’s more comfortable for you.