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Table Tennis Basic Strokes - The Backhand Push

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Ready Position
Photo of Backhand Push - Ready Position

Ready Position

(c) 2006 Greg Letts, licensed to About.com, Inc.
Having discussed the backhand counterhit, we will now be looking at what should probably be the third table tennis stroke that you learn - the backhand push. This stroke is the foundation of all backhand backspin strokes, so by learning how to hit it correctly, you will find it easier to learn the more advanced strokes such as the backhand chop, which is essential for advanced defensive play.

In the backhand push against light to medium backspin, the idea is to hit the ball over the net with slow to medium speed and a little backspin to help you control the ball, and make it difficult to attack.

View the Backhand Push Video. (1MB)

Points to look for:

  • The feet are placed with the right foot slightly further back than the left foot, to allow easy transition to the forehand if necessary.
  • Most of the weight is on the balls of the feet to allow quicker movement. Too much weight on the heels will slow down movement, and too much weight on the toes will affect balance.
  • The weight is evenly distributed between the left and right legs.
  • The knees are bent and the feet are around one and a half times shoulder width apart. The torso is also leaning slightly forward. This gives a lower center of gravity for better balance, and allows for easy movement in all directions.
  • Shoulders are in line with the legs, with the right shoulder slightly behind the left.
  • The arms are held roughly shoulder width apart, with around a 90 degree angle at the elbow. The bat should be above the table to allow easy stroking of short balls.

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