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While hitting the ping-pong® ball back and forth with friends is usually a lot of fun, can or should you add table tennis to you physical workout routine when you are concerned with weight control? From my experiences as a table tennis player and coach, my answer would be a resounding YES!
The main reasons I believe this are: the cardio activity, muscle groups activated and the actual enjoyment factor! I feel this is the most important, because if you are having fun you don’t notice the sweat or fatigue as much and you want to do more! Ask yourself this question: What is the first thing you do when you get on a treadmill? Set the timer - is the usual answer and then you either keep watching the timer or ask yourself how much longer until I can get off! With ping-pong®, you want to play just one more game!
For more cardio in a table tennis workout, the Newgy Robo-Pong 2050 table tennis robot can give you a lot of different options. One option is a very timed and precise footwork drill where you can get your heart rate into your target zone or you can create drills that are more dynamic, requiring sprinter like physical intensity. Before the Olympic Trials last year I was doing two 20 minute sessions per day. The first was a longer duration with medium intensity, so I was not getting winded during longer rallies in matches. The second was more dynamic, wide placements and faster balls speeds than I am used to so I increased my range of motion and improved my racket speed in relation to a faster incoming ball, but it also requires good cardio to recover quickly after every shot and every point.
Having an active and fit core helps with many parts of table tennis as you are working the core on every stroke and this constant activity helps burn that belly fat! What the core is doing during most strokes is helping with getting the power transferred from the legs, to the arm then to the ball! After contact, the core is then engaged again to maintain balance and start the body in recovering to play the next ball. A weak core requires too much time to get the body back to a position where the next stroke can be played with proper form and balance.
Having this new quantity of muscular activity in the largest of muscle groups (legs and core), your body will turn up its’ metabolism to provide the needed fuel! Soon the scale and your waistline will see the results of your fun at the table – the ping-pong® table that is!