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Biomechanics of Table Tennis: A Systematic Scoping Review of Playing Levels and Maneuvers

Department of Biomedical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong 999077, China
School of Mechanical, Materials, Mechatronic & Biomedical Engineering, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, NSW 2522, Australia
Guangdong Provincial Engineering Technology Research Center for Sports Assistive Devices, Guangzhou Sport University, Guangzhou 510000, China
Department of Kinesiology, Shenyang Sport University, Shenyang 110102, China
Li Ning Sports Science Research Center, Li Ning (China) Sports Goods Company, Beijing 101111, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(15), 5203;
Received: 1 July 2020 / Revised: 23 July 2020 / Accepted: 24 July 2020 / Published: 28 July 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sports Performance and Health)
This present study aims to review the available evidence on the biomechanics of table-tennis strokes. Specifically, it summarized current trends, categorized research foci, and biomechanical outcomes regarding various movement maneuvers and playing levels. Databases included were Web of Science, Cochrane Library, Scopus, and PubMed. Twenty-nine articles were identified meeting the inclusion criteria. Most of these articles revealed how executing different maneuvers changed the parameters related to body postures and lines of movement, which included racket face angle, trunk rotation, knee, and elbow joints. It was found that there was a lack of studies that investigated backspin maneuvers, longline maneuvers, strikes against sidespin, and pen-hold players. Meanwhile, higher-level players were found to be able to better utilize the joint power of the shoulder and wrist joints through the full-body kinetic chain. They also increased plantar pressure excursion in the medial-lateral direction, but reduced in anterior-posterior direction to compromise between agility and dynamic stability. This review identified that most published articles investigating the biomechanics of table tennis reported findings comparing the differences among various playing levels and movement tasks (handwork or footwork), using ball/racket speed, joint kinematics/kinetics, electromyography, and plantar pressure distribution. Systematically summarizing these findings can help to improve training regimes in order to attain better table tennis performance. View Full-Text
Keywords: kinematics; kinetics; table tennis; racket kinematics; kinetics; table tennis; racket
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MDPI and ACS Style

Wong, D.W.-C.; Lee, W.C.-C.; Lam, W.-K. Biomechanics of Table Tennis: A Systematic Scoping Review of Playing Levels and Maneuvers. Appl. Sci. 2020, 10, 5203.

AMA Style

Wong DW-C, Lee WC-C, Lam W-K. Biomechanics of Table Tennis: A Systematic Scoping Review of Playing Levels and Maneuvers. Applied Sciences. 2020; 10(15):5203.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Wong, Duo Wai-Chi, Winson Chiu-Chun Lee, and Wing-Kai Lam. 2020. "Biomechanics of Table Tennis: A Systematic Scoping Review of Playing Levels and Maneuvers" Applied Sciences 10, no. 15: 5203.

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