Kinematic analysis of the racket position during the table tennis top spin forehand stroke

Ivan Malagoli Lanzoni*, Sandro Bartolomei, Rocco Di Michele, Yaodong Gu, Julien S. Baker, Silvia Fantozzi, Matteo Cortesi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


The present study aims to assess the position of the racket, and racket height with respect to the floor, during the table tennis top spin stroke. A stereophotogrammetric system (Smart-D, BTS, 8 cameras, 550 Hz) was used to track the table tennis racket during cross-court (CC) and long-line (LL) shots. Ten national level players completed ten CC and ten LL top spin strokes responding to a robot machine. The racket motion throughout the shot showed specific technical characteristics: The minimum height of the racket was detected during the backswing phase; racket height at the end of backswing phase (maximal distance racket/table) was higher than the minimum; height at the racket maximum velocity (ball/racket impact) was greater than the net’s height. Furthermore, the maximum height of the racket occurred at the end of the forward swing. No differences in these kinematic variables between CC and LL were found. Conversely, a higher inclination of the racket at the moment of maximum speed was detected in LL vs. CC. From a practical perspective, the present findings suggest that table tennis players need to introduce specific exercises in order to increase the height of the racket during the forehand top spin stroke, to improve its effectiveness.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5178
JournalApplied Sciences (Switzerland)
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2021

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Instrumentation
  • Engineering(all)
  • Process Chemistry and Technology
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes

User-Defined Keywords

  • Kinematics
  • Racket sports
  • Table tennis
  • Technique


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