Though some people would dismiss ping pong as nothing more than a social past time with little actual athleticism required, those who actually play the sport know better. Table tennis requires endurance, stamina, strength, balance, and fancy footwork. Whether you are playing just for fun or competing at a high level of play, ping pong is a great way to get a great workout that doesn’t feel like a workout.
So, objectively, is ping pong good exercise? Consider the evidence. In just an hour of playing recreationally, a 150 pound person can burn 272 calories. That’s equivalent to half an hour of endurance swimming or running a 5k in 30 minutes. If you step up your aerobic table tennis exertion, you could burn even more calories. In addition, ping pong helps you develop and refine your dexterity, reaction times, balance, and even strength. Some nursing homes will prescribe ping pong exercise to help elderly patients keep up their overall physical reactions, lower cholesterol, and even reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes. It even helps stave off some of the effects of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease by keeping the brain engaged. Of course, ping pong exercise is good for the young and healthy as well. Regular aerobic table tennis exercise can lower the risk of obesity and weight-related diseases such as diabetes.
If you’re already in good shape, further training and exercise attuned to your table tennis game can actually improve your abilities at the table. Professional players regularly jump rope and run to increase their stamina, do push-ups and lift weights for better strength, and use rapid training drills to improve their footwork and returns. If you want to use ping pong as a way to get more fit, grab a partner and develop some skill drills. Use multiple balls to improve your reaction times as well as burn more calories in a shorter period of time. Finally, as with any form of exercise, don’t forget to warm up, stretch, and cool down with every game. Table tennis can be an exciting game, and if you fail to exercise properly, you may hyper extend your joints or overwork your arm muscles. Take the time to treat your game like a real sport, and then enjoy all the great benefits of ping pong exercise.
No longer confined to personal rec rooms and community centers, ping pong has made it into the posh world of urban nightlife. With Ping pong clubs and bars popping up in hot downtown areas from New York to LA, table tennis is fast becoming a hot new way to enjoy social sportsmanship. With ping pong bars started up by celebrities and some pool halls swapping out their billiard tables for ping pong tables, you’re sure to brush up on your table tennis mixed doubles at a hot new night spot near you.
The most prominent name in American ping pong clubs is Spin. With locations in New York, Milwaukee, and Los Angeles, players from coast to coast can enjoy competitive games while they drink premium cocktails and snack on gourmet food offerings. Co-founded by Academy Award-winning actress Susan Sarandon, these clubs were among the first to popularize trendy table tennis as an option for nightlife. Though critics were initially skeptical as to the potential success of a club devoted to a family friendly sport, Spin has been immensely successful, expanding from its first location in New York to more and more cities. They even have locations in Toronto and Dubai and are regularly featured at special events including the Sundance and Cannes film festivals.
With clubs like SLAM and Chalk in South Florida, Comet Ping Pong in D.C., and Ace Eat Serve in Denver, there are plenty of options for American fans of table tennis. Still, ping pong bars have even more appeal on the international stage. For European fans, there’s Dr. Pong in Berlin, Chmury in Warsaw, and Ping, Bounce, and The Book Club all in London. Of course the best place to find international ping pong clubs is in Asia. The Tasmania Ballroom in Hong Kong, the Yongxing Bowling House in Chengde, and the J.J. Club in Kyoto all offer table tennis fans the chance to socialize, enjoy the nightlife, and brush up on their backspin.
Getting Ping Pong Clubs Started Near You
If you aren’t lucky enough to have existing ping pong bars in your area, it’s easy to get them started near you. Any bar that has billiard tables can easily accommodate ping pong tables. Ask the owners if they would consider switching over to ping pong tables. Let them know the popularity of the sport and consider taking on some of the promotional duties if they’ll dedicate a night or two to table tennis. Then you just have to local ping pong groups know about this new fun nightlife event. In no time you and your doubles partner can enjoy your favorite game with your favorite people in your brand new ping pong bar.
Tension rubbers for table tennis rackets are rubbers where the topsheet is stretched before being glued to the sponge during manufacturing. This essentially means that the rubbers have tension built into the sponge and top-sheet. This helps reduce the amount of energy lost at the point of impact to produce extreme spin. In essence, high-tension rubbers help turn the speed of your opponent’s shot into additional power for your returning shot for fast speed.
High-tension rubber sheets will wear and need to be replaced as they become used, but it can often be a difficult and costly task. That’s why it’s important to learn table tennis tips that can help maximize the life of your high-tension rubber.
The way the table tennis game is played today, many competitive and touring players and professionals maximizing the use of their high-tension rubber sheets by exploding through the hitting zone with ever increasing racquet speed for a catapult like effect. With perfect ball contact, these athletes are able to generate incredible topspins and are in essence expanding the size of the opposite side of the table tennis table for themselves. In a sport where every millimeter counts, this can become a game changing advantage.
For many beginner and intermediate players however, the emphasis on hitting with power on every shot is often the primary tactic used in order to increase ball speed and spin. However, various table tennis tricks suggest the use of soft hands, reduced grip tension, and increased racket speed in order to achieve optimal ball contact that wears the rubbers while still producing incredible speed and spin.
They key is not hitting the ball but brushing it. For example, if trying to produce topspin, try closing the racket angle contacting the top of the ball in an upward motion. This allows you to still make excellent contact with the ball for speed and topspin while gaining the most out of your high-tension rubber sheet.
Working with an instructor and regular training with this table tennis style can add weeks of life to your rubber. Furthermore, it can greatly improve your table tennis game by improving and accelerating ball contact through the hitting zone.