Volleyball has become an increasingly competitive and popular sport. Young players not only play for middle or high school teams, but also try out for traveling or league teams between seasons.
This continuous play of one sport can lead to overuse injuries in the shoulders, knees, and other areas of the body. A varied workout routine with proper rest periods helps prevent overuse volleyball injuries.
Taking part in proper volleyball training, including a program that addresses strength and conditioning, and flexibility, will increase power, endurance, and agility. A comprehensive training program can help young volleyball players stay injury free and on the court.
Some of the most common volleyball injuries that occur in volleyball include:
The experts at UPMC Sports Medicine can work with you to evaluate and aggressively treat injuries to help prevent serious, long-term effects.
Most volleyball injuries are a result of overuse and overtraining. Playing on multiple teams during the year gives the young athlete less time for proper rest between practices and games.
When young athletes focus on one sport, they have less cross training. This can bring about imbalances in the muscles, meaning that the muscles used all the time are stronger than others in the body.
These imbalances can result from repetitive motions such as:
Lack of strength and flexibility in the core, shoulders, and legs can lead to poor form in the athlete's jumps and volleys, resulting in injury.
Poor landing technique is the most common reason for knee injuries in volleyball players.
Athletes should land with their knees over their toes and their hips back. Landing with an increased knee bend or with the knees over the toes places more strain on the knees.
Knee and ankle injuries also are caused by a lack of balance or control of the body when jumping and landing. Body control not only decreases the chances of injury, but also increases the power of hits and serves.
The following types of volleyball injury prevention exercises and training are some of the best ways to prevent volleyball injuries in the sport and ensure players' safety throughout the season.
Volleyball requires a different type of endurance than other sports, such as long distance running.
Because it's played in quick intervals lasting only 20 to 30 seconds, long cardiovascular workouts do not offer much benefit for volleyball players. A better option is interval training with cutting and directional changes to imitate play during a game.
Examples of cardiovascular interval training drills for volleyball include:
Strength training for the core and legs will improve the athlete's balance and jump height.
Exercises that target the core include:
Exercises to increase leg strength include:
Strength training for the rotator cuff and scapular muscles of the shoulders also is important to prevent overuse injuries in volleyball.
It increases the stability and strength of the shoulders, which is necessary for the repetitive movements of hitting, serving, and spiking the volleyball.
To schedule an appointment with a physician or other Sports Medicine expert, call 1-855-93-SPORT (77678).
UPMC Rooney Sports Complex
3200 S. Water St.
Pittsburgh, PA 15203
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8000 Cranberry Springs Drive
Cranberry Township, PA 16066