beach-volleyball-injury-swindon

8 Best Exercises For Volleyball Injury Avoidance

This is the follow up to our page: 7 Most Common Volleyball Injuries. Each of the stretches here will be beneficial as a preventative or if you’ve had issues previously. If you are in pain currently please seek professional advice before commencing these exercises. Preferably from Swindon Sports Therapy!

Latissimus Dorsi Stretch
  • 1. Lats

    We start with quite simply the best stretch in the world. Don’t believe me? Just try it! Without getting very technical this is great for those who have office jobs by day and are wannabe professional volleyball players by night! It helps with that rounded shoulder look that being beaten down by the machine gives you. It will also ease pressure on the nerve down the arm which can contribute to wrist, forearm, elbow and rotator cuff pain we discussed in 7 Most Common Beach Volleyball Injuries.

    It’s a bit awkward to get this stretch at first but when you get it right you’ll be going back to this one for the rest of your life. You need a doorframe or pole to “hang” off. Start by grabbing whichever is closet to hand. Grab it just above the level of your shoulder. Walk your feet away from this hand and lean forwards and push your bottom backwards. This may well start the stretch.

    From here we say “sniff your armpit.” Sounds gross but at least you’ll remember it now. What that means is rotate your torso in the direction of the arm you are stretching. This should bring on that great stretch. It can affect anywhere from the crest of the hip, to the low back, mid back and down the arm. Only take this stretch to comfort. Not pain. I know what some of you are like! Hold for about 30 seconds to a minute. Enjoy!

Pec Stretch
  • 2. Pecs

    Another great stretch for exactly the same reasons as the lats above. They are the two largest muscles which affect internal rotation at the shoulder and it’s this posture that is so much at fault in the injuries we previously described.

    Find a wall or fence and face it as if you we’re going to kiss it! Gross again, but you’ve remembered right? So with your nose pretty much against the wall place the arm you want to stretch against the wall in what I like to call a “half surrender” position. By this I mean place your palm flat on the wall, upper arm should be horizontal from the shoulder and the elbow should be at ninety degrees so your forearm is facing straight up the wall. From this position slowly rotate your feet away from the arm you are stretching to get a stretch in the pec region.

    If you get pain or the stretch in the wrong place then you’re not quite working in the right way. Which is probably why you’ve read this article and are attempting the stretch. Simply leave this exercise out for now. If you’d like to get it working properly then you know where we are!

Swindon Triathlon Half Moon
  • 3. Half Moon

    I re-discovered this stretch on the Nintendo Wii! Straight out of the yoga text book it works on so many different levels. It will help low back pain – reducing the compressive forces across the spine. It will work for shoulder pain reducing the internal rotation at the shoulder joint through the obliques continuation into the latissmus dorsi (see above). It also good for knee pain – the tendon of the obliques sits over the top of the nerve which give sensation in the knee. It also just feels good.

    If this stretch is painful you need to come see us to work out why! If you get a block type sensation before you get a stretch it doesn’t mean you’re fat! It means the muscle on the compressed side is tight. Try stretching that side first.

    To do the stretch simply stand with your feet together. Bring the arm overhead as if you were about to go up for a block at the net and then bend from the middle. Making a half moon shape. See where the name comes from?! Hold for 30 seconds to a minute and repeat on the other side.

  • 4. Forearm Stretches

    Useful for any wrist, forearm or elbow pain. But need to used sensibly. If your condition is particularly irritable this may actually make things worse not better. Use pain as a guide to let you know how far to push. Never push a stretch to pain!

    The stretch can be done standing or sitting. Simply take your arm out straight in front of you with the smooth part of your forearm facing upwards. Then use your other hand to pull the ends of your fingers downwards to get a stretch through this part of your forearm. To do the other side. Have the hairy side of the your forearm facing upwards and pull the fingers again downwards. As shown in the pictures.

Rotator Cuff Stretch
  • 5. Rotator Cuff Stretches

    For pain around the shoulder. Most effective for pain / tightness towards the back of the shoulder. Firstly take the arm of the shoulder you want to stretch straight out in front of you at shoulder level. With your other hand grab the outside of that arm just above the elbow and pull across your body as shown in the picture.

    As always not to pain, just to stretch. If you feel more of a compression at the front rather than a stretch at the back try the pec stretches instead. If that doesn’t work either see previous sale pitch!

Lumbar Extension
  • 6. Lumbar Extension

    An all round great stretch. Possibly second only the lat stretch in greatness. But please do take care. If you get back pain you need to get your back assessed before trying this one. As a preventative of back problems it’s great. Also good for knee and shoulder issues through connections previously discussed.

    It is best performed over a Swiss ball to really get the best shape. Here I’ve shown if over one of treatment couches at the clinic. You can do a milder version simply laying on the edge of your bed with your legs down and the arms overhead. This is entry level to be pain free before moving on to the Swiss ball version.

Swindon Triathlon Injury
  • 7. Leg Pit Stretch

    Yes I said leg pit! Anatomically the arm and the leg are very similar and so the label leg pit sits quite nicely. This is modification of a stretch I’m sure you’ve all seen before for the hamstrings where you place your foot up on a chair / table / wall and then lean forwards to bring the stretch on into the hamstrings.

    Start from this position but roll the foot over so the inside ankle bone is on the table. From here you then bend your opposite knee to lower yourself down and feel the nice stretch on the inside of the leg. If you get pain on doing this, especially if you have a niggly knee already, firstly stop. Secondly you need to get that looked at.

Quad Stretch
  • 8. Quad Stretch

    An oldie but a goodie! We’ll give you a little twist to make it that much more effective. The knee cap is entirely enveloped within the musculature and fascia of the quads. As such if we keep our quads nice and happy our knees are nice and happy. It’s also a great stretch for recovery to stop those legs from seizing up between matches.

    As shown in the picture simply pull your ankle up towards your back side. Until you get a stretch. If you get pain you’ve got problems! If you can’t reach your ankle you’ve got problems! If you get your ankle to your bottom you’ve run out of room. From this position simply push the pelvis up and outwards to increase the stretch.

Conclusion

So there you have our top 8 exercises to keep you pain free on the sand. The exercises here are great for prevention. They can also be used when you have a specific problem but I strongly adivsed getting the condition assessed beforehand. But then I would.

A key learning point is understanding when you can soldier on and when you really need to do something different. If you tune into the sensations in your body you will know. If you’re unsure or this guide has made you realise that you do need help then give us a call on 01793 613352 or drop us a line at info@SwindonSportsTherapy.co.uk.

If you’re interested in volleyball conditions check out our page: 7 Most Common Volleyball Injuries if you haven’t already.