taraSo you have all heard me harp on, time and time again, about the importance of strength training for volleyball players. A recent article in the British Journal of Sports Medicine identified strength training as the most effective way to reduce the risk of injury in sport, and suggested that strength training can reduce overuse injuries by almost 50%! I don’t know about you, but I certainly like those odds!

So for those of you volleyball players who are hitting the gym frequently, I pose this question…

Are you doing any isolated rotation exercises for your shoulder?

If not, you should be!

Some interesting research out of the AIS linked an increased incidence of shoulder pain and injury in those athletes who had reduced strength of their posterior rotator cuff. These muscles are particularly important for spiking and serving, as they are responsible for decelerating the arm after ball contact.

Too often we see volleyball players with a weaker posterior rotator cuff on their hitting arm, than their non-hitting arm… this should never be the case!

Your hitting arm needs to be stronger – it’s the one doing all of the work. Every time you hit or serve a ball in a training session or game, you are loading that posterior rotator cuff. And depending on your training load, that can be thousands of repetitions a week!

So how do we rectify this? The solution is simple. Incorporate some shoulder rotation exercises into your strength training regime (see example below).

DB rotation at 90 DB rotation at 90 2

If you are suffering from shoulder pain, or if you want to get serious about your strength training (to prevent injuries and improve performance), give Star Physio a call on 9481 1003 and make an appointment with one of our experienced physios.

Until next time,

Tara West – Physiotherapist – Star Physio

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