Today we are going to discuss the role of the gluteals – arguably one of the most important muscle groups for volleyball players.
The gluteus maximus is the largest and most superficial of the gluteal muscles. It is a powerful hip extensor, assisting us in performing volleyball movements such as squatting and lunging (think defensive moves) as well as ballistic movements like spiking and block jumping. Dysfunction of this muscle has been linked to low back, hip and knee pain along with muscle strains (hamstring and calf) and acute lower limb injuries.
The Gluteus medius and gluteus minimus are fan-shaped muscles, lying deep to the gluteus maximus. These muscles play a significant role in pelvic stabilization. During activities such as walking and running, these muscles function to dynamically stabilize the pelvis in a neutral position during single leg stance.
As you can see in the picture, weakness of the right gluteals will cause the left hip to drop when standing on the right limb.
As you can imagine, poor pelvic control results in inefficient movement, meaning you won’t get the best out of your body during jumping and court movements. In addition, this lack of control will also have an impact on movements at the hip, knee and ankle. Thus, dysfunction of these muscles can be linked to a number of lower limb injuries.
So it’s not surprising that weak glutes can lead to a variety of problems including back, hip, and knee pain and injuries. But what is surprising is how many people (including athletes) have weak glutes!
So what can we do about it?
It has been demonstrated that strength training can reduce overuse injuries by almost 50%, and that heavy lower limb strength training improves jump height and speed of movement around the volleyball court.
Therefore, if you want to jump higher, move faster and reduce your injury risk, include strength training as part of your training regime. At Star Physio we can help by devising a tailored strength program that fits with your global training schedule in order to get you on the court in the best condition possible.
For more information on how you can get those glutes working, contact the clinic on 9481 1003 or check out our website – https://starphysiowa.com.au/service/rehab-and-conditioning/