In the second part of her 4-part series on injury prevention training, Art of Coaching fitness expert Marie Zidek covers warm-up exercises that are designed for qualifier season. For club athletes, that usually comes in March and April, but these pre-practice workouts can also be used in the early part of the high school season as teams begin to get into their competition schedule.
Here are a few words from Marie about what exercises you’ll see in this phase and how they’ll help your players:
Dynamic warmup, part 1: high-knee hug, karaoke, compound stretch, Spiderman
This video shows the first part of the Phase 2 warmup, which consists of four exercises: high-knee hug, karaoke, compound stretch and Spiderman.
Part 2: ankle flips, side-to-side hop and hold
In part 2, Marie's team does 2 more dynamic exercises, one side to side and the other up and down with an emphasis on getting the toes up.
Part 3: box landings and lunges
For this part of the workout, the players start with 10 jumps off the box, emphasizing soft, toe-to-heel landings. "Before you teach players how to jump, you have to teach them how to land," Marie says. "Injury is caused in the first 20 percent of landing, so you want to make sure the athletes' brains and nervous systems are trained to put their bodies in a safe position for landing before asking them to jump 100 or 200 times in practice."
Next, they switch to one-legged lunges onto a Bosu ball, which puts them on an unstable surface that helps build knee and ankle strength.
Part 4: hip bridges and box landing with one foot hop
The players start in this video with 20 hip bridges, which builds strength in the hamstrings, glutes and low back.
The second exercise here is a box landing with an added one-foot landing. This is an important drill because it's common in volleyball to jump off 2 feet and land on one, so building strength and balance for stable one-foot landings reduces the risk of injuries.
Part 5: walkovers and side stars
The first of the 2 exercises you'll see here, walkovers, builds strength in the shoulders, upper body and core and helps with overall stability. The second exercise, side stars, is good for the hips and for all of the muscles necessary for lateral movement.
Part 6: overhead slams, 'V' slams, partner throw series
The final 3 exercises of this warmup are overhead slams, "V" slams and side-to-side throws.
Overhead slams are good for developing a more explosive jump and spike. "V" slams work the core and help to increase power for hitting. Side-to-side throws also work the core, and they're good for arm and shoulder strength, too.