Shoulder maintenance, both preventative and post-injury, is one of the most important aspects of physical training for a volleyball player.
In this 4-part series, Michigan State athletic trainer Lianna Hadden describes a simple circuit of body-weight exercises designed to help keep players' shoulders healthy by stabilizing the scapula and strengthening the rotator cuff.
Hadden points out that shoulder soreness and injuries often stem from 3 problem areas: overuse, weakness in certain muscles and bad mechanics. This routine will help.
Part 1: Scap circuit
The first phase of this shoulder routine is a scap circuit, which Hadden says should start with no weight and never be done with more than 2 pounds.
This phase shouldn't take more than 4 to 5 minutes.
Part 2 - Tubing exercises
This part of the circuit involves elastic tubing and helps with overall shoulder stability.
Hadden emphasizes that each of these exercises should be done in a slow, controlled manner so the benefits are equal for both internal and external motions.
Included in this phase is a full armswing exercise that focuses on hip rotation, snap and follow-through.
Part 3 - Sleeper stretch
The final phase of this circuit targets the capsule on the backside of the shoulders.
Hadden notes that doing these exercises bilaterally makes athletes aware of how much tighter their hitting shoulders are than their off-shoulders.
Remember, this routine isn't just for athletes who are experiencing soreness. It's preventative. So it's a good idea for players to do them before they begin having issues.