The sport of volleyball is on the rise and there are more and more youth participating at younger ages. As the number of participants increase, so does the number of injuries. According to the NCAA, the knee and ankle are of the most common body parts injured in the sport of volleyball. Of all of the skills involved within the sport, attacking or spiking has been found to have the greatest risk of lower leg injuries because of poor control of mechanics during jumping/landing. With the growth of the sport and the number of hours spent participating, it is important to establish an exercise prevention program in order to decrease the risk of jumping and landing injuries. Neuromuscular/balance training and glute strengthening have been found to be one of the best additions to any injury prevention program. Incorporating this type of training into volleyball movements just 15 minutes a day can successfully decrease the risk of ankle and knee injuries. Below is a list of 10 exercises that can be used to optimize lower extremity injury prevention.
Functional Balance and Jumping Progression
1. Jumping off 2 feet and landing on one foot
2. Forward, backwards and sideways jumping and landing on one foot
3. Approach jump landing on both feet and one foot
4. Block jump landing on both feet and one foot
Glute Strengthening Progression
1. Isometric glute activation against the wall
2. Single leg hip abduction on Airex foam pad
3. Side stepping/monster walks with resistance band
4. Forward lunges
5. Loaded squats
Incorporating a multifaceted program that includes both glute strengthening and balance/jump training can significantly lower the risk of injury. It is important that when implementing these movements that proper biomechanics are used.
Dylan Moen, DPT, PT, ATC, Orthology
If you have any questions or would like help implementing this regimen into your training schedule don’t hesitate to reach out to one of our physical therapists at any of our Orthology locations or call 763-315-0466.