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Dr. D. Y. Patil Vidyapeeth, Pune
(Deemed to be University)
Dr. D. Y. Patil College of Physiotherapy
Sant Tukaram Nagar, Pimpri, Pune-411018

Beyond Flexibility: Gain Control Over Your Upper Body With Dynamic Stretching

Beyond Flexibility: Gain Control Over Your Upper Body With Dynamic Stretching

Improve volleyball skills with dynamic upper body stretching. Flexibility exercises for athletes.

Khushi Goyal, BPT Intern
March, 15 2024
124

I have been interested in Sports since my childhood and during my Internship as well, I chose a research topic related to Sports Physiotherapy. When browsing for Volleyball, “Dynamic Stretching” caught my attention because I had only heard about normal static flexibility exercises which are commonly used for warm-up. Curious as I am, I started further reading and realized how better and functional Dynamic Stretching is!!!

For playing any sport, one has to have good flexibility for the ease of play. For those sports like volleyball or basketball, flexibility is essential for all aspects, from spiking the ball to diving for digs. However, stretching statically before a game could make you perform poorly. Dynamic stretches can assist with that!

Dynamic stretching includes targeted movements that mimic the activities you're going to perform in your sport. It targets multiple muscles simultaneously, improving the overall flexibility of a kinetic chain. Players understand the value of having a strong and flexible upper body. To succeed, this improves blood flow, range of motion, and power production as it gets your muscles and joints ready for activity.

Why is this important for volleyball players to understand?

  • To spike harder, improve shoulder and core flexibility for a more explosive arm swing.
  • You can react faster and handle the ball better with increased wrist and elbow mobility.
  • Properly warming up your muscles can minimize the risk of injury, such as tears, strains, and other types of damage.

Few examples of exercises that will improve your flexibility are given below: Make sure to include these 7 dynamic stretches in your pre-game routine:

Are you ready to start?

  1. Arm Circles:
  • With your arms out to the sides in a "T" formation, stand up straight.
  • Start circularly rotating both of your arms while maintaining your palms facing down.
  • Start with small circles and slowly widen them.
  • After a few reps, reverse course and begin rotating your arms counterclockwise.
  • After every repeat, keep switching up the directions.
  1. Standing Scaption
  • Take a stance with your thumbs pointing upward and your arms at a 30-degree angle to the frontal plane.
  • Raise your arms straight, then carefully and gradually lower them.
  • Move through the whole range of motion painlessly.
  • Hold the shoulder blades "back and down" to ensure correct scapular stability.
  1. Cuban Press
  • The player stands at the beginning, arms extended freely and palms facing backward.
  • Creates the appearance of a "scarecrow" by shrugging and standing straight.
  • Rotates arms outward to a "goalpost" posture and holds them straight up above.
  • To return, reverse the movements.
  1. Push-up Plus
  • The player does a regular push-up, keeping their elbows close to their bodies and their hands shoulder-width apart.
  • The player arches their scapulae while keeping their spine in a neutral position at the top of the push-up.
  • Stressing scapulae protraction and retraction, the player retracts back to a flat-back "starting" posture and repeats.
  • Push-ups may be done upright and leaning on a bench or counter, on your toes, or on your knees.
  1. Seated Russian Twist
  • With your feet off the ground, knees bent, and hips flexed, take a seat.
  • Twisting from side to side, contract your abdominals and maintain an active range of motion.
  • While maintaining an engaged abdominal core, rotate the trunk.
  • As you twist, don't forget to breathe evenly and deeply.
  1. Grip Pulls Apart
  • The player clasps their four fingers together in front of their chest.
  • The thumbs of one hand are up, and the other is down.
  • To release their hold and bring their elbows out, the player retracts their scapulae and performs an isometric pull.
  • After holding each repetition for two seconds, it is repeated.
  1. Doorway Row
  • Floor or parallel squats.
  • Holding onto a door frame or other anchored object (bleachers, fence, etc.)
  • Pull toward the anchor while maintaining scapular stability throughout a row.

Please keep in mind the following tips while performing stretching exercises:

  • Take deep and consistent breaths while stretching.
  • Pay attention to your body and avoid any movements that cause pain.
  • Perform the stretches in a dynamic manner, with controlled movements, instead of holding them in a static position.
  • It is recommended to complete the entire stretching routine two or three times before your game or practice.

Applying dynamic stretching to your workout routine can help you become more flexible and powerful and perform better on the court overall. So, compete with an increased level of confidence!

I really hope that this blog post will help you improve your volleyball skills!

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