Volleyball stretches are important for preventing injury and improving performance.
Improving your static flexibility is important for preventing injuries.
Volleyball is a sport where the quadriceps muscles tend to be overused. This overuse can cause muscular imbalances between the hamstrings and quadriceps.
It's very important to stretch both the quadriceps and hamstrings to help prevent these muscular imbalances from occurring.
Stretching for Volleyball
The psoas is an important hip flexor muscle that also stabilizes the spine and allows the hips and spine to rotate.
Why is stretching the psoas important?
The psoas is responsible for speed. To make fast explosive plays in volleyball, you need a strong, active psoas.
The psoas like the quads can often become tight from being used so much in daily life. For example, sitting for long periods will make your psoas be in a flexed position for long period of time. This can lead to a tight psoas.
A tight psoas will stop your glutes firing and activating normally. This happens because the psoas and the glutes are opposing muscles.
Strengthening your glutes will also help lengthen the psoas.
Stretch slowly. Don't bounce or stretch forcefully - you may injure yourself.
Breathe while you stretch.
Gently hold the stretch for 10 to 30 seconds.
It's common for athletes to feel they
have tight hamstrings. Very often hamstrings become tight because of
the reciprocal inhibition that's going on
between the quads and hamstrings. For example, if you are fairly quad
dominant like many volleyball players are, then you likely have
hamstrings that feel tight.
You may even have tried stretching your hamstrings and can't seem to ever get them feeling loose. Stretching the opposing muscles ( quads and hip flexors) will likely get your hamstrings feeling a lot better. Also, most volleyball players have weak hamstrings. Strengthen your hamstrings can go a long way to preventing common knee and hip problems in volleyball players.
It's also important to dynamically stretch your muscles.
Stretching dynamically basically means you are waking up your muscles and preparing them to do explosive movements.
This is much different than stretching statically. Static stretching relaxes your muscles and basically shuts down your nervous system.
You don't want your nervous system shut down before you play. You want your nervous system fired up and ready to go to make quick explosive plays.
Before a volleyball practice or workout, you should perform dynamic stretches to warm up your body.
Volleyball Dynamic Stretches
Good dynamic warm up exercises for volleyball include...
Obviously, the best time to static stretch your muscles isn't right before you play volleyball.
If you're going to static stretch, the best time is usually at the end of workouts.
Some people prefer to static stretch at the end of the day before they go to bed. This can be a good time because stretching statically will help you relax and prepare you for sleep.
I hope these tips for volleyball stretches was helpful!