You don’t have to be Misty May-Treanor or Kerry Walsh Jennings to enjoy the game of volleyball. Volleyball is a great sport that can be enjoyed by people of all ages and skill levels. It can be played year round as it can be played both indoors and outdoors. Aside from the pure enjoyment of the game, volleyball has many benefits.
First, it’s a fun way to burn calories. Playing 45 minutes of volleyball can burn up to 585 calories. Volleyball also improves muscle strength and tone. The activities required when playing volleyball strengthen the upper body, arms, shoulders, thighs, abdominals, and lower legs. In addition, volleyball improves hand-eye coordination, reflexes, and balance. Last but not least, volleyball teaches teamwork and communication and is a great social activity.
As with any sport there is a risk of injury when playing volleyball. Common injuries in volleyball can be grouped into two categories: overuse injuries and traumatic injuries. Some overuse injuries include rotator cuff tendonitis, elbow or wrist tendonitis, Patellar or Achilles tendonitis, and low back pain. Traumatic injuries include shoulder dislocation or separation, rotator cuff tears, wrists sprains, finger fractures, Achilles tendon tears, ligamentous injuries, torn knee cartilage, ankle sprains, muscle sprains and strains, and herniated discs.
To prevent injury, participants should:
- Perform a warm-up consisting of stretching and light aerobic activity prior to play
- Participate in a comprehensive training program including flexibility, strength training, jump training, speed and agility drills, and endurance training
- Wear appropriate shoe wear with skid-resistant soles
- Use good technique
- Clean off the courts before play. Look for slippery spots if playing indoors and look for debris if playing outdoors in the sand or grass.
- Allow for adequate recovery
- Stay hydrated
A comprehensive volleyball training program can decrease injury and increase explosive power, jump height, stamina, and speed and agility on the court. It should include the following:
- Stretching of the lower extremities, shoulders, and lower back
- Strengthening exercises for the abdominals, legs, and shoulders especially the rotator cuff
- Jump training including box jumps, lateral jumping, and block jumps
- Speed and agility drills including sprints, ladder drills, court circuits, and lateral shuffles
- Endurance training such as running or swimming to improve stamina with long matches
So grab a few friends and head to the beach or the gym to enjoy the many benefits of volleyball and have some fun!