Shoulder Exercises for Volleyball Players: Workouts That Help You Hit Hard and Stay Healthy

 

So often, I’m asked questions about the best ways to warm up or workout for beach volleyball. Professionals have extensive warm up routines that armor their joints and work on their weaknesses. Most players want to know how to hit harder and we have plenty of technical cues for that but first, you should start doing the shoulder exercises that will protect you and strengthen you.

If you’ve been anywhere near a volleyball court in your life, you’ve seen somebody rubbing and rotating their hitting shoulder while their face winces in pain. You can't keep hitting hard if your joints and muscles aren't primed to handle that load over time.

In this article, we are going to prepare you to spike harder. You can have the best technique in the world but without the proper volleyball training OFF the court, you'll only hurt yourself and lose weeks of practice in the process.

 

Why are shoulder exercises so important for beach volleyball players?

Injuries in beach usually develop because of muscular imbalances. Micro-tears in your muscle fibers develop into scar tissue when they aren’t given time to heal properly. If you’re pushing your body to the max, that just becomes a part of the game. BUT, when a muscle becomes less pliable, other muscles take over for it and these compensations have a tendency to build on top of each other.

Don’t ignore the imbalances and weaknesses. What’s better? Taking an extra 5 minutes before each volleyball bout OR being laid up for 8 weeks recovering from a big injury and losing your season.

To watch a beach volleyball player warm up is to watch a menagerie of exercises, stretches, and odd rituals of varying use. Some of these are critical. Some are useful. Some are, well, some are just odd and could be downright harmful to any volleyball player and athlete. 

Which is why we brought in Doctor Domenic Fraboni, a doctor of physical therapy and lifestyle consultant who was kind enough to walk us through three essential stretches for beach volleyball. 

Dr. Dom is one of a number of experts we've had featured on Better at Beach, and we've compiled a 60-day online volleyball course to have you jumping higher, hitting harder, and powering through the sand. 

But before we can get you jumping like Troy Field, hitting like Phil Dalhausser, and digging balls like Taylor Crabb, we need to get you properly stretched out and warmed up. 

Enter Dr. Dom. 

This video on Three Essential Stretches for Beach Volleyball features Domenic Fraboni or, @DrDomDPT if you're looking for a good follow on Instagram. Hunt him down because he gives great information about how to optimize your body and make a more successful, healthier athlete all around.

We had a question for Domenic Fraboni: For our athletes who want to know how to hit harder, what are the three most important stretches for a volleyball player? 

Top 3 Stretches that Help you Hit Harder in Beach Volleyball - No. 1: Chest

Domenic Fraboni: "Places that we really need mobility, especially with overhead athletes, specifically volleyball players, are through the chest and through the back. We also need good mobility through the hips. I'm going to run you through a couple of things that we can do for that.

So, first, I want you to use a pole and all I'm going to have you do is grab on with a straight elbow. A lot of people will do a chest stretch, but they'll just kind of throw their arm forward. When you do this, you can feel how your shoulder rotates forward.

Lock that shoulder blade down and back and step one foot forward. You want to lightly lunge into that you will feel the difference. You will feel this stretch in the chest instead of letting our shoulder roll forward. As we step through we want to keep that shoulder blade rooted down in back and this can be a great one to do with the arm straight out to the side or you can also place the arm a little bit higher cause then we're going to stretch a slightly different portion of the pec.

There is a second modification to this shoulder stretch that will also open your range in a more common hitting position. Bend your elbow so that it is in a 90 degree 'scarecrow' position. Your forearm will point up and down. Your upper arm should still be out to the side. Keep that shoulder down and back and lunge forward exactly like we did when your arm was straight. Breathing is important because that's how we actually teach our body that this is a good thing for us. Breathing will help us take tension out of those muscles and the increased window we gain from stretches like this will help you hit harder in volleyball for a lot longer.

When people want to learn volleyball and they think about how to hit a volleyball harder, they often put themselves into a BIG arching position. Hitters will lean back while on the ground for serving and while in the air for spiking. This back arch only compensates for a range of motion that is too small in the chest and shoulder.

These volleyball specific stretches help to give you the range you need through your shoulders. Your body won't need that big back bend and it will prevent you from getting some of that low back pain.

 

Top 3 Stretches that Help you Hit Harder in Beach Volleyball - No. 2: Hips

"You said these exercises would help me hit harder. What do my hips have to do with this?"

"Umm, everything."

Let's think about the sequence of events that leads to the best spikes in beach volleyball. The very first thing you need to do is JUMP! If you have tight hip flexors and quads, your glutes won't be able to fire you into the air as well as they should. Here's a visual. Get into a quarter squat and imagine trying to jump as high as you can without straightening at the hip. If you're hips can't fire all the way through, you lose the ability to accelerate. 

The quarter squat is an exaggeration but a lot of people lose height and power in their jumps because their hip flexors are too tight to get full extension. Most players don't even notice because we naturally don't feel "stuck". We all just have our range of motion and that's OUR normal. Tightness can creep in over time and start destroying your ability to generate power. A good mobility routine that includes hip flexor stretches will ensure we get everything we can out of our jumps and when you jump higher, guess what... You can hit harder in the court!!!

When most people get into a lunge stretch, they just come forward and arch through the back. That makes people THINK they are opening their hips but you're really just stretching your abs. Here's a really simple tip: Start by locking the ribs down and squeezing your abs. Next, squeeze the butt cheek of the hip flexor your are stretching.  You should already feel that stretch a little bit in the front. Finally, just let those hips translate forward without losing that squeeze and without losing the ab and rib engagement.

If you don't hold that engagement you won't be getting the stretch through the hip. You'll be getting it through the low back. 

A full range of motion in your hips will let you jump higher and load your swing in a better way allowing you to snap faster and great massively harder hits.

Top 3 Stretches that Help you Hit Harder in Beach Volleyball - No. 3: Thoracic Rotation

If you want to learn volleyball from home, I hope you take this advice and apply it but if you want to experience it in person, we have a lot of opportunities to learn outdoor volleyball at our volleyball vacations in California.

Not everyone knows that if you want hit harder, you need rotation.

Again, we don't want to compensate through back extension. We need our spine to rotate and our muscles have to allow that. Try this stretch for volleyball players that comes from our online beach volleyball training courses.

Lay on your back and pull your knee to your chest. Cross that leg over your body and pin the inside of that knee to the ground. The other leg should stay straight. Take your top hand and rotate again so that your hand opens the opposite way. Follow that hand back with your eyes. You might feel some pops and cracks in your back but you shouldn't feel pain. So one knee is pinned to the ground and your free hand is reaching to the opposite side of your body.

When you create a bigger rotational window, you'll be able to throw your torso at the ball and let your arm follow like a whip. Without thoracic rotation, your arm has to do ALL of its own work and you won't be able to maximize your power and arm speed.

This isn't a comprehensive list of stretches that will help you hit harder but we have a lot more in our online beach volleyball courses. We go really in depth, in our attacking course and for just $2.99 a month, you can add the ongoing training module where you get invites every two weeks to our members only live webinars where you can ask real beach volleyball pro's all of your own questions.

Let's get into some band workouts for volleyball players. This is where we start strengthening your shoulders to create more stability and power. We have the range. Now it's time to hit harder!

1 Band and 11 Shoulder Exercises in 1 Minute

If you’ve come to a professional beach volleyball event in the last decade, you’ll notice every player sporting some sort of exercise with an elastic band. I personally carry one long open-ended band that I can wrap multiple times for added resistance.

The video below shows you 11 creative ways to use a small closed resistance band to strengthen and protect your shoulder joints. This band is normally used for glute/hip exercises but is a great shoulder sub when you have nothing else. Try them out and let me know how it goes. Protect your shoulders and play injury free for years!

 

Make sure to do each shoulder exercise above for at least 30 seconds. They are easy at first but if you do each one for 30-45 seconds with no rest, you will FEEL THE BURN! A lot of players get through “pre-hab” and rehab exercises without actually testing their endurance. Remember, your body will find the easiest pathways first so your gross motor neuron pathways will take over in the beginning. It’s important to get to a level of muscle fatigue that exposes your weaker muscles.

These work as a GREAT shoulder warm up before practices and matches. They also armor your joints during the off season. All of this contributes to being able to hit harder and also gives you new ideas for what you can do in terms of volleyball strength training. Our online volleyball courses will give you a full arsenal important exercises for volleyball. Check it out for yourself! 

If you can’t remember them, just take your phone to the beach or the gym and play this video! If you sign up for our online beach volleyball training courses, you can always download the Kajabi App and take them with you to the sand! 

If you ever have the need for an intense volleyball vacation, come to one of our beach volleyball camps in Hermosa Beach, California. You can't ask for a more perfect volleyball trip. Our students say we have the best volleyball classes in Los Angeles! 

Can’t make the trip to California?!?! Send an email to [email protected] and we can arrange a camp with AVP & FIVB Pro’s Coaching in your hometown!

Need Some More Ways to Develop Your Hitting Arm?

Keep your shoulders healthy, strong and capable of a full range of motion with this beach volleyball training video. Join AVP pro players Mark Burik and Brandon Joyner as they demonstrate solid workouts for those shoulders.

These core exercises come from the Better at Beach 60-Day training program -- jump higher, hit harder, move faster. Train with the beach volleyball pros!  Learn the RIGHT exercises to elevate your beach volleyball game. We've got programs that are spot-on for players at every skill level. There's no better time than today, right now, to start your training!

Video Transcription Below:

What up, guys.  I want to show you four shoulder exercises for beach volleyball strength and conditioning that you can do on your own if you want to hit harder and stay healthier.

So these core exercises come from our 60-Day training program on BetterAtBeach.com you can check that out. We're going to link it below. It's so important for every volleyball player to keep their shoulders healthy strong and make sure that those shoulders have a big range of motion and all our exercises need to focus on that. So these exercises are designed to open up your range of motion, keep you stable and strong in all positions because beach volleyball and volleyball, as we know you have to hit from a lot of strange angles. And all of these exercises are designed to help you stay stronger throughout all of the ranges of motion that you're going to need for a volleyball swing. If you want to hit harder, make sure that you're doing these exercises and make sure that you're doing them at least every time you play volleyball.

Next we have our shoulder endurance series, so you're going to have a front press, 90 degree hold. You're going to put your arms in front of you, holding them up at 90 degrees, so there's a 90 degree bend in your armpit and in your elbows. Keeping them close in front of you. Keep that at 90 degrees. You're allowed to walk with this or move to increase stability. Brandon here's using kettlebells. You can also use dumbbells or we're going to show you a version with the band. You go ahead and you can drop those and show the version with the band. Brandon's going to step on one end of the band and hold the other one on top.

This is your 90 degree military press hold, so your arms are going to be out to your sides at 90 degrees and you are going to hold a weight up there. Keeping that stability. Yeah, and if you want to challenge yourself, you can always walk back and forth, move sideways to make sure that your shoulders are getting stable and everything's getting tested. We're also going to show this with a band. In case you don't have weights, dumbbells or kettlebells at home shows what the band, he's going to step on one end of band and he's going to raise his work arm to 90 degrees. Make sure you hit both arms.

You're lying. I holds. You're going to extend your arms straight over your head while you're lying down and then you are going to raise the weights in that elbow straight. Position as high as you can holding those weights up. Let's see at Brandon. Very nice. This is going to test those rear shoulder muscles here and we want to make sure that we can hold it up and stay up. This is an endurance exercise. I'm going to show you two more versions if you don't want to lie on the ground, so Brandon, come on and stand up. You can also do this in a bent over position using the same weights, so we're going to bend our hips back, keep your back flat and then raise those shoulders back, stays flat, shoulders raise up, hands raise up. You want to make sure that you're using a really lightweight here because this can get exhausting if you don't have weights at home, but you want to use bands. You can also do this with the same version just by putting one leg in front, stepping on the band and holding so that your back is flat and your shoulders are raising as high as they can. This is our lying. Why hold? We're going to put our hands out in a Y position. Okay? Like why MCA and Brandon is going to raise and hold himself right there. Go ahead, lift those arms and keep them high.

Like I said at the beginning of the video, these exercises came out of our 60 day strength and conditioning plan that's ove at betteratbeach.com and we're going to link it below. We also have a lot of other videos that show you the right exercises you can be doing to get stronger and better at beach volleyball, so make sure you subscribe to our channel and hit the bell so that you can get a notification every time we put out a new video.

Learn How to Hit Harder at Home from AVP Pro Stafford Slick.

VolleyChat visits via videoconference with AVP Beach Volleyball pro Stafford Slick to find out how he stayed  healthy and fit while in quarantine during the coronavirus pandemic. Most players embraced that idea that if we want to continue hitting with power, we can't let a mandatory off-season stop us.

"It's been exciting for me to step out of my comfort zone of doing Olympic lifts and stuff in the gym and really try to challenge myself to learn something new."


Video Transcription Below:

So my name is Brandon Joyner. You guys have been hearing a lot from Mark recently, but I am also a part of Better at Beach and VolleyCamp Hermosa currently a player as well. Play professionally on the AVP and also I've done some FIVB's and last decade has really been spent really fine tuning my coaching and teaching. Before I moved out to California, I was a teacher. I taught eighth grade social studies or civics. I had to kind of figure out how I can keep growing as a coach and a player and see what this sport has to offer.

Hey guys, just so you know, we need you to stay to the end. Everybody who stays until the end, we are going to open up a really, really special offer for literally 15 minutes. Um, just to help everybody out during this, during this quarantine. So, um, there's going to be a really, really special offer. Stay the end. Um, pay attention and take, get a pen, get a paper and just start taking down some notes and some ideas cause it does take us a little while to upload these videos and get them out so that they look pretty for everybody who's not here but only you guys who are here live right now are going to get this offer. So thank you for being a part of it. Thank you for signing up. We always reward the people that attend lions and uh, we appreciate you guys following and be a part of the email list. So we're all here to help each other. I know a lot of us are going through a tough time and hopefully we can provide ideas that either keep you entertained and definitely keep you improving and getting better, uh, throughout this time. So Brandon, what have you been doing with [inaudible] every day so far? Are you staying in shape? Are you in a different direction or are you all practicing?

I've actually, luckily at our house we have, um, we have bands and really I don't have that much space either. Um, I live on the third floor, so it's kinda nice. Like I've, I've actually been using our stairs a lot as like a, as a good workout. But I've, I've also with our workout program, I've just been kind of going through that and I've been doing everything that I can and it's kinda crazy. I didn't realize that it's like almost like 80% of our workouts. We don't really need equipment. And then once I'm to the points where I'm doing, I'm supposed to be doing weighted stuff, then I've just started getting creative. I've started doing squats with bands instead of weight, which has actually been kind of cool. I've still been waking up with like a little bit of soreness in my hamstrings and my quads, which is like kind of makes me feel like I'm doing something right.

It's kind of weird. I, uh, I w I felt so good before all this happened. I've been working really hard, but I've also, I've been kind of thinking about it and I'm like, you know, maybe this is a time to kind of take a step back from volleyball and the physical part of it and, and really try to think about what I can do mentally to help myself. Um, I mean especially with us not being able to coach and see people in person. That's actually been probably the hardest thing on me. Just not being able to see people. I didn't realize how much I kind of needed these conversations with people and the coaching opportunities. And then especially when we're playing and getting to see the guys that we train with on a regular basis, that's kind of been tough. But since that's been the case, I've, we've been kind of focusing on this online stuff.

So I've been putting a lot of energy into that. So pretty much anytime I would be working out or playing or coaching, I'm putting those hours towards building better obese.com it's kind of the world's way of telling me that maybe you should take a break for a second and let your body heal up really well and kind of once this is all ready and done, then I'll, I'll feel really, really comfortable moving forward and getting strong again and getting my playback up to where it needs to be and, but I'm not really stressing about that right now. I know it'll happen with everything that I'm doing mentally. Um, whether it's studying video or just keeping my body in check.

Yeah. Guys, I think you know at this moment, if you're an athlete or you're a coach,

yeah.

Every single motivational video that you've ever watched or looked at and said like, yeah, you got your ass kicked.

Okay. [inaudible] what do you do? You learn from it. You get up and you learn from it. So right now, like the world is kind of dealing a lot of people like a beat down and there's one thing that you can do from loss. You can either hide in a shell and never show up again or you can regroup, come up with new answers to get a little more creative, work harder in the same direction that you've been working in. Or if you feel like that that's, that just doesn't have a future anymore. Pivot and find a new shot and like that's what we do like in beach volleyball. Okay. You know, I know I needed that swing at match point and I didn't have it in my arsenal. So either I get really good at all of my other swings or I train so that I have another option in that moment.

And right now all of us are at a place where a lot of us are in a place where we need options and more options in these different moments. And so that's what, that's what we want to provide today. I do want to take you to do some of this stuff that I went through yesterday but this one's going to be rapid fire guys. We're going to be done in 40 minutes. I'm going to have two coaches on Brandon's going to be here. Of course Stafford Slick is coming on in a couple of minutes and then Katie Spieler who runs her own club and is an AVP player. So excited to have all of them. This is going to be really awesome. This is something that I used to do every day during the summer cause I had a roof that was just like this where the triangle kind of came down and it dropped the ball right back to me.

This is a really simple lonely drill or it's past set hit right. A nice easy shot for the easy shot. Right? We're making sure that you're only contacting with this Palm of your hand. You do not want your fingers so get on the ball. You want them to get over the ball and over means like this on means like this. We don't want our fingers to hit it cause that's going to slow down a lot of what we do. Okay here I am yapping like an idiot. But this is like a really simple drill that you can just use guys. If you have an inclined group or anything that's inclined, this is easy pass it hit. And what I did, a lot of us need to work on this. It's vision work. So I'm going to let the video run, right? And I'm going to let you guys hear it.

I'm going to include something so that you get some vision work. So after you pass it to yourself and set to yourself between your set in your hit, you have to look forward at the wall and then back to the ball and hit. So I'm making an exaggeration. Just watch my eyes, watch my head tilt. And you can get some vision work while you're doing this. If you're an attacker in beach volleyball, you have to see the other side of the court no matter what. You have to see the other side of the court. So, um, this is just great, easy work. I just want you to see how we go through it to myself, set to myself, look, find the ball, and then hit a lot of people during this drill, especially when we're live, a lot of people during this drill make the mistake of setting and looking at the same time. Or they'll just put the ball up and they'll look. But you have to get yourself to the ball first. So you have to see the set first, get there then, and then get back to the wall with your eyes. Okay. Ideally you don't look too far up. Ideally, you can keep everything sort of in a peripheral. But I'm giving you an exaggeration from here where I really look down at that wall, give it a shot.

Also, like how on the, uh, especially when you add in the jump at the end, still being able to focus on the, that last right left before you jump.

Oh yeah. Okay. So talk me through that Brent. And go ahead.

So like, especially with drills like this where, especially if you're thinking about, um, making that contact that Mark was saying and you're, and you're, so, you're so worried about getting the ball, then a lot of times we can lose focus on some of the smaller things. So like I like the, I mean you're getting a chance to make a really good pass where you're shuffling to that ball and then you're making a good set and then you're getting those last two steps. So right before you go to jump every single time you're having a pretty, pretty good right left. So I think that's something that's kind of underutilized, especially in drills where it's by yourself.

So here's what I'm talking about in this video and Brennan you should kind of, you can kind of talk us through it, but I'm teaching how to bunk set with spin. So Brenda, I'm going to leave it up to you to tell us like why and when we would bump set with spin.

So actually I kind of liked this conversation and I might go a completely different way that Mark would normally go, but especially when, whenever you're thinking about passing, you have to rely on two things, one technique and then two is your touch. When whenever you're thinking about touch touches, when you're going to have to add something different to that ball. Um, we see it a lot. Like Mark has a really, really good side. Spencer's if you don't know how to pass it, it's terrible to pass. It makes you feel like an idiot. Um, but something that you really have to think about is you have to think about either taking the spin away from this ball or adding spin to it to get it to go to where your target is. So a lot of times you can use it in that sense if you're fighting a ball that has a lot of spin, um, or if you're also playing in the wind.

Um, I think whenever you're playing in the wind, you might have to think about either passing or setting with some spin on the ball and you kind of have to get creative. So especially with a drill like this where you're trying to focus on really getting underneath that ball and then trying to find kind of a similar trajectory but adding some kind of spin. Uh, I would think you're trying to fight off something that is coming at you, whether it's a serve or a hit that has weird spin on it. Or if you're some form

of conditions, what would you say? No, I like, for me, this is, I'm going to use, anytime I have to fight the wind with a set, I'm going to put some spin on it. So if the spin is coming, the wind is coming at me. My goal is to make the wind, the ball spin in the direction of the wind. If the ball floats, if the ball floats, when you're fighting against the wind, it's going to be unpredictable. Completely unpredictable. You have medium wind and a medium distance. You have to use spin, right? If you have a long distance and even a light wind like you're setting from the back line, you have to use spin. If there's no wind, don't worry about it cause it's not going to affect anything. It's just really important to be able to learn how to do it. Cool news guys. Stafford is here, guys. Remember if you're here and you weren't here in the beginning, please, please, please stay to the end. You have a really good offer for you. If you're training at home, you signed up for this webinar because you're interested in training at home. We have a pretty sick offer, so stay to the end that it's only for people who are here live Friday, March 27th let's everybody welcome. Yeah. [inaudible]

right. Oh, like you're on vacation. Yeah. Isn't that what this is true? Pretty much. It's the least fun vacation I've ever been on. I've been staying in shape. Have you been practicing? Have you been doing any ball work? Have you been doing anything else and cannot? Can you tell me your Instagram handles? I could put it in the chat. It's super complicated. It's Stafford Slick. If you want to follow Stafford. He's not too crazy, but he copped a lot of smack. So it's pretty entertaining on Instagram. Any of the gentle like gentle dab smack any flexes a lot. Always get some good textures.

Oh, another day. What do you want to do? You can't just go out and play. I already talked to you about this. Look, I don't care what everybody else is doing. The cut over. That's down. Anyways. Pepper, you know, John Mayer feels about pepper doesn't do us any good besides, you only work on your platform in hand, sitting anyways. I need to work on my hand setting. When's the last time I got called for a double? Exactly. Oh, I'll show you. Spin detection. Wilson.

What are you doing right now to stay in shape? I mean, at this point

everyone's just kind of scrambling to figure out how they can keep themselves kind of in check during this uncertain time. We have been fortunate enough, uh, I guess I've been fortunate enough to be a part of the USA National team right now. And so through that we have a trainer, uh, and to have an access to kind of supermarket sweep. So ran into the gym before everything shut down and plucked out some yeah. Plucked out some kettlebells and some med balls and stuff. So, um, really right now it's a lot of dynamic, lightweight, um, but most of reps and just kind of keeping the body moving. Keep it from Rustin out. Can you explain, just like in super layman terms, what do you mean by dynamic and explosive? Um, so I would say anything that challenges you to move quickly. So, um, for me that is, uh, for explosive at least, um, is doing kettlebell swings, um, focusing on good hip hinge and explosive power through the hips.

What do you mean by hip hinge? Hip hinge. So, um, typically what happens when people pick up a kettlebell, um, and start swinging it around. Uh, their first instinct is to squat, kind of like they're loading for a jump. Um, but ultimately that's not getting to the power portions of your jump, which comes from the hips. And so, um, you want to start moving your hips in a backward direction first, bringing the kettlebell back through the legs and then exploding straight forward through the hips. Yup. Exactly. So less of an up and down vertical movement and more of a, yeah, you're so dynamic. You don't like this with kettlebells more. Exactly. Yup. Right. But making sure not to overextend at the top. You want to obviously keep a steady strong core like once you reached the top. And then, so I think, um, something that's been fun for me during this time is actually, uh, my cousin lives in Vancouver and is doing a personal fitness and training specifically with kettlebells.

And so he reached out and asked if I wanted to learn a few things cause there's a lot that can be done with kettlebells. And so, um, so he took me through a session last Saturday and I got hooked. And so we did an Instagram live on Wednesday and we're actually going to do another one tomorrow at 7:00 AM. But yeah, I mean kettlebells are super versatile. Um, so you can get a lot of explosive, strengthen and channel those movements and kind of become more efficient with those movements. What I found is that for me, my instinct is to go, once I start to fatigue, it's just start to go into normal movement patterns, which is kind of that black box squat sort of position where I'm going vertical. And so it's really been challenging for me to focus on keeping consistent form that's appropriate for kettlebells throughout. Oh, the exercises. So, yeah, it's been, it's been cool.

What if people don't have a kettlebell

grab a breakfast burrito and watch? No. So anything that we're going to be doing, uh, you could supplement with a dumbbell at home if you have one. Or, I'm trying to think what else you can do, I guess a water bottle or fill up, you know, fills you fill a bucket with fat under a small cat. Yeah, exactly. Um, but yeah, so it's just, it's, it's been exciting for me to step out of my comfort zone of doing Olympic lifts and stuff in the gym and really try to challenge myself to learn something new. Uh, during this time because I think even from the, the short experience that I've had with kettlebells, uh, I think it's something that I'm going to continue to lose to use long-term. Um, cause there's a lot of stability, things you can work on. Um, uh, overhead stability with holding the kettlebell in different ways and things like that too. In Turkish get ups and all these sorts of complex movements that were super foreign to me. R B, go ahead.

So I see a lot of people using like the overhead, like kettlebells. In the beginning I didn't understand. I was just like, why are you just holding something over your head? What does that, how could that possibly be an athletic workout that you're trying to do? So what is, how is that benefiting you as a volleyball player when you're holding your pressing heavy weight above your head and leaving it up?

Yeah. So specifically with the kettlebell, there's a couple of different ways that you can hold it. I actually have one right here, so I'll see you at the same time. So there's a couple of different ways to hold it and can hold it like this straight overhead, um, which is weighed down. Uh, and this is going to mimic more of a dumbbell sort of hold right where it's pretty strong, pretty stable, something that's familiar and comfortable. Um, and then so that's, I mean that's kind of an equivalent to a strict like military press or shoulder press, things like that, which is just good for overhead stability and strength. Um, one of the things that's become really interesting for me is through learning more about kettlebells is going bottoms up. And so this way the weight isn't directly kind of over your, I mean you have to keep it over your strength points over your wrist, elbow, shoulder, all that. And so when you go over head, the tendency is for the weight to shift side to side. So you really have to fight that using a lot of stabilizers to keep it strong and steady. And so by doing that, especially going through different movement patterns while holding it above your head, you challenge muscles and smaller muscle groups, stabilizers in a different way. Uh, and so even with lightweight, like this is a 12 kilos, so just over 20. Yeah. 26 pounds. And so even with that lightweight, it's still exceptionally challenging. Um, from a,

so the stabilizers above your head, what does that do for a volleyball player? Why is that beneficial?

Uh, yeah, so, uh, I mean in, in terms of like, um, functional stability, I guess it's more just maintaining, um, rotator cuff strings and support, uh, so that, you know, as we're swinging and taking thousands of swings over the course of a season, um, that we're continuing to build and fine tune those smaller muscle groups rather than just like biceps or deltoids or things like that. So, um, so it really provides a, um, kind of a comprehensive sort of focus to shoulder work versus just working on major groups. And so, um, I think, again, this is new to me, so I'm kind of doing research and trying to understand it better, but it, it's, it really is challenging me in a different way and I feel it in different places, so I know that it's working different things, if that makes sense. Yeah, yeah. Yeah.

Well, and I think like, you know, if we, if we challenged shoulder stability and like overhead strength probably when you're in those weird positions and you still like you know the hit that you have to make but you know what like it might hurt or it's, it's definitely the wrong position but it's the only thing that's open in that moment. I think having strength and being able to have the stability and the power and all of those weird positions, it gives you the ability to put a little bit of pace on that awkward swing because now like your arm is strong when it's over in all different positions and now you can bring it from your back down to there with a little bit. Yeah.

More power. Yeah. And one of the things I think that's been a focus for me at least for this past off season and now potentially off season number two is how to, is how to generate power and speed from the top of my swing versus generating, you know, I mean this, the standard is like pipe super hard, hit the ball low, contact low and you know, totally disagree. Right, exactly. And so that's, that's for me that was like, Oh, that's how I'm going to hit super hard is like generate a whole lot of force. But that force comes from this location versus up super high. And so you can generate pace and snap from the top of your swing that gives you that much more over the height of the block or that much more control from, from an extended position. And so, well, challenging myself to maintain strength and stability in those extended positions is going to help reinforced that kind of idea. That's where I want to be swimming from. So

do you have any, um, other, at home exercises that you do or just like

sequences or stretches or move that you do when you're high? Um, yeah, I mean I think, I think band work is great. I'm going through some resisted band swings. Um, and focusing on maybe not even following through all the way, but just being powerful explosive up to that point. Right. And so up to that point of contact, I don't fully extent at full extension. I mean again, right now is a great time for the thing. Sometimes we, we run into the gym and we just hit the major muscle groups, right? So cause we don't have time. So we're going to go, okay, I'm going to do squats, I'm going to do dead lifts and maybe I'll do, you know, bench or shoulder press and then, you know, getting it out. But now that we've got time, like fill out with maintaining those small muscle groups and using those dynamic bandit stretches and um, exercises. I mean, [inaudible] was one of the guys that I watched forever and she's doing constant band work all the time to maintain healthy shoulders. And I think it was, cause he had a separate AC at some point and that kind of went, okay, I'm going to start taking care of myself.

[inaudible] which is not bench pressing. I haven't bench pressed in three years dumbbell price, but I have not gotten over 52 and a half pounds. Like I remember it when I was able to bench two 55 like I think that was my highest. And then, yeah, those stupid little like joint tears. It's like, what, what are these going to do for me on the beach? And if you see like my first three years I was, I was all like footballed out and showing off like smaller and frailer.

Shoulders start to salute, but then our chest just falls away. It doesn't exist anymore. Yeah. You just gotta embrace it. No, but yeah.

Right. This is, this is really cool. Uh, Jerome is asking if you can demo just a little bit of, of some band work. Do you have any elastics with you? But if we could just demo a couple of like good band work exercises like Brandon, if you do one, I'll do one in Stafford. You do one band work that you would do before or during the gym for arms. Wouldn't it be funny if we did go through everybody? It just made him wait for door Roe

up on one camera.

So guys, just a reminder to ship to let you know we have, I posted it in the chat here, but we have a 60 day strength and conditioning program as well and all of the like shoulder stability that Stafford's talking about here. This, this wasn't scripted or anything, but we spend at least 12 minutes, almost every workout just on shoulder stability and strengthening. So if you want to just let us look into that program, I'll show you a few of the ones that we have here. But um, I like introducing new exercises if you can teach us. So Brandon, go ahead first.

All right. So, uh, this is actually one of my favorite ones that I, that I've picked up from the strength and conditioning, uh, plan that we have. You can use really any type of band. So I'm going to do the Walker walls Mark, just so you can either have a band like this and you just put it on your hands. Or if you don't have a band like that, this is just like your normal elastic band. You can grab it where your hands are facing up and then you'd kind of turn your palms toward one another. I'm going to do it the blue band just because it's what I have. So you're here and then you're gonna spread your arms apart. So I, it's going to be hard for me to kind of show you, cause I'm going to do it on the wall. But whenever you're doing this, you want to try your best to keep your arms at 90 degrees or I guess that's what it would be. And you're always want your, the tendency that you're going to have is your elbows are going to start to pull away. So you want to try really, really hard to keep those cute, almost keep your arms parallel to one another. And so if I was on the wall I would be here.

Can you see me at all? Yeah,

I'm going to try to just climb up the wall until I'm fully extended and then I would just keep going back and forth, up and down. And I usually do, I did that yesterday. I did two rounds of 15 so up and down as one. And if you can make it through two rounds of 15 without like wincing or crying out for help, then you've got the strongest shoulders in the world.

It is by far like by far the most intense shoulder stability that I've ever done. I did it with a physical therapist after shoulder injury and after like seven trips I was [inaudible].

One of the things that I've been doing, um, kind of with respect to overhead stability, just with the overhead stability is getting your band behind you and they're really just working through pulsing movements this way. Right. I think going overhead and even into full like movements this way. I feel like a lot of times people are going here and going all the way through, which I feel is really unnecessary. I think all the power I want to generate is coming from here to here, so I want to pulse through these positions and then go through movements up to this point, staying strong and stable through the core. Again, this is more of a me that would be more of a like pre-match prepacked that's not necessarily like a burnout but it's, it's, it's been challenging and difficult for me because I'm so used to wanting to drive all the way through to a full body versus strengthen that shoulder and that full extension position.

I love that you're also learning to get away from this height condition, which I think everybody like mentally they see like, Oh the ball goes down so my body has to bring it down instead of like if we look at golfers, right? All of the like force should go into the ground. Like you should be swinging down, degenerate speed and then the face of the club makes it go up. And like I think about volleyball, the swing really similarly. Like I'm going to swing fast and like barely forward but I'm never going to swing down or tug down and only the angle of my hand makes the ball go down. But like even if I'm on my way up that ball's go gonna go down if I get the right part of the ball. So I've been focusing on staying high just like you're talking about but and not trying to bring things down. That's all just follow through like my age generation and I'm happy we're kind of on the same page or is that the speed generation is up here, not here. And I see people get there and then try to like more acceleration happens here. The naturally happens before contest and they all net cause they're like five 10 and they're trying to bounce to you and showing off. I'm hoping that people to bring the right way. You want balance with a 10 foot line and they all want to swing down.

Yeah. At least after. Does it end games too? Yeah. Right. Yeah. I save it for the games. Yeah. I think it's just something interesting that you said or kind of the analogy towards golf. Any power that you're generating for the ball to go is happening before you contact the ball. And so we think about that similar position, right? As an attacker, we want to generate that power before we it contact the ball, not we're piking and like grunting super hard like after. You know what I mean? Like if we want that speed and quick arm whip to happen at the top of our swing versus trying to compact and get super gnarly at the end,

Stafford would love with you if you hung out for a few more minutes with us. So we only got like nine more minutes. Uh, if you want to hang out, cool. If you want to go take care of the fam, awesome. But I'm going to give the show over to Katie and uh, thank you so much for coming, dude. During all that knowledge, I think people are finding real value guys. Like, if you got something good from Stafford, please just let me know in the, in the chat, like let us know if you got it, and then let us know if you want us to bring him back for some more knowledge that he's picking up sums up or thumbs down. Just like Caesar.

All right.

 

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