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How Northern Beaches volleyballers keep fit for tournaments

Beach volleyball has been around since the 1920’s, when it became a fun family pastime for Californians wanting to enjoy the beach. By the 1930’s it had spread to Europe and its combination of fun, fitness and technical skill quickly saw tournaments develop around the world. In 1996 beach volleyball became an Olympic sport, a testament to the level of respect it has garnered around the world as a test of skill and endurance

Beach volleyball can be a brutal sport. A Harvard Medical School study showed that 30 minutes of outdoor beach volleyball activity burns approximately 240 calories for a 55kg person. This is double the amount of calories burned during the same amount of time played during an indoor game. Sand training has long been used as a low-impact method of strength training and sand runs are among the most physically testing aspects of many training regimes. Because the surface is perpetually shifting, players constantly have to re-calibrate their balance, expend more energy jumping and lunging and are more likely to suffer overuse injuries particularly rotator cuff and knee related.

Many Northern Beaches beach volleyball participants are now undergoing personalised musculoskeletal physiotherapy examinations to help increase their performance and their time on the court.

What are the benefits of a personalised physiotherapy examination?

The human body is an amazingly complex and detailed structure capable of throwing all kinds of aches and pains at us. When we hurt ourselves it’s easy to just say ‘I’ve hurt my knee’ or ‘my shoulder is playing up again’ without actually getting a thorough diagnosis. This nonchalance can lead to these issues becoming exacerbated over time and flowing along the chain to cause further pain in other areas.

Every initial consultation (whether you are a beach volleyballer or not) includes a thorough interview, physical examination and movement analysis.  NBVA members are entitled to a 10% rebate on all physiotherapy services at The Beaches Sports Physio in Dee Why, this includes volleyball specific movement analysis. We use this data to create a personalised program designed to meet your specific goals using your specific situation. For Northern Beaches Volleyball Association volleyballers, an initial examination will usually involve:

  1. Functional assessment

Your physiotherapist will observe your hopping and vertical jump to determine any possible causes of pain, energy storage strategies, landing strategies and biomechanics alterations. Patellar tendinopathy (jumper’s knee) is the most common injury volleyballers face, with recent studies showing that prevention strategies work best when jumping and landing technique is studied and altered.

  1. Flexibility and Posture analysis

A lack of flexibility or strength in an area of the body can cause unnecessary stress to the joints nearby. Things like mobility of the hamstrings, ankle mobility (notably dorsiflexion while weightbearing) and foot posture can determine the possibility of suffering overuse and acute injuries to the ankle and knee.

  1. Personalised injury management/prevention program

Once we have examined you, we can create a program designed around your specific physiological requirements and training goals. With a heavy focus on prevention of rotator cuff pain, jumper’s knee and ankle injuries, your prevention program includes ongoing education and advice to help you to understand the inner workings of your own body. The Beaches Sports Physio has expert knowledge in progressive tendon loading programs that will help you to understand the physical capabilities of your most prone to injury joints and create advanced programs to measure and alter the stress on your muscles, tendons and ligaments.

Visit our Dee Why physio clinic or contact The Beaches Sports physio on the phone, through our social media or just come on down to Manly Beach, when our musculoskeletal physio and volleyball expert, Damien Glover is running his education sessions and providing advice to tournament participants.

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