No joint in the body has a greater range of motion than the shoulder, which is a blessing because it allows you to perform all necessary volleyball movesserving, digging, setting and hitting. But it's also a curse, as it opens the door to tons of potential injuries.
According to Jay Zemliak, strength and conditioning coach for Pepperdine University's volleyball teams, working the shoulder through its full range provides a strong block against injury. "This exercise may not be as fun as pulling off a big Bench Press or Power Clean, but it is essential," Zemliak says. "Doing it regularly will not only keep you from being injured, it will also improve your performance, which a lot of athletes don't realize."
Zemliak prescribes the Alternating Dumbbell Press with Elevation 2-3 times a week to keep your shoulders injury-free and ready for action.
Alternating Dumbbell Press with Elevation
Lie on bench with dumbbell in each hand
Keep one dumbbell at your chest, and press opposite dumbbell until arm is fully extended
Continue pushing on dumbbell until shoulder lifts off bench as far as possible
Return dumbbell to starting position; repeat with opposite arm
Perform 2 sets of 10-15 reps
Coaching Point: If you're training for maximum strength, perform a bench press exercise first, then complete 2 sets of 10-15 reps of this exercise with a slightly lighter weight. This will strengthen all the muscles around the shoulder blades by working the full range of motion.
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