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Beach Volleyball

Everything is more fun on the beach, especially playing games with your friends and family. Beach volleyball is played by millions of Americans every year, whether it be part of an integral team, a competitive club team, or just for fun. And yes, while we know everything is more fun on the beach, playing volleyball on sand has its risks of injury. Here we’ll give you tips on warming up to avoid common injury while playing your heart out.

1.    Ankle injuries are the most common injuries endured by beach volleyball players, and often result in the most extensive loss of playing time. Injuries include sprains, fractures, lacerations or abrasions to the skin, or Achilles’ tendonitis.
How to warm up:

Stand on one leg (if you have less stability, sit on a chair or on the floor) and stick out your right foot.
Circle the ankle 5-10 times clockwise; repeat counter clockwise. Switch legs.

Standing on both feet, shift your weight into the balls of your feet, then raise up onto your toes and hold; shift your weight back into your heels, rolling the balls of your feet back on the floor. Repeat 5-10 times.

2.    Knee injuries can arise when there are forceful and repetitive jumping activities, which in volleyball, there is a lot of. While landing on sand might actually be better for your joints than a hard-surface gymnasium floor, inflammation is still a possibility.
How to warm up:

Standing on one leg, bring the opposite knee up to your chest, using your hands on your shin to hold the leg. Repeat on both sides, 2x30sec each.
With your hands crossed at your chest, perform a half squat, sending the weight into the heels, pushing the knees out to the sides, and slowly come back up. Perform 2×10.

3.    Finger injuries may sound minor, but if you’ve ever jammed your finger, you know that this hurts! Repetitive volleyball moves like blocking, bumping, and setting, or just general overuse, could cause inflammation, or acute orthopedic injuries. In these cases, we also want to think about our wrists and forearms.
How to warm up:
Holding each arm out straight in front of you, circle each wrist clockwise 5-10 reps; repeat in the counterclockwise direction.
Keeping your arms out in front of you, bring your forearm in towards your chest, then up and to the outer side as far as you can go without force (this should bring your elbow to your belly, looking almost 90 degrees). Bring the forearm back to your chest, reversing the movement. Try 5x each side, twice.

4.    Shoulder pain and injuries can come from hypermobility while playing volleyball, and striking or spiking the ball without being warm. Rotator cuff inflammation or degeneration, labral tears, or dislocation can occur during the game as well if the player is not properly warmed up or the muscles surrounding are not strong enough.
How to warm up:
Standing solid on two feet, take your right arm and circle it backwards from the shoulder. Repeat forwards 5-10x, and then backwards, 5-10x. Switch arms. Roll your shoulders back 5-10x, then forward 5-10x.

Perform any additional stretches or warm ups that make you feel great!