By Josh Staph
Constant jumping and movement on your toes might be setting you up for a common v-ball problem. “Recent research shows that volleyball players tend to become quad-dominant,” says Josh Morzelewski, assistant strength and conditioning coach for Brigham Young University. “This means that the quadriceps are picking up the slack for weak hamstrings and glutes, which makes the quads prone to tightness, and the hamstrings and glutes prone to weakness or injury. Too active quads can also lead to patellar tendonitis.”
Besides potential injuries, quad-dominant movements can negatively affect how well you can cover the court. “When a muscle group or multiple groups don’t function optimally, there’s a break in the entire kinetic chain of the body,” says Morzelewski. “You’re only as strong as your weakest link. So if your glutes or hamstrings are weak, your body will never function at its optimal level.”
The Cougars break down quad dominance by focusing on exercises that activate and strengthen their glutes. The Inline Lunge Hold—one of Morzelewski’s favorites—can take your quickness to another level by getting your glutes and hamstrings back in the game.
Inline Lunge Hold
• Assume lunge position with back knee just off ground
• Attach band around front knee and have partner apply pressure from inside
• Hold position with hands behind head for specified time
Reps/Duration/Frequency: 2×20 to 60 seconds each side, twice per week
Benefits: Simulates the action of splitting your feet and lowering your center of gravity, like you do when you react on the court.
Coaching Point: Resist the band and keep your front knee in line with your front ankle. All your lower-body joint angles should be as close to 90 degrees as possible.