All sports involve some component of stretching. The act of stretching is done to keep muscles limber, avoiding injury and increasing the blood flow and muscle size. Many individuals are confused however about which form of stretching should be done.
This Article should serve to improve a players understanding of when and how stretches should be done.
Dynamic Flexibility (dynamic stretches)
Dynamic flexibility helps prevent injury pre activity and teaches your body to move in a safer way through range and can help generate power. You simply can’t get the job done by performing static stretches alone.
Static volleyball stretching basically relaxes and turns off your muscles. By performing a dynamic stretching routine, you are going to wake up your muscles activating them while you are moving.
Athletes often develop tightness and inflexibility because of the repetitive movements that make up their sport. Sport specific stretching can be done to help balance out the strength and flexibility issues they’ve developed from these repetitive movements.
Dynamic flexibility exercises are best used at the begining of exercises as a warm up for activity that can be traumatic or ballistic in the muscle.
The dynamic form of stretching is an active stretch (vs the passive stretch of a static hold) that helps use the stretch reflex of the muscle to better increase explosive power (plyometrics) and strength for jumping sports such as gymnastics, basketball and volleyball.
The purpose of plyometrics is basically to quickly stretch a muscle then contract it right away in order to utilize the muscles reflexive response to the stretch.
Dynamic Flexibility Exercises
You will get a great return on your time invested in dynamic flexibility exercises.
Taking just 5 to 10 minutes a day to perform dynamic exercises before you workout for volleyball will increase your sport specific strength along with volleyball specific flexibility.
Static Flexibility (static stretches)
This is the form of stretches that are most commonly done by athletes. It involves holding a position for a longer period of time (generally from 30 seconds to a minute or two).
The purpose of this activity is to increase the length of the tissue. This is best done at the end of activity as its job is to help turn off the muscles and passively lengthen the tissue by increasing its elasticity and improving blood flow. The muscle is already warmed up and more gains may be achieved at this time. Prior to activity, the static form of stretch will confuse reflexes within the muscle and lead to dyscoordination and potential injury.
Why lengthen the tissue?
A limited range of motion can compromise your skills or affect your ability to speed up or slow down when making plays in such sports as volleyball or basketball.