Reading Laurens Fitness and many other conditioning blogs you have probably come across a couple of articles that pretty much tell you not to do static stretching pre event or training. I like to incorporate some static stretching into my dynamic movement warm up, but I tend to get it done early, to make sure my last stimulus is a more explosive one.
Volleyball is a sport of power. If you are not an explosive machine, you are limiting yourself in your ability to succeed at a high level in this sport. There are a lot of studies, and a lot of trainers will suggest that static stretching will just about ruin your career. When you hit the court in volleyball, you want to be able to jump… as high as possible. The vertical jump is without a doubt the most important component of physical conditioning, and your warm up should be tailored to get off the ground.
One stretch that can help you significantly is a static hip flexor stretch. As I said above, although static stretching in many cases is thought to be counteractive to explosively, this stretch will help you get another couple of centimetres off the ground, especially if your hip flexors are tight.
A lot of people have really tight hip flexors, and as we have spoken about before, tight hip flexors basically work to switch off the butt muscle. It’s called reciprocal inhibition, and it is a real phenomenon. Activate the glutes, loosen the hip flexors, and vice versa. Not only will stretching your hips flexors help to activate your glutes (which are the most important muscle when talking about a vertical jump)…but it will reduce the friction caused at the hip when jumping, and will help to basically relax them and get them out the way.
Be aware that this is really probably the only static stretch you should do prior to jumping, and you really need to stretch it out like your life depended on it. hold it for 30 seconds plus and rip it, do it twice over and really ensure that you get a good stretch on the fascia as well. The picture below shows you how to stretch your hip flexors.
If you don’t believe me, try it out. All you volleyballers out there trying to get your jump on will find this little tip get you up just that little bit higher. Good luck.
A big shout out to my sponsor workout tips for this post!