Foam rolling the shoulder can improve performance and prevent pain.
It’s the time of year where all the club volleyball players are heading into their final stretch as they prep for the provincials at the Tradex in Abbotsford.
That typically means that the icepacks, kinesiotape, and rub A5-35 are out in full force to enable top performers to continue to play despite pleas from their shoulder to stop.
Enter the foam roller. Foam rollers are common, but are rarely used to their full effectiveness on the shoulder.
Here are 3 of my drills when foam rolling the shoulder:
Foam Rolling the Shoulder:
In the same way that brushing your teeth doesn’t prevent the need to visit a dentist; foam rolling the shoulder can never replace proper physiotherapy treatment for a true injury.
If you have a real injury, go get it checked out by a professional (Mylee from Physiostation does a great job if you are looking for someone).
In the meantime, make these 3 drills for foam rolling the shoulder part of your routine in order to improve performance and reduce pain.
When Should I be Foam Rolling the Shoulder?
If you are just using these drills for injury prevention, then do most of your foam rolling the shoulder after practice or between matches. Intense foam rolling can temporarily blunt the nervous system which may decrease performance in the short term.
The gains in flexibility and tissue quality in the long run (30-60+ minutes later) make it well worth it, but the initial response (0-15 minutes after rolling) have the potential to slow the arm down temporarily.
If your shoulder is in pain, however, don’t hesitate to add these drills for foam rolling the shoulder prior to, and during games. Reducing pain will boost performance significantly more than any of the drawbacks.
If you liked this post, you’ll probably love the FREE report I put together outlining the top 10 Reasons why vertical jump decreases which you can download below! As always, don’t forget to like and share this post with your friends!
Below is a guest post from Dan Jansen Van Doorn a pro volleyball player for Tourcoing in France and former teammate of mine. He shares his story about a simple mindset shift that within a few months:
fixed his knee pain
added 6 inches to his jump
helped him lead the TWU Spartans to back to back national championships
earn a living as a pro athlete
helped him lose 27lbs
Daniel Jansen Van Doorn
I was always a kid who could eat whatever I wanted, and get away with it. I paid little to no attention to my nutrition…
My priorities when it came to eating were:
The nutritional value of the food I was eating was dead last,
That all changed sometime in my second year at TWU. I never realized it was a problem, until it was pointed out by a few people. At the time, I was struggling from a plethora of minor injuries.
Shin splints had plagued me for a few years already, and my knees had gotten exponentially worse recently. My back was starting to hurt regularly, and my shoulder and ankles were often injured.
I blamed it on a combination of over training, and bad luck. Looking back on it now, I was simply in denial and had nobody to blame but myself.
I hit my heaviest point at 235 lbs which was about 20 lbs above a comfortable playing weight, and 30 above my ideal performance weight as a 6’8″ middle.
I was sick of running jokes among teammates, but was more sick of being seen as a joke; a player whose injuries were so frequent that nobody believed me anymore. I wasn’t performing well, and was never feeling 100% healthy, or fresh. It was late in my second year and over the following summer that I decided it was time to change.
I started slow, as I still didn’t know how to eat healthy. There was way too much fat and sodium in my diet. I cut down bit by bit, and noticed a difference. It was never anything drastic, as I found that dynamic diet changes are hard to maintain. It started with a month without McDonalds.
Then a few months without fast food. Then it moved past simple rules for myself, and changed into me paying attention to every meal, snack, and beverage I put in my body. Salads were not just something I took instead of fries with my meal, salads could be a whole meal. I worked really hard to eat clean. I was lucky, and it was fairly easy (or at least it got much easier the more I did it).
My results paid off immediately. When we weighed in at the beginning of my 3rd year, I had come in at 208 lbs (down 27lbs), and had increased my spike touch by 6 inches!
That’s a big block!
It was literally as if I had been jumping with a dumbbell tied to my waist and suddenly lost it. What an incredible feeling, and even better was the difference in my daily life. I was feeling fresh when I showed up for training, and I didn’t have to pop a handful of ibuprofen just to be able to play!
I was sleeping better, training better, and overall living better. My improvements were seen in the weight room with regular PB’s in every exercise, and on the court as well.
For me, it didn’t have to be one drastic change. It was simply a change in my mentality. If i really wanted to be the best, that meant that volleyball didn’t stop at 8:00 when training was done. The better I was eating, the more of an edge I was gaining on everybody else. I realized that being an athlete was a 24 hour job, and an enormous part of that job was done in the kitchen.
I love Dan’s story since he went about things the right way…first he fixed his mindset, and then made a few small changes that end up in big results. If you need to fix your mindset, or need guidance on nutrition and training Request A Free Consultation ($97 Value):
If you have never paid attention to how you breathe, you are missing out on a major opportunity to improve your performance. Appropriate breathing patterns relieve tension from the shoulders and provide the foundation for proper core stabilization. If you have never been coached on good breathing, the video below gives you a primer on the topic including: a test you can perform anywhere, a drill to train good breathing, and a coaching cue to use when you lift weights.
EDGE Strength & Conditioning is a training company committed to developing elite level athletic performance in BC’s Fraser Valley. We have training options for everyone from youth to university & pro athletes. To stay up to date on new articles follow EDGE on Twitter, like EDGE on Facebook or sign up for our Newsletter.
Chocolate Milk is receiving rave reviews from the athletic community lately and rightfully so! In addition to tasting delicious, chocolate milk can help you recover from an intense workout. Chocolate milk isn’t your only option as a recovery food but it is a great fit based on the criteria for recovery food outlined below.
The timing of when to eat food makes a difference on the effect it has on our body (see Pre-Game Nutrition for more). While eating quality food at all times of the day is vital, there is a crucial window immediately after exercise that you should take advantage of. (more…)
This is an article I wrote for the athletes and parents at the Volleyball Canada Center of Excellence (VCCE) in Langley. The athletes have a pretty demanding schedule that involves weight-room and on-court training at 6am, in addition to normal high school and club sport commitments after school. The potential for over-training exists if the athletes are not taking correct steps to aid in recovery. This turned out to be longer than I wanted it to be, but if you have the time to read it, it contains some of the best keys to decreasing recovery time and preventing injuries.
Keys to Taking Care of Your Athlete this Semester
With the additional training that comes with being a part of VCCE, there is an increased risk of ‘burn out’ or ‘overtraining’. This is enhanced with the fact that most VCCE sessions occur early in the morning before school. Your son/daughter is likely participating in a number of high school, and club sports in addition to their VCCE training. I fully support the multi-sport athlete; however, collectively as coaches/parents/athletes we must be wary of overtraining. Young athletes should have no problem coping with the volume and intensity of practices in multiple sports if appropriate emphasis is placed on recovering properly. Here are some things you can do to help your son/daughter recover properly, and increase energy levels.
One of the most important factors in recovery is nutrition. Both pre-practice and post-practice nutrition are vital. Below are some key points regarding nutrition.
Eat Breakfast Everyday: With the early mornings, the temptation will be there to skip breakfast. It is important to send your son/daughter to VCCE training sessions with a good breakfast in them in order to give them the best opportunity to succeed. Even on days that don’t involve an early morning VCCE session, a good breakfast is vital to providing energy for the day. A good breakfast includes a source of protein (such as eggs) and a carbohydrate source (oatmeal, toast, fruit, muffins, etc). Please note that a bowl of cereal is NOT a high performance breakfast, and does not provide the nutrients needed to fuel an athlete. (more…)