Volleyball AVCA #1 – High Elbow Video in Volleyball Arm Swing

so Jimmer I’m looking at these video clips one is of Andy Roddick the other is of Tim Lincecum and Andy Roddick has hit a tennis serve a 150 miles an hour he generates and tolerates a lot of arm velocity racket velocity on his arm body shoulder Tim Lincecum can throw a 100 miles an hour fast ball and the thing I’m noticing on both these guys is they have similar positions in terms of their set ups if you look at Andy Roddick first basically as he goes and he tosses the ball up in the air and he loads in volleyball terminology this
would be considered a low elbow right yet what I see if I could draw a straight line through his elbow and his upper arm it would go right through the shoulder and right through his opposite upper arm if I look at Lincecum I see something very similar to
that as he sets up and gets ready to throw I see the same thing his body is
tilted I could draw straight line through his elbow through his upper arm through his shoulders to his opposite upper arm and once again in
volleyball this could be considered a low elbow so Jimmer in volleyball there with hitters there is a lot of discussion and instruction that talks about this high elbow set up position and I’m curious from a physical therapists perspective are there concerns with that that the body is the shoulder able to generate able to tolerate those kind of forces whats your thoughts to answer your first question yes they can generate forces from that high elbow position the problem with the high elbow position is that you don’t have proper congruency or stability within the scapular glenohumeral joint when you say congruency what do you mean by that congruency means having a large contact surface between ball and socket the more contact surface you have the more stable the joint becomes if we hit from this position we have a nice and stable joint where as if we hit from this position where you have less congruency or less contact surface you won’t be as stable and you won’t have as much control over the motion you won’t have as much stability which could lead to potential injuries so high elbow position will drive the humeral head down no longer nice and seated in the gleno surface and you run into potential impingement syndrome problems Librium tears so as you saw in the clips that you showed us earlier if we load and we stay in a nice horizontal plane for one we have better stability point so you have better control over rotation so going from the medially into a laterally rotated position plus it’s a much more stable position to be hitting from alright so Jimmer what I think what we’re looking at here is in volleyball terminology we’re trying to get the right arm over the left leg while they are in the air and when we do that what I’m seeing is now the upper arm and shoulder here’s our straight line relationship the body can actually rotate and we’re putting the shoulder in a much better position to generate and tolerate force is that accurate that’s correct if we add shoulder blade actually in this position so we’re now in a position with the arm here the shoulder blades come up in abduct position it carries the humeral head creates a nice and stable position we’re trying then to avoid this where the shoulders are parallel with the ground and the arm is straight up there here we end up with that position we showed earlier where since your shoulder blade can not abduct up it can not conform to the humeral head we get that area with a lot less stability and a lot less contact between the humeral head and the scapula so when I hear the word impingement what does that mean here what happens what happens here is that since the arm is going to roll up and it wont be able to quiet down you create in that cepocromial space the space between the humeral head and the ucromiam there’s less space so the structures is within that space will become pinched and if you repeat that often enough that tissue will start to break down
that’s what the term impingement comes from and that can start off as inflammation a sore shoulder just a sore shoulder shoulder aches sore shoulder ice afterwards starting with some stiffness the next morning running into inflammatory response you create that should become a warning sign to the athlete and the coach and the parent if your shoulder is sore after you hit you are doing something wrong if your muscles are so that’s OK if your shoulder is sore you are doing something wrong so Jimmer to keep it simple fro me what I think I’m hearing is this in volleyball where it’s referred to a low elbow position this position where the elbow you could draw a line between the elbow through the shoulder what I’m hearing is it’s actually a pretty good position to create velocity maybe protect the shoulder a little bit what’s your thoughts that’s correct yes it’s a very stable position it’s a little harder to teach it’s more energy efficient than the high elbow but the biggest thing is it’s very stable it creates good velocity it prevents injury and it promotes longevity

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