Jumping June: Overhead Mobility

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Jumping June: Overhead Mobility

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Overhead Mobility


One of the foundational movements in volleyball (beach or in-door) is swinging overhead.  You see it at every position from hitting, serving, or even simply hitting shots from the middle of the court.  As you could imagine, having good overhead mobility of the upper extremity is important to prevent injuries such as shoulder and low back pain.  


There are many structures that can limit overhead mobility, and therefore put the athlete at an increased risk of injury, including:

  • Glenohumeral Joint (GHJ), or shoulder, stiffness
  • Tightness of the Latissimus Dorsi (test in supine)
  • Tightness of the Pectorals (test against wall - 90/90 gives you pec minor)
  • Thoracic Spine (mid-back) stiffness (test with open book)
  • Rotator Cuff (RC), or shoulder, weakness


Here are some corrective exercises that can address these limitations and reduce the risk of injury for athletes who may currently have limited overhead mobility.

  • GHJ stiffness and/or Latissimus Dorsi tightness - Wall Slides
  • Tightness of Pectorals - Pec Stretch
  • Thoracic stiffness and/or RC weakness - Angel Wings


For a look at what an overhead swing should look like, check out our Facebook and Instagram pages!