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Warm-up for 90/90 Internal-External Rotation of the Hip

Squat in Beach Volleyball

As beach volleyball players, we spent much time in a squatted position anticipating a serve or a defensive move.  Interestingly, good players are never really stationary in this position.  In other words, there is always some level of subtle movement in order to overcome inertia before we can make that decisive move. 

It is therefore important that squatted position is stable and properly warmed up prior to a match.  As a personal trainer, I recommend these two simple isometric exercises that can be performed before playing; external and internal isometrics rotation at 90/90 (the angle refers to the angle of the knee and hip). 


Step 1- Starting position.

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  • Lie down on your back.
  • Bring hip to 90º angle and bend the knee to a 90º angle
  • Rotate the leg away and towards your body and look for asymmetry
  • Spent most time on motion that is most asymmetrical (i.e right leg ext rotation)




Step 2 - Internal Rotation

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  • Find a stationary object (like a pole) and lie next to it
    Rotate the leg away from your body ONLY as far as comfortable
  • Light press into object for 10 seconds keeping steady level of pressure then rest for about 10 seconds
  • Repeat about 2-4 times until you fell an increase in motion




Step 3 - External Rotation

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  • Follow same steps for external rotation but perform the movement TOWARDS the midline of your body











Why internal / external rotation?

Although by looking at a squatted movement, the internal and external rotation of the leg is not apparent.  Yet, the action of internal rotation helps our body to control its collapse (down motion of squat) and then the action of external rotation helps the body to recoil back (upward motion of the squat).  An easier way of thinking about internal rotation is a mechanism by which the body stores energy, like stretching a string of a bow.  The external rotation is release and expression of that energy, like the release of that string.

As a personal trainer I often see limitation in internal and/or external rotation of the leg in those who play beach volleyball.  Therefore, take time to warm up your internal/externals will keep you on the sand for long time!