Sore Legs From Volleyball
If you are new to volleyball or play recreationally, you'll quickly learn that your legs receive a heavy workout in matches and practices. You bend low for digs, bang your legs on the floor or sand surface, jump in the air for spikes and blocks and squat for bumps and sets. There are several remedies that can be employed if you notice your leg muscles are sore after playing.
A long or vigorous game or volleyball practice can lead to a buildup of lactic acid in your legs that causes soreness and pain. One remedy to this soreness is taking a bath after your volleyball session. Try sitting in a bathtub filled with warm water and rubbing your legs with your hands. The massaging helps loosen up the acid buildup and promotes recovery. Another method is to start with a cold bath and then switch to a hot bath. Stretch your legs afterward and continue massaging them.
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Some soreness may result from cramping caused by dehydration. To stay hydrated, consume about 64 ounces of water throughout the day. Drink at least 16 ounces of water two hours before you participate in volleyball. Consume another 8 ounces shortly before working out. Continue drinking 8 ounces of water for every 15 minutes of activity and another 8 ounces after you're done, particularly if playing outside. A general rule for sand volleyball is drinking 16 ounces of water for every pound of weight you lose. Calculate how much weight you typically lose playing volleyball by weighing yourself before and after each volleyball session.
Strength Training and Support
Preventing sore legs from volleyball can be helped with strength training. Quadriceps and calves get extensive use in volleyball. The average player jumps 22 times in a typical six-player match. Strengthen and ready your leg muscles for this pounding with exercises like leg presses, lunges and calf raises. Consider giving your legs additional support by wearing knee or ankle braces. You might need to apply athletic, or kinesiology tape for protecting weak joints such as a sprained foot that could trigger leg soreness as you favor it.
Sore legs could mean you're suffering from a significant injury. Plantar fasciitis, patellar tendonitis and anterior cruciate ligament sprains and tears frequently occur in volleyball. These injuries won't improve on their own and will only grow worse with continued workouts. Leg soreness typically dissipates as you play regularly and your conditioning improves. Speak with your doctor if the soreness doesn't decrease after a few workouts or develops into pain.
Jeff Smith spent eight years as a reporter and sports editor before working for 15 years as a copywriter and editorial manager at Awana, one of the world's largest children's ministries. Today he operates Write for Your Cause, an editorial service, and writes sports articles for the "Daily Herald."