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The Kinematic Sequence in a Volleyball Spike

The kinematic sequence describes the sequential and increasing angular velocities of your body segments from the proximal (body center) to the distal segment where peak speed and/or power is required.  A volleyball attack follows this principle, and the top players in the world are shown to have this ideal kinematic sequence:

  1. Pelvis rotation (counterclockwise for right-handed, clockwise for left-handed)
  2. Torso rotation (counterclockwise for right-handed, clockwise for left-handed)
  3. Elbow extension of the hitting hand
  4. Shoulder internal rotation of the hitting hand

The sequence above is listed both in order of increasing peak angular velocity as well as the timing at which the peak angular velocity occurs. By acting as an energy transfer – with each segment’s velocity contributing to the velocity of the next segment in the sequence, hand speed is maximized. See graph below of a USA Olympic level player:

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