BACKGROUND: The attack is the predominant offensive movement in volleyball utilized to score a point. This action has been linked to overuse shoulder injuries in volleyball players. As such, variables associated with loading at the shoulder should be investigated to mitigate injury. Hip to shoulder separation (HTS), defined as the angle between the pelvis and trunk in the transverse plane, has been thought to contribute to shoulder loading. The purpose of this study was to evaluate aspects of the kinetic chain, including HTS and trunk and pelvis motions, and their relationship with shoulder moment (SM) when performing the volleyball attack. METHODS: 21 experienced volleyball players were recruited to participate in this study. After providing consent, participants completed a self-selected warmup followed by 20 attacks. 10 attacks were aimed straight ahead (SA) and 10 were aimed “cross-court” (CC). The order of these attacks was randomized. Peak angular velocity and acceleration of the trunk and pelvis as well as hip to shoulder separation (HTS) angle (difference between trunk/pelvis axial rotation) were analyzed for a relationship to upper arm angular velocity (UA VEL) and SM. RESULTS: Spearman’s correlations were performed due to normality violations. For all attacks overall, UA VEL (r(21)=.577, p=.006) was significantly related to SM. HTS (r(21)=.519, p=.016) was significantly related to UA VEL. In the SA attacks, SM was significantly related to UA VEL (r(21)=.579, p=.006). UA VEL was related to HTS in both the SA attacks (r(21)=.439, p=.047) and the CC attacks (r(21)=.591, p=.005). CONCLUSION: While HTS did not have a significant relationship with SM, it did prove to be related to UA VEL. Players who have greater HTS are able to move their arm with a greater velocity, therefore contacting the ball at a greater speed. It is possible the moderate relationship between upper arm velocity and shoulder moment masked a relationship between the trunk movement and shoulder moment, as no significant correlations were found. Future research should examine this relationship while accounting for UA VEL.

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