How do you protect your arms and knees in volleyball? (The BEST Answer)

Volleyball is an intense sport during which you will touch the floor a lot and even slide over it. Since this happens a lot, you have to make sure that you are protected so that you can keep playing. Hitting your knee against the floor can be quite painful after all. Luckily, volleyball players have good equipment that allows them to dampen the impact and in general, they won’t feel too much of hitting the floor. Let’s discuss what this gear is and which ones you should get in this blog post.

How do you protect your knees  

From digging to passing, you might land on the ground quite often when you defend in volleyball. Knees hit the ground the most so you have to make sure that they are well-protected. Volleyball players wear multiple items to make sure that this happens. The following is mainly for volleyball on wood or rubber in sports arenas. Playing on hard surfaces such as concrete is not recommended and even the discussed gear might not help you to avoid issues. 

Photo by Stephen Baker on Unsplash
  • Socks

Volleyball players often wear long socks. You won’t see these in a lot of other sports or places but these are made so that you will slide more easily over the floor. Your skin is not touching the floor and this makes it easier to slide and also protects your body as it can be quite annoying if you do this multiple times after each other. 

It can take some getting used to wearing these longer socks and not every player does it but they offer a lot of comfort over time if you slide a lot over the floor. They should stay in place even if you make a big slide. These cover your whole lower leg and should therefore offer some type of protection as you only slide with this part and typically don’t land on it.

These socks should last several months but after a few matches and after you have washed them a few times, they might start to shrink or get damaged. These sporting socks need to be replaced from time to time.

You can use these long socks to wipe off your shoes or sweat. This makes sure that your shoes are not slippery as other players often sweat on the court and this could make it hard to keep your grip if you don’t dry your shoes from time to time. 

  • Knee pads

Knee pads are worn because volleyball players often land on their knees. This joint that connects two pieces of your leg can start to hurt after a while if you keep doing this with a lot of force. Knee pads are great at reducing the impact. You have different sizes, fabrics, and price categories. Most importantly, you also have different impact-absorbing materials. These are generally foams or gels or a combination of both.

Professional volleyball players also wear knee pads so this indicates how effective they are. They can also help you to get up faster after you have kneeled to pass the ball. You will have to try several knee pads and see which ones work best for you. Often it is a tradeoff between protection and comfort. You will have to find one that hits the correct balance for you. 

You have to wash your knee pads from time to time and let them dry so it is necessary to have multiple knee pads. They are quite cheap so it is better to buy multiple pairs at once after you have found a design that you like playing with. You can always ask your team members to check what knee pads they are playing with and what they think of them.  

  • Technique

Knee pads can be annoying to wear after a while and some players lower them or don’t wear them at all if they are standing just behind the net. In this position on the field, you often don’t have to dive (or dig) to get the ball as much as the ball often lands further down the field. 

If you have a great diving technique, you can divide the force of the impact over your whole body so that you don’t feel it that much.  This takes a lot of training and is not something that beginners should try as you have to focus on the ball, your team members, and also how you fall. Doing all of these things at the same time can be quite overwhelming. You should start by keeping the ball in the air and passing it to a team member. Only after you have mastered this, you can pay attention to your diving technique to spread out the impact. 

How do you protect your arms? 

It is possible that you fall or slide on your arms. This doesn’t happen too often so not a lot of volleyball players wear protection for this. 

  • Arm sleeves

Arm sleeves are quite similar to knee socks. You can use them to drain off your sweat. They also help when you slide over the floor by reducing friction. Some players also think that they look cool given that there are a lot of designs and wear them for this reason. They can also keep you warm during winter as they cover your arms. Some argue that it recuperates your arms faster after a game. It depends on personal preference if you want to wear this. Not a lot of professional volleyball players wear arm sleeves as they feel that it affects their game. 

  • Arm pads

Arm pads are mainly worn by newer players. They serve the same function as knee pads and help reduce the impact of your fall. In general, you won’t land that hard on your arms so therefore not a lot of players wear this. It can also affect your passes and spikes and be quite annoying to wear. They can give more confidence to newer players to go and dive to get a ball as they are sure that they are wearing protection. 

  • Technique

Once again, your diving skills affect how hard you will hit the floor. Your arms are often higher as you need them to keep the ball in the air. Therefore they won’t hit the floor that hard and you will mainly slide with them. Try different angles to keep your arms at when you land to see what reduces the impact. Over time, you will start to get the hang of this and see what works best for you. 

In this article, we discussed how arms and knees are being protected during volleyball practice and matches. You have to hit the ground and slide quite a lot. Arm pads, socks, knee pads, and arm sleeves are often used by volleyball players and even professional players wear some of this equipment to make sure that they don’t hit the floor too hard when they try to defend.