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Case report

Hooverball: Case study, literature review and clinical recommendations

Alpha Anders, Kenneth Vitale
Department of Internal Medicine, Section of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, LSU Health New Orleans School of Medicine, 1542 Tulane Avenue, New Orleans, Louisiana 70112, United States
DOI: 10.2340/20030711-1000038

Abstract

With the increasing popularity of extreme conditioning programmes, athletes and patients are searching for new, engaging, high-intensity, total-body workouts. The sport of Hooverball is increasingly used as a workout. First devised in the USA in 1929 to keep President Hoover physically fit, Hooverball has experienced increasing popularity in the past 15 years. The game is scored like tennis and played like volleyball, with players throwing and catching a heavy medicine ball over a volleyball net. Players use complex, multi-joint, explosive movements, featuring torsion, flexion and extension to absorb the forces involved. This paper reports a case of a Hooverball player who presented with a knee injury. The paper also reviews the origins of the sport, and its increase in popularity related to the increasing prominence of extreme conditioning programmes. A literature review, and common Hooverball-related injuries, are presented. Clinical recommendations are set out for patient safety, injury prevention and game coverage, including a prehabilitation strategy for players prior to engaging in this revived and growing sport.

Lay Abstract

With the increasing popularity of “extreme conditioning” exercise programmes, players and patients are searching for new and engaging high-intensity, total-body workouts. This report examines the case of Hooverball, a revived workout. First invented in the USA in 1929 to keep President Hoover physically fit, Hooverball has experienced an increase in popularity over the past 15 years. The game is scored like tennis and played like volleyball, but instead of striking a lightweight ball, players throw and catch a heavy medicine ball over a volleyball net. In order to absorb the impact and return a medicine ball over the net, players use complex, multi-joint, explosive movements. This paper reviews the origins of the sport and its increase in popularity related to the increasing promi-nence of extreme conditioning programmes. Clinical recommendations are set out for patient safe-ty, injury prevention and game coverage, including a prehabilitation strategy for players prior to engaging in this revived and growing sport.

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