In addition to practice sessions, volleyball players must incorporate workouts to develop the strength and power that they need to succeed. Volleyball players who can jump higher and move faster around the court will see significant improvements in their performance. A comprehensive volleyball workout program will consist of strength training, for building strength, and plyometric exercises, which develop explosiveness.
Training Schedule and Workout Prep
Complete two strength and plyometric workouts into your weekly regimen, scheduling them so that there are two days of recovery time between each one. Before each workout, fit in a 15-minute dynamic warm-up to increase your body temperature and blood flow. Start with five minutes of jumping rope or jogging. Incorporate dynamic flexibility exercises such as body-weight squats, walking lunges and shoulder circles. You can also use the warm-up period to build strength in your core. Fit in front planks, side planks and glute bridges to strengthen and warm up your abs, obliques and lower back.
After your warm-up, immediately move onto plyometric exercises when your muscles aren’t fatigued. Three plyometric exercises beneficial for volleyball players include lateral cone hops, jump squats and single-leg lateral line hops. Lateral cone hops involve jumping side-to-side over a single cone. Jump squats are performed by lowering down into a squat and then exploding up into a maximum-height jump, going right into the next rep upon landing. For single-leg lateral line hops, position yourself on one foot beside a line on the court and jump side-to-side over the line. Complete two sets of eight to 10 reps of each. When in the middle of competition, avoid plyometrics up to one day before matches so your muscles aren’t fatigued.
Weight-training exercises should be included following the plyometric component. Exercises that will help volleyball players build strength in their lower body include squats, walking lunges, deadlifts, step-ups and hamstring curls. For the upper body, include exercises such as dumbbell bench presses, pushups, seated rows and lat pulldowns into your workout. During the offseason, perform each exercise at a higher volume, such as three to four sets of 12 to 15 reps of each exercise. As you move closer to the season, lift heavier weights and perform three sets of six to eight reps each.
Protecting the Shoulders
Swinging the arms in a violent manner when hitting a volleyball and going up for blocks can place a significant amount of stress on the shoulders. Prevent shoulder injuries by regularly incorporating rotator cuff strengthening. Exercises such as open can, internal rotation, external rotation, scapular retraction and scapular protraction at the end of your sessions will strengthen the rotator cuff muscles. Perform one to two sets of 12 reps with extremely light weights.