Conditioning Exercises to Improve Your Game
Read about basic volleyball conditioning
exercises. Find out how to
improve your volleyball game.
Volleyball Conditioning Exercises – The Basics
Raw strength is not enough to keep the volley going on the court.
Volleyball players also need to focus on exercises that
quicken footwork, improve timing, agility, endurance, etc.
A fast and controlled turnaround in pace can mean the difference
between a pointed return or a ball knocked out of bounds - so be sure
train with plyometrics or ballistics
to increase your
body’s response time.
Volleyball players should not forget about endurance
either - it is
important for volleyball players to recover quickly for the next burst
Set apart a distance of 40 - 100 yards with markers, each at a quarter
of the total length. Sprint to the first marker, then back to the
start, to the second marker, then back to the start, to the third and
back, to the fourth and back. Then reverse coming back down until you
are sprinting back and forth from the first marker again. Take a 30 -
60 second rest in between each “suicide” for recovery.
It is quite possibly the best exercise for quick turnaround training.
Unlike a sprint, completing a fast suicide requires that you can not
only run quickly but completely change direction quickly as well, a
very useful skill to be practiced for competition.
Run short sprints between the volleyball court lines. Place a market in
the middle of the back line and 10 foot line (10 feet equals 3 meters).
Then you have equal distance between each line on the volleyball court.
Run short 10-20 second sprints between those lines. Have a short 8-15
second break after the set before taking another sprint.
This is a
great conditioning exercise for the volleyball player since it imitates
the rallies and breaks in the match.
One great variation of suicides is shuffling between center line and 10
foot line. Players should use volleyball footwork while shuffling.
Shuffling phase should be short, for example around 5-15 seconds. Have
a short 8-15 second break between each set.
Off the Floor:
Line up the team at the back end of the court with each player lying on
his or her front side. When the coach blows the whistle, have each
player, one by one, leap up from the ground to the net and spike a ball
thrown by the coach. Alternatively players can dive or roll
in the defensive position before getting up and performing a spike.
This exercise is good for recovery training. It
helps players to recover after a short burst of action and also helps
them get up quickly. It’s a bad habit for a player who just dove deep
for a bump to stay on the ground too long - the volley may come his or
her way again. Running this drill will help reduce that time and
increase responsiveness after recovery.
Conditioning Exercises - Plyometrics:
Anything related to plyometrics makes for excellent volleyball
conditioning. Plyometrics typically involve quick shifting of stance in
a lateral or rotational motion to generate power and core stability.
Here are a few examples of plyometrics exercises that will help boost
footwork and agility:
Lateral Leap Frog
Get in a squat position with your legs in a wide stance and your toes
pointed outward. Keep your arms forward for stability. Side step to the
right by bringing your left leg in first, then your right leg out.
Sidestep back to center by bringing your right leg in first, then
putting your left leg out.
Stand up in volleyball player's "ready position". Step your
right leg out to
the side as far as you can and bend the knee until you are in a low
lateral lunge. Push back to center and repeat on the opposite side.
Plyo Push Up
Place a medicine ball or other suitable object for balance work in
front of your chest as you prepare for a push-up. Walk your hands to
the left and place your right hand on the medicine ball, descending
downward into the push. Walk your hands to the opposite side and repeat
with the left hand on the medicine ball.
Each of these exercises should typically be done in a circuit with a
minimum of 15 - 30 repetitions per set, 30 seconds rest and 5 - 10
different exercises in the circuit. It’s usually optimal to alternate
upper and lower plyometrics exercises to allow muscle recovery while a
particular group is not being used, but not necessary.
Conditioning Exercises - Ballistics:
A similar genre of fitness as plyometrics, ballistics is a term that
refers generically to anything of a projectile nature.
In other words,
as soon as something leaves the ground or the object supporting it to
the ground, it’s now a part of a ballistic exercise. This may mean
throwing a medicine ball, a lightly loaded barbell, or even your own
body weight. These exercises are essential to increasing your vertical
Here are a few
examples about Ballistics:
Medicine Ball Throw
Squat down with a medicine ball in your hands. As you come back up,
throw the medicine ball directly overhead as high as you can. Catch and
is a great exercise for improving your leg strength and core stability.
It is obvious the strong push with the legs and arms
your vertical jump, but it also strengthens your bump stance. Your
legs, core and hands in
the squat imitates the bump stance almost exactly but using extra
resistance with the medicine ball. You can also throw the ball towards
a wall or back and forth with a partner.
Ball Throw with Twist
Grab a partner and a medicine ball and face each other. Have the first
person twist backwards with the medicine ball in hand, then throw it
overhand to the other person, who catches the ball and does the same.
Repeat on both sides for 8 - 30 repetitions per set - depending on
intensity and weight.
This is a great exercise for core stability and can help increase the
power of your spike. The overhand throw motion imitates the spike using
extra resistance from the medicine ball.
Place yourself in a standard squat position. When you rise up, jump so
that your feet leave the ground by a foot or two.
This is an essential
volleyball conditioning exercise for increasing the height of your
vertical jump. For extra resistance, place a lightly loaded barbell on