Exercises - Volleyball Conditioning Basics
Explore basic volleyball exercises to improve your game.
If you’ve spent some time on vacation or away from the court, you may
need to start from square one when you return to the game. Following
exercises help you to make the return. Beginners should also understand
these following concepts as well.
What exercises are most effective to create real intensity on the
court? There are a number of rules to abide by when selecting optimal
volleyball exercises in preparation for the season:
Volleyball Exercises - 3 Most Important Concepts to Remember
1. The exercise must improve core strength
This means compound muscle motions only. If you are only moving one
joint, you are isolating a muscle and not improving the power of your
core. Stick to compound motions like squats, push press and
cleans rather than isolated exercises like curls or lateral
An exercise that improves core strength should also require stability,
so standing exercises should take automatic preference over seated or
lying ones. In other words, skip the bench press and go for the
push-ups, skip the lat pull downs and go for the pull-ups - whatever
requires the most core stability and gives your body the least amount
2. The exercise must imitate a motion critical to performance on the
If you think that sitting down at a machine and doing leg curls isn’t a
realistic imitation of what you would do in a volleyball game, you’re
right. So stop doing it!
Instead, focus on squats, lateral lunges, french press and
push-ups since they are
more likely to prepare your body for necessary volleyball motions on
the court such as: back, hip and leg extension in a jump or shifting
weight to adjust position and pushing the arms forward for a powerful
exercise must utilize dynamic resistance
If you want to increase your strength, you have to increase your
resistance. Volume of repetitions will assist in building endurance
muscle, but that isn’t good enough for explosive power. You must be
able to increase the resistance.
Medicine ball exercises are fine for
this so long as each week, you are grabbing
a heavier one than you did last week. Dumbbells are a fine choice for
exercises such as lunges, rows and Bulgarian split squats, again
assuming you increase the weight with each week or two. Bench dips are
also a great option as you can place weight plates on your lap to
increase the resistance.
Great Volleyball Exercises
Here are a few other great exercises
that will improve your
Scoop and Toss:
Squat down, holding a medicine ball with both hands. As you squat back
up, throw the medicine ball into the air and catch it upon its return.
You can also throw it forward, against a wall, or back and forth with a
This exercise improves core strength by strengthening the back,
quadriceps and hips with the leg extension motion and imitates a bump
in volleyball. You can apply dynamic resistance by grabbing a heavier
medicine ball, so it meets all of our criteria for a good volleyball
Grab a pair of dumbbells and stand straight with your legs together.
Move your right leg out as far as you can and bend the knee with the
toe pointed outwards slightly. Bring the leg back in and repeat the
motion on the opposite side.
This exercise improves core stability by forcing you to
control the weight of the dumbbells as your body shifts position. It
imitates footwork critical to shifting position in a volleyball game
and can increase resistance by using some heavier dumbbells, so it
meets all the necessary criteria.
Step Up to
Grab a pair of dumbbells and stand in front of a step that is just
below knee level. Place your right foot on the step and push up without
using your resting leg to push off the ground. Place your left leg on
the step and lift the dumbbells up for a shoulder press. Lower back
down and complete on the opposite side.
The stability in this exercise is great for training your core as you
continuously elevate, which is critical for high jumps and spikes. The
shoulder press imitates raising the arm for a powerful hit and the
dumbbells can be increased to improve strength, so again, it meets all
of our criteria for a good volleyball exercise.
These are all good exercises to start. In addition, any serious
volleyball player should be sure to integrate exercises like the
deadlifts, barbell bent over rows, suicides, snatches, squat jumps and
jumps into the routine
to prepare for the season as well.
Just make sure any volleyball exercise you do
imitates something you do
on the court and strengthens a muscle you need for the game.
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