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Volleyball Strength Training

An athlete is able to increase volleyball strength to certain extend with own body weight training
- for example with various plyometrics exercises (jumps, hops..).

To get to the next level, athlete needs to start adding extra weights into the training. It doesn't necessarily mean traditional weight lifting - very light weighted training can be done with medicine ball exercises and kettlebell training.

Increasing volleyball strength by weight training - conditioning by weights is necessary and absolutely appropriate training method also for junior and female volleyball athletes.

Why weight training?
  • With body weight exercises only, some day an athlete will run into a wall and is not able to develop anymore.
  • Strength training by weights doesn’t take very much time: 30-60 minutes three times a week makes a difference.
  • There is several different ways to train volleyball strength: for example kettle ball training or medicine ball training in addition to traditional weight lifting.
  • Weight training is absolutely suitable for girls’ or women’s training also, it is not for males only. We play the same sport and female muscles work just like male muscles!! (strength + explosiveness = higher vertical and increased speed)
  •  Squats, step ups, hang cleans, snatches are GREAT ways to increase the vertical: those movements work out the whole muscle chain (legs, core..). They include a powerful hip extension and develop important core strength.

If you got more interested in volleyball weight training, introduce yourself to the basics of strength training at the following link. You find the basics of medicine ball training, plyometrics, etc.

Workout for Volleyball

Volleyball Strength Training for Junior Athletes

Weight training can be introduced to 15-16 year olds, both males and females.  However, weight training at those younger ages needs to be done with lower loads and intensities.

At younger ages athletes should only use medicine ball and kettle bell training - or traditional weight lifting with lower loads.

Example about traditional weight lifting with lower loads:
  • 0 – 30% of 1 RM, (1 RM=the maximum weight you can lift)

  • just learning the techniques first with no weights at all and gradually increasing the loads.

Example about traditional weight lifting with heavier loads
Only for very experienced athletes!:

17-18 year old athlete could be ready for traditional weight lifting with higher close to the maximum weights (85 – 100% of 1RM), if the techniques have learned and an athlete has minimum of 3 month extensive strength training behind (with 70-85% of 1 RM).

The process in nutshell:

  • An athlete starts with no weights by learning techniques. And adds weights little by little over time up to 30% - to learn the techniques perfectly.

  • Until techniques are learned (it can take months), an athlete can move into the higher 70-85% loads.

  • After minimum of 3 month extensive training with those, athlete could be ready to lift with the highest 85-100% loads. (Only for very experienced athletes whose strength level is high enough!)

Volleyball Strength Training for Women

There is some controversy about importance of strength training for women. 

For us the subject of women’s weight training and conditioning is very clear. Women should be encouraged to do weight training also; the physical elements of women is not that much different from males.

There is no reason why weight training or weight lifting would not be beneficial to female volleyball players. Women’s muscles work just like male muscles; they are absolutely able to get stronger and lift an athlete higher, just like male muscles.

Women Play with Speed - not with Power!?!

We have heard often how women’s volleyball is different from men’s volleyball; women’s game focuses more on the speed and quickness while males play with the power.

That can be true to some extend, but we all still play the same sport, which means the training should be very similar. Female volleyball players - break the myths and start gaining power with weight training!!

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