How to Workout for Volleyball - Basic Exercises

Explore the most important workout for volleyball. Examples of conditioning drills and exercises for sports specific training.

What kind of volleyball conditioning drills you need to do?

  • Strength/Power

  • Explosive Power

  • Quickness

  • Agility

  • Flexibility

  • Endurance

Specific Workout for Volleyball to Improve Those Qualities

Strength Training
Strength training is one component of powerful jump and essential in volleyball training.

An athlete can increase strength to some extend without any extra weights, by own body weight only. To get into the next level, athlete needs to do weight training.

Strength Training by Weights
  • Reps 1-6

  • Sets 1 – 3 (beginner)

  • Sets 3 – 5 (experienced)

  • Sets 6 - 8 (top athlete): 4 sets, plus 2 - 4 sets of another exercise (which totals 6 - 8 per muscle group)

  • load: 85 - 100% of 1 RM (1 RM=maximum load you can lift)

  • Rest period: 2-4 minutes

  • Trained by weights, for example by

    • squats

    • deadlifts

    • bench press

    • leg press

    •  etc.

  • Plyometrics help to create explosiveness (quickness), which is the second component of powerful jump, in addition to strength.

  • Plyometrics (also called plyos) are beneficial for quick footwork

  • Reps : varies

  • Sets: varies

  • Rest: varies

  • Low intensity plyometrics:
    • foot contacts (amount of jumps) can be on several hundreds
    • short rest period
    • examples: various quick footwork drills.

  • High intensity plyometrics:
    • could be as low as 20-30 jumps.
    • long rest period up until you totally recovered, up to 4-5 min.
    • examples: drop jumps, hurdle jumps, bounding etc.

  • The main point: While jumping leaving the ground as soon as possible after landing. Short contact to the ground.

Explosive Power Training
Explosiveness (quick and powerful muscles) is the second component of jump - in addition to strength.

To some extend an athlete can increase explosive power without weights. To get to the next level athlete needs to start using extra weights.

Explosive Power Training With Weights

  • Sets 1 – 3 (beginner), Sets 3 – 5 (experienced)

  • Sets 6 - 8 (top athlete): 4 sets , plus 2-4 sets of another exercise (which totals 6 - 8 per muscle group)

  • Reps 2-6

  • load: around 30% of 1 RM (1 RM=maximum load you can lift) for jump squats or medicine ball (when wanting to perform movements extremely fast)

  • or up to 75-85% loads for hang cleans and snatches (the higher load is reasonable if an athlete wants to focus on gaining power and because in certain movements the bar is easier to handle with more weight)

  • Rest period 2-5 minutes, enough rest to recover completely

  • Hang cleans, snatches, jump squats, step ups, medicine ball throws etc.

  • The main point: perform explosively, move the weight fast!!


  • Important: an athlete needs to have a minimum of 3 months strength training experience and good lifting techniques before lifting with higher intensities, for example 85-100% loads.
  • An athlete without weight lifting experience should start training with the light bar only to learn the techniques first
  • After learning the techniques loads can be added progressively. An athlete should train at least 3 months with 50-80% loads before entering the lifts with higher loads and intensities
  • Before entering the most advanced exposive power or plyometrics training an athlete needs to be able to squat twice the athlete's body weight, which could require over 6 months extensive strength training experience

Speed/Agility Training
  • Running lines

  • Shuffling/footwork training

  • Fairly short 5-15 seconds

  • Rest period fairly short, 30 sec-2 min

  • Sets varies, for example 4-12 times

Medicine Ball Training
  • Weight 1 - 8 lbs (0.5 – 4 kg)

  • 50 – 250 throws

  • Reps around 10

  • Sets varies, 5 – 25

  • The main idea: mimic volleyball motions to strengthen your core (abs, hips, lower back) and arms

Workout for Volleyball - Flexibility

Dynamic Stretching

  • Pre-training or pre-game warm ups should include dynamic stretching exercises, which warm up and stretch the muscles simultaneously.

  • Dynamic stretching is an important workout for volleyball and includes lunge walk, hand walk and lateral lunge among others.

  • Dynamic stretching will warm up your muscles on the continuous movement and prepares your muscles more efficiently for activity.

  • Purpose of dynamic stretching is used for muscle mobility and flexibility.

  • It wakes up your nervous system; therefore it is good to perform before jump training.

Static Stretching

  • Traditional static stretching can be used after warm up to help prevent injuries and open up tight muscles. Stretches should be around 8 - 12 seconds long.

  • Traditional static stretches should be done after practice or match to prevent sore and tight muscles. After activity those stretches should be around 20 - 30 seconds long.

Workout for Volleyball - Endurance

  • A volleyball player also needs to develop endurance.

  • However, there is no need for traditional cardio training (for example running long distance). The reason is that the match can be long, but the play is interrupted and not constant.
  • Rally is about 5-15 second long very intense burst. Volleyball player needs to be conditioned for that.  Plus to be recoverd during the break between the rallies.

  • Endurance in volleyball can also be developed in the volleyball practice. Make sure the intensity gets little bit higher than in matches and players won't get too much break between the reps.

  • Best workouts to develop volleyball endurance are short sprints, footwork training, agility drills, low impact plyometric exercises - even high impact plyometrics or weight training could be used.

    To develop endurance you should do exercises as "supersets" or "circuits", minimizing the recovery time between sets.
  • To develop endurance the main idea is to do reps in short "bursts", then allowing only little recovery time between the sets/reps - just like in volleyball match.

Volleyball Quote to Remember

How to Workout for Volleyball - The Most Important Exercises

Workout for Volleyball Related Pages

Volleyball Exercises to Jump Higher and Hit Harder - Exercises for Volleyball

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