5 Exercises To Become A Better Volleyball Player

By:    Published: January 20, 2012

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Volleyball is a year around sport, but with the summer months upon us, the popularity of the beach game increases. Beach volleyball, as well as indoor volleyball, is a dynamic sport that calls for speed, agility, strength and balance. Volleyball, like other sports, is enhanced when a player is in the proper shape. Volleyball is a full-body workout, but it has most of its emphasis on the legs, shoulder and core. The following are simple, yet dynamic exercises that will help an athlete become a better volleyball player not only indoors, but also on the beach.

(To add more exercises to your workout, read Full-Body Dumbbell Workouts At Home Or At The Gym.)

1. Broad Jumps

An explosive jump is extremely important in volleyball, especially between hitting, jump serving and blocking. Broad jumps will help with all three of these skills.

  1. To begin, mark off an area around 15 yards. Start with feet shoulder width, knees slightly bent, and arms positioned at the side of the body.
  2. Keep feet parallel and even with one another, then squat down and swing both arms back in unison while jumping for distance.
  3. Both feet should land at the same time in a balanced shoulder width positioned. Once landed, they should repeat the same broad jump motion.

This exercise can be done in 6 sets with 10 forward broad jumps in each set.

2. Planks

The core (mid-section of the body) benefits every skill on the court. A strong core will result in a better ability to perform skills such as passing, attacking and blocking.

  1. Begin in a push up position with elbows at a 90 degree angle, and forearms touching the floor facing forward.
  2. Legs should be locked and feet should be shoulder width apart. Head, back and legs should be positioned in a straight line.
  3. Avoid dipping or rising of the waist, as doing so will not work the intended muscles.
  4. The athlete should hold this plank position for 30 to 45 seconds.

At the end of the selected time, they should feel slightly uncomfortable but still be able to have proper form. If the form diminishes because of fatigue, the athlete should decrease the time and increase the repetitions. Also to make planks harder, increase the time or use one foot to support the body instead of two.

3. Lateral Shoulder Lift To Press

Shoulder injuries are quite common in volleyball because of the constant overhead arm swings that takes place when attacking the ball. A way to stop painful injuries from occurring is to strengthen the shoulder. Lateral shoulder lift to press is a complete shoulder workout that can help strengthen shoulders in order to prevent injuries. This exercise should be done with low weight and high repetitions. Dumbbells are preferred, but soup cans could also be used as a substitute.

  1. Start in an athletic stance with a low weight in each hand. Have arms slightly bent, and in unison, latterly lift arms until elbows are even with shoulders.
  2. Once they're even, move arms from a vertical position into a lateral position with fist facing the celling. Keep elbows even with the shoulder during this motion.
  3. Then push the weights into the air until the elbows are locked.
  4. Proceed to reverse this motion slowly until your arms are back where they started.

The quality of repetitions is important, make sure to not to rush through this exercise. Keep a consistent slow motion for maximum results. Start with three sets of ten repetitions.

4. Ski Jumps

In volleyball, agility is a key component when transitioning from defense to offense and skill to skill. An exercise that can help with agility is ski jumps.

  1. Find a line, either on a field or a court, fifteen yards long.
  2. Start on the balls of the feet with both feet touching the inside of each other.
  3. Proceed to jump from side to side over the line and move forward while jumping; feet should stay together.

To add to this exercise, go forwards then backwards or also jump on one foot. Begin with six sets of fifteen yard ski jumps.

5. Burpees

Burpees are a full body workout that includes legs, core, arms and chest muscles. A Burpee should be done in one continuous motion and one should avoid stopping and starting during this move. Five sets of ten repetitions is a good number to start at.

  1. Start in an athletic position, and then drop into a push up position.
  2. Perform one push up and then immediately jump back into an athletic position.
  3. In this athletic position, proceed to jump with hands raised in a volleyball blocking motion.

This is one Burpee. Feel free to increase repetitions if the workout becomes too easy.

These five exercises can all be done at home, with no need to get a fancy gym membership. The five exercises tackle legs, shoulders, core and agility, which will improve the movement and strength of each player that implements these exercises.

(For tips on setting up a gym at home, read Essential Home Gym Exercise Equipment.)

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