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Greg Ashman
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  My Site News: How should you train for volleyball?  

Friday, April 13
How should you train for volleyball?

How should you train for volleyball?

Identify your quickness strength deficiencies.

The Relationship Between Quickness and Strength

quickness strength It's important to consider the following questions...

1) How strong are you relative to your bodyweight?

2) How well does your nervous system interact with your muscular system (are you quick and explosive)?

Some volleyball players are strong, but not quick. Others are quick, but not strong. Some are both quick and strong while others lack both strength and quickness.

How efficient is your nervous system?

Athletes that use their nervous system efficiently are quicker and more explosive.

Training methods such as plyometrics and jump training are designed to produce fast, powerful movements, and improve the functions of the nervous system.

quickness strengthHow well do you express the messages of your nervous system?

In volleyball, the stronger your muscles and the more forceful the contractions are in relationship to your own bodyweight... the quicker you'll move, the higher you'll jump, and the harder you'll hit.

Increasing muscular strength must first be brought to optimal levels and then simultaneously blended into strength that you can use for volleyball.

This is called functional strength.

Getting stronger and building muscle will lay the foundation for other components such as reactive strength, strength endurance, explosive power, quickness, and agility.

Types of Athletes

quickness strengthVolleyball Player A


STRENGTH: strong

NEEDS: Focus on increasing explosiveness by training your nervous system.

Compare the the jump height of the countermovement jump and a jump performed from a static position with thighs starting in a position parallel to the ground.

With an volleyball player that is slow but strong, there typically won't be much difference in jump height.

This is athlete doesn't see much difference between the block jump height and the approach jump height. The approach jump is usually 4 to 6 inches higher than the block jump. If there isn't much difference, then you need to improve your explosiveness.

Basically, if you're strong but not quick, then the focus of training should be on improving explosiveness.

To be more explosive, you need to do explosive exercises.

For upper body explosiveness, key exercises are medicine ball throws and plyometric push-ups.

For lower body, jumping exercises and fast feet agility drills. Especially if you are a front row player and need to get up high in the air, depth jumps and exercises that involve getting vertical are important.

Gamelike explosive exercises specific to volleyball include...
  • box hitting drills

  • approach jumps

  • blocking drills

Volleyball Player B



NEEDS: Increase maximal strength. Increase the size of your glass.

Important strength exercises specific to volleyball...
  • Romanian Deadlift
  • (RDL)

  • Glute Ham Raises

  • Pull ups/Inverted Rows

  • Front Squats

  • Hip Thrusts

Volleyball Player C



NEEDS: Everything. A general all around volleyball training program with a focus on low level movement efficiency and general strength.

This is where most youth volleyball players are.

Volleyball Player D



NEEDS: Increase strength and add muscle. First, focus on getting stronger. Next, focus the training on improving both strength and power.

Once strength levels are boosted up, then power work can be used to intensify the ability to quickly utilize the added muscle.

The player that is both slow and weak will often make progress very quickly, often surprising people overnight.

Many volleyball players fall into this category. Most need to improve strength.

Volleyball Player E

QUICKNESS: Decent but not outstanding

STRENGTH: Decent but not outstanding

NEEDS: Test to determine what needs more work - power or strength. For example, a depth jump test compared to a stand still jump. If the jump is a lot higher from a depth jump, then the workouts should consist of strength training followed by power work.

If there isn't much difference in jump height, focus on improving strength. You really can't ever go wrong by getting stronger.

Get Stronger for Volleyball

quickness strength It has been proven that athletic performance depends either directly or indirectly on qualities of muscular strength.

The stronger your muscles and the more forceful the contractions are in relationship to your own bodyweight, the quicker you will move, the higher you will jump, and the harder you will hit. It really is that simple.

Rarely does an athlete become too strong.

Rarely will increasing strength and body-mass result in negative effects on speed, size, and relative strength.

Most athletes are far from getting to the point of strength interfering negatively with athletic performance.

How strong is too strong?

To give you an idea on when that point might come realize most elite sprinters routinely squat with weights 2-3 times their bodyweight!

How much do you squat relative to your bodyweight?

Generally, being able to max out at about 1.5 to 2 times your bodyweight is a good goal to reach for.

If you can squat and deadlift twice your bodyweight, then you're a strong volleyball player

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