How to Do Weight Training for Volleyball

Step-by-step Instructions

Here is what you need to do...
Step 1

Weight training for volleyball should focus on your fast-twitch muscles, or muscles that you need to make very quick movements. Lots of work should be done to build your lower body, your shoulders, and your core.

Step 2

Use your ankle weights while you complete a plyometric jump-training program. This program can include box jumps, squat jumps, and pogo jumps. Box jumps involve jumping onto a 12-18" box for 3 sets of 10 repetitions. To squat jump, lower your weight into a squat position, and quickly jump out of this position into the air. Sets of 3x10 should be done for this exercise as well. Finally, pogo jumps are continuous smaller jumps without bending your legs, working on your calf and ankle strength.

Step 3

Focus a lot of your workout on your lower body. This includes squats, split squats, deadlifts, cleans, and snatches. You can reference an olympic lifting instructional book or DVD for specifics about these exercises (see above).

Step 4

Work on your core and abdomen, doing some sort of core exercise before and after your weightlifting session. Situps, planks, ab roll-outs, and flutter kicks are all good abdominal exercises.

Step 5

Shoulders are also very important. With the amount of swings a typical volleyball player takes every day, it will be crucial to have strong shoulders. Ideally you want to build lean and long muscles rather than condensed bulky muscles. This will add to your "length" and will allow you to get to the volleyball more effeciently, swing more effectively, and excel at the sport. Good shoulder exercises are dumbbell press and lateral dumbbell raise.

Step 6

Sprints: You want to make sure that you are in good shape at all times, and the game of volleyball consists of several short bursts of activity with short periods of rest in between. That is why 20, 30, and 40 yard sprints with rest in between are very effective in improving your stamina and your ability to last on the court in longer matches.

Step 7

Frequency: You do not want to lift weights every single day. If you are practicing throughout the week, this will put a ton of stress on your legs. What we did at Ohio State is that we typically lifted 2-3 days per week, with the other days focusing on jump training or cardiovascular training. This provides a good balance for your body and allows for recovery as well.

Special Attention

Difficulties people often experience or parts that need special attention to do it right.

If you are just getting started with weight training, don't rush it. Take your time, make sure your technique is correct, and start slow. If your technique is not correct, you may become injured by doing certain lifts incorrectly, so consult a professional so that they are able to teach you the correct lifting styles and techniques for your benefit.

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When did you first do this & how did you get started?

I first started weight training for volleyball my junior year of high school. It is important not to get started weight training too early, but it is also important to have some sort of weight training background by the time you get to college and need to compete at a very high level.

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