Volleyball weight training exercises should build important fitness components, and also improve skills critical to game play. These essential lifts can also prevent common injuries.
The sport demands repeated short bouts of explosive activity. Most skills are open skills, so players have to react off specific game cues (e.g., blocking a spike)quickly and in any direction.
The game requires substantial speed, power, and agility. Greater explosiveness and reactivity improve jumping, spiking, and blocking, as well as quick body repositioning needed to execute most plays effectively.
The Olympic lifts and variations closely match the demands of the game. Combined with other strength building lifts, players can dramatically boost their level of play when integrating these exercises into a sports training program.
The following is a one-week example of a weight training program used by a number of outstanding university players. (A complete conditioning program should last for about 6 weeks.)
Volleyball Weight Training Volleyball Weight Training Day 3 and Tips
This type of program offers a number of advantages:
*The multi-joint movement sequences teach coordinated movements that transfer well to game skills. See The Principle of Transfer
*Many of the lifts involve the same movement patterns with the same common elements as vertical jumping and other explosive skills, optimizing the transfer of skill learning.
*The rapid foot repositioning executed during Olympic lifting variations improves the similar movements on the court.
*Fewer lifts are needed, saving workout time.
*The overhead lifts promote rotator cuff strength, stability, and flexibility while promote muscle balancing. This helps players block over the net with greater penetration while helping prevent tendinopathy and injuries from nerve compression (i.e., subscapular neuropathy) caused by repetitive overhead skills.
*The hands, wrists, and forearms are strengthened without performing additional exercises, improving spiking, blocking, and serving while preventing injuries.
*More than 14% of playing injuries affect the back. These lifts, combined with core strength exercises, stabilize and strengthen the trunk. Roman chair situps, back hyperextensions, and a battery of exercises that involve trunk rotation and lateral flexion (side bending) supplement the effects of the Olympic lifts, squat, and straight leg dead lifts.
Incorporating these lift into the total sport training program is especially important for women, who tend to be more vulnerable to injuries than men. Their injuries may be minimized by the effects of these exercises. See Gender Differences
Care must be taken to provide excellent guidance and supervision as athletes learn and perform these lifts. Poor technique can compromise the advantages of using these exercises. Always strive to promote proper technique and follow the rules of workout safety.
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