Strength Training for Volleyball

Strength training for volleyball is a common and routine part of any player’s strength and conditioning program. You have certainly come to the right place if you are just starting a strength training routine or are just beginning volleyball.

Strength training for volleyball is a must-do! Volleyball is a highly competitive sport that requires athletes to be quick, powerful and coordinated. Volleyball players are well-known for sticking to their strength training program. They realize the extreme benefit that strength training for volleyball has on their performance. Any athlete wants to gain an edge over her opponents. Strength training delivers that edge.

All sport-specific strength training programs address the specific needs for each athlete. The exact needs will differ from sport to sport and even from position to position. As an example- a softball pitcher will have different needs than a softball catcher. There are a few factors that strength training for volleyball routines must address.

Strength training for volleyball programs must prevent injuries and improve game performance. Common injuries associated with volleyball are knee, shoulder, and abdominal injuries. Improved game performance includes jumping higher, moving faster, and serving/hitting harder.

To start your strength training for volleyball program, first assess your current fitness and health level. Ask yourself these questions:

  1. Am I just beginning a strength training routine?
  2. Am I just beginning volleyball?
  3. Do I have any past or present injuries/sore spots that I need to be careful of?
  4. What are my ultimate goals for my strength training for volleyball routine?
  5. What time of the year is this? Pre-season, off-season, or in-season?

Off-Season Strength Training For Volleyball Program

Off-season programs are all about building a solid foundation of strength. This is your opportunity to begin a serious strength training program. You can focus on increasing strength and power right now. Be sure that your routine includes exercises for all of your major muscle groups. Also be sure that your strength training program utilizes a full ROM (range of motion). Athletes rarely (if ever) perform partial reps. It just will not benefit you during game time.

The off-season gives volleyball players an opportunity to increase power and strength through strength training. This is the perfect time of year to develop powerful arms, legs, and abs. The stronger we are during the off-season will directly correlate to our serving speed or our ability to spike harder.

Pre-Season Strength Training For Volleyball Program

During the pre-season your goal is to focus on sport-specific functions. Most of your practices will include exercises and programs that mimic actual volleyball games. You may find that your practices are actual matches. The pre-season is all about honing and perfecting the exact sport-specific skills required for game time. Pre-season is the time we can put all of our new strength into motion.

Our shoulders should be stronger. Our abs should be tighter. Our legs should be more powerful. You should feel ready and able to kick the competitions behind! Continue your volleyball strength training program, but it will be of a lesser intensity than the off-season. Again, you main goal in the pre-season is to hone and perfect sport-specific functions: serving, hitting, blocking, jumping, squatting and moving quickly.

In-Season Strength Training For Volleyball Program

During the volleyball season, your strength training program will be on the lowest intensity level of the year. In-season strength training programs will focus on maintaining your strength and power. That’s it. It will not focus on building muscle or developing more strength.

In-season conditioning is really about allowing your body to maintain its awesome physique and conditioning. The off and pre-season have already built a solid athlete. Now it is time to unleash that lightening fast, power-serving, super-hitting, power blocking volleyball player!

Post-Season Strength Training For Volleyball Program

I like to take a few weeks off after the in-season. I use this time as relaxation and rest. My body needs it. Most athletes work on this schedule. It is called periodization. Usually it is a one-year schedule consisting of the off-season, pre-season, in-season and post-season.

No matter where you are in your strength training for volleyball program, there are a few things that remain constant.

  • Work at a full ROM
  • Work each muscle group of the body
  • Perform various exercises for each muscle group
  • And practice sport-specific exercises and movements

Strength training for volleyball is absolutely necessary. Athletes agree that without speed, agility, power and coordination they would not be as successful. Strength training is one highly recommended part of any volleyball strength training program.


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