At-Home Strength and Conditioning Drills For Volleyball

At-Home Strength and Conditioning Drills For Volleyball

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Jumping exercises can improve lower-body power on the court.

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A game of precise, rapid and explosive movements, volleyball requires physical conditioning that covers several types of training -- strength, plyometric and flexibility. While you can't hone specific volleyball skills with fellow players in the middle of your living room, you can perform different types of conditioning exercises in small spaces with minimal to no equipment. In the same way you prepare for a volleyball practice, perform five to 10 minutes of light cardio to warm your muscles before you work out at home.

Develop a Steely Core

Volleyball players need a strong core to perform key movements requiring trunk rotation and the triple extension, or the extension of your ankles, knees and hips. Various exercises, such as the forward planks, side planks and hip bridges, will condition your core musculature and can be performed at home. You can also invest in an exercise ball and medicine ball to boost the intensity of core exercises. For example, pushups on an exercise ball provides a vigorous workout for your upper body. Begin by assuming the standard pushup position but place your shins on top of the ball. Position your hands on the floor at slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Exhale and bend your arms, lowering your chest to the floor. Keep your abs contracted and your body straight. Inhale and return to the starting position. Perform eight to 12 reps for three sets, increasing the number of reps to 15 as you grow stronger. To boost the intensity, lift one leg a few inches off the ball on the descent.

Build Your Upper Body With Bands

Elastic bands can be stored next to your socks and are a convenient way to build strength at home. In particular, resistance exercises for the shoulders can help volleyball players to improve their hits, swings and throws. Band training can include front raises, shoulder presses, Ys and internal and external rotations for the shoulders. For example, begin a front raise by standing on the middle of the band with your feet shoulder-width apart. Hold the ends of the band with an overhand grip, palms facing down. Exhale and slowly raise your arms in front of you, keeping your arms straight with your elbows slightly bent, until they're just above eye level. Inhale and return to the starting position on a one- to two-second count. Perform eight to 12 reps for three sets.

Condition the Lower Body to Explode

Every time you leap up to spike a ball, you're depending on the explosive power of your upper and lower body. By doing plyometric exercises at home, you can take advantage of the stretch-shortening property of your muscles to build more power. For example, you can perform a wide range of jumping exercises -- double-footed ankle hops, forward skips, vertical jumps, split-squat jumps, tuck jumps or depth jumps -- in your backyard. If you're limited to your living room, you can perform vertical jumps. Begin by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart and your knees bent. Swing your arms back to gain momentum and then explode straight up. Swing both arms overhead and reach up to continue the momentum of the jump. Land on the balls of your feet with your knees bent and then immediately explode upward again. Perform three sets of eight to 10 reps.

Attend to Joints and Muscles

Because his knee was tight during a game, a seasoned blocker for UCLA did a ballistic squat to loosen the joint between matches and, in one rapid movement, managed to tear his knee cartilage and tendons, according to "Complete Conditioning for Volleyball" by Allen Scates. Stretching at home can increase your flexibility, leading to better performance on the court and lowering your risk of injury. Perform static stretches for the major muscle groups. Hold the peak position of the stretch for 20 to 30 seconds. For example, a stretch for your hamstrings begins by standing with your legs wide apart and your toes forward. Slowly bend forward at the waist and place your hands flat on the floor, or as close as possible, with your fingers pointing behind you. Hold for 20 seconds and then draw your torso toward your right leg as far as possible and hold for another 20 seconds. Repeat the stretch to your left side. Keep your back relaxed throughout the exercise.