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Strong and powerful legs help volleyball athletes improve their performance.
Volleyball athletes must have strong and powerful legs in order to get low to the ground for saves and to get up to the net for spikes and blocks. Therefore, their workout should consist of both power and strength activities. Plyometric exercises are effective at building power and weight training will help you develop strength.
Schedule your leg workout two days per week. The workouts are going to be intense and your legs are likely to be extremely fatigued, so avoid doing your workouts prior to competition. Give your legs two days off in between each workout so that they can fully recover and heal. A Monday and Thursday workout schedule, for example, would be appropriate. If you have volleyball practice scheduled on the same day, do your leg workout after your time in the gym so that your legs aren't too tired during practice.
The beginning of your workout should feature a dynamic warm-up lasting 10 to 15 minutes. A dynamic warm-up is one that prepares your body for activity by increasing blood flow and body temperature. It stimulates your neuromuscular system and will improve your performance during your workout. Start with 5 to 10 minutes of general aerobic activities such as jogging, skipping, jumping rope and jumping jacks. Finish off with 5 to 10 minutes of exercises that target muscles you'll be developing doing during your workout. Some examples include body weight squats, straight leg kicks, high knee jogs, butt kicks, leg swings and mountain climbers.
You want your legs to be fresh when you do plyometrics, so do them before you work with weights. Complete two sets of 10 repetitions for each of the following exercises: two foot ankle hops, squat jumps, lateral cone hops and the tuck jump. Two foot ankle hops involve bending down slightly and then hopping off two feet while primarily engaging movement at your ankles. As soon as you land, take off again. Squat jumps are done by lowering into a full squat and then exploding into a maximum-height jump. As soon as you land, lower into a full squat for the next repetition. To do lateral cone hops, hop left and right over a cone, focusing on quickness and limiting your time on the ground. To do the tuck jump, lower into a quarter squat and then jump as high as you can. While you're in the air, drive your knees up to your chest, bringing your feet up as high as you can. Land and go right into the next repetition. Rest two to three minutes in between each set and exercise.
After you're done with your plyometrics, take a quick water break and then move onto weight training. Your workout will include back squats, deadlifts and lunges. Complete three sets of eight to 12 repetitions of each exercise. To perform back squats, with a barbell on the back of your shoulders, lower into a full squat until your thighs are parallel to the floor and then come back up to a standing position. For deadlifts, hold a weighted barbell with your arms hanging down so that the bar rests in front of your thighs. Keeping your back straight, push your hips backwards and bend your knees so that the bar lowers towards your feet. Once the bar reaches your shins, extend back up. To do lunges, take a big step with one foot so that you're in a staggered stance. Keep your back erect as you lower your back knee to the floor. Extend your knee back up and then lower into the next repetition. Don't forget to switch legs after each set. Give your legs two to three minutes of rest in between every set.