This article was provided by Training & Conditioning
Volleyball players need to be able to jump with explosive power. One of the best ways to make this happen is by incorporating plyometric exercises into your training. The following exercises require only basic equipment but can lead to serious results.
When incorporating plyometrics into your training, it’s important to keep a few things in mind. According to RJ Anderson of Sports Fitness Advisor, explosive power is a function of both strength and speed of muscular contraction. Performing these movements will help volleyball players condition their neuromuscular system to apply a greater level of force in a shorter period of time. However, athletes will first need to build up basic strength if these exercises are going to be effective.
Anderson recommends doing two plyometric sessions per week, which is perfectly adequate to build the desired strength and power. This type of training can put a lot of stress on the body, so it’s important to not go overboard. Anderson also suggests incorporating these exercises during the mid to late preseason so that athletes can spend the early preseason building up the necessary base of strength. The goal is for the exercises to be done with maximal effort and high quality explosive movements, which means that if the weight is too heavy or the athletes are too fatigued it’s time to make the necessary adjustments.
Stand on a plyo box with your toes close to the edge. Step off the box, land on both feet, and immediately jump straight up and reach with both hands towards the sky. Landings should be soft and you should explode into the jump as quickly as possible.
Over the Back Toss:
With a medicine in your hands, stand with your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart, while a partner stands about 10-15 yards behind you. Lower your body into a semi-squat position, explode up, and throw the ball up and over your head. The goal is to the throw the ball as far as possible while generating power through the legs. Your partner will then bounce the ball back to you so you can toss it again.
Lateral High Hops:
Stand to the right of the box and put your left foot on top of the box. Then push off the box using your left leg and explode vertically as high as possible, driving your arms forward and up to achieve maximum height. Land on the box with your opposite foot and repeat with the other foot on the other side.
Squat Throws From Chest:
Start with your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart and your knees slightly bent. While holding a medicine ball at chest level, squat down to a parallel position. Then explode up as quickly as possible and jump as high as you can, throwing the medicine ball up as you start your jump. Instead of catching the ball, let it bounce away from you and then pick it up and repeat.
Single Arm Throws:
While standing with feet slightly wider than hip-width apart, place you hand under a medicine ball and lower your body into a semi-squat position. Explode up and extend the entire body as you throw the medicine ball into the air. Try to throw it as high as possible while generating power through the legs.
Start in a semi-squat position with your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart. Drive your arms up and jump over the hurdle, landing softly and quickly jumping over the next hurdle.
While facing a wall, stand with either one foot in front or with feet together and knees slightly bent. With both hands, lift the medicine ball back behind your head and forcefully throw it as far as possible into the wall. Catch the ball on the bounce and repeat.
Lateral Barrier Jumps:
Place a barrier next to you (i.e. a hurdle or small box) and stand with feet slightly wider than hip-width apart with right side of body facing the barrier. Then use both feet to hop to the right over the barrier and quickly jump back to the starting point.