We also run beach volleyball classes, private lessons and training camps for adults and juniors at VolleyCamp in Hermosa Beach, CA. We are in the Beach Cities between Manhattan Beach and Redondo Beach. We run volleyball vacations right here in Los Angeles but we also take our players on awesome volleyball trips to exotic locations. We can even run beach volleyball clinics for your group, club or team in your hometown! Send an email to [email protected]
There isn’t a single beach volleyball player in the world that doesn’t wish they could jump higher. With all of the knowledge on the internet and in the world today, learning how to jump higher isn’t really a secret any more. There are lots of vertical jump programs for volleyball players and while each of them uses their own design of jump exercises, sets and reps, the principles behind the vertical leap do not change.
Here is your one-sentence crash course in learning how to jump higher:
Power = Force x Velocity
According to this article from USA Basketball “When it comes to the vertical jump, force is the maximum amount of strength that someone has and velocity is the maximum amount of speed someone has. If you increase your strength and your velocity (in ratio to your body weight), then your vertical jump will improve. This is the general principle that millions of top athletes have followed. It is that simple!”
So we know that if our body weight stays the same, there are two ways for beach volleyball players to jump higher. You can either get faster or get stronger. In this article, we are only going to discuss how to get stronger. Our lower body strength has to top out if we ever hope to jump higher high in volleyball but how do we get our legs stronger?
If you want a complete guide on improving your overall strength, you should check out our 60-day strength and conditioning program for beach volleyball players.
There is an important process in reaching maximal strength and doing it without injury. If you want your legs to lift as much as they can, you had better build up the smaller stabilizer muscles in your hips and knees to make sure you have a great foundation. Progressively training your core muscles to stabilize your hips and spine is also crucial to jumping higher in the long run.
In most traditional lower body exercises for max strength, your spine gets loaded in some way shape or form. Exceptions to this are in the leg press, and the belted squat. If you are using a barbell to squat, you’ll have heavy weight at the top of your spine. Even during the different types of deadlifts, your spine is loading, although it does become easier to stabilize this weight or bail you out if you lose your form.
The point of saying all this is to help you realize that you can have the strongest legs in the world but if the muscles in your spine haven’t been trained to activate and stabilize, you’re going to topple and get hurt. That’s why in our 60 Day Training Program for Beach Volleyball, we focus so heavily on core exercises and we start our athletes out with higher reps on their “strength days.” We choose lighter weights and higher reps when we start our weight training for volleyball players. Our program ensures that players learn the movements with lighter loads so that they don’t get hurt when they move on to bigger weights.
If you are training for beach volleyball or you are training for indoor volleyball, you need to start with great technique and you have to learn how to activate your core. As you start fixing your weaknesses and imbalances, you can progress to heavier loads and really start your jump training.
In the end, the best rep schemes increase strength and therefore increase vertical jump in volleyball is 6 or fewer repetitions starting with very little fatigue. Remember that most volleyball points start after a substantial recovery time so we don’t need to train like cross fit athletes and get a ton of sets in a short period of time. Our training should reflect that as we gear up for volleyball tryouts or just the start of tournament season. You can even use sets of 1 rep to get your legs stronger!
It’s important to note that exercises for volleyball should not be designed to get you bigger. If you are looking to put on weight or mass, there is a certain point at which this becomes detrimental to your skills on the court. The goal is to be light as feather but strong as an ox.
Sometimes, a bigger body means a stronger body but again there is a tipping point. You can add mass if you are adding strength but at some point, that increased mass means that your body will fatigue in the long run. A few hundred jumps into a tournament and you’ll be kicking yourself for the extra 15 pounds of muscle. Your ankles, knees, hips and low back will also be metaphorically kicking you because the heavier you get, the more weight your body has to absorb every single time you land. That adds up in the long term.
If you are looking for a great beach volleyball training program for increasing vertical jump like ours, make sure that it is designed to increase your max lower body strength over time. Also, look into the design and make sure it takes you through lighter progressions and significant core work so that your body is primed to increase its strength in a safe way.
Our favorite leg exercises for volleyball designed to increase strength are the deadlift and the front squat. If you aren’t confident in the technique for these exercises, you can always get a Private Video Lesson and we can coach you through some checkpoints using light weight and we can also cater the workouts and exercises to your needs.
Remember: Jumping higher leads to easier siding out. Easier siding out leads to wins. Wins lead to tournament victories.
That's what we all want, right? A vertical and victories.
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