Lower body explosiveness for beach volleyball players

 

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Beach volleyball players have to be explosive in order to jump higher. That is probably the simplest statement to be made and it's definitely the most obvious. It is more difficult, however, to find the best ways for volleyball players to train for explosiveness. Although being strong is a huge factor for volleyball players who want to increase vertical jump and quickness in general, without speed production we can never maximize our athleticism.

Athletes like beach volleyball players who rely on first step quickness and explosive jumps need to train for both strength and speed. We covered the importance of strength in another post but here, we want to talk about what exercises really work for increasing speed? 

Most jump training coaches and volleyball coaches promote the use of plyometrics for volleyball training and we are totally on board. Reactive training plays a huge role in whether or not your body will be able to accelerate laterally to pass and dig balls or vertically to spike and block.

If you want to know how to jump higher for volleyball, you have to learn the right exercises that train you for maximum strength and maximum speed. These are very different from the exercises that build bulk. If you are looking for hypertrophy, you won’t see extensive exercises for that type of training in any quality volleyball conditioning routines.

Plyometric exercises are ones that get you to produce a maximum amount of force in the shortest interval of time. How quickly can you get to the other side of the court to dig a ball? How quickly can you pop into the air to spike? How much speed can you generate on the ground so that you can launch your body into the air? Without the ability to generate explosiveness or speed in our lower body, we will have know hope of jumping higher or  hitting harder on the volleyball court.

Most people don’t know that your body actually grows different muscle fibers based on how you train. If you train with slow or medium speed and you use endurance style training like running a mile, your body will grow new cells and fibers dedicated to that type of training. This process takes a while but eventually your body actually builds itself to answer the demands placed on it. Beach volleyball players never need to run a mile… NEVER. 

If you want to get better at beach volleyball, you need to train for short bursts of maximum speed followed by somewhat long rest periods. Since we will always need to generate intense bursts of speed from our lower body, we need to train using plyometrics which are designed to do exactly that.

Remember: If you train at a medium speed (you don’t jump as high as you possibly can during plyometric training) your body will decide that you don’t need the hardware to handle those loads and those speeds. When performing bodyweight volleyball exercises for jumping keep your ground contact time to an absolute minimum and your height to a maximum. Get off the ground fast and get HEIGHT or if you are training for speed on the ground, get lateral distance.

Here is a great way to know if you are becoming more explosive over time. Go to a wall that has a ceiling height above your max jump reach. After a good warm up, jump as high as you can and touch the wall. If nobody minds, use chalk to mark your reach. Now make a mark 3-6 inches below that. Get a stopwatch and have a friend time you to see how many times you can reach the mark in 20 seconds. Keep testing that every week. Over time, with proper training, you should be able to get more near-maximum jumps in the same amount of time. That  means your contact time on the ground is shortening and you are reaching your explosiveness goals. As your strength increases and speed on the ground increase, you should also be able to move that mark higher and higher over time.

 

Here are a few more of our favorite jumping exercises for volleyball players. Every one of these is included in our 60 Day Strength and Conditioning Program. The program, specifically designed for volleyball players who want to jump higher, hit hard and move faster, is jam packed with information and workouts but these should be enough to at least get you started. 

 

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