As a volleyball player, you probably get plenty of exercise during practice, yet specific volleyball workouts can definitely enhance your performance . Unfortunately, you may not practice daily or even more than once a week, which means you might not be getting the volleyball conditioning you need to perform at your peak in your chosen sport. As you have probably discovered, volleyball is a fairly demanding activity that involves strength, speed, flexibility, and endurance. So if you want to play well you’re going to need to get on a regular schedule with exercise and include cross-training in order to condition yourself for maximum capabilities on the court. And here are just a few workouts that can help you reach your goals and become the best player possible.
1. Jogging. Nothing will improve your stamina and cardiac function more than running, and whether you run for endurance or you do sprinting drills you’ll find that you can play longer and harder on the court before getting winded and fatigued. In addition, jogging is an excellent way to strengthen your legs, a definite plus when you’re playing a sport that requires plenty of squatting and leaping.
2. Weight training. Many people who play cardio-centric sports are worried about bulking because they fear that adding extra pounds will slow them down (even if those pounds are muscle rather than fat). But when you combine targeted weight training with a proper diet you can increase your strength without sacrificing speed. You can either visit a trainer and a nutritionist to set you up with a program that will help you reach your goals or look online for information on how to tailor your diet and add weights to your current routine in order to improve your physical condition without inadvertently engaging in bulking.
3. Swimming. This water sport may be one of the best methods of cross-training for volleyball players (or any sports enthusiast, for that matter). It combines all the benefits of cardio and weight training into one easy activity. You’ll not only get the elevated heart rate that comes with jogging, but you’ll also work against the resistance of the water, which is almost as good as weight training. So if you want to save time with your workout, get in a pool and get moving!
4. Yoga. There is a lot of movement involved in volleyball and if your muscles aren’t loose and limber you can easily sustain injuries during the course of your matches. Yoga is a great way to develop the long, lean muscles and overall toning that professional volleyball players like Karch Kiraly, Logan Tom, and Gabrielle Reese are known for. It can improve both strength and flexibility, help you to master breath control (by linking breathing to movement), and even give you a cardio workout if you do vinyasa routines.
5. Video games. Okay, hold the phone. Is this actually exercise? It can be if you have a system that uses motion-sensor technology and offers exercise-related games, such as the Wii Fit or the Xbox Kinect. And it doesn’t take a masters in health informatics to figure out why. In the sport of volleyball, hand-eye coordination is a must, so using a motion-sense controller should help to beef up your brain-brawn connectors. Plus, you’ll be having so much fun that you won’t even know you’re exercising.
Sarah Danielson is a freelance writer and part time student. In her spare time she likes to go hiking and help with an animal rescue out of Los Angeles, California.