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  • Writer's pictureMichael Richards

5 simple things your Volleyball player can do everyday to get better

Michael Richards

ISSA Certified Strength Coach

Owner Elite Athletic Performance LLC

16 years of experience training athletes


Your Student Athlete; Should Do, Must Do, and Don’t

1) Monster Walks

Go to Academy Sports and get a set of SKLZ Mini Resistance Bands. Put one of the bands around the athletes knees (and one around the ankles if you wanna make it really tough). Basically keep the bands as tight as possible by spreading knees (and ankles if you choose) as far as possible and take off walking. Without going too deep into explanation I will keep it simple by saying volleyball players are notorious for lacking strength in the muscles that basically keep the knees from collapsing towards each other when jumping and landing. This is a huge problem for their knee health and honestly for jumping performance and we have to remedy it. that is where the monster walks come in

Walk 3-5 sets of approximately 30 yards with the bands

2) Depth Jumps

There are very few tools in a coaches toolbox more effective at building the vertical jumping ability than depth jumps. They are very simple, you drop off of an object such as a box, bench, couch, tailgate, etc. Upon landing, you (as quickly as possible) jump as high in the air as possible. Again in the respect of keeping things simple I will just say our bodies have an amazing ability to Store energy and use it as force in the opposite direction(If you care, google “Stretch Shortening Cycle”).

The problem is, the longer you wait after hitting the ground, the less of that energy you are able to use and after a couple of seconds you will lose that energy completely. So quickness of the jump is equally as important as how high you actually get off the ground when performing this drill. After a few weeks feel free to increase the heirs you are jumping from or hold something in your arms to add some resistance. Do 20 per day.

*Side Note: Don't do these in season. We do not train for increased performance during a competing season.

3) Single Leg Hip Thrusts

This is one of the most effective way to build The posterior chain or a.k.a. lower back but and hamstrings. The posterior chain is what I often referred to as the missing link and athletic performance it also basically serves as a mechanism to protect the knees. That’s a pretty watered down explanation but it will work.

Lying on the ground on your back with the bottoms of your feet flat on the ground, shins vertical, drive your feet into the ground picking your butt up off of the ground as high as it will go. Be careful not to arch your back, keep your spine nice and straight. If you hold that for 30-60 seconds, that is what some coaches call a Glute-Bridge Hold. You can do 4-5 sets of 60 seconds or as long as you can hold it. You can also thrust your hips, This what we call a Hip-Thrust, 4-5 sets for 20 reps. If you want to make it more challenging, perform the exercise one foot at a time foot at a time for the same

amount of sets and reps.

4) Dumbbell External Rotation

It doesn’t have to be with a dumbbell, you could use a can of soup honestly, it’s just about finding something that will challenge you.

This is taken from the baseball community, pretty much any pitcher that has done any type of rehab will know exactly what this is, it is a pretty simple movement but actually kind of difficult to explain verbally so I will just tell you to YouTube “Dumbbell External Rotations” and there will be about 5 million examples for you.

Why am I telling you to do this? Long story as short as I can make it, the rotator cuff‘s job is to keep the humerus (your upper arm bone) in place in the shoulder socket. When a volleyball player strikes a volleyball, particularly with one arm, it sends a shock wave down that arm and basically tries to rattle the humerus in the shoulder socket like a spoon being banged on the inside of a cup. That obviously is not healthy for a shoulder and it’s a great strain on weak rotator cuff’s so we need to strengthen them.

5) Vertical Lunges or Scissor Lunges

Jump straight up in the air and land on the ground in a launch position.

These are a phenomenal way to build a great deal of strength in a little amount of time. I am all about killing as many birds as possible with each stone and this one is a great example of that. I will spare all of my reasoning for that and just tell you this the body can only speed up what it can slow down this is a great exercise for building the proper amount of strength to decelerate the body when it hits the ground after jumping when you are strong enough to decelerate your self with your feet spread apart in a lunge position then landing with your feet closer together will be much easier and safer.

Pick up a copy of my book today! Click the link below for Kindle Version and Paperback available on Amazon!

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