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Hey Fitness Stack Exchange

I'm looking for some good exercises and maybe even a basic workout plan I can do a few times a week to help develop my body for Volleyball. I've found a few good resources online but I was hoping for something a little more beginner friendly. I do have access to a fitness center in my apartment and I have done weightlifting before but never with such a specific goal in mind.

Here are a few of the links that I found that seem promising:

Thanks!

Edit: I've compiled my own workout since it seems it would be easier to critique that instead of asking someone to come up with something from scratch.

Volleyball Workout

Warmup - Cardio, endurance

  • Light cardio - 5 minutes
    • Stairclimber
    • Jog

Movement - Jumping, agility

  • Jump rope - 2x
    • Two feet - 1m
    • One foot - 30s each
    • Cross - 1m
    • Rest 1m
  • Box jumps - 2x30s
    • Rest 15s
  • Shuffle - 2x30s
    • Rest 15s

Lower - Glutes, hamstrings, quads, hips

  • Wall sit - 3x45s
  • Dumbbell squat to press - 3x20
  • Good mornings - 3x10
  • Lateral lunge with a press - 3x20

Upper - Chest, biceps, triceps

  • Push-ups - 3x10
  • Bicep curl with overhead press - 3x10
  • Bench press - 3x10
  • Tricep pulldown - 3x10
  • Shoulders - 3x10
    • Shrugs, pulldown, machine

Core - Abs, obliques

  • Plank - 2x30s
  • Russian twist - 2x30s
  • Crunches - 2x20
  • Leg raise - 2x12
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    I think there are too many excercises here. For instance I think push-ups, bench-press and tricep pulldown could be replaced by one exercise. If you can do less than 20 push-ups that exercise could be push-ups. If you can do more than 20 that exercise could be shoulder width grip benchpress. I would do an ordinary overhead press instead of a bicep curl with overhead press. The biceps will get sufficiently trained by lat pull downs anyway. Also I would alternate between bench-press and overhead press. I.e. not on the same day. Have a look at how Starting Strength does this.
    – Andy
    Jun 3 at 15:47
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    One thing that is easy to do is to first do a set of heavy squats, then take a ca. 2 minutes break, then do some box jumps, then take a ca. 2 minutes break and then repeat for 3 sets. Potentiation or contrast training I think they call this. Also I do think that adding one or two core exercises to Starting Strength would be a good idea. Starting Strength advocates often argue that "someone deadlifting 600 lbs have a stronger core than anyone doing planks". For sure, but someone dealifting 600 lbs also probably weighs a lot more, which should not be an advantage in volleyball.
    – Andy
    Jun 3 at 16:36
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    For sports such as volleyball where you're not required to push any weight other than your own body, you're focus should solely be on increasing athleticism, explosiveness, agility, speed, and mobility. Quit focusing on powerlifting/hypertrophy. plyometrics such as medicine ball slams, rotational ball slams, box jumps. Explosive and speed exercises can be added, and with this youll gain some functional muscle too. A must for athletes is to work on mobility such as rotator cuff strength or hip flexibility. for box jumps, focus on controlled, high box jumps, increasing box height as you go
    – Ace Cabbie
    Jun 6 at 19:11
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    @Ace Cabbie: In order to jump high; your own bodyweight must represent a sub maximal squat. Say you can squat only 0.5 x your bodyweight. That means that you can potentially accelerate at only 0.5 g. Say you can instead squat 1.5 x your bodyweight. In this case you can potentially accelerate at 1.5 g. Going from a 0.5 x bodyweight to a 1.5 x bodyweight squat should lead to a large improvement in vertical jump. As you get stronger than this the importance of getting even stronger drops.
    – Andy
    Jun 6 at 20:56
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    Ok. again, im just commenting, im not providing a well researched answer. Feel free to answer the question if you know a lot about it
    – Ace Cabbie
    Jun 8 at 3:47

1 Answer 1

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Disclaimer: I am no expert and most of this is from what I have read.

Many physical qualities are important for a top athlete. However maximal strength is a foundation and prerequisite for other qualities such as speed and jumping abilities (1): enter image description here

Top athletes are already very strong. The strength that may have taken two days of strength training (per muscle) to develop can probably be maintained by 1 day of strength training a week.(2) They therefore have recovery they can spend on other qualities. For instance they may do a lot of plyometrics. Top athletes typically have very complex training programs that target all qualities in the pyramid. That does not mean that an aspiring athlete should train this way. "A lack of maximal strength limits one's power potential. Having a strength foundation allows you to make the most of your plyometric, sprint, and agility progressions."(1) So if an aspiring athlete is not strong he/she should prioritize maximal strength. If a very good vertical jump is important you should in particular aim for a back squat >= 1.5 x bodyweight (4).

You mentioned that you have already done the Starting Strength (SS) program. This should be an excellent way to build the bottom layer of the pyramid. I think athletes should do it with power cleans (to develop explosive power) (or trapbar jumps) and not bent over rows.

You must decide if the base of your pyramid is wide enough i.e. you are strong enough. If so you can cut back on max strength work and focus on developing power and speed. I found a strength program for professional volleyball players (3). It includes some of the lifts from SS: squat, bench press and power clean. It also includes a lot of plyometric exercises.

For a simple program I would suggest you adapt and modify the SS program slightly:

A

  • Squat 5 reps x 3 sets @ 85 % of 1 RM
  • Press/Bench Press 5 reps x 3 sets (alternating)
  • Deadlift 5 reps x 1 set/Power Clean 3 reps x 5 sets (alternating)

B

  • Jumping squat 5 reps x 3 sets @ 25 % of 1 RM
  • Press/Bench Press 5 reps x 3 sets (alternating)
  • Chin-ups

Both days you can warm up by jumping rope. You can also do some box jumps before the squats. The principle is that in a workout the more explosive exercises go before the max strength exercises.

Assuming that you could benefit from getting a bit stronger I suggest you do A and and B once a week + probably one day of plyometric exercises and agility exercises. On the plyometrics day you can also do some core exercises. And perhaps some lunges for knee stability.

For inspiration for a more complex program for a more advanced athlete take a look at (5).

(1) Strength in the Teenage Years: An Overlooked Long-Term Athletic Development Competitive Advantage

(2) How Much Training Is Necessary To Maintain Strength And Muscle?

(3) In-Season Resistance Training for Professional Male Volleyball Players

(4) Relationship between 1RM back squat test results and explosive movements in professional basketball players

(5) Off-Season Training For Athletes

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  • Oh this is awesome dude thank you so much! I'm very excited to start this ASAP. I do have a small question though. When I did SS I did not learn the power clean but I would totally be willing to learn from video or with some help from a trainer. In the meantime however would you be able to recommend an alternate exercise that's a little more beginner friendly? Again tyvm for the help!
    – Granto
    Jun 3 at 21:22

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