Volleyfit UK

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Volleyfit UK

TRAINING

Flexibility training is perhaps the most undervalued component of conditioning. While recent and ongoing debate questions its role in injury prevention, athletes can still gain much from a stretching regime.

From a volleyball spike to a rugby drop kick, flexibility of the body’s muscles and joints play an integral part in many athletic movements.

In general terms, flexibility has been defined as the range of motion about a joint and its surrounding muscles during a passive movement. Passive in this context simple means no active muscle involvement is required to hold the stretch. Instead gravity or a partner provides the force for the stretch.

Developing Resilience to injury: By increasing the joint range of motion, performance may be enhanced and the risk of injury reduced. The rationale for this is that a limb can move further before an injury occurs.

Optimizing performance: Along with improving flexibility you develop your balance and focus. All three elements are crucial to sound movement and mechanics and to optimize your performance

Achieving longevity in sport: A lack of ability to bend easily is generally what ages us as athletes, but if we maintain or increase our flexibility, we build foundation that allows us to grow and improve for many seasons to come

Static stretching often feels good and can be relaxing, but static stretching isn’t always necessary. Only static stretch with a purpose. If you already have adequate flexibility, you are probably wasting your time. In fact, overly lengthened muscles can lead to problems such as muscular imbalances, thrown off muscular firing patterns, and possibly injury.

An increase in flexibility may come at the expense of giving up stability or explosive power necessary for your volleyball performance.

A flexibility deficiency rarely occurs in isolation. Flexibility is usually related to a deficiency in strength and sometimes posture. Tight athletes have been known to significantly improve their flexibility just by participating in a balanced strength training program.

Sitting Toe Touch

Purpose:

To improve flexibility of the hamstrings and low back muscles.

Starting Position:

Sit with your torso vertical and legs straight.

Action:

Lean forward and grab your toes with your hands. Slightly pull the toes toward your upper body.

Coaching cues:

If you can’t reach your toes, you can use a rope to assist the stretch.

 

Flexibility training should be modified to meet the needs of each volleyball player. Players need to be specific about their flexibility training goals. While it may seem like a good thing to increase your flexibility, increasing flexibility through static stretching isn’t necessarily the best thing. Because of the nature of their sport, it’s generally more appropriate for volleyball players to focus on increasing dynamic flexibility and not so much on static flexibility.

Dynamic exercises stretch your muscles actively and awaken your nervous system. The muscle’s stretch reflex is activated during dynamic flexibility training. The stretch reflex is an important component of volleyball jump training or plyometrics. The purpose of plyometrics is basically to quickly stretch a muscle then contract it right away in order to utilize the muscles reflexive response to the stretch. Dynamic stretches help your neuromuscular system to function more efficiently which results in the better utilization of the stretch reflex. Dynamic stretching should be done prior to a plyometric workout to warm up your muscles and awaken your nervous system.

Forward Hand Walks

Hands walks are a great total body dynamic stretch exercise for volleyball.

Purpose:

To build stability and mobility at the shoulders while lengthening your hamstrings, calves, and low back muscles.

Starting Position:

Stand with your legs straight and your hands on the floor.

Action

While keeping your abs braced and your legs straight, walk your hands out. While still keeping your legs straight, walk your feet taking small steps back up to your hands.

Coaching cues:

When taking steps, you shouldn’t be using your quads or hips. Use your ankles to take small steps back up to your hands.

Speed is simply how fast you can move from point A to point B. For Beach volleyball, speed training in the form of short distance sprints is highly recommended to improve mobility and court coverage. How fast you get to the ball or net impacts the outcome of the came. Additionally, sprint training is an excellent way to begin transforming the strength developed in the gym into power, plyometric and agility on the sand.

Agility combines the elements of speed, power, reaction time and balance. To be successful on the beach you must develop and enhance this athletic ability.

You can perform this training at the end of an agility or plyometric workout to build or maintain speed and anaerobic conditioning.

  1. Warm up by jogging easily for 5-10 minutes
  2. Stretch , paying attention to the hamstrings, inner thighs, quads, hip flexor and carves
  3. Do a dynamic warm up consisting of 5 to 10 50-yard buildups, start with a low jog and gradually increase your speed so that you are near your maximum speed for the final 10 yards.
  4. Do 5 40-yards sprints. Each sprint is an all out effort. Rest 1 minute after each sprint by walking slowly and breathing deeply.
  5. Do 5 to 10 20-yard sprints, resting 45 seconds after each sprint.
  6. Do 5 to 15 10-yard sprints, resting 20 seconds after each. Start each string from push up position on the ground.
  7. Cool down with light walking for 5 to 10 minutes

Perform this workout once a week. The best way to motivate for this workout is to have a reliable and hard working partner.

To identify the agility demands of beach volleyball, try this experiment.

While watching a match, ignore the ball and just watch a single player. Take a note how the player moves during every point and side out. Jot down the number of direction changes, jumps, dives, blocks, sprints and so on. If you do this for several players in several matches, you’ll see some patterns. From understanding the movement patterns you can make an infinite number of drills. As beginner keep things simple with one or two movement patterns.

Example of Simple agility exercise:

Start in the middle of the court, face the net for the entire drill and move as fast as you can. From the middle of the court move left to the side line and back to the middle, move to the net and back to the middle, move right to the side line and back to the middle and at last move to the back line and finish in the middle of the court.

Typical game consists of about 100 rallies. Each team serves about 50 times. In preparation you need to anticipate the highest workload, so: expect to receive 50 balls that are 50 passes and 50 attack jumps, than 25 max jumps for jump serve and 25 more on the block when your partner is serving. That is total of 100 max jumps per game and if you are in the losers bracket that could end up more than 600 max jumps in one day.

The last thing you need is to cut training short or lose game just because you are too tired to think, act or learn!

Strength is the ability to produce maximal force. Superior performance levels cannot be achieved without the development of strength. Developing strength by weight training for volleyball is an important component of conditioning for volleyball. Strength comes in many forms and is more complex than the basic idea of developing force tension within a muscle.

Beach Volleyball places great demand on both the upper and lower limbs due to the repeated actions of jumping, diving and hitting overhead. Without good strength base, your joints will take more of a pounding than necessary.

To truly benefit from strength training, you need to understand why you are working out. The ultimate goal is to improve your performance on the sand. Correct strength training provides you with a stronger, more powerful body to perfect game skills.

We recommend working with a qualified strength coach/personal trainer in your gym to create and follow a yearly training plan. A strength coach/personal trainer is best qualified to plan your workout appropriate to your needs.

Plyometrics or jump training volleyball exercises should be done quickly with the purpose of training muscles to be more powerful. The purpose of jump training is to train the muscles to pre-stretch before jumping. During this pre-stretch, energy is stored in the muscle which can be used to jump higher.

For example, when performing a counter movement prior to jumping, elastic energy is stored in the muscles of the legs. If the counter movement is performed quickly, the energy that’s stored can be used to aid in jumping higher. If the counter movement is performed too slowly, the energy will be lost.

The intensity of volleyball exercises or jumping drills refers to how much stress is placed on muscles, connective tissues, and joints.

Two Foot Ankle Hops

  • Direction of Jump: Vertical
  • Starting Position: Stand with a comfortable stance with feet shoulder width apart.
  • Beginning Movement: Begin the jump with a slight counter movement.
  • Upward Movement: Hop up moving primarily at the ankle joint.
  • Downward Movement: Land in the starting position and immediately hop back up.

Forward Skip

  • Direction of Jump: Horizontal and Vertical
  • Starting Position: Start with one leg raised up to 90 degree hip and knee flexion.
  • Arm Action: Reciprocal arm action. As one leg is lifted, raise the opposite arm.
  • Beginning Movement: Start with a countermovement on one leg.
  • Upward Movement: Jump up and forward off of one leg. The opposite leg should remain in a flexed position until landing.
  • Downward Movement: Land and repeat the skip with the opposite leg.

Skip with Kickback

  • Direction of Jump: Vertical and Horizontal
  • Starting Position: Start with one leg raised up to 90 degree hip and knee flexion.
  • Arm Action: Reciprocal arm action. As one leg is lifted, raise the opposite arm.
  • Beginning Movement: Start with a countermovement on one leg.
  • Upward Movement: Jump up and forward on one leg. This just like a regular skip except this time kick your top leg back.
  • Downward Movement: Land and repeat the skip with the opposite leg.

Double Leg Vertical Jump

  • Direction of Jump: Vertical
  • Arm Action: Double arm action.
  • Starting Position: Stand with a comfortable stance with feet shoulder width apart.
  • Beginning Movement: Start by swinging your arms back and perform a countermovement.
  • Upward Movement: Explosively jump up, using both arms to reach up high.
  • Downward Movement: Landing in the starting position.

Lateral Cone Hops

  • Direction of Jump:  Vertical and lateral.
  • Starting Position:  Stand with a comfortable stance, feet shoulder width apart next to a cone.
  • Beginning Movement: Perform a countermovement hopping sideways over the cone.
  • Upward Movement: Hop explosively up and over the cone.
  • Downward Movement:  Land on the other side and the cone and quickly hop back over the cone.

Split Squat Jump

  • Direction of Jump:  Vertical
  • Arm Action: Double arm action.
  • Starting Position: Stand in a lunge position with one leg forward (hip and knee joints at 90 degrees) and the back leg behind the midline of the body.
  • Beginning Movement: Start with a countermovement.
  • Upward Movement:  Explosively jump up emphasizing maximum height.
  • Downward Movement:  When landing, maintain the lunge position. Immediately repeat the jump.

Double Leg Tuck Jump

  • Direction of Jump: Vertical
  • Starting Position: Stand with a comfortable stance with feet shoulder width apart.
  • Beginning Movement: Start with a countermovement.
  • Upward Movement: Explosively jump up, bringing your knees to your chest.
  • Downward Movement: Land in the starting position and immediately jump back up.

Double Leg Butt Kick

  • Direction of Jump: Vertical
  • Starting Position: Stand on the ground in a comfortable stance with feet shoulder width apart.
  • Beginning Movement: Start with a countermovement.
  • Upward Movement: Explosively jump up, bringing your feet to your butt.
  • Downward Movement: Land in the starting position and immediately jump back up.

Single Leg Vertical Jump

  • Direction of Jump: vertical
  •  Arm Action:  Double arm action.
  •  Starting Position: Stand on the ground in a comfortable upright stance.
  •  Beginning Movement: Start by swinging your arms back and performing a countermovement.
  • Upward Movement: Explosively jump up using your arms to assist. Emphasizing maximum height and reach high.
  •  Downward Movement: Land in the starting position and repeat the jump using the same leg. Allow recovery between jumps. After a rest, repeat jumps with the opposite   leg.

When performing depth jumps, time spent on the ground should be kept at a minimum. Intensity may be increased by increasing the height of the box. First, start with a box 12 inches high. When you can depth jump up to the same height as the box, you can increase box height. Squat Depth Jumps and Depth Jumps are the most intense plyometric volleyball exercises and should only be attempted by advanced athletes.

Squat Depth Jump

  • Direction of Jump: Vertical
  • Starting Position: Stand on the box near the edge in a comfortable upright stance.
  • Beginning Movement: Step off the box.
  • Downward Movement: Land on the floor in a squat position, 90 degrees hip and knee flexion.
  • Upward Movement: After landing, jump up as high as possible then land in the same squat position.
  • When stepping from the box, don’t step down or jump up off the box because this would change the height from which the exercise will be performed.

Depth Jump

  • Direction of Jump: Vertical
  • Starting Position: Stand on the box near the edge in a comfortable upright stance.
  • Beginning Movement: Step off the box.
  •  Downward Movement: Land on the ground with both feet.
  • Upward Movement: Upon touchdown, immediately jump up as high as possible.

Note: All the plyometric volleyball exercises that involve using the arms to aid in jumping higher can also be done without using the double arm action.