Summer is the most important training time for female volleyball athletes, says Jason Roberson, strength and conditioning coordinator for Ball State University. “It’s their preseason,” he emphatically states. “If you take two, three months off right before the season starts, your body is not physically prepared.”
And according to Roberson, every volleyball training program should include three core lifts: Squats, Pull-Ups and Push-Ups. He says, "Our women’s volleyball team does a very basic workout, but we’re trying to build as much strength as possible in as short an amount of time as possible. The reason why those three exercises are perfect is because they work everything in the body. A Squat controls everything lower body, and when you add external load, now you’re involving the upper torso.”
He continues, “The Pull-Up, you’re doing everything posterior. You’re controlling the shoulder girdle and pulling the shoulders down and in, so the athlete has good shoulder integrity. A Push-Up is all anterior body strength, which volleyball players need because they spend a lot of time in an extended position.”
At this point in the summer, the Cardinals, 2010 regular season Mid-American Conference champions, having built their strength levels earlier in the preseason, have progressed to more advanced variations of these exercises. Tempo Squats, for example, increase the players’ work-to-rest ratios so they'll be in peak condition at the start of the fall season. Weighted Pull-Ups and Push-Ups are performed in low volumes—three or four reps per set—helping the athletes generate more power and explosiveness on the court. “They don’t hit the ball 15 times in a row; they hit it once and they hit as powerfully as possible,” Roberson says.
That's not all from the Ball State. Check back to learn about auxiliary lifts the Cardinals incorporate into their preseason workouts. In the meantime, view STACK TV's Volleyball Channel, sponsored by ASICS.