STACK Summer Training Guide: Volleyball

June 1, 2012 | Featured in the Summer 2012 Issue

Must See Volleyball Videos


Designed by:
Bryan McCall, CSCS, director of Michael Johnson Performance Training at SPIRE Institute John Hawks, director and head volleyball coach at SPIRE Institute, former head coach of the U.S. Men's Junior National Team

Program Goals

The elite volleyball athlete is explosive and possesses the ability to generate force through the ground while remaining quick and flexible. This volleyball training program will improve all facets of athleticism, but especially strength, by combining traditional lifting with different rep ranges and schemes. This leads to more stability when moving side to side to set up attacks and more power when striking the ball. The program is focused on building a total athlete, so every characteristic—speed, strength, skill, sensory, stamina and suppleness—is worked in each session. We work the body in this way to overcome the effects of repetitive, "sportspecific" volleyball movements by developing balanced muscle strength and full range of motion.

Three Things

Here are three keys to keep in mind as you get into our volleyball program.

Don't Overtrain

If you're feeling burned out, try some short circuits, or do yoga or Pilates as a change of pace. Think of improvement as a steady process, measured in small increments, not something you accomplish with one or two workouts. With traditional lifting, perform some lighter sets or an entire lightweight workout every few weeks just to keep your body fresh. Many physical therapists suggest that athletes who sometimes train beneath their maximum capacity recover more effectively. Accept the fact that you can't go to failure on every set. Low-intensity and low-impact training help the body heal itself. Your nervous system's ability to recover influences your ability to continue training explosively. If you are not fully recovered before a new session, you might feel lethargic and lack energy.

Build a Base First

A core tenet of the program is to maximize physical attributes like speed and strength before expecting dramatic performance results on the volleyball court. Athletes will improve their basic jumping, running and rotational abilities before worrying about how to improve their serve. Obviously, practice your on court skills a few times each week, but focus on improving as an athlete first.

The Power of Circuits

At various points during the eightweek program, you'll perform supersets or circuits, exercises performed one after another without rest. These will not only increase your power and strength, they will also improve your muscular endurance. You're essentially training your body to respond better to stimuli when you're challenged late in matches.

Download the complete summer volleyball workout from the STACK Performance Center.

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