When you have to act fast in multiple directions in a sport like volleyball, you need to have good mobility in your calves, hips and spine. Otherwise, you end up with improper form that can lead to injury.
The following exercises can be incorporated into your daily warm-up to improve your lateral mobility for volleyball. Variations on a Lateral Lunge with 3-Way Reach, they increase mobility, strength and power.
With these drills, perfect form is crucial. If needed, start with a slow and shallow knee/hip bend and gradually build speed and range of motion. In other words, focus on your weak links or limiting factors.
Use your off-season training and in-season warm-up to practice volleyball-specific lateral mobility exercises. Your goal should be to build more range of motion than you may actually need in a game, so if you do have to go to max range, your body knows how to react properly.
Static Lateral Lunge with 3-way Reach
- Imagine yourself standing in center of a clock. With your left foot, lunge to the left side (9 o'clock).
- Keep your foot planted with your ankle, knee and hip slightly bent.
- 3-Way Reach: With each rep, reach to the outside of your left knee as you sit deeper into the Lunge. Reach with your left hand for 3 reps, then your right, then with both hands.
- Repeat with the right leg (at 3 o'clock).
- Point your toes forward or slightly rotated in.
- Allow your shin and knee to rotate down and in as you lunge.
- Stick your hips out and back, so that your glute stays outside your bent knee.
- Keep your opposite leg straight.
- Keep your back straight (good posture).
- Keep both heels flat.
- Start with your feet together in the center of the "clock."
- Lunge and reach to one side at the same time.
- Return to standing position between reps.
- When reaching with your left, right and both hands, reach to mid-shin height. This requires more hip mobility and strength.
- When reaching with your left, right and both hands, touch the ground. This requires even more hip mobility and strength.
Speed Lateral Lunges
- Follow the three slow, controlled Lunges with three quick, controlled Lunges.
Check out the video player above for extra tips on how to build better volleyball defense.