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Forum.Volleyball.Com >> Main Forums >> Strategies & Techniques >> The Importance of Strength Training in Volleyball
The Importance of Strength Training in Volleyball
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A Forum Regular

Join Date: 9/9/2006
Posts: 14

Posted: 2/27/2009 12:27:06 PM

Hello Volleyballers... Please read and comment on this article. Keep this discussion going and add your comments...


Volleyball is a sport whose athletes must demonstrate explosive moves, agility, vertical jumps, strong hits and serves. Position rotation requires players to be well rounded and excel at all positions. Strength training will give them the edge needed to excel in this sport. Volleyball athletes will get the best results if they put into practice periodization of their training. Bompa (1993) defines, "Periodization is the process of varying a training program at regular time intervals to bring about optimal gains in physical performance. The goal of periodizing an exercise program is to optimize training during short (e.g., weeks, months) as well as long periods of time (e.g., years, a life time, or an athletic career). Using periodization, a competitive athlete is able to peak physical performance at a particular point in time, such as for a major competition."

Periodizing training should be broken up in four segments: Off-season, pre-season, in-season and post season.

Off-season is when the athlete focuses on building power, strength and endurance. This is where the foundation of their fitness will be established. Weight training to increase strength is the goal of this segment. The athlete wants a more powerful serve and ability to block and spike the ball. All muscle groups must be integrated into the exercise program along with flexibility and range of motion activities.

Pre-season exercises include the actual motions of the game bumping, setting, spiking, squatting, jumping, and rolling. The athlete has built the muscle strength in the off season and is now preparing her body to perform the tasks required by the game. Many practice matches will help her hone these skills.

In-season is when the off and pre-season activities begin to come to realization. The athlete will be at her peak abilities and make the most of the strength and agility she has acquired.

Post-season is the time the body needs to repair. After the in-season is completed, it is a good idea for the athlete to rest and relax for a few weeks before getting back into the off-season strength training.

Strength training is the key ingredient to creating the volleyball athlete. With it she will be stronger and more powerful in her jumps, spikes and serves. Periodizing her training is necessary to avoid injury and overexertion of crucial muscle groups. Volleyball is a sport that can be unforgiving to the person who does not take fitness and physical preparation seriously. Strength training should be considered for Volleyball players and any athletes who want to excel at their sport.

Bompa, T.O. Periodization of strength: the new wave in strength training. Toronto, ON: Veritas Publishing Inc., pg. 28, 1993.


Active Member

Join Date: 3/23/2009
Posts: 10

Posted: 3/23/2009 5:52:40 AM

I think they are incorrect about players needing to excel at all positions as it says in the second sentence. In the teams I have played with and coached, we do just the opposite. I don't want our middle blockers being a great setter. Since there are different positions, it is important to master the position. Sure, the position may require mastery of multiple skills, but I want them to master the position.

Since this article was written in 1993, that was also before the time of the Libero position that became international in 1998. With the libero position that usually comes in for the middle blocker on the back row, there is more specialization of positions than at the time of the writing of the article.


Active Member

Join Date: 7/22/2009
Posts: 15

Posted: 8/10/2009 5:25:15 PM

When you start playing volleyball, I agree that the players should be well rounded, because every player should learn basic technique, and later on the coach will pick apropriate position for each one of them. But when that happenes, I think every player should master his new position, and if he improves in some other areas, the better.
But the strength is very important, that is certain.

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Very Active Member

Join Date: 11/12/2006
Posts: 148
Location: Brisbane

Posted: 8/11/2009 11:01:46 PM

Yeah agree with Melito75. These days volleyball at an elite level, well doesn't even have to be an elite level, is all about specialisation of a position. Setters, Passer/Hitters, Middles, Libero's all have different and individual training needs and also different strength requirements.

I believe core strength is vitally important in all positions for volleyball, and this is for all levels and ages of the players. Sturdy core strength is a great foundation for any sport.

Agree with periodisation. Helps with peaking at the right time of the season


Join Date: 9/18/2009
Posts: 2
Location: Bergen, Norway

Posted: 9/18/2009 4:21:00 AM

These theorys are to some point right if you ask me, the importance of strenght training as a way of preventing injuries is not to be underestimated.

Hayden's Dad


Join Date: 3/11/2010
Posts: 9
Location: Cape Town, South Africa

Posted: 3/18/2010 1:42:07 PM

Hey there Volleyball Coaches. What would you guys recommend in terms of training for a 13 year old boy who wants to improve his VJ. I know playing the game helps, but are there any specific plyometric drills or other that you guys are using with your teams? Also would it be okay for a developing teenager to do plyometric drills and not run the risk of injury to the joints. My son is in the U15 Queensland (Aus) team and wants to take his game up a notch or two.

Please point my cursor in the direction of websites that I could look at.

Hayden's Dad


Very Active Member

Join Date: 11/12/2006
Posts: 148
Location: Brisbane

Posted: 3/19/2010 4:57:55 PM

Hey Hayden's Dad, One of your best sources of info is right under your nose... Matt and Adam (Hayden's state coaches), If the boys are training at Earnshaw tomorrow I have to go there to coach the 17 Women so I can have a chat to him and find out what he wants.

Otherwise.. have you searched Plyometric drills in google? Basic stuff such as skipping, box jumps, and bounding are a good start for young kids as it doesn't expose them to weights and when done properly, joints shouldn't suffer at all.
Hayden's Dad


Join Date: 3/11/2010
Posts: 9
Location: Cape Town, South Africa

Posted: 3/21/2010 8:29:00 AM

Hi Ezra. Wow, that would be fantastic I would really appreciate the assistance if someone of your skill level could chat to him.

No doubt his coaches mentioned above will also provide him with the guidence he requires. I coached U21s (Cape Town, South Africa) back in the 90s and wasnt sure if any further developments have taken place in the form of exercises required for improving jumping.

Thank you.

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