All volleyball players want to improve their vertical jump. However, the process to making these improvements seems to be a mystery. The internet is polluted with non-sense when it comes to “vertical training,” which causes athletes to be working hard but not making any real improvements. It does not need to be that complicated!
To increase your vertical you need to become more powerful relative to your body weight. In scientific terms, your body needs to learn how to quickly innervate a larger percentage of your total fast twitch muscle fibers.
If you are a weak athlete, you need to get stronger. Do not worry about plyometrics, focus on moving weight (or body weight) from point “A” to point “B” with good technique. Focus on making small, progressive improvements in the weight you are using in your exercises. By doing this you will teach your body how to more efficiently recruit a higher percentage of your total muscle fibers.
By getting stronger relative to your body weight you will notice your vertical will start to improve. However, you will eventually plateau and getting additional improvements in your vertical jump needs to come from two areas:
- Becoming a better technical jumper
- Increasing your overall power
The video below demonstrates an intermediate to advanced plyometric routine that will help you become a more powerful jumper and also better technically. Perform this routine after a good warm up and before you start lifting weights.
This routine is designed for currently healthy volleyball players that do not have lingering injuries or any major mobility restrictions. To get the most out of plyometric training it is recommended that you have performed at least a couple months of focused strength training.
Whenever performing plyometric exercises you need to focus on the quality of your movement. Pay close attention to the technical cues given in the video.
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Outline of the plyometric routine:
Single Leg Drop to Load- 2 sets of 4 reps per leg
*** box 8 to 16 inches, if you are new to training use a box that is closer to 8 inches
*** toes hit the ground followed by heels and immediately descend into a semi squat
*** land soft and contract your abs and glutes (squeeze your butt cheeks together) to stabilize
*** alternate which foot you step off with
Explosive Get Ups- 3 sets of 3 reps
*** if you are new to training, leave this exercise out of the routine
*** place a mat under your knees
*** Back angle at 45 degrees and arms are loaded behind your back
*** focus on a powerful arm drive
Power Jumps- 3 sets of 5 reps
*** Arms start overhead pull your arms down while you are simultaneously pushing your butt back and prepare your back angle to 45 degrees (loaded position)
*** Land soft, knees track in-line with toes (knees should be pushed out slightly)
Foot Elevated Single Leg Box Jumps- 3 sets of 3 reps per leg
*** if you are new to training perform step ups instead
*** if you are performing Foot Elevated Single Leg Box Jumps perform 2 warm up sets of 8 reps per leg of Step Ups
*** the lower the box used the easier the exercise is
*** start with a box that is approximately knee height, as you gain comfort and start feeling powerful you can increase the height of the box
*** make sure your entire foot is on the box and you are driving the power through your heel
*** you should be landing 6 to 12 inches away from the box
*** the box should not slide forward
Step Ups- 3 sets of 8 reps
*** If you are new to training perform Step Ups instead of Foot Elevated Single Leg Box Jumps
*** make sure that your entire foot is placed on the box and you drive all the power through your heel that is placed on the box
*** start with a box that is approximately knee height, if this is easy then increase the height of the box
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