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Increase Your Vertical for Volleyball
Big and small work outs to help you jump higher
Why it is important
In volleyball, great emphasis is put on being able to jump high. It allows you to spike over or around a block, put the ball down faster and harder, and increases your chances of blocking the other team. If you can jump high and have at least average skills, you are practically guaranteed a spot in the front row. Your skills can be worked on... increasing your vertical takes a lot of time and dedication.
There are many opportunities in practice to increase your vertical that you may not even be aware of. One example is if you are a front row player, especially middle blocker, make sure you block every hit with the intention to block. This means jumping as high was you can and reaching, practicing good blocking form. In practice, many times people will go up just because they are supposed to, and it's great if they get a block. Focus on getting to your spot quickly and planting so you can jump with as much power as possible. This is a simple way to increase your vertical while improving your game and stats at the same time. During warm ups, if any stretch involves jumping, don't just do it to do it. JUMP! Simple things that often get skipped at practice that really can help you.
Small things you can do at home
In order to increase your vertical, you need to be vigilant about your work outs. There are a number of ways to improve without doing much work, but don't count on huge results unless you truly are putting in a lot of time and effort. One of the first things to do is to make a schedule of when you can work on your jumps. Say every Monday and Friday for 30 minutes after you get home from practice you will do a few small exercises focused solely on your vertical. A few exercises you could do:
- Lunges back and forth through your hallway
- Skipping around the house, aiming for maximum height
- Calf presses on stairs or any steps in your house
- Going in your back yard or garage and working on your approach or blocking by hitting something at the top of your reach (gutter? ceiling?) 10-20 times as fast as you can
- Squats in your living room
- Finding one of your mom's old workout videos for firm buns and legs... this can be a fun group activity as well :)
All of these small exercises have potential to increase your vertical, and that potential is greatly increased by adding weights to some of the exercises.Try coming up with your own. Find the ones that work for you and do them. Add variety to your workouts, do them with teammates, and you will have a lot of fun!
Big things you can do at the gym
The most effective way of increasing your vertical will be to use weights. Talk to your coach and see if your team can get into the weight room at your school, or try to get discounted memberships at a local gym. Practice using proper form for all workouts. This will lower your risk of injury and make your effort much more effective. There should be posters at your school or instructions on machines demonstrating the proper way to use them. Follow the directions. If you aren't sure how to use a machine, ask someone who does. If you can't find anyone that knows, skip that machine and move on to another one. Great lifts to do in the weight room are
- Squats. Adding light weights will allow you to increase your repetitions while heavier weights will test your limits
- Leg extensions will help build muscle in your thigh area and your glutes
- Leg presses are also great for working on your explosiveness
- Dead lift is another great exercise with weights that will work out your whole lower half
*Anytime you are working with weights, have a spotter or two. No matter how strong you think you are, something might happen where you need a spotter. Plus, they are good for motivation.
Just look around your gym for more exercises. Along with all of these lower body workouts, incorporate upper body strength as well as core strength. You should start training at LEAST a month before try-outs, getting your body in prime shape. Once season comes, focus will be on volleyball, not getting everyone to jump high, so it is best to start soon and keep it maintained as time goes on.
Where do you work-out?
If nothing else, remember these
- Get on a schedule
- Small work outs CAN be effective if you don't have time
- Adding even small weights can make a difference
- Keep reminders of why you want to jump higher, so you don't lose motivation
- Aim for a specific goal, such as I want to have a vertical of 28 inches. That way, you can measure your success
And last but not least...
- Drink chocolate milk after your workout! Studies have been done that show drinking chocolate milk after your workout helps your muscles repair themselves! And what a nice treat...
Good luck on your quest to a higher vertical!