Volleyball Leg Workout
Playing volleyball requires upper and lower body movements. Lower body movements include shuffling, jumping and maintaining proper stance throughout the game. Training and conditioning programs should include exercises to improve lower body muscular strength and endurance. Exercises for power — the ability to generate force as quickly as possible — should be added after a strength base has been obtained. In addition to strength and endurance gains, lower body training enables the body to endure repetitive skill training and avoid overuse injuries.
The squat is a compound exercise that targets your buttocks and quadriceps, the muscles in the front of your thighs. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Begin the exercise by bending your knees and lowering your body until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Keep your abdomen contracted to avoid arching your back. Continue the exercise by squeezing your buttocks and thighs, lifting your body back up to the starting position. To increase exercise intensity, hold dumbbells in your hands with your arms extended at your sides. Complete three to four sets of 12 to 15 repetitions.
Knee Tuck Jumps
The tuck jump is a plyometric exercise for lower body power to increase vertical jumping ability. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Start the exercise by bending your knees and lowering your body to a squat position. Continue by pushing off the ground, jumping up, first with your legs extended. As you are airborne, bend your knees and pull them up toward your chest. As you land, first extend your legs as your feet touch the ground. Then quickly bend your knees as you lower your body to absorb the impact. Complete two to three sets of 10 to 15 repetitions.
Stability Ball Hamstring Curl
This exercise targets your hamstring, the opposing muscle to your quadriceps and your buttocks. Lie on your back with your legs extended, placing your ankles on the top of a stability ball. Extend your arms out to the side placing your palms on the floor. Begin the exercise by lifting your hips off the floor, bringing your hips in alignment with your lower body. Contract your abdomen to avoid arching your back. Continue the exercise by pushing your heels into the ball, bending your knees and pulling your heels and the ball toward your hips. Hold and then extend your knees, returning to the starting position. Complete three to four sets of 12 to 15 repetitions.
This exercise strengthens your calves, the muscles that push down on the floor in order to propel your body up in a jumping motion. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Begin by pushing down on the balls of your feet, lifting your heels up as high as possible. Hold and then slowly lower your body back to the starting position. For increased intensity, add weight by holding a set of dumbbells in your hands with your arms extended to your thighs. Complete three to four sets of 12 to 15 repetitions.
(image: Roman Kruchinin)