13 Volleyball Exercises You Can Do at Home
Home volleyball exercises have become far more popular because of social distancing. While this is a new phenomenon, the need to work out alone at home isn’t.
There are plenty of instances that dictate the necessity of an at-home workout.
If you don’t have access to a gym, are on a break from school, or if it’s the offseason, you’ll likely need to stay in shape without the help of coaches or trainers.
It’s important to note the difference between simply working out and working out with the intent of improving your volleyball skills.
Focusing your workout on the sport you’re playing is key to gaining an edge over your opponents.
Your at-home volleyball exercises should focus on the particular physical requirements of the game:
The workouts contained here will be geared toward improving all of those attributes.
All of these exercises can be done at home with limited equipment. And we’ve organized them by area of focus:
- Upper body
- Lower body
The Importance of Warming Up
The first step to a successful at-home workout of any kind is the warmup.
Nothing derails your fitness routine faster than an injury. Even small strains can hamper your best performance and lead to diminishing returns on your workout time.
A warmup serves a couple of purposes.
- It allows your joints, ligaments, and muscles the opportunity to slowly loosen and stretch. This helps avoid injury.
- A warmup gets your “mind right.” Jumping right into a workout can be shocking to your system and could cause a lack of focus on the task at hand.
Your warmup doesn’t need to be complicated. However, it should encompass every part of the body.
It’s a common mistake to only attend to the body parts that will be used during your workout. Even if you’re exercising your lower body, your upper body is involved.
Set aside one-third of your intended workout time for warming up--if you’re working out for 30 minutes, plan to use 10 minutes for your warmups.
This may sound excessive but the time pales in comparison to how long it can take to recover from even minor injuries. Also, consider that your warmup can help your volleyball skills by encouraging flexibility.
The warmup should consist of stretching and slow muscle engagement.
Focus on stretching your chest and shoulders for your upper body. Lower body stretches should include the ankles, calves, hamstrings, groin, and hips.
Volleyball Exercises for Agility
All agility workouts should be done in sets of three. Three sets of each exercise equal one round. Perform three rounds as part of a cross-training workout.
1. Stair Toe Taps
This workout can be done at the bottom of a set of stairs or anywhere with something for you to tap your toes on. The goal is to stand near the step and tap the toes of each foot repeatedly, alternating as if you were running.
Perform the drill for 30 seconds with a 15-second break between sets.
2. The Invisible Ladder
This drill is akin to the rope ladder drills but without the ladder. Start in an athletic stance and rapidly step in and out of the invisible ladder alternating feet.
Perform for 30 seconds with a 15-second break between sets.
Perform the ladder first by moving feet out then in. Next, perform the ladder by moving feet forward then back.
3. The Jump Rope
Using a jump rope is one of the most comprehensive workouts a volleyball player can do. It works the upper and lower body while encouraging good conditioning.
Perform each of the following for 30 seconds with 15 seconds of rest between movements (one round equals one set):
- Two footed jumps
- Right footed jumps
- Left-footed jumps
- Cross handed rope (two-footed)
- Fast jumps
Volleyball Exercises for Lower Body Strength
For a lower body focus day, perform four rounds. For a cross-training day, perform three rounds. One set of all suggested exercises is one round.
4. The Classic Lunge
The lunge is a simple, yet remarkably effective lower body strength exercise. Lunges work nearly every muscle in the legs while activating the core and lower back.
Do 10 lunges per side, alternating throughout the exercise. The lunge starts in a standing stance with good posture. Extend the left leg forward forming a 90-degree angle at the knee. The right leg should stretch with its knee nearly touching the ground.
For alignment, your front knee should be directly over the ankle on that leg. Use the forward leg to explode up and back to a standing position. Each rep should be with the opposite leg.
20 total lunges (10 per side) equal a set.
5. The Bodyweight Squat
This squat requires no equipment but still effectively strengthens the knees, quadriceps, hamstrings, and hips. As with most of these exercises, the core and back are also involved.
Start the drill with good standing posture and your feet just wider than your shoulders. Maintain your posture as you bend your knees and bring your behind toward the floor.
Squat as far as you can while keeping your knees “still” (not letting them bow in or out). Push back up through the heels and knees to return to a standing position.
Add an explosion into a jump for increased effort. Pay attention to landing squarely to avoid injury.
20 squats = 1 set.
6. The Wall Sit
This might be the most classic volleyball exercise of all time. You’ll see volleyball players doing wall sits at every level of play. This move builds your quads, hamstrings, core, and mental strength.
A set equals 30 seconds, increasing in duration as it becomes less challenging.
Position yourself with a flat back against an open space of a wall. Slide down until your knees are bent at 90 degrees. Now stay there. This is a great exercise to improve your mental toughness.
For alignment, your knees should be positioned directly over your ankles.
30 seconds or full time equals a set.
Volleyball Exercises for Upper Body Strength
For an upper-body focus day, perform four rounds. For a cross-training day, perform three rounds. One set of all suggested exercises is one round.
7. The Pushup
This classic calisthenic movement works the arms, abdominal muscles, chest, hips, glutes, and some leg muscles.
Start in a standard plank position. Bend the elbows to lower your entire body to the ground then use your arms to return to a standard plank. The core and back muscles are vital to keeping your body aligned while lowering.
Ten reps equal a set.
8. The Dip
The triceps are an oft-forgotten part of the all-important arm strength required in volleyball. The dip works them along with the pectoralis minor, which increases the power needed to hit and pass with pace.
This exercise requires a low table (coffee table) or a couch.
Backed up to the item with your hands at your sides, lower down so your hands are behind you and your knees are bent at 90 degrees.
Your fingers should be pointed toward your butt and your arms should be extended, holding yourself up. Lower down with your elbows close to your sides. Don’t let your butt touch the ground. And then push back up to full arm extension.
8 reps = 1 set.
9. The Burpee
If the wall sit is the most classic volleyball exercise, the burpee is the most dreaded. This exercise manages to work nearly every muscle in your body (including the ones in your face when you grimace).
Start with a good standing posture. Bend forward, putting your hands on the floor while jumping your feet back to form a standard plank. Now do a pushup. Then jump your feet forward near your hands and move back to standing (add an explosive jump for additional challenge).
8 reps = 1 set.
Volleyball Exercises for Core Strength
For a core-focused day, perform four rounds. For a cross-training day, perform three rounds. One set of all suggested exercises is one round.
10. The Plank
This exercise strengthens all facets of the core, including the back muscles. To enter the standard plank position, get into the top of a pushup.
For alignment, your elbows should be under your shoulders. Your back should be straight and abdominal muscles should be active for support.
30 seconds equals a set.
11. The Russian Twist
The obliques can be difficult to target. This exercise does the trick.
Sit on the floor, as if you’re going to do a sit-up with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground. Lift your feet off the ground with your knees moving toward your chest. Your torso will lean back. Now twist, reaching both hands toward the floor on the sides of your body, moving back and forth.
30 seconds equals a set.
12. The Abdominal Crunch
This common core exercise is great to strengthen the core of your core – your middle tummy.
Lay flat on your back with knees bent at an angle that allows your feet to be flat on the ground. Hands should be placed behind your head.
Curl up toward the knees by squeezing and activating your abdomen. Do NOT use your hands to pull your head up – just use your abdominal muscles to contract your body upward.
30 reps equal a set.
13. The Leg Lift
Performing the leg lift will target the lower abdomen while strengthening the muscles that support your hips and groin.
Lay flat on your back and place arms (palms down) flat by your sides. Lift your legs with feet as close together as possible to hover a few inches above the ground. From there, lift both legs until your feet are facing the ceiling or sky. Lower them down to the hovering position.
12 reps equal a set.