Without question, volleyball players who are serious about their games have asked this question more than once in their careers: “How can I jump higher?”
This group of exercises, taught by Art of Coaching fitness editor Marie Zidek, will not only help you work on your elevation, it will also make you more stable on takeoff and landing, which will reduce your injury risk.
For each of the exercises, Marie, who is an assistant coach at the University of San Diego and a certified strength and conditioning specialist, demonstrates proper form and explains the benefits.
1. Front and back hurdles
This is a basic injury prevention exercise that tests your ability to jump forward and backward over an object in a controlled way.
2. Single-leg hurdle jumps
This is similar to the 2-legged jumps except you hop on one foot at a time. Single leg jumps are common in volleyball, so it’s important to train players to be able to withstand them in the safest way possible.
3. Side-to-side hurdles
Similar to front and back hurdles except you're jumping side to side, with both feet and also with one foot. This is a good exercise for helping you maintain good form and balance with your knees, feet, ankles, etc., so you're less vulnerable to injury.
4. Single-leg hurdle bounds with sprint
This exercise requires the athlete to do single leg jumps over 3 hurdles and then sprint to a finish line. Like several other exercises in this workout, this one helps train players to jump with safe, balanced form that puts them in a better position to make a good play.
5. Two-legged hurdle bounds
Instead of hopping over 3 hurdles on one foot, you jump 3 in this exercise on both feet. This is ideal for kids or players who are very new to fitness and volleyball. It's a great building block for the more challenging jump training exercises in this workout that can be done after a strength base is established.
6. Depth jumps over a hurdle
This exercise consists of a step down and then a 2-legged hurdle jump. It’s particularly good training for the last 2 steps of your hitting approach, which involves a very similar movement.
7. Depth jump with front and side hurdle
This is for more advanced jumpers and athletes. It involves 3 moves: a step down, a forward hurdle and a side jump. It's great training for staying strong on multiple jumps, which is frequently required in volleyball.
8. Depth jump with fanned out hurdle
As Marie points out in the video, it’s always better for volleyball players to land on 2 feet rather than one, but the reality is, it doesn’t always happen. This exercise, which involves a step down and hurdle jumps to one side and then the other with single-foot landings, helps players become stronger for plays when they can’t land on both feet.