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8 Best Plyometric Exercises For Volleyball

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At the elite level, volleyball is played above the net. At both the college and professional level, the most sought after athletes are those with the highest spike reaches, as these players are more far more effective at spiking and blocking than their opponents.

Therefore, the bulk of any volleyballer’s strength and conditioning work should be centered around increasing their vertical jump.

The best vertical jump programs will prescribe a mixture of heavy lifting (to develop limit strength) as well as plyometrics to develop speed and explosiveness.

Today we’re going to take a look at 8 of the absolute best plyometric exercises specific to the needs of volleyballers.

Let’s begin!

A Brief Note On Technique & Tempo

One thing that’s super important to remember when doing any of these plyometrics is that we’re trying to recreate the vertical jump as we would perform it in a volleyball game.

Oftentimes I see athletes instructed to perform depth jumps as quickly as possible, with as little contact time on the ground as possible… This is incorrect.

We want to replicate the same stretch shortening cycle used when going for a spike or a block. That means normal jump tempo, absorbing all of the eccentric force just as you would when playing volleyball.

1. Depth Jumps

Depth jumps are widely regarded as the holy grail of plyometric exercises. We’re essentially leveraging gravity to overload the eccentric portion of the jump.

Simply drop off an 8-24” box or platform, absorb the landing, and explode upwards as though you were going up to block or spike.

Remember we’re not trying to immediately bounce off the ground as is typical with traditional depth jumps here, but we’re simply performing a regular tempo max vertical jump after hitting the ground.

You can use a second box or platform to jump onto or just jump into the air. Perform no more than 5-10 reps.

2. Depth Drops

The objective with the depth drop is to drop off a box and absorb/dissipate the landing forces as quickly as possible.

Use a 12-48” box for these. You want to bend your knees only as much as necessary to swiftly absorb the force.

Perform no more than 3-8 reps (volume will depend on how many other plyometric exercises you’re doing).

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