Core muscles of a volleyball player, just like anyone else, are always active whether moving, just standing, or sitting. Core muscles must function continuously to dynamically stabilize your body.
Choose exercises based on functionality. An exercise is considered more functional when it closely mimics basic human movement patterns. Exercises that involve squatting, lunging, pushing, and pulling are considered to be more functional than single joint exercises such as the dumbbell bicep curl and machine leg curl.
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Squat variations instead of the hip sled. While leg pressing exercises may be used to strengthen hip and knee extensors, they are functionally inferior to the squat.
Functional Training Exercises for Volleyball
In virtually all sports, movement begins at the ground. A volleyball
player needs leg strength to move quick and jump high. Doing exercises
that use the triple extension of the hip, knee, and ankle enhance their
ability to use the ground effectively.
Because jumping is performed from an erect body position with balance and weight-bearing forces to consider, the back squat is more specific to jumping and therefore preferred over the hip sled (1).
Single-leg squat variations instead of machine leg extensions.
When an athlete performs the machine leg extension she is using a muscle action and nervous system pattern that are never engaged when running or jumping.
Again, the most functional exercises are closed chained. Most movements in sports occur on one leg. As a result, single leg squats are more muscularly specific than open-chained leg exercises.
Machine Leg Extensions Are NOT Functional
Single-leg-straight-leg deadlifts instead of machine leg curls. Your body will continually learn to move and reposition itself when training the hamstrings while standing, rather than being guided by a machine.
Also, the hamstring acts more as a hip extensor than a knee flexor anyway. In movement, the hamstrings main role is to eccentrically decelerate the lower leg and extend the hip.
Machine Leg Curls Are NOT Functional
Progressively building dynamic strength. As with any conditioning program, the goal of functional training for volleyball isnt just about getting stronger, but getting stronger through movement with the purpose of increasing volleyball player performance.
Selecting exercises. Exercises should be selected depending on
the training level of the volleyball player. With an untrained athlete,
at first, a workout program might consist of exercises that are less
As an athlete develops strength, exercises that require greater stability and balance should be gradually added to the program.
|Continuum of Function|
|least functional||more functional||most functional|
|leg press ----- machine squat ------- barbell squat -------- one-leg squat|
|leg curl --- back extension -------- two-leg deadlift ------ one-leg deadlift|
|machine bench press - bench press ---- dumbbell bench press --- push-up|
|lat pull-down ------------------------------------- pull-ups or chin-ups|
|machine row --- dumbbell row ----- inverted row ---- one-arm-one-leg row|
1) Wilk, K.E., R.F. Escamilla, G.S. Fleisig, S.W. Barrentine, J.R. Andrews, and M.L. Boyd. A comparison of tibiofemoral joint forces and electromyographic activity during open and closed chain exercises. Am. J. Sports Med. 24(4):518-527. 1996.