-“Volleyball & Plyometric Training”
-“Shoulder Training: A Safe Alternative, the Wide-grip Upright Row
-“Nutrition: Snack Options”





The key to sports performance is to execute movements as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, the execution of many sports movements take less time than the muscle requires to develop maximum force, therefore athletes are able to use only about 60 - 80 % of their maximal force in jumping, sprinting, etc.


Athletes must train explosively so that they learn how to develop more force in shorter time periods and plyometric training may be the key to developing optimal explosiveness & speed. Plyometrics involves “jumping” movements where the muscles act as springs to develop the large amounts of force in a short amount of time.


Before you begin your development of explosiveness, you should first have experience in strength training for the lower body. Strength training for the lower body includes squats, both front & back, lunges forward & reverse), deadlifts, and leg presses. These movements develop the ankle, knee and hip joints, which play a HUGE part in building explosiveness.


To build leg explosiveness you should train appropriately for the specifics of your sport(s) and the level you participate at. For sports that emphasize linear speed (soccer) you should do bounding and single leg hops and athletes should strive to keep the ground contact time as short as possible. For jumping sports (volleyball and basketball), do more stationary power jumping, using a double leg take-off. In this exercise you jump up as high as possible, reaching upward with your arms.



Plyometrics produce high muscular forces in a short time and improve speed, quickness, agility, and power. Avoid plyometrics if you are recovering from injury. It would be beneficial for you to have a certified instructor demonstrate these exercises to you.



-          squat : go into a deep knee bend and then explode upwards, land, and then  

  explode upwards as quickly as possible with minimal ground contact

-          tuck jump (perform the squat jump and bring the knees up to the chest)

-          lateral jumps (shorter squat jumps done side-to-side)              

-          barrier jumps (jump over small barriers in multiple directions)

-          jumps can be done with one OR two legs (single-leg jumps are more intense)



-          greater emphasis on distance rather than height (single-leg OR double-leg)

-          zigzag hops, lateral cone hops, speed hops



-          alternate-leg bounds for distance (incline bounds done for greater resistance)



-          alternate leg, high-knee, power skipping


Upper body          

-          clap push-ups, medicine ball push-ups, drop and catch push-ups, medicine ball sit-ups, medicine ball tossing with a partner


Frequency - 1-3 sessions in off-season. 1-2 sessions in-season.  (48 hrs between sessions).


The following is an example of a pre-season Plyometric training routine for volleyball. A sufficient warm-up and some stretching are essential prior to a Plyometric training session.



      : 5-10 minutes of low-intensity activity using many different movement patterns

- shuffles, crossovers, jogging forwards and backwards, torso rotations

      : 3-5 minutes of activity-specific stretching for injury prevention


                                3 sets of 6 maximal VJ’s

                                3 sets of 10 single-leg hops

                                3 sets of 10 tuck jumps

                                3 sets of 10 lateral jumps





The upright row has long been a traditional exercises used to train the shoulder musculature. Unfortunately, the traditional technique may place the trainee at risk of shoulder impingement if the exercise is performed consistently in a long-term training program. The upright row is such an effective exercise for stressing the shoulder and trapezius muscles that it would be a shame to have to eliminate it from training due to the injury risk. 


A simple grip adjustment will enable the exercise to be used safely and with no less effectiveness. Widen the grip so that the hands are slightly greater than shoulder-width apart. This will allow the shoulder joint to move in a more “natural” groove and will reduce the risk of impinging the shoulder structures.


-          Muscles trained

: anterior, medial, & posterior deltoids (shoulder muscles)

: trapezius (neck)

: brachioradialis (forearm)


-          Positioning

: grasp bar evenly with hands spaced slightly greater than shoulder-width apart

: hold the bar at thigh level

: stand with the knees slightly flexed and torso erect


-          Upward movement

: keep the bar as close to the body as possible

: raise the bar by abducting the arms (arms go out to sides) and flexing the elbows

: exhale and pull the bar up until it reaches the sternum (mid-chest level)

: at the top of the movement the elbows should be level with the shoulders BUT/

  higher than the wrists


-          Downward movement

: inhale and lower the bar slowly and under control





Snacks are important to provide energy to fuel activities, prevent catabolism (muscle breakdown), to help recovery from exercise, to aid weight gain, prevent binge eating, and to provide all the necessary nutrients the body requires. Snacks should be planned to accommodate for food availability (i.e. at busy times of the day OR when away from sources of healthy snacks).


As with any meal, add some fluids (water) to help meet your daily fluid requirements. Convenience foods (sugary and fatty snacks) can be included sparingly BUT/ should be limited. Commercial energy bars are no more effective than iso-caloric whole foods (i.e. oatmeal) in aiding endurance performance despite their high-cost. Meal replacement bars and powders are excellent ways to get protein and carbohydrate.



                Meal Replacements Shakes

                Low-fat cheese + fruit + protein shake (20g)

                Yogurt + fruit + protein shake (20g)

                Lean meat sandwich on whole-wheat bread + juice







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