Plyometric Training Tips

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Do you have any good plyometric exercises?

The Death March

No matter what plyometric workout you use, there are coaches who recommend using "the death march" at the end. Here's what it entails.

After you've gone through your regular workout, find something you have to jump up to touch; a backboard works well. (For shorter players, coaches may need to hand some tape down, just low enough that the player needs to reach high when they jump to touch.)

The idea is to stand below your target, gather with two feet, similar to a blocking motion, then jump up and touch the target. As soon as you touch down, gather again and repeat the process. You will then keep repeating the process until you miss your target 3 times in a row.

It's gruelling, but it can definitely pay off in the long run, with a higher jump reach and better endurance. (The don't call it the death march for nothing!)

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Do you have any good plyometric exercises?

Laterals Over Cones

Using cones, a player can work on lateral jumping by simply standing beside the cone and jumping back and forth over it, exploding back up as soon as the feet touch the ground on either side. Do 1:00, rest 1:15, repeat till 3 sets are complete.

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Do you have any good plyometric exercises?

Bleacher Hops

Even if you don't have "official" plyometric boxes, you can still do hops, using the bleachers.

1-Place your hands behind your head or on your hips.

2-Make a 2-foot jump onto the first step of the bleachers.

3-Repeat until you've done 10, making sure your time on the floor is as brief as possible between jumps.

4-Wait at least one minute before repeating. Do set of 3.

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Do you have any good plyometric exercises?

Chu, On Multiple Box Jump

Donald Chu describes this multiple box routine in his book, "Jumping Into Plymetrics."

1-Set up a row of boxes (3 or 4) all the same height.

2-Stand in a squat position, hands behind head or on hips.

3-Jump to first box, immediately jumping back down.

4-Jump onto second box, repeating till the end of the line. Then turn and return to original starting position.

Repeat several times, allowing rest in between sets.

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Do you have any good plyometric exercises?

Bunny Hops

Here's another exercise for your plyometric routine: the bunny hop.

Start with feet about shoulder width apart. Squat and bring both arms back into a full armswing. As you bring your arms forward, leap as far ahead as you can. Upon landing, immediately repeat the entire motion. After you've gone to one end of the gym and back, rest for a minute or so, then repeat.

Working both legs in conjunction can help, especially if your main function on the team is to block. But it never hurts to be able to jump higher, no matter what position you play.

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Do you have any good plyometric exercises?

Three Plyometric Jumping Exercises

Here's 3 jumping exercises we use as part of our overall plyometric routime at the beginning of the season to help improve jump reaches:

30-meter one-leg hops. Start at end line, then using left leg only, hop to center line. Then sprint back to end line. Repeat, this time hopping only on right leg.
(5 repetitions.)

30-meter bounds. This time, bound first off left foot, then right, alternately, to center line, then sprint back. (5 reps.)

30-meter approach jumps. Make two-step approaches, including big leap, full armswing as if spiking. Go to center line, sprint back. (5 reps.)

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Do you have any good plyometric exercises?

Chu, On Landing Properly

According to Donald Chu, the landing is as important as the take-off. Always come down on the balls of your feet. Then, for the briefest of instances, allow your entire foot to come into contact with the ground before you make your next spring into the air. The time spent on the ground should be as short as possible.

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Do you have any good plyometric exercises?

Two-Foot Ankle Hops

Here's how to do the two-foot ankle hop:

1-Stand with your feet shoulder width apart, your body straight up and down.

2-Using only your ankles, hop continuously in place.

3-Extend your ankles to the maximum range with each jump.

4-Continue for one minute, rest 1:15, then go again. Do 3 sets.

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Do you have any good plyometric exercises?

Bounds

Another plyometric exercise, one that isolates each leg, is called bounding.

Start by bounding forward with only one leg, but land on the other. Immediately upon landing, bound as far forward as you can off the other leg. It's similar to skipping, but you're putting maximum effort into each bound ... call it "power skipping," if you must.

This is a great exercse to do a couple times a week.

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Are there fun plyometic drills?

Fun and Competitive Plyometric Drill

Here's a drill that combines plyometrics and competition, and is fun, as well. Divide your players into several groups of 4-5, with one ball per group.

Have the first player grip the ball between their legs, and at the signal, begin hopping to the opposite end of the gym. If the player drops the ball, they must return to the spot where they lost it, and begin again from there.

That player hands the ball to the next player in line, relay style, and the drill continues. First team to go through all its members wins.

It's a great plyometric workout, and players enjoy it.

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Do you have any good plyometric exercises?

Corner to Corner Jumps

Since quick mobility is as critical as high jumping to successful volleyball, here's an exercise to work on both at the same time:

Have all players pick a group of lines on the floor (our gym has 100s of lines, so finding them isn't hard) that will allow them to choose a corner where two lines converge. (Making an "L".)

From that point, each player will jump straight ahead, using both feet, as far as they can. Then, without stopping, they instantly jump to their right, again using both feet, as far as they can.

Instantly upon landing, they jump backwards as far as they can. Finally, they jump to their left, which should bring them exactly back to their starting point.

We do this in two ways: we have players do a certain number of jumps, or we time them, which also makes sure they get an aerobic benefit, as well.

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Can we use bleachers for plyometric exercises?

Using Bleachers for Plymetric Exercises

Plymetric boxes are undeniably helpful in improving your jump, but the cost of commercially-made boxes can be prohibitive.

But there are ways to get the benefits without spending all your program's limited funds. The most easiest is to use something found in nearly all gyms ... the bleachers.

Bleacher seats are nearly the perfect height for plyometric boxes, although they are limited in the types of jumps you can do. (They're not perfect, but they're free.)

We use the bleachers for a number of plymetric exercises, especially at the beginning of the season.
Make sure the bleachers are secure before you begin. Injuries can occur if the bleachers slide around while players are jumping.

1- Start by standing in front of the bleacher and just stepping up onto the seat with one foot, bringing the other one up, and then stepping back down. Alternate feet and do 10 reps.

2- Then, jump onto the bleacher with both feet, and then jump back down. The time spent on the ground and on the bleacher should be very small. This explosion of muscle activity is important in increasing jump. Do 10 reps to begin, and increase as players improve.

3- Stand in front of the bleacher and jump onto the seat using only one leg. Alternate, do 10 reps.

These simple plyometric exercises can go a long way toward strengthening players legs and increasing jumps, and you certainly can't argue with the cost!

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Do you have any good plyometric exercises?

Rope Jumping Exercises

Here's two rope jumping routines we use as part of our plyometric exercises:

Week One: Using 2 legs, jump 25 times, rest 1 minute, then jump 50. (Two reps.)

Week Two-Eight: Using only one leg, make 25 jumps, working up to 50 as the season progresses. (Two reps for each leg.)

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Do you have any good plyometric exercises?

Cone Jumps

Little orange cones, similar to the big ones you see at highway construction sites, can be obtained relatively cheaply at many sports stores, and can easily be worked into your plyometric routine.

1-As always, begin with feet shoulder width apart.

2-Bending at the knees, jump over the cone. Then turn quickly and jump back. Repeat 1:00, rest 1:15, repeat for 3 sets.

3-You can also set up a row of cones, and jump each one, turn and jump back once you've reached the end.

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Do you have any good plyometric exercises?

Jump Rope Hops

A simple jump rope can be employed for plyometric training, as well.

1-Have two players hold the rope about 18" above the ground. Another player then jumps the rope with 2 feet, turning immediately and jumping back.

2-Repeat the exercise for 1:00, rest 1:15, repeat 2 more times.

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Do you have any good plyometric exercises?

Chu, On Sprints

Donald Chu recommends running sprints instead of laps in conjunction with your plyometric routine. After all, volleyball doesn't require long distance running, and you're mostly concerned with quickness and jumping ability.

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Do you have any good plyometric exercises?

Standing Jump and Reach

The standing jump and reach:

1-Start with feet shoulder width apart, body straight up and down.

2-Squat slightly, explode upward, reaching toward a target or object.

3-Take no steps before jumping again.

4-Repeat for 1:00, rest 1:15, go again. Do 3 sets.

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Do you have any good plyometric exercises?

Chu, 90-Second Box Jump

According to plyometric specialist Donald Chu, an integral part of the training includes box jumps, like the 90-second box jump. He recommends a 12" high box, 20" wide, 30" deep.

1-Stand a the side of the box, feet shoulder width apart.

2-Jump onto the box, then quickly jump off box on other side.

3-Repeat the process in the opposite direction.

4-Begin at 30 seconds, and work your way up to 60 and finally 90 as you feel more comfortable.

5-Rest 15 seconds longer than you jumped, doing sets of 3.

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Do you have any good plyometric exercises?

Chu, On Rim Jumping

Here's what Donald Chu says about plyometric jumping, which should be the cornerstone of your volleyball jumping regimine: always jump as high as you can. It's in giving the maximum effort every time that you'll begin to see improvement in your vertical.

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Do you have any good plyometric exercises?

Chu, On Workout Times

Donald Chu recommends keeping your plyometric workout to about 20-30 minutes at the beginning. Start with a warm up, including a light jog, stretching, big arm swings and side-to-side movements for 10-15 minutes, and then move on to the plyometric routine. Then allow time for cool down.

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Do you have any good plyometric exercises?

Chu, On Routine

According to Donald Chu, it's best for you to do your plyometric workouts on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, to allow your muscles a chance to recover. If you don't, it could actually tear down your muscles, rather than build them up. And don't worry about not getting exercise the other days. Once the season starts, most high school games are played on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturdays, anyway!

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Do you have any good plyometric exercises?

Chu Suggestions, Timing

One of the most prolific writers on plyometrics is Donald Chu. He's written several very good books on the subject, and I recommend you check them out.

His suggestions on the timing of your exercises: allow the same amount of time OR SLIGHTLY MORE between each plyometric set. For instance, if you're doing an exercise for one minute, allow 1:15 for rest. Plyometrics are dynamic and demanding, so give your body a chance to recover in between sets.

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Do you have any good plyometric exercises?

Chu, Depth Jumps

When I first announce these to a new group of kids, they invariably ask, "Death jumps?" No, we're looking for depth, not the end of life.

1-Using a 12" high box, have player stand, toes close to the edge, similar to high diver getting ready to do a back flip.

2-Have player simply step down, landing softly on both feet.

3-Upon landing player will then explode quickly back onto the box, using both feet.

4-Repeat for a set number of jumps, then rest before repeating.

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Do you have any good plyometric exercises?

Chu, On Using Stations

Donald Chu, prolific writer on plyometric training, recommends using several different stations for your routine. Do box jumps, rope, skips, hops, leaps, and whatever other exercises you've incorporated into your regimine, so you make sure all important muscles get a workout.

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Do you have any good plyometric exercises?

Chu, On % Increases

According to Donald Chu, the calves are the source of players' jumping ability. If you strengthen the calves, the jump will naturally increase. So if you strengthen your calves 30%, you'll see a 30% improvement in your jump reach! You do the math ... it'll be significant.

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Do you have any good plyometric exercises?

Chu, On Weights

Donald Chu, prolific plyometric writer, recommends not using any weights in your routine, at least for the first few 8 weeks. You'll see a significant difference without them.

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Do you have any good plyometric exercises?

Chu, On Testing

According to Donald Chu, it's important to test yourself at the beginning of your program. How else will you know if you're making progress? It's exciting and motivating to find you've increased your jump reach, and gives you more confidence, knowing your game is being "elevated" by your hard work.

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How can I improve my vertical leap and quickness at the same time?

Bleacher Sprints

A good way to improve quickness and jumping ability is to utilize bleachers for running. This can be done on a small set or a large set.

Beginners - may want to start on a small set and run up and done 3 times.

Intermediate - needs to try to complete a large set of about 15-20 bleachers 3 times.

Experienced - players need to complete a large set of bleachers of about 20+ bleachers, skipping every other step.

Every level should take 30 second break and complete at least 3 sets.

   
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