AROUND THE COURT STRENGTH CIRCUIT

By JEANNE COLPUS, Co-Owner of Matchpoint Volleyball Inc.

IMPACT, CAP I, CAP II, CAP III AND VCAP CERTIFIED

 

Coaches are always looking for optimal ways to strength train their athletes, but often weight room facilities are not available at their specific practice site, especially for club coaches, scheduling time to get in the weight room can be inconvenient, the girls don’t want to be in there at the same time the guys are and recently there has been an epidemic of infection in the weight room.

How do we remedy these situations? Simple…do it around the volleyball court with specific movement for the sport, for maximum performance.

 

Here are some fantastic exercises, using minimal equipment to get your kids strong and fit to play the great game that we love….”volleyball”.

 

ONE LEGGED SQUAT ON BOSU BALL

Position Bosu ball, round side down close to the volleyball upright. Stand on the Bosu, directly in the middle with one foot. Descend into a squat, sitting back on the heel of the stabilizing foot and go as low as possible. The tempo should be slow and steady, keeping all the muscles engaged. The non stabilizing foot will be out in front of the body with the foot flexed.

 

PIKE TO PUSH UP

 

Using a stability ball, start with the feet on the ball and hands on the floor about shoulder width apart in a “push up ready position”. Gradually raise the hips higher than the head. This will move the ball closer to the hands, this reaching the “pike position”.  As the hips drop lower than the head, this will put the athlete back into the “push up ready position”. Once back to this position, the athlete will lower themselves into a push up, leading with the chest to the floor.  Make sure that the abdominals and lower back muscles are always “engaged”,(tight) throughout the entire exercise

 

MULTI DIRECTIONAL LUNGE WITH MEDICINE BALL

Lunge

In this exercise the athlete will lead with the same leg in all four directions, then switch the lead leg.

START with the medicine ball grasped in both hands, holding the ball close to the mid section of the body.

The first direction will be FORWARD.  When lunging forward, keep the foot flexed (sole of the foot parallel to the floor) lift leg high as if stepping over a hurdle. The finish position posture should be shoulder pointing to the ceiling ( not leaning forward over the toes) with the medicine ball held straight out in front, away from the body. Front knee should be at a 90 degree angle and the back knee should be off the floor. When planting the lead leg, the heal of the foot should plant first, then the toe. When returning to the start position, push off the lead leg lifting it high and keeping the foot flexed. Remember to keep the abdominals engaged throughout the entire exercise.

The SECOND direction will be at a 45 degree angle, for example if the lead leg is the right, the athlete would step out toward slightly to their right. Again lifting the leg high as if stepping over a hurdle, leading heal/toe.

The THIRD direction will be straight to the side as if playing a ball outside the body.

The FOURTH direction will be directly behind them.

 

NEGATIVE PUSH UP

 

 

I love this one!  Start in the “push up ready position. Counting down from ten all the way to zero, as each consecutive number is called out, the athlete will descend and hold that push up position, until they get to zero, which then they should be in a prone position, lying on the floor. Again the athlete needs to focus on keeping the body straight and engaging the abdominal and lower back muscles throughout the exercise. 

 

SQUAT TO BLOCK WITH MEDICINE BALL

 

 

Great full body explosive movement! Start in a squat position with the medicine ball grasped in both hands and the medicine ball touching the floor. Explode into a block jump, raising the medicine ball up and over the net without touching the net (simulating a block) then descend into the squat position to immediately explode vertically again.

 

CLASSIC BODY WEIGHT HOLD/ RAISES

 

FRONT:


Lying face down and have the athlete prop themselves up on their forearms. Keep the upper body straight along with concentrating on keeping the muscles “engaged”

 

SIDE:

 

Have the athlete lie on their side and prop themselves up on one forearm, keeping the muscles “engaged” and the body straight

 

BACK:

 

Lying face up, have the athlete prop themselves up on both forearms again keeping their body straight as possible and keeping their abdominals and lower back muscles “engaged” throughout the exercise

 

VARIATION:

 

To challenge the athlete a little more, have a partner apply some resistance by gently pressing down on the athlete so that the athlete has to push against the resistance staying keeping everything straight and engaged.

 

BOSU SQUAT WITH MEDICINE BALL

 

Position Bosu ball, round side down. Stand on top with both feet equally balanced holding the medicine ball with both hands close to the mid section of the body. Descend into a 90 degree squat, extending arms straight out in front of the body. Return to start position, descend again into a 90 degree squat this time extending the arms straight above the head.

 

This is a great way to incorporate a warm up specific to the sport and to involve the upper and lower body. A variation of this circuit could be to add cardio in between a few of the exercises.

 

Demonstrations provided by Jeanne Colpus, Co-Owner of Matchpoint Volleyball Inc.
Photography by Steve Colpus.