Volleyball Weight Training

Volleyball weight training and what equipment is right for volleyball.

      Should You Be Doing Leg Presses for Volleyball?

Weight lifting equipment for volleyball includes dumbbells, barbells, squat racks, smith machines, and kettlebells. 

Free Weights vs Machines

Are Exercise Machines Good for Volleyball Players?

Free weights are weight training equipment such as dumbbells and barbells. They are called free weights because you must control the movement of the weight during the exercise.  

Essentially, free weights involve using core muscles more so than exercise machines. When performing free weight exercises, you must stabilize your body. For example, during the barbell back squat, you must balance the weight (not let your body tilt forward or move side to side). This is done by activating your core (trunk muscles). 

Volleyball Weight Training

Volleyball Squats and Lunges

When performing a hack squat using a machine, the machine is stabilizing the weight. The weight lifting equipment helps control the weight allowing for a much safer movement. 

During this hack squat example, your back is being supported by the machine. This squat movement is much less specific to sports than free weight squats. For example, when you jump or lunge to play a ball in volleyball, you aren't dependent on a machine for balance.

Advantages of free weights…...

  • Get more work done in a shorter amount of time.

  • Free weights are more versatile than machines because free weights allow for more variations in the range of motion.

  • Strength training using free weights is similar to how you must control external weight in sports and real life.

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Volleyball Weight Training Equipment

Volleyball Weight Training

Disadvantages of free weights…...

  • Certain free weight exercises are harder to perform.

  • You need to be taught correct weight lifting technique of many free weight exercises.

  • Many exercises require a spotter. For example, you need a spotter for any exercise that involves lifting weight up above your face (dumbbell bench press).

Advantages of exercise machines…...

  • Since the machines typically control the movement of the weight, exercise technique is much less critical than free weights.

  • You are a lot less likely to injure yourself from drop weights onto yourself.

  • On many machines you can push yourself to failure on each exercise.

  • Machines take up much less space than free weights. It also can take longer to adjust the plates for different exercises using barbells or dumbbells.

Disadvantages of exercise machines…...

  • Most machines work muscles in isolation with has little benefit to increase sports performance.

  • Machines can limit what muscle groups you can train. Most machines restrict how you can perform certain exercises.

  • Machines can be very expensive.

Most of our daily tasks involve free weight type movements. Picking up groceries or books are free weight movements. These objects are different from machines in that they arent fixed weights that only move in a certain direction after you get the machine set up. 

Many machines are ineffective weight lifting equipment for volleyball. Machines that control the exercise movement and work muscles in isolation are typically not sport specific. Performing exercises in isolation movements are considered non-functional and may actually be decreasing your athletic ability and lead you to injury. 

If you are thinking of buy exercise machines for your school or home gym, you need to consider the functionality of the exercise machine.

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