How to Implement a Volleyball Dynamic Warm-Up to Your Practice

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Whether you're looking for ways to help your athletes improve their performance or reduce injury, a full dynamic warmup before competition and training sessions is a simple way to start. It can be easy to skip this key step at the beginning of every practice because it takes time and sometimes seems less relevant to the rest of the training program. However, warming up can play a key role in priming the body for quicker reactions and giving joints a wider range of motion. Here's a deeper look at why daily warming up and cooling down are critical for sustained high performance.

BridgeAthletic resident volleyball expert, JP Reggiardo, who has spent 17 years in strength coaching and 12 of those working with volleyball athletes at the collegiate level, has put together a suggested dynamic warm-up routine for clubs to implement to get their athletes ready to perform.

Shoulder Work
Shoulders are key to nearly every movement on the court, from serving to hitting. Here are two key shoulder exercises your coaches can implement in the dynamic warm-up before practice to get players' joints loose and powerful.

Shoulder T's, Y's, & I's

Level: All
Equipment: Body Weight
Movement Notes: For warm-up purposes, perform this movement unweighted.
Do 10 each way with palms down, then 10 each way with thumbs up.

90 – 90s

Level: All
Equipment: Body Weight

Core / Hip Work
A strong core is vital for athletic stability and enables hitters to transition power from lower body to their upper body and arm swing. Here are three key core and hip exercises your club can do to improve full body coordination.

Side Bridge - Rotation

Level: Intermediate
Equipment: Body Weight
Movement Notes: Beginners can start with a simple Side Bridge until they are comfortable with the more complicated rotation movement. Throughout the movement, keep a strong line from heels through hips up to the head. At the top, the body and raised arm should be in one plane with a line from the elbow on the ground through the fingers of the opposite, raised arm. Keep the movement fluid and smooth. Repeat for both sides.

SB Quadrupeds

Level: Basic
Equipment: Stability Ball
Movement Notes: Lay with the stability ball underneath the upper core. While maintaining balance with right hand and left foot, raise the left arm and right leg into one plane aligned with the core and head. Tighten the core for stability. Lower back to starting position and repeat, raising the right hand and left foot. 

Monster Walks

Level: Basic
Equipment: Mini Band
Movement Notes: Band around knees. Focus on keeping strong knees, ensuring they don't collapse inward. For an advanced level, move the band to ankles or around feet while maintaining proper form and steady movement.

Dynamic Flexibility
This group of exercises works to increase full body connections throughout the kinetic chain. Add these in to increase flexibility and mobility for developing athletes.

Kneeling Thoracic Mobility

Level: Basic
Equipment: Body Weight


Level: Basic
Equipment: Body Weight

Single-Leg Box Squat

Level: Advanced
Equipment: Box (knee high)
Movement Notes: Start sitting on box with left foot raised slightly off the ground just in front of the box. Slowly, balancing on right leg push through heel to standing position. Lower back to sitting position, keeping left leg raised. Repeat for prescribed reps, then switch legs.  

Lateral Squat

Level: Intermediate
Equipment: Body Weight
Movement Notes: Stand with shoulders about twice shoulder width.
Shift weight to right side and lower into a squat position over right leg with left leg extended.
Drive through the right heel back to standing. Pause. Repeat for opposite leg.

The most important aspect of this warm-up is to implement it during the off-season or pre-season, allowing athletes time to adjust to the concept prior to competition. Keep the warm-up as dynamic as possible and build in some short sprints or active movements as well. The idea is to warm up the body's core temperature and muscles without fatiguing them. As always, encourage your athletes to always have a water bottle at their side to stay hydrated before competing.

Volleyball-specific training plans for clubs and individuals

About the Author

BridgeAthletic builds high-performance training tools for coaches and athletes who compete at the highest levels. The integrated BridgeAthletic platform leverages the power of technology to revolutionize the way coaches create, deliver, and track athlete progress. With customized training programs delivered directly to their smart phone or tablet, athletes train smarter, power through plateaus, and perform better come game time.

BridgeAthletic is the Official Performance Training Technology of the JVA. With BridgeAthletic, volleyball clubs can get customized strength training programs to help your athletes train smarter and perform better. Contact to get started.


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