Volleyball players should perform box plyometric exercises during their offseason.
The higher volleyball players can jump, the greater advantage they have on the court. They'll be able to produce more powerful hits and have a better chance of blocking hits from opponents. Although vertical leap is partly dictated by your genetic and muscular makeup, plyometric exercises, including ones that utilize a plyo box, can help you significantly increasing your jumping height. Using an appropriate size box, however, is important for ensuring the exercises are both safe and effective.
Using a Box
Boxes used for plyometric jumping exercises can be 6, 12, 18, 24, 30, 36 and 42 inches in height. Most boxes have a wider base than top, with platforms being square. Jumping exercises that utilize a box are considered advanced and should only be incorporated into a volleyball player's regimen after she has been training consistently for a few months with marching, skipping, lunging and floor jumping exercises. When starting out, begin with 6-inch boxes. You want to feel confident that you can clear the height of the box. As you develop power in your legs, increase the size of the box accordingly. Always perform a five- to 15-minute dynamic warm-up before your box-jumping workouts.
Boxes for Box Jumps
Volleyball players incorporate box jumps into their regimen to develop power in their glutes, quads and calves. Box jumps involve beginning on the floor and then exploding into a maximum-height jump and landing atop the plyo box. The American Council on Exercise recommends a box at the height of 6 to 12 inches. But volleyball athletes will likely advance to higher boxes. Elite volleyball players can use boxes up to a height of 42 inches.
Boxes for Depth Jumps
Sports Fitness Advisor recommends depth jumps for volleyball players. The exercise involves beginning atop the box, then stepping off so that you drop to the ground. Both feet hit simultaneously, and as soon as they do, you take off into a maximum-height vertical jump. Jump USA recommends that you use a 12-inch, 18-inch or 24-inch box for depth jumps. Because of the stress depth jumps place on your musculoskeletal system, as you begin doing depth jumps, start with a 12-inch box.
Boxes for Depth to Box Jumps
An even more advanced volleyball jumping exercise that utilizes plyo boxes is the depth to box jump. The exercise requires two plyo boxes that vary in size. Begin standing atop the shorter of the two boxes. Step off the box and land on the floor with both feet to complete a depth jump. As soon as your feet hit the floor, take off into a maximum height jump onto a second, taller plyo box. For this exercise, begin with a set of 6- and 12-inch boxes. As you develop, gradually increase the size of the boxes, with the larger box positioned second in line.