Athletes of all types can benefit from a steady dose of cross-training, but some activities can be better than others. If you’re a volleyball player looking for something to do during the off-season or wanting to mix up your training routine, you may be wondering if swimming would be a good choice for you.
We’ll go over why swimming can be a great option for volleyball players and other sports you may want to consider.
Does Swimming Help with Volleyball?
Swimming can be an excellent cross-training exercise for volleyball. It can also work well as an off-season activity. Swimming can be a great way to build up an endurance base without putting too much strain on the body.
That’s why it’s considered a low-impact exercise, making it a great choice for athletes who are primarily looking to build their aerobic capacity. In addition, swimming is a full-body exercise, making it a great way to add low-impact resistance training into your off-season.
As an added bonus, swimming may be able to help with overall hitting power for volleyball. That’s because swimming is primarily an upper-body workout, so the strength you gain from pulling yourself through the water can help increase your power on the court.
Long, slow endurance sessions are great for building overall aerobic capacity, but they may not be the most effective form of off-season training for volleyball players. If swimming is the preferred option for the athlete, it is advisable to focus on high-intensity intervals. That is because volleyball tends to involve a lot of sudden bursts of power, rather than sustained aerobic output. (Source)
- Does Swimming Help with Volleyball?
- Are Volleyball Players More Athletic than Swimmers?
- What Other Sports Can Help with Volleyball?
- How Do I Increase My Stamina for Volleyball?
- What Other Sports Is Swimming Good For? (Core Benefits Listed)
- Things to Keep in Mind
Are Volleyball Players More Athletic than Swimmers?
There’s no definitive way to say whether volleyball players are more athletic than swimmers. The sports are incredibly different and rely on fundamentally different approaches. However, there are a lot of skills that volleyball players develop, including:
- Tactical awareness
- Reaction time
- Upper body strength and power
- Fast footwork
Volleyball is a high-intensity sport that requires a lot of fast movements, quick thinking, and sudden bursts of speed and power. Swimming, on the other hand, is more of an endurance sport that requires excellent aerobic capacity and strength. While both kinds of athletes are incredibly fit, they have different skills.
What Other Sports Can Help with Volleyball?
All sports will make athletes stronger and more fit, but there are a few in particular that can help volleyball players develop their skills. Here are five to consider:
- Cross country
- Track and field
Cross country and track and field will help players develop their endurance and aerobic capacity, while the other three sports involve a lot of skill building (jumping, coordination, and agility). Athletes can also consider incorporating sports like tennis, swimming, and softball during the off-season to continue to develop spatial awareness and general fitness. (Source)
How Do I Increase My Stamina for Volleyball?
Volleyball requires a great deal of stamina and there are a variety of ways to increase your ability on and off the court. Incorporating cardiovascular training can help you keep your energy levels high during the game so you don’t find yourself gassed in those crucial final moments.
Here are a few things you can incorporate into your training to build your stamina (Source):
Incorporate running/jogging into your routine
Ideally, you should jog or run three times a week for 30-45 minutes per session. Keep these runs easy and slow – the goal is to build your overall capacity, not to hit running PRs.
Add in sprints
Your training should incorporate sprint sessions. These can be completed in any open court or field where you can go at least 40 yards. Because the volleyball court is a limited size, you don’t need to go much further.
Sprint for the full 40 yards, give yourself a 10-15 second rest, then sprint back. Do at least 10 of these and continue to add more as you get stronger.
Grab a jump rope
Jumping rope is a perfect conditioning option for volleyball players.
Volleyball requires a lot of fast footwork and regular jumping, so adding a jump rope to your routine is an easy way to work on your agility.
Try to do at least two 20 minute sessions a week. Go for as long as you can, rest 30 seconds, and then continue until your 20 minutes is complete.
What Other Sports Is Swimming Good For? (Core Benefits Listed)
Swimming can benefit virtually every athlete, regardless of the sport. Whether it’s track and field, football, roller derby, or softball, swimming can be a great option for cross-training.
Here are five benefits of swimming (Source):
Strengthens lung capacity
The breath control needed to swim will translate well to all other sports. This means you’ll be able to hold your effort for longer without becoming breathless.
Increases cardio stamina
Increased cardiovascular stamina means your heart is able to more efficiently pump oxygen throughout the body, making it easier to sustain an effort for longer periods of time.
Builds core stability
A strong core is important for virtually every sport, and swimming is a great way to build those key muscles. Core strength and stability is also crucial for injury prevention.
Builds muscle strength
Swimming is inherently a resistance training activity due to needing to pull yourself through the water. This works all of the muscles in the body, and particularly strengthens the upper body and core.
Increases total body endurance
Endurance is key for most athletes, and swimming is an incredible way to condition the body for any sport.
It can also be a great option for those recovering from certain injuries, though you should always consult with a physical therapist before diving into a new exercise or physical activity.
Things to Keep in Mind
All athletes can benefit from incorporating swimming into their training routine, whether it’s for cross-training or an off-season activity. However, it’s important not to overexert yourself.
If you have a coach, you should ask for their perspective on your training routine.
This is especially true if you’re a younger athlete as your body may require a lot of fuel and recovery to perform at its best for the long haul.
You don’t want to end up injuring yourself and be forced to take time off from your primary sport because you packed your schedule too full. As with all things, balance is key.