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5 Ways To Strengthen Your Serves

An important skill every volleyball player should master is their serve. A well-controlled, powerful serve can increase your team’s chances of scoring while edging out your competition. Are your serves lacking the strength and power you need? We have the 5 strength training drills you need to transform your serves from ordinary to powerful.

Snow Devils

Purpose of drill

Snow devils will focus on the rotation cuff of your shoulder, a key muscle that gives you the power and motion behind each serve.

How to complete the drill

  1. Lay on your stomach with dumbbells in each hand.
  2. With your arms stretched in front of you and your legs slightly off the ground, move your arms toward your sides.
  3. Once your arms reach your side, move them back until you are in the starting position.
  4. Repeat for 3 sets of 8 reps.

Note: Your dumbbell weight should not exceed 5 lbs. Instead of increasing weight, increase the time.

Dumbbell Pullover

Purpose of drill

Dumbbell pullovers are an important drill to include in your workouts as they will strengthen your upper body muscles. In addition to improving your muscles, dumbbell pullovers will help increase your flexibility and expand your range of motion.

How to complete the drill

  1. With only your back on the bench, lie perpendicular flexing your hips slightly.
  2. Once in position, use both hands to grasp your dumbbell from behind. Place the dumbbell over your chest.
  3. Keeping your elbows slightly bent, move the dumbbell over your head until it is even with your torso.
  4. Once symmetrical to your torso, move the dumbbell over your head until you are back in the starting position.
  5. Repeat for 3 sets of 12 reps.

Single-Arm Dumbbell Snatch

Purpose of drill

This dynamic drill is a full body exercise that strengthens your shoulders, lower back, hamstrings, glutes and lats. In addition to strengthening your key muscles, single-bar dumbbell snatches can improve your agility, speed and coordination.

How to complete the drill

  1. Grab your dumbbell in one hand. Make sure to pick up the dumbbell with an overhand grip.
  2. With the dumbbell in your hand, descend toward the floor until your knees are in a perpendicular stance. Your dumbbell should be on the floor.
  3. Quickly move the dumbbell toward the ceiling, extending your knees and hips while raising your body on the balls of your feet.
  4. Once the dumbbell is above you, rotate your elbow and extend your arm. The dumbbell should rest over your shoulder with your palm facing away from your body.
  5. Repeat the exercise for 3 sets of 12 reps.

Pull-Ups

Purpose of drill

Like snow devils, pull-ups will focus on the rotation cuff of your shoulders to improve your momentum and range of motion.

How to complete the drill

  1. Position your hands shoulder-width apart on the bar.
  2. Once in position, begin pulling yourself up until your chin is above the bar.
  3. After your chin passes the bar, lower yourself until your arms are straight.
  4. Repeat the previous steps for 3 sets of 12 reps.

Dumbbell Lateral Raises

Purpose of drill

Dumbbell lateral raises will target the deltoid and trapezius muscles within your shoulder. Strengthening these smaller muscles can help you expand your range of motion, improve coordination and ability to hit the ball harder as you serve.

How to complete the drill

  1. Stand shoulder-width apart with a dumbbell in each hand. Your arms should be hanging at your sides.
  2. Maintaining your shoulder-width stance, raise your hands to the side until your arms are at shoulder level.
  3. Once at shoulder level, pause with your arms still in the air for a few seconds.
  4.  After a few seconds, lower your arms back to your side until you are back in the starting position.
  5. Repeat for 3 sets of 12 reps.

By implementing these 5 drills into your training sessions, you will begin to see more power and strength behind your serves.

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