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Volleyball players can tone up their arms by adding weight training.
The muscles in the upper arms, including the shoulders, biceps and triceps, are heavily involved as a volleyball player passes, hits or blocks the ball. However, it's having strength and power in those muscles that help a volleyball player perform well. Having muscularly tone upper arms won't be beneficial to a volleyball player's performance, but they will increase an athlete's confidence.
Add Time for Toning
Regularly participating in volleyball will naturally burn calories and tone muscle, but to see more significant results, a volleyball player should also incorporate strength training exercises into their regimen. Fit in three additional strength training workouts per week. Spread out the workouts so that they don't fall on consecutive days. If workouts fall on the same days as volleyball practices or competitions, complete strength training after so that the arms aren't fatigued when they need to be at their best.
Select one to two exercises for the shoulders, biceps and triceps to include in each strength training workout. The American Council on Exercise recommends completing three to six sets of six to 12 repetitions. This workout volume is designed to build lean muscle. In between each set, rest 30 to 90 seconds, which helps promote muscle-building.
Hitting the Shoulders and Triceps
To work the shoulders and triceps, incorporate pushups and bench dips into each workout. Both exercises don't require any additional weights and can be modified to accommodate strength levels. Pushups are performed with hands positioned at shoulder-width apart. Rise up onto the hands and toes so that the torso and thighs create a straight line -- then lowering the body toward the floor by bending the elbows. Complete the exercise from the knees if necessary. Bench dips involve sitting on the edge of a bench or chair and placing your hands on the edge of the bench on either side of the hips. Extend your legs and place the heels on the floor. Lift up the hips by pressing your hands into the bench and then lower the hips to the floor by bending the elbows. Bring the feet in closer to make the exercise easier or place your feet on an elevated surface to make it more challenging.
Working the Biceps
Work the biceps with chin-ups and biceps curls. Chin-ups are completed by gripping an overhead bar with your hands set to shoulder-width apart and palms facing your body, and then pulling yourself up until your chin clears the bar. Biceps curls require the use of dumbbells or a barbell. Stand and hold the weight down in front of the thighs with palms facing forward. Bend your elbows to bring the weight up to your shoulders.
According to Matt Siracusa of Stack.com, volleyball athletes interested in improving their performance should focus on explosive lower body exercises rather than arm exercises. Ray Weisenbarger, the head volleyball strength and conditioning coach at University of California, Los Angeles, recommends exercises like the box jump, hang clean, lunge, military press and dumbbell snatch.