Why is Volleyball Considered a Good Aerobic Exercise?

volleyball aerobic exercise

As much as Volleyball offers in terms of excitement, agility and entertainment it is also considered as a great aerobic exercise! Indeed …

Volleyball will increase your heart rate and stimulate the usage of most of your body muscles with a high pace and within limited period of times (15 to 30 minutes). Volleyball players usually need to maintain such a pace not only during the game but also in practice.

In this article I help you understand more the aerobic and cardiovascular benefits of volleyball. I also dig through other benefits of the sports that you should definitely know about.

Reasons why volleyball is a great aerobic exercise?

Volleyball is considered a good aerobic exercise because players are on their feet for dozens of minutes usually playing at 60% to 80% of their overall heart rate.

One of the principal benefits of any aerobic exercise is that it burns calories, reducing weight and helping to prevent obesity.

Studies have indicated that the average person can burn anywhere between 90 to 133 calories by playing a non-competitive volleyball game for just half an hour.

This can increase to anywhere between 120 to 178 calories in the case of a competitive game, although it may depend upon a player’s weight and BMI (Body Mass Index).

Playing for an hour on sand can result in up to 480 calories being burned-off, because sand is less stable than grass or a gym floor, so people have to work harder.

Helpful Tip: For people who don’t have the privilege of having partners to play volleyball and reap its aerobic benefits, they definitely can check this volleyball training kit. This will definitely help practicing the sport at a high pace without necessarily the need of a partner.

The American College of Sports Medicine recommends that people undertake 30 minutes of moderately intense aerobic exercise at least five days a week just to maintain their current weight

According to their definition, a moderately intense workout includes generating a sweat, and increasing the heart rate, whilst still being able to maintain a conversation. Volleyball fits into their criteria.

Unlike some other forms of exercise, volleyball is a full body workout, engaging many different parts of the body:

  • Arms
  • Chest
  • And shoulders

Are all involved in:

  • Serving
  • Digging
  • Setting
  • And spiking the ball

Practicing volleyball also develops:

  • Bones
  • Muscle
  • And tissue

Particularly in the abdomen, thigh, and lower leg regions.

In addition, playing volleyball regularly helps people feel confident and good about themselves, both physically and emotionally …

And because playing volleyball can help somebody’s physical appearance by tightening and toning muscles, people will naturally feel better about themselves after each training session or game.

Volleyball is also a sport helps to improve:

  • Agility
  • Flexibility
  • Reaction times
  • And speed

Tips to optimize volleyball as an aerobic exercise …

Every session of aerobic exercise should include a warm-up and cool down, and this is also recommended when practicing volleyball.

A warm-up involves a gradual increase in the pace and intensity of exercise as this allows the blood flow to the muscles to gradually increase and minimises the risk of a muscle or joint injury

A cool down works in reverse, allowing the body to gradually get back to normal after a period of intense activity. This helps prevent fatigue after an intense session of playing a sport like volleyball.

Jumping is an excellent aerobic activity, and it is also key to make successful volleyball moves!

For example, digging involves a great deal of squat jumping …

To practice this, squat low to the floor and then explode upwards reaching the arms high above he shoulders, before landing with the feet apart and the knees slightly bent to absorb the impact.

Another type of jump are depth jumps which are a fine way of improving spring. They force the body to absorb a lot of force in a short period of time, converting the energy produced into a vertical leap.

Volleyball is also about speedcovering short distances in a matter of seconds

Sprinting is an excellent aerobic discipline anyway, so practicing short sprints over helps develop overall energy and power. Begin by crouching low and explode into the delivery stride, with the arms pumping and the head held still and wit the eyes focused ahead.

Stretching is always recommended either as part of an aerobic routine or by itself. It helps increase flexibility, the blood flow to muscles, the range of movement and also the general performance in any physical activity including volleyball.

Is volleyball a better alternative than regular aerobic?

Most aerobic workouts involve people moving straight ahead only, which means that the body is not being trained to deal with volleyball movements. As a consequence, volleyball players are more susceptible to injury, especially if they overdo it.

Indeed, volleyball is a multi-directional sport, and involves players moving in different directions, planting, and swivelling on one leg, and jumping and landing.

On the other hand, one of the most regular reasons for people to abandon aerobic exercises is boredom. They lose interest and motivation because they end up doing the same thing continuously.

Many people just do not know how to vary their exercise routines, or believe that it only involves weight and cardio machines.

Playing volleyball, or indeed any game involving a ball and other people, brings the fun element into the exercise

Another reason why volleyball may be preferable to regular aerobic exercise is that it is, in essence, a team sport, involving others. Whereas people may spend hours in gym by themselves trying to keep fit, volleyball players get many of the same benefits, but in a social environment as well. 

Other volleyball benefits …

Volleyball helps improve interpersonal skills. To succeed, teammates must communicate, collaborate together and at a fast pace.

A 2008 study found that men who regularly engage in team sports developed better networking skills than those who led more sedentary lives or followed individual disciplines.

Playing volleyball improves hand-eye coordination. It begins with the serve – player must follow the ball with their eyes, so that they strike the ball at the right point. Defenders must react to where the ball is going and get in the right position to make a pass, a set, or a dig. And the hitters must be able to jump up high enough and see where they want the ball to land before spiking it.

As a sport volleyball requires quick and spontaneous movements, but, whilst it is easy to make these in the opening stages of match, the top players are able to perform time and time again, To do this they need to build up their stamina (Learn how to build stamina for volleyball), which they do by indulging in regular exercise, playing frequently, and following a healthy lifestyle off the court.

Playing volleyball helps relieve stress and anxiety and helps lighten and improve the mood. This is because exercise helps release the tensions in the body, and allows them to relax.

Breathing heavily whilst exercising helps restore the body to its natural balance, which has a direct impact on the overall well-being of an individual.

It also helps prevent early muscular deterioration. Research has proven that muscle deterioration typically begins after somebody passes thirty, and can be accelerated if somebody has not exercised the muscles enough at an early age.

Volleyball is an excellent retardant of this process because it exerts both halves of the body in movements on the court, helping muscles gain mass and strength.

Studies show that individuals who exercise regularly not only extend the period before their muscles begin to deteriorate but also slow down the rate of the deterioration.

Final Thoughts …

If you have visited and read through other articles in this website, you will notice that I like breaking down strategies and tactics that will help players and coaches (already involves in the game) become successful in this sport.

Indeed, I rarely talk about volleyball benefits. This article was an exception!

Hopefully, I was quite successful by giving few more reasons to encourage you getting started and reap all those benefits as soon as possible.

Carissa Harmer

Carissa Harmer has over 6 years of volleyball experience between playing the sport at a semi-professional level, following the biggest volleyball teams & leagues out there as well as helping beginners to get started on the right path.

Recent Posts