Find Your Sand Legs

Chip Fanelli
The drinking bird warms up your hips and increase flexibility.

For those of us who play both, it’s obvious that beach and indoor volleyball are very different sports. So, when the weather warms up, wise volleyball athletes modify their training to transition from indoor to the beach game. Any beach volleyball training program starts with getting used to moving in the sand. This workout from the Boston Institute of Jump gets you going with a warm-up that engages your entire body and follows up with a tough sand conditioning sequence, designed to get you jumping out of the sand and moving quickly in all directions

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Drinking Birds Hip Flexibility Drill (HFD)

REPS: 8 per leg

- Start standing with good posture, arms relaxed. (A)
- Extend your left leg out behind you, keeping both legs straight but not locked. Raise the back leg until it forces your chest to lean towards the ground. Let your arms dangle relaxed in front of you and make sure not to round your back as you hold the movement for a few seconds. (B)
- Return to standing. Take three steps forward and repeat on the opposite leg. Perform eight on each side.

Inch Worm

REPS: 6 total

- Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Hinge forward at the waist and place your palms on the sand. Bend your knees, if necessary. (C)
- Walk your hands forward as far as you can, contracting your abs the entire time. (D)
- When your hands are out in front of you as far as they’ll go without letting your body touch the sand, walk your feet forward with very small steps to meet your hands, keeping your legs straight. Repeat five more times. (E)

Linear HFD

REPS: 6 per leg

- Start standing with good posture, your feet hip-width apart and arms by your sides. Lift your leg, bending the knee to a 90 degree angle and flexing the foot. (F)
- Extend the left leg and take a comfortable, but long, step forward, simultaneously lowering your body into a lunge position as your lead foot touches the sand. Extend your back hip toward the front foot, but don’t arch your back. Check that your forward knee is directly above your ankle, holding that 90 degree angle, and you are extending through your back heel. (G-H)
- Keeping hips extended, bring the back leg forward, driving through your front heel, and return to a standing position, maintaining perfect posture and abdominal contraction throughout.
- Repeat on the other leg, completing six on each side.


Approach Jump

REPS : 2 sets of 6

- Stand in a defensive position at the location off the net where you would begin your hitting approach. (I)
- Take your approach (3 or 4 steps, whichever is most comfortable), making sure your last two steps position your feet hip-width apart in a good jumping stance with your hips low and retracted behind you, arms extended back, and maintaining good posture. (J)
- Explode out of the sand, allowing your arms to extend to the sky, and execute a gentle swing. (K)
- Land as softly as possible, hips retracting back into a squat with good posture. Back pedal to your starting position and do five more reps, jumping as high as you can each time. (L)

Block Jumps

REPS: 2 sets of 6

- Stand at the net with your knees slightly bent and your hands up, ready to execute a block. (M)
- Load into a squat, maintaining good posture, then explode up, reaching above the net as if you were actually going to block a hitter. Make sure to use proper blocking technique throughout each of the repetitions. (N)
- Land as in your approach jump, softly with hips retracted. Immediately explode back out of the sand for your five remaining reps. Each jump should be at max height.

Blocker Sprints

REPS: 2 sets of 6

- Start on the left side of the net in a blocking position. (O)
- Execute a block jump as in the previous exercise, making sure to load with good posture and jump as high as you can. (P-Q)
- After landing, take a jab step with your right foot then cross over with your left and sprint parallel to net to the opposite end. (R)
- When you reach the sideline, return your body square to net and repeat the block jump.
- After landing, take the jab step with your left foot and sprint back to the starting position.
- Continue this sequence until you have done four (maximum height) jumps total. Do two sets, catching your breath completely in between.

Lateral Shuffle to Sprint

REPS: 6 total, recovering completely between reps

- Place a ball or other marker under the net at the middle of the court.
- Stand on one of the sidelines of your court in a loaded defensive position with good posture, facing the net. (S)
- Begin shuffling towards the opposite sideline as quickly as you can, staying low with your hands out in front of you and making sure to pick your feet up out of the sand. (T)
- When you reach the midpoint of the court, lined up with your marker, take a jab step with your leading foot, and then cross over with the other foot, using this step to drive through the sand and sprint through the opposite sideline. (U-V)
- Recover completely before doing the next rep.

>> More from the Boston Institute of Jump: "Explosive Leg Development"

Originally published in June 2013


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