A Great Volleyball Warm-Up Routine

A Great Volleyball Warm-Up Routine

Every team needs a quality volleyball warm-up routine that will properly prepare them for practice or games.  Follow this warm-up routine to reduce the chances of injury, enhance performance, maximize touches on the volleyball, and mentally prepare players for a game or practice

Begin by pairing players up and have them pass the volleyball back and forth about ten feet apart.  The passes should arc high in the air and be hit directly to the opposite player.  Ensure that players move at a relaxed pace, warming up the muscles slowly by moving in a controlled manner.  Focus on player’s technique and form during the entire warm-up, begin to develop those good habits.  Players arms should be straight when passing the volleyball, they should move to the ball with their feet, and use proper passing form.


Each pair will complete 30 passes, 15 per player.  After 30 passes are completed by each pair they will repeat the same process, but set the ball back and forth.  Again focus on the technique ensuring that players are moving to the volleyball with their feet, keeping their back straight, then pushing upward with their legs when making contact with the volleyball.  The sets should arc high in the air and players will continue to move at a relaxed pace.  Each pair will complete 30 sets, 15 per player.

After completing the passes and sets the pairs will now pass the volleyball to their partner forcing them to move backward to return the pass.  The pass should be slightly behind their partner and hit with a high arc giving their partner plenty of time to move their feet to get into position to return the pass.  Warm-Up2  The pass is then returned with a high arc and the player moves up a few steps and repeats the process.


Each player will move backward and return 15 passes, then switch with their partner and pass the volleyball slightly behind their partner forcing them to shuffle back to return the volleyball.  Ensure the movement backwards is a shuffle and players are facing the volleyball at all times. Once both players have completed 15 passes the same process is repeated, except the passes are played in front forcing the receiving player to move forward to return the ball.


The pass is returned with a high arc and the player retreats by shuffling back and prepares to move forward to return the next pass.  Each player takes 15 repetitions then switch.  After each player has completed 15 passes they will run each drill again, moving backwards and forwards for 15 repetitions, but set the ball back and forth.  Each player will complete 15 sets where they are required to shuffle backwards to play the return set and 15 sets where they are required to move forward to play the return set.

Next players will move laterally to return a pass by playing a volleyball a few feet to the right of their partner forcing them to shuffle to return the pass.


The return pass is played to the left of the player who just passed the ball.


They then shuffle over and play a return pass to the left of their partner.


The players continue to pass to the ball side to side forcing them to shuffle back and forth to return the volleyball to their partner.  Each pair will complete 60 passes, 30 each, 15 while moving to the right, and 15 while moving to the left.  Players should be moving slowly and deliberately, the muscles and joints are still warming up.  Passes should arc high in the air giving player ample time to shuffle over and get into position before retuning the volleyball.  After 60 passes are complete the pairs repeat, but set the ball back and forth for another 60 repetitions.

The muscles and joints should be getting warm at this point and the warm-up routine will now incorporate a couple dynamic stretches to loosen muscles.  Players will line up on opposite sides of the court forming two lines.  There should be no more than 3 players in one line.  The players will pass the ball back and forth and after the volleyball is passed to the opposite side of the court, the player who just passed the ball will jog to the back of the opposite line.

Pass and Go1Pass and Go2

The passes should have a high arc and players should use proper form.  The dynamic stretches are utilized when players are moving from one line to the other.  After a pass players will move to the end of the opposite line while incorporating a dynamic stretch in this order:

  • First jog to the opposite line
  • Jog and extend the arms to the side and move them in circles, perform arm circles in a forward motion and backward motion
  • Skip to the opposite line lifting the knee to a point where the quadricep is parallel with the floor
  • Jog to the opposite line while twisting the upper body to loosen the back muscles
  • Take two steps then jump off of one foot then take two steps and jump off of the opposite foot, then repeat
  • Take two steps then kick one leg up touching the toes with the opposite hand to stretch the hamstrings, take two steps then kick with the opposite leg and repeat

Each one of the dynamic stretches should be performed two to three times before moving to the next.  Muscles and joints should be very warm at this point and one last volleyball warm-up drill will be completed to prepare players for practice or compete in a game.  To wrap up the warm-up routine players will throw a volleyball back and forth over the net.


First players will throw the ball with both hands by lifting the ball behind their head and throwing it with a similar motion to a soccer throw in.  After ten to fifteen throws players will then throw the ball over the net to their partner with a one handed overhand motion.  These throws will loosen up the arms and prepare them for the hitting or attacking motion.

Now the team is ready to play at full speed, this volleyball warm-up routine incorporates a lot of touches on the volleyball,  always include a volleyball in warm-ups to maximize practice time.  More touches on the volleyball allows more opportunities to improve skills.  Be sure to emphasize proper form and technique throughout the entire warm-up routine and ensure that players are moving in at a slow pace, but they should still work up a sweat about halfway through the routine.  Players should be focused throughout the warm-up and move swiftly from one warm-up drill to the next, if possible they should move from one drill to the next without stopping the volleyball.  Check out how to run an amazing volleyball practice and our list of free volleyball drills for some tips and ideas on what to do after the warm-up routine.

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