How to Get a Faster Arm Swing in Volleyball

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If you play volleyball, you’d already know that a hitter is one of the key players in a team. The main job of hitters is to earn points for their team by carrying out successful attacks.

If you want to become a successful volleyball hitter, the arm swing is one of the most important moves that you must learn and master. In this article, we’ll discuss how to get a faster arm swing in volleyball using the right mechanics, exercises, and drills.

How to Get a Faster Arm Swing in Volleyball

Follow the steps listed below if you want to get a faster arm swing in volleyball.

A player executing ways on how to get a faster arm swing in volleyball

Step 1: Learn the Right Arm Swing Mechanics

Learning the right mechanics is critically important to improving your arm swing. You can be the most powerful player in the world but if you don’t use the right mechanics, you can’t improve your arm swing.

Initiating Arm Swing

The arm swing starts with a jump. You need to make sure that you drive your elbows and hands backward as you begin to leave the ground. As you go up high, you’ll need to draw your arms upward by making sure that your elbows are at the level of your ears.

You don’t want to raise just your dominant hand that you’ll use for hitting. It’ll lead you to tilt forward and you’ll lose power and reach. Additionally, tilting forward will also put more stress on your shoulder.

You’ll need to jump as high as you possibly can. The higher the jump the more the potential to hit the ball with increased power, speed, and spin. Jumping higher allows you to have more area on the opponent’s side to aim for as it increases the range of angles you can use.

However, you’ll need to be extra careful as increasing power and speed can lead the ball to fall outside the court. The purpose of jumping high is to hit down the ball at a steeper angle, which will increase the chances of earning a point.  

Receiving the Ball

As you’re getting closer to receiving the ball, you’ll need to bring your dominant hand backward as well as downward. Make sure that your forearm is making about 90 degrees angle with your shoulder while your elbow is at your ear level.

In this position, the shoulder of your dominant arm will be lower than the other one and you’ll be ready to hit the ball.

Hitting the Ball

Hitting the ball is the most crucial part of the entire process. You’ll need to keep your hand relaxed and bring your arm upward straight in the air. Then, aim to hit the ball with the base of your middle finger. It’ll allow you to make sure that your entire hand touches the ball surface. This way, you’ll be able to hit the ball with maximum power.

Additionally, it’s also important to snap your wrist to generate spin so that you can control the ball effectively. Make sure that you snap your wrist as hard and fast as possible and direct it towards the ground on the other side of the net.

A player swing her arms in a Volleyball game

Keep in mind that you’re not aiming to push the ball forward. You need to spin it so that it doesn’t fall outside the court.

Step 2: Develop the Right Muscles

Shoulder (Trapezius)Better mobility
Arm (Biceps and Triceps)Improved power
Back (Deltoids)Improved power and accuracy
ChestImproved power
AbdominalsBetter stability
Legs (Quadriceps and Hamstrings)Better vertical jump

The following are the muscles in your body that you need to develop to get a faster arm swing.

Shoulder Muscles

These are called deltoids and developing them will help you move your arm easily and hit the ball with more power. The barbell overhead press is the best exercise that you can perform to improve your deltoids.

Chest Muscles

Chest muscles are called pectorals and they join forces with deltoids to help you bring your arm backward and then forward before hitting the ball. Pushups, dips, and barbell flat bench press are some common exercises to develop these muscles.

Arm Muscles

The arm muscles allow you to exert more power on your arm swing while hitting the ball. Your body uses these muscles when you place your entire arm in a straight position as you place your hand on the ball. They also allow you to generate more spin to control the ball’s direction. You can use diamond push-ups and rope pushdowns to develop your triceps.

Muscles On Your Back

The muscles located on your backside, starting from the lower part of your back and going all the way up to your neck, are called trapezius. You use these muscles to move your top body backward while jumping and then forward to land on the ground easily. 

They also help you have a stable and powerful forward arm motion. The best way to improve these muscles is to perform chin-ups and rear delt cable raises.

Abdominal Muscles

These muscles are located in your body’s lumbar region and they assist you during the entire arm swing motion. However, the role of these muscles becomes critical as your body bends forward right after hitting the ball. They help you to easily control your torso to land on the ground properly. Hardstyle plank and barbell back squat are common exercises to improve your abdominal muscles.

Leg Muscles

Developing your leg muscles is critically important. That’s because they help you to jump higher to perform a perfect arm swing. Squats, lunges, and step-ups are the best exercises to improve quadriceps.

Step 3: Perform the Right Drill

There are several drills you can perform to get a faster arm swing. I have selected the most effective drills that will help you master this move and become a successful hitter.

A player shows how to get a faster arm swing in volleyball
  • Tossing the Ball and Spike

The first drill that you can perform to get a faster arm swing is to toss the ball high in the air and spike it against the wall. You can practice this drill with or without jumping. Make sure that you toss the ball as high as possible because it’ll increase the downward speed.

This way, you’ll need to have a faster arm swing to contact and hit the ball. I recommend you practice this skill without jumping initially if you’re a beginner. It’ll help you improve your arm swing speed and then you can start practicing the drill with jumping.

  • Ball Slams

Performing this drill is very hectic but it’ll increase your arm swing speed significantly. First, you need to grab a volleyball and stand on a platform, which is about two feet high. After that, you need to slam the ball using your both hands into the ground and catch it right away as it bounces back. Then, slam the ball into the ground again immediately.

Make sure that you bring both hands with the ball behind your head each time before slamming. In addition, you’ll also need to throw, catch, and throw the ball again into the ground as fast as possible. It’ll improve all the muscles in your upper body that you need for a powerful and faster arm swing.

  • Bounce Tennis Ball Against a Wall

Hand-eye coordination is critically important to carry out a successful, fast, and accurate arm swing. One of the best ways to improve your hand-eye coordination is to bounce a tennis ball against a wall. Make sure that you throw the ball as hard as possible and try to catch it.

Additionally, you’ll need to throw the ball from above your head by snapping your wrist. These are the same motions that you need to use for an arm swing. Not only will it improve your hand-eye coordination but it’ll also increase your arm swing speed.

Related Questions

Here are some frequently asked questions about getting a faster arm swing in volleyball.

What Muscles Help You Spike a Volleyball?

The muscles that help you spike better are your biceps, your shoulders (deltoids), and your back (trapezius). On top of that, your quadriceps and gluteus help you jump faster and higher.

How Can I Increase My Hand Power in Volleyball?

You can increase your hand power by doing workouts focused on your biceps, triceps, forearms, and grip strength. This way you will improve your power and even accuracy when it comes to spikes.

How Do You Spike if You Are Short?

Although most spikers are tall, this doesn’t mean that short players cannot do it. If you have a lower height, you can spike by beating your rivals with quick movements and jump height.

For instance, you will need to quickly change positions, deceive your opponent, and jump high to perform an easy spike.

Final Words

Arm swing is one of the most important moves that every volleyball hitter must learn. The key to mastering this skill is to keep practicing using the right techniques. I hope this guide will help you get a faster arm swing in volleyball so that you can dominate the other team.

Tim Frechette is an avid athlete, having played sports like soccer and basketball his entire life. He brings a wealth of athletic knowledge to his writing.