Is Volleyball Aerobic or Anaerobic?

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In the world of sports, learning about the body and how it responds to certain activities can be considered essential; after all, this could allow you to enhance your performance. If you are curious about this, you might be wondering ‘’Is volleyball Aerobic or Anaerobic?’’

Is Volleyball Aerobic or Anaerobic?

Volleyball is considered an aerobic sport due to its significant physical and cardiovascular demands. This sport requires players to jump, and sprint from one site to another, which increases the heart rate and, consequently, the breathing rate.

Learning this topic will help you understand how your body works when playing volleyball and, eventually, how to improve your skills. To do so, you must first understand why it is considered aerobic, and how to prepare your body to perform better in physical activities.

Volleyball players training

What Is Considered Aerobic and Anaerobic?

Uses oxygen as the principal way of energyUses muscles as the principal way of energy
Increases your heart rateIs less intense
Requires you to move a lotRequires controlled movements

In order to fully comprehend why volleyball is considered aerobic, you need to learn what aerobic and anaerobic mean. The first one refers to the body using oxygen as a main source of energy for the body. This means that your body will be using your breath as it is as fuel.

This is why people with more endurance and better lung capacity are able to run, jog, and perform physical activities for more time. A person with great endurance will be able to run for thirty minutes without losing their breath; a person with no endurance could last up to five minutes.

On the other hand, anaerobic refers to the body using other energy sources in order to produce energy. This can be easily seen while practicing weightlifting and sprinting; here, the body is using the muscles and glucose cells as a way of energy.

Why Is Volleyball Aerobic?

You need to also consider that all prolonged physical activities that require your body to increase its heart rate can be called ‘’aerobic’’. Then, since volleyball demands a lot of activity from your body for an extended period of time, it can be considered aerobic.

To further understand this, you need to take a look at how the heart, the oxygen, and the cells work together. When you are performing an aerobic activity, your cells (from your circulatory system) need more oxygen to keep working, and it is your heart’s goal to provide it.

Therefore, the heart starts pumping faster in order to supply enough oxygen for the cells. This oxygen comes from your lungs, which is why you start breathing heavily when doing these activities. When you stop, your body returns to its normal state, and your heart rate decreases.

Why Is Volleyball Not Anaerobic?

To make volleyball anaerobic, multiple rules would have to be changed to prevent players from getting too much physical activity. For example, you would need to limit the number of strong jumps to allow the player’s body to focus more on their muscle.

Also, the time of each set would need to be drastically reduced. This is because anaerobic exercises sometimes require you to engage your muscles intensely in a short period of time. As a result, your body will begin to use glucose as an energy source.

This glucose would break and begins to build up lactic acid in the muscles, which is why your muscles “burn” as you do these exercises.

An image of volleyball players training

How to Improve at Aerobic Activities

In order to further develop your skills as a volleyball player, you need to improve your endurance while performing aerobic exercises. After all, if you cannot last more than fifteen minutes inside of the court, you won’t be able to grow as a player.

Here are some tips to improve your aerobic endurance.

  • Go for a long and slow jogging session, instead of an intense one. A slow pace will allow your body to adapt through the session, allowing you to go for a longer period of time without causing too much stress to your body.
  • Eat fruits before and after a jogging session. Certain fruits will improve your performance before starting to jog; oranges and bananas are good examples of this. On top of that, you can eat strawberries after the session for better recovery.

Progressively increase the intensity. For example, if you are jogging, try to increase your jogging time from thirty minutes to one hour in a period of three months.

  • Rest. No matter how hard you work to improve your endurance, you won’t go too far if you don’t get the proper rest.

Related Questions

Here are some related questions about aerobic and anaerobic exercises.

How Much Endurance Do I Need to Play Volleyball?

Given that a volleyball match might last anywhere from sixty to ninety minutes, you’ll need to be able to jump and sprint for more than an hour and a half. This is a significantly high level of endurance.

Is Anaerobic Training Harder Than Aerobic?

Although anaerobic workouts are more intense than aerobic exercises, they both have a similar level of difficulty. Some people like to train anaerobically, while others prefer to train aerobically.

Therefore, it all depends on how hard you work on each training no matter the kind of exercise you do.

Is Aerobic or Anaerobic Better for Losing Weight?

Both types of exercise are good and necessary for losing weight, however, anaerobic workouts help you build muscle and lose fat. Though, this doesn’t mean that you should only do anaerobic exercises.

Since anaerobic workouts demand endurance, you must practice aerobic exercises to build your stamina.


Understanding how your body functions will help you improve your performance on the volleyball court. In this case, you would need to concentrate on improving your aerobic endurance in order to progress as a player.

Alfonso Andrade is an avid sportsman, growing up playing soccer and volleyball. He is a coach and sports analyst, studying the game to analyze performance and help create improvement.