What Muscles Are Used in Volleyball?

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The muscles are the most essential tool in sports, and volleyball is no exception to the rule. If you just started playing this game and you want to improve, you might be wondering what muscles are used in volleyball, and how can you train them.

What Muscles Are Used in Volleyball?

When playing volleyball, you mainly work the muscles of your legs (calves, hamstrings, quadriceps, and glutes), the muscles of your shoulders, and arms (deltoids, biceps, and triceps), and your core (obliques and abdominals).

These are the principal muscle groups that you use when playing volleyball, however, in order to fully understand this subject, you need to learn how these muscles are used. This way, you will be able to have better control of your body and perform better movements.

A player showing her shoulder

How Are Muscles Used in Volleyball?

Volleyball is a physically demanding sport that asks us to constantly exercise my muscles. However, these are used in different scenarios and help me to accomplish activities in the best and strongest way possible. After all, a poor leap or a weak spike would be ineffective.

Understanding the scenarios in which your muscles play an important role can assist you to enhance your proprioception. This is your body’s capacity to recognize its location in space, and it may be improved by paying attention to the muscles I employ when playing.

Here you can see the muscles I use and how I use them when playing volleyball.

Upper Body

During a game, I tend to utilize a lot of my upper body to do the most important volleyball movements: serving, volleying, bumping, setting, spiking, and blocking. Therefore, you won’t be able to do these actions correctly if your upper body muscles aren’t well-developed.


Explained basically, the deltoids are the muscles of the shoulder, and they allow you to raise your whole arm as well as to perform a striking motion. This means that your shoulders are one the main contributors to your spikes, your bumps, your serves, and your digs.

By exercising and conditioning this muscle, you will be able to further evolve your abilities as a player. To do it, you can do simple exercises such as the spike push up, the handstand push up, and dips. On top of that, you can improve your flexibility by doing simple stretches.

Biceps and Triceps

The biceps and triceps are part of my arm and are in charge of flexing and moving your forearm forward. This means that it is important when it comes to spikes, after all, you cannot properly swing if your arm isn’t strong or flexible enough.

Exercising these muscles will allow you to add more power and precision to your spikes and jump servers. Here are some exercises you can do to begin working on them.

  • Barbell curls for your biceps
  • Diamond push-ups for your triceps
  • Chin-ups for your biceps
  • Dips for your triceps
  • Tricep extensions
  • Wide chin-ups for your biceps

Lower Body

The lower body is also very important in your function as a volleyball player, after all, it lets you jump, sprint, control your movements, and stabilize yourself. If your lower body is weak, you won’t have the strength or control to accomplish certain movements properly.

Even though both body parts are considered to be essential, the lower body allows you to have better mobility inside of the court. This means that, by training these muscles, you will be enhancing the movements you do with your upper body.

An image of a player on what muscles are used in volleyball

Calves, Hamstrings, Quadriceps, and Glutes

When it comes to jumping and sprinting, your calves, hamstrings, quadriceps, and glutes play a key part in your body. Explained simply, these muscles act as a spring; when you contract them and release them quickly, you will perform a powerful jump.

This is key for all volleyball players, after all, when you spike, block, serve, and even bump, you need to jump; hence why these athletes jump even more than basketball sportsmen. Therefore, these muscles need to be carefully trained in order to grow as a player.

Squats, hikes, wall squats, lunges, and glute bridges are all good ways to work them out. These workouts will help you grow your lower body muscles and, as a result, improve your performance on the volleyball court. Also, always remember to stretch them to enhance your flexibility.

Related Questions

Which Joints Are Used in Volleyball?

When you play volleyball, you constantly use your ankles, hips, and knees. On top of that, you use your shoulder joint, your elbows, and your wrists. These are all essential when it comes to playing volleyball.

In order to keep them healthy, you need to constantly do stretching exercises or even yoga.

Does Volleyball Build Muscle?

Yes, volleyball can help you lower your body fat percentage and build a variety of muscle groups across your body. Playing this sport can increase your overall strength, especially in your arms, legs, and core.


The muscles on your body allow you to effectively perform movements inside of the court; if they are weak, so will your performance. Learning about them will bring consciousness to them, which will allow you to enhance your actions inside of the court.

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.