Volleyball is one of the most popular sports worldwide, and it continues to grow. If you want to become a high-level athlete in the sport and reach the highest possible level, you need to stand out from all the other players who are simply “good.” Of course, making it big takes more than just playing the game well and learning the essential skills in practice. As with any other sport, excellence requires a ton of video watching, loads of volleyball-specific drill practice, proper nutrition and rest, and an excellent gym workout regime. 

In a top-level fitness program for a volleyball player, it’s very likely for you to find Olympic weightlifting exercises, as they’re often used as a way to build speed, strength, explosiveness, and power. But the articles you see online don’t really tell you what the best exercises are and what exactly they will help you do. And we’re here to fix that. 

In this article, we’re going to talk about the best Olympic lifts for volleyball players, how they can help you improve as a player, and why they’re a must-do for any wanna-be professional athlete. 

Let’s kick things off. 

Why Olympic-style Weightlifting is a Must for Volleyball Players? 

When we talk about strength training, people usually imagine a person on the squat stand lifting or squatting a heavy weight. But that’s just one part of the story. By definition, Olympic weightlifting is a sport that incorporates the use of two independent lifts so that a person can lift a loaded barbell from the floor to an overhead position. 

That’s why the typical Olympic moves people know are the snatch and the clean & jerk. However, even though it’s completely different from volleyball, Olympic weightlifting’s structure and foundation are vital for power development and training explosiveness. 

Thanks to the exercises that it incorporates, it can be vital for helping an athlete develop speed, strength, fluidity, and quickness – all of which are crucial for a world-class volleyball player. 

The Three Best Olympic Lifts for Volleyball Players 

It’s true that any kind of Olympic weightlifting training will make you stronger and more explosive. Still, there’s a way to make your effort truly worth your while by incorporating lifts that will specifically benefit volleyball players. In the list below, we’ve narrowed down the three best exercises that you should absolutely put in your strength training program if you inspire to get to the top level as a volleyball player. 


The snatch is one of the most difficult to do but also the most beneficial Olympic weightlifting exercises. Even though learning the proper form and the execution will take you a bit of time, the effort is 100% worth it, as the snatch can help you improve the dynamic force you generate while strengthening your entire body. To perform the snatch, you have to lift a barbell from the ground to an overhead position, mimicking how you would jump for a ball on the volleyball field. The exercise requires you to use both your upper and lower body and force you to use both dynamically to generate power off the ground – all of that can easily translate to your play on the field, making the snatch a must-do exercise for volleyball players. 

Hang Clean 

Even though it’s similar to the power clean, the hang clean requires an athlete to be more explosive when lifting the weight up. Over time, this results in adding quickness through the range of motion, and it’s extremely beneficial for volleyball players, as it mimics the movement that you’re required to do when you have to jump quickly and hit the ball. Additionally, hang cleans engage more type 2 muscle fibers (fast twitch), and they’re crucial for creating explosive force and moving with velocity. 


The squat is an essential strength training exercise that’s vital for any and all athletes. It works the entire lower body, and thanks to its many variations, it can be extremely helpful for volleyball players as well. As we all know, volleyball requires quickness of the feet and explosiveness from the legs, as you need to be jumping up the entire duration of the game. In this scenario, the traditional squat is great for building a foundation (strong legs). Still, a variation like the barbell squat jump, for example, is terrific for working the type 2 muscle fibers and developing explosiveness in the legs, which can lead to an increase in the vertical jump for an athlete. It can enable one to jump as many times as required during a game without tiring out. 

In Conclusion 

Now, you’re ready to incorporate Olympic lifts in your training program as you aim to become a better volleyball player. By doing even only three exercises regularly and increasing their difficulty, you will build the strength, explosiveness, and speed that you need for the game. You will also become a much better athlete overall. We hope you enjoyed this article, and if you want to learn more about lifting and training, head on over to our blog.