The effects of an off-season strength and conditioning program on starters and non-starters in women’s intercollegiate volleyball

Andrew C. Fry, William J. Kraemer, Cheryl A. Weseman, Brian P. Conroy, Scott E. Gordon, Jay R. Hoffman, Carl M. Maresh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

128 Scopus citations


Fourteen female NCAA Division I collegiate volleyball players were monitored during a 12-week off-season strength and conditioning program. Physical characteristics (mean ± standard deviation) included: Age, 19.6 ± 0.6 years; height, 171.9 ± 6.8 centimeters; weight, 64.3 ± 7.0 kilograms. Training included resistance exercise, plyometrics, aerobic endurance exercise and on-court volleyball practice. At the beginning of the study, starters (ST, n - 6) were compared with non-starters (NST, n - 8), and were found to be faster, more flexible and stronger. ST were still stronger when one-repetition maximum (1 RM) values were corrected for fat-free mass (FFM). Ten subjects completed the 12-week strength and conditioning program and participated in the post-training tests. ST and NST responded similarly to the training program for all physical and performance tests. Significant improvements were observed for FFM, sport-specific peak and mean isometric force, vertical jump (VJ), shoulder flexibility, 1 RM strength and 1 RM/FFM for the bench press, military press, squat and hang power clean, and isokinetic leg extension torque at 1.05 and 3.14 rads'sec-K Furthermore, two-mile run times and sit-up performance (in 60 seconds) also improved. Significant decreases were observed for VJ endurance. Over the course of the training program, the relationship between 1 RM strength and FFM decreased, while shoulder flexibility was increasingly related to sport-specific isometric strength. Isokinetic testing did not reflect the magnitude of changes in 1 RM tests. Thus, while differences appear to exist in physical characteristics between starters and non-starters, it was shown that most physical and performance variables for ST and NST can be improved with a comprehensive strength and conditioning program for female collegiate volleyball players.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)174-181
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Strength and Conditioning Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 1991
Externally publishedYes


  • Anthropometry
  • Flexibility
  • Isokinetic
  • Isometric
  • Resistance training
  • Sprint speed
  • Vertical jump


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