Lacrosse – Strength Training

Lacrosse Strength Training

Here are a number of lacrosse strength training exercises that will help you to improve your speed, endurance, shooting “power” and defensive checks. However, be aware that many doctors do not recommend weight training for boys until they are in high school (please check with your doctor before starting any strength training program). Therefore, young lacrosse players should only focus on those exercises that do not use weights such as push-ups, pull-ups and crunches. Remember to stretch before conducting any strength training program.

Wrist & Forearm Strength Exercises – To improve the power of your wrist “snap” when shooting in lacrosse (and thus the speed of your shot), you need to work on your hand, wrist and forearm strength. These exercises are also good for helping to maintain a strong grip on the stick when being heavily checked.

  • Squeeze a tennis ball
  • Squeeze a hand grip
  • Resistance band wrist flexion exercise
  • Resistance band wrist extensor exercise
  • Wrist curls
  • Wrist rollers
  • Wall Ball – However, only use one hand to catch & throw with your stick!

Upper Body Strength Exercises – For more powerful lacrosse shots and defensive checks, you need to work on strengthening areas such as your triceps, biceps, shoulders and back.

  • Push-Ups – Regular push-ups are a great lacrosse exercise because you can do them anywhere. No gym or weight set required! Push-ups work on areas such as your triceps, chest and shoulders. You will also be boosting your core strength (because a push-up is also a quasi-plank exercise as you have to maintain a stiff body).
  • Triangle Pushups – Put your hands together so your hands form a triangle (fingers touching). This is a more difficult pushup and will place greater emphasis on your triceps.
  • Wide Push-Ups – Place your arms as far a part as possible. This is a more difficult pushup and will place greater emphasis on your chest muscles.
  • Clapping Push-Ups – This develops explosive chest power because you have “explode” upwards when you do a push-up in order to lift yourself off the ground and clap your hands.
  • Elevated Push-Ups – For another more difficult push-up, put your feet on a chair and do push-ups with your feet elevated.
  • Bench Press
  • Bicep Curls
  • Pull-Ups – Buy a pull-up bar & place it in a door frame and do this exercise at home. This is an excellent lacrosse strength exercise.
  • Lat Pulldown – Needs an exercise machine.
  • Triceps Extensions
  • Triceps Kickbacks
  • Bent-Over Row with Dumbbells
  • Dumbbell Flys
  • Chest Dips

Core Strength Exercises – In order to increase the speed & power of your lacrosse shots, you need to work on your torque or twisting power in order to have more powerful “wind-ups”. You will need to exercise “core” areas such as your stomach, lateral obliques (side muscles) and lower back. Here are a number of useful lacrosse core exercises.

  • Sit-Ups – Yes, the standard sit-up that you learned in school is a solid core exercise. However, be careful and do not pull on your neck when doing this exercise. A safer method is to cross your arms on your chest versus holding the back of your head. Also keep your knees bent (versus your legs being flat on the ground).
  • Incline Sit-Ups – Incline sit-ups are a more intense form of sit-ups. Buy an incline board and use gravity & your body weight in order to create a more challenging core exercise (versus standard sit-ups).
  • Crunches – If sit-ups hurt your back (as they can add more pressure), you should consider doing crunches. Crunches are an excellent core exercise.
  • Bicycle Crunches – Bicycle crunches are supposed to be one of the very best core exercises for fast improvement to your core strength. They work on a wide range of core muscles.
  • Bicycle Exercise
  • Bird Dog
  • Captain’s Chair
  • Crossover Crunch
  • Crunch with Heel Push
  • Exercise Ball Crunch
  • Long Arm Crunch
  • Oblique Crunch
  • Plank Exercises – Plank exercises are one of my favorite core exercises! For a more advanced plank exercise, you can try to lift an arm and an opposite leg (i.e. right arm and left leg) when you are in the plank position. The “instability” of this advanced plank makes this core exercise even more effective.
  • Side Plank
  • Reverse Crunch
  • Segmental Rotation
  • Seated Russian Twist
  • Russian Twist with Weights
  • Superman
  • Vertical Leg Crunch
  • Woodchops

Leg Strength Exercises – For greater leg power, speed and endurance, you need to work on areas such as your quads, hamstrings & calves.

  • Barbell Squat
  • Barbell Step-Up
  • Barbell Lunges
  • Calf Exercises
  • Calf Press
  • Calf Raise with Weight Machine
  • Calf Raise without Weight Machine
  • Hamstring Exercises
  • Lying Leg Curl
  • Hamstring Raise – Use a partner or equipment to hold your feet for this hamstring exercise. This is a more advanced exercise (because you are using most of your body’s weight) so be careful if you have weak hamstrings. Better to start with easier exercises that use less weight (i.e. a standing leg curl without weights).
  • One-Legged Deadlift – This exercise involves strengthening your hamstring but also requires balance. Start with a very light weight so you do not hurt yourself. Also be careful that you do not hurt your back.
  • Pull Through – This hamstring exercise involves rubber resistance bands. Safer than using weights.
  • Squats – With your back straight and your legs about a shoulder-width apart, bend your legs and lower your body towards the floor. You should be only bending your knees, not your back or hips. Move slowly and do not bend beyond a 90 degrees angle at the knee.
  • Straight Leg Raise – Lie on your stomach and just raise a single leg in the air. Start with 20 reps and then work on your other leg.
  • Leg Flutter – Think of swimming on land. You lie on your stomach and raise your legs. Then start to “flutter” your legs in the air like you are swimming (i.e. free style/crawl stroke).
  • Leg Extensions
  • Leg Lifts – A single leg lift is safer than a double leg left. Double leg lifts can put excessive strain on your back.
  • Leg Press
  • Lunge – Use your own body weight in this exercise.
  • Step-Up
  • Single Leg Squat
  • Squat Thrust – Squat thrusts help to build explosive leg power as well as working on other areas of your body (i.e. chest).

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