12 STRENGTH Exercises Your LACROSSE Athlete Should Be Doing

This article is about lacrosse exercises to improve performance.

by Jack Gladstone

  1. Front Squat

We utilize the front squat for training lower body strength as well as to challenge the midline control of the athlete. The movement promotes stability through the pelvis, lumbar spine, thoracic spine, and abdominals. By loading the barbell in the front rack position we minimize the risk of loading the pelvis and lumbar spine into a lordotic position (increase stress on the lower back as the pelvis is tilted forward). The front rack helps the athlete gain control over a maintaining a neutral spine. Whereas most of the musculature in the human body is meant to create motion, the muscles of the midline are meant to brace or resist motion. This is a vital component to preventing injury in an athlete but will also aid in an increase in power during the violent action of shooting a lacrosse ball. The front squat is fantastic for the lacrosse athlete in that it promotes strength, stability, and durability throughout the entire system (ankle, knee, hip, spine, abdominal, shoulder) all of which are crucial when sprinting, jumping, cutting, checking,  or even absorbing a check.

      2. Sumo Deadlift

The sumo deadlift has many of the same benefits as the front squat in the sense that it challenges the integrity of the entire system. However, during the sumo pull, it’s important to cue the athlete to drive their knees out towards the outside of their foot, attempting to “spread the floor.”. Why is this so important for the lacrosse athlete? The sumo deadlift will aid in building hip and external rotator strength which is extremely crucial in a lateral dominant (ie. cutting) sport like lacrosse. The sumo deadlift can also be safely utilized dynamically for power development.

     3. DB Lunge

We utilize the dumbbell lunge as an accessory exercise to a main lift (For example: We would do these after completing our squat, press, or deadlift). The dumbbell lunge is a tremendous unilateral exercise that is critical for developing strength through the glute, hamstring, and quad. By creating this unilateral strength and stability via the lunge, the athlete will also promote stability and strength throughout the knee joint. This is vital in a sport that sees too many knee injuries throughout the course of a season.

     4. Box Jump

The box jump is utilized for the lacrosse athlete to promote lower body power through triple extension of the ankle-knee-hip, critical in sprinting, jumping, and cutting. Triple extension is a key aspect in transferring energy from the lower half to the upper half – something all lacrosse players know is vital to their sport. Additionally, the eccentric strength capabilities required from landing on top of a box will be instrumental in bulletproofing the athlete from injury.

     5. Hang Power Clean

Similar to the box jump, the hang power clean is a great exercise to generate power throughout the entire system. However, unlike the box jump, the clean a great deal of kinematic sequencing (ensuring the timing of the lower half and upper half are in sync) in order to execute the movement properly. While it is a great power development exercise, it is a great movement for the lacrosse athlete in that it teaches the athlete to generate force and simultaneously absorb force.

    6. DB Push Press

The push press is a great way to train the upper body while still demanding full body awareness. The push press applies much better to the field athlete than a traditional strict press would. This movement allows the athlete to generate rapid extension through the knee and hip which will then translate to the momentum and power needed to thrust the weight overhead. Additionally, anytime an athlete is loaded in the overhead position, the movement is demanding midline strength and stability (ie. not allowing the back to arch or sway). This rapid extension combined with midline bracing correlates to a lacrosse athlete throwing a check and pushing off of an offensive player.

7. Renegade Row

Lacrosse has a tremendous demand on the athlete being able to generate and resist rotation. The renegade row is a great exercise to train the body to stabilize the pelvic region during rotational exercises. By not allowing the hips the rotate, we train a domain that is referred to as “anti-rotation.” Some professionals even believe that anti-rotation is even more critical to the rotational athlete than a weighted rotational exercise. At the end of the day, the idea of being able to generate force through the transverse plane is irrelevant if the athlete cannot stabilize it first.

8. Alternating Goblet Lateral Lunge

The lateral lunge trains the anterior midline and overall hip strength in the frontal plane. Creating strength in the frontal plane is critical in lateral movement on the lacrosse field. The movement also trains aspects of the posterior chain as well as adductor in that it requires a tremendous demand on ranges of motion throughout the lower body in order to complete a full range repetition. As most injuries happen at the extremes of the movement, the lateral lunge is very beneficial in preventing common hip flexor and groin/adductor strains that happen in the sport of lacrosse.

      9. Sled March

The sled march is beneficial to the lacrosse athlete for the purposes of acceleration. Offense is entirely predicated on getting a single extra step on the defender, and vice versa for the defensive player. By focusing on the rapid extension of the back leg, the sled march continuously trains an aggressive and powerful first step.

10.  Single Leg RDL

We train the single leg RDL for the lacrosse athlete as a unilateral posterior chain exercise. The single leg RDL is used as a great tool for training the hamstring, a critical stabilizer of the knee as well as extremely important for speed development. This exercise has great implications for injury prevention as well as performance enhancement.

11. Farmers Walk

The farmers walk trains the athlete to stabilize their hips while moving forward. It is very beneficial for the overhead athlete in training stability of the shoulder girdle while the humeral head is depressed downward, rather than overhead. Additionally, overall grip strength and body awareness will be improved due to demanding the body to hold and control heavy weight at their side.

12. Box Squat

In a similar manner to the sumo deadlift, the box squat is a movement that is extremely beneficial to hip strength and hip health. While the box squat is technically a bilateral, sagittal plane movement, it’s beneficial for the lacrosse athlete for lateral stability and power, as the coach will cue the athlete to generate force towards the outside of the athlete’s feet. The athlete should work to brace their midline in an attempt to drive straight upward so that their hamstrings and glutes get more involved in the movement opposed to just their quads. This will also be beneficial for an athlete being able to take pressure off of their knee joint when squatting.

Lacrosse exercises are great for people wanting to do lacrosse exercises. Lacrosse exercises are sweet in the gym when you’re looking for lacrosse exercises. Lacrosse exercises can help your performance because the lacrosse exercises make you stronger.

10 Exercises Your Softball Athlete Should Be Doing

This article outlines 10 exercises for softball athletes to increase performance.

Single Leg Landmine RDL

Balance is a form of strength. Being able to complete a unilateral hinge movement while maintaining proper scapula stability will strengthen components necessary for a softball athlete to minimize the risk of injury in their sport. These unilateral movements will also expose to the practitioner or coach just how one-side dominated the athlete is from continuously swingining and hitting from one side.

Landmine Lunge to Power Press

The athlete will begin by kneeling on the ground with both legs at 90/90. The knee in contact with the ground should be on the same side as the arm pressing the landmine. Begin lifting the back knee off of the ground approximately two inches and engaging the glute and midline so that there is a straight line of force from the knee to the shoulder. Then in one motion, simultaneously thrust the landmine forward into an overhead position while achieving a strong standing posture. The athlete should work to achieve knee extension and elbow extension at the same time.

MB Shuffle Throw

The athlete starts the exercise with a light medicine ball by their back hip. Next, while using the lateral momentum garnered from shuffling off of the back side, the athlete drives their back hip forward and throws the medicine ball into the wall. This drill should be used to reinforce backside hip drive opposed to a throwing action with the arms.

Goblet Lateral Lunge

Lateral power and force are a huge component to staying healthy and successful in the sport of softball. In order to maintain hip health with this exercise, complete the lateral lunge to an elevated box height position. The box should be at a height that the athlete can sink her hips below parallel while keeping their chest upright. The goblet weight helps with balancing and ensures the chest stays upright. The weight should not be so heavy that the upper back rounds forward.

Single Arm Renegade Row

The exercise starts with both feet wide in a push-up plank position. The dumbbell should be directly in line with the shoulder. While maintaining a flat back and engaged midline, the athlete should bring the DB up in a row position while keeping the scapula retracted. When rowing during this exercise, it is crucial that the athlete should be working to keep their midline engaged and avoiding hip rotation or shifting.

Split Squat Anti-Rotation Hold with Press

The purpose of this exercise is to resist torque in order to create torque throughout the midline. In a split squat stance with the right knee 2-3 inches above the ground, the athlete will bring the band out in front of their chest with both arms extended. Tension on the band should be enough so that the lateral midline musculature is activating in order to hold the torso and hips centered. Be sure that the tension is not too much so that the shoulders and arms are overactive during this exercise. Repeat this exercise on both sides.

Banded Deadbug

The purpose of this drill is to brace the pelvis and ribcage positioning in order to ensure a bullet-proof midline. This exercise will be instrumental in protecting the lower back from injury with the violent rotations that take place during softball. While trying to keep the base of the lower back in contact with the ground, straighten the legs while maintaining tension on the band with the arms. Once the athlete begins to arch their back, even just slightly, it is important to cue the athlete to return back to their original position. Progress in this exercise should be observed as the distance the athlete can extend their legs without eleviating tension in their mdiline.

High Hang Power Clean

The purpose of this exercise is to teach triple extension of the hip, knee, and ankle. It is critical in sport and athletics to demand eccentric strength capabilities when catching/absorbing weight in order to teach the athlete how to manipulate their lower body to generate power through their upper body. The athlete starts with a barbell in the power hang position. While simultaneously and rapidly extending their hip, knee, and ankles they will thrust their weight upward in a straight line. Once the weight has reached the pinnacle of its height the athlete will then drop underneath the load and catch the barbell in a front rack position in the same power position that they originally launched the weight from. It is important to pick an appropriate load that will tax the athlete enough needed to achieve triple extension. The athlete should avoid pulling the weight upward with their arms and instead launch the weight with their lower half. Additionally, the athlete should be catching the weight in a strong position and not being overmatched by the momentum of the load when landing. 

Banded Sumo KB Deadlift

The purpose of this exercise is to maintain hip health while developing hip extension power.  The athlete starts with a kettlebell on the ground between their legs with a band around their feet and through the handle of the kettlebell. While simultaneously and rapidly extending their hips and knees, they will thrust their hips forward while pulling the banded KB straight up in the air toward their hip. It is important to pick an appropriate load of both the kettlebell and band that will tax the athlete enough to need to achieve rapid hip extension without compromising movement velocity. 

OH Bulgarian Lunge with Pause

This is perhaps one of the most demanding yet most effective exercises an athlete can perform. Sport is predicated on achieving true separation from the front hip to the back shoulder. By requiring the athlete to stabilize overhead during a rear-foot elevated split squat stance, the athlete is stressing the system to stabilize and recruit musculature responsible for this stretch shortening mechanism. The kettlebell or dumbell should be directly in line with the shoulder in the overhead position with the shoulder externally rotated and stable. The athlete will then descend to the bottom position of the Bulgarian lunge while keeping their chest upright and hips engaged in order to ensure proper posture. After a slight pause, the athlete will then extending their hip and drive out of the bottom returning to their original start position.

Exercises for softball athletes are fun to perform. I like to learn how to do exercises for softball athletes. It is very important to perform exercises for softball athletes when you want to improve your athletic performance through doing exercises for softball athletes.