The Top 10 Lacrosse Exercises
Lacrosse is a physically exhausting game; players must sprint and stop constantly, they must use their strength to play defense, and they must maintain a sharp focus throughout the entire game. If you aren’t doing lacrosse-specific training, there’s a good chance you are not performing as well as you could be. Here are the best 10 lacrosse exercises that will elevate your play to the next level (+ 2 bonus exercises):
1. Plank: The plank is by far the best lacrosse exercise you can do right now. Why? Because lacrosse is all about using your core. You need core strength to shoot the ball with power, you need you core strength to play good defense, you need core strength to do practically anything on the lacrosse field. You don’t need much to do a plank, just an area large enough to get in a plank position. Start by doing 5 planks for 30 seconds each. If you worked your way up to 10 planks for 2 minutes each, I guarantee you that you will become a better lacrosse player.
2. Jump Rope: As far as lacrosse exercises go, jumping rope might be the best “bang for your buck” with how versatile the exercise is. Jumping rope gives you tons of good cardio which will help condition you for a lacrosse game. You can find the one I use and recommend here. It also works your forearms, calves, quads, and several other muscles.
Do intervals, going hard for 20 seconds and resting for 20 seconds. If you consistently jump rope for a month, you will be a different lacrosse player. My favorite jumprope circuit is the boxing round interval circuit: 10 rounds of 2 minutes each with 1 minute of rest in between, then a bonus round where you jump until failure. I cannot think of any better conditioning workout than this.
3. Squats/Lunges: Notice how the top 3 lacrosse exercises have to do with your core or leg strength. Everything in lacrosse should come from your legs or core, and squats and lunges work these areas perfectly. You can start off with bodyweight squats and lunges. Go out to a field and lunge for 100 yards, rest, and repeat. If you could do 1,000 yards (10 football fields) worth of lunges without a problem, you would be in incredible shape. If you are in the weight room, be safe and squat heavy. Squats will do wonders for your speed, strength, and power.
4. Bench/Pushups: Even though some people might not agree that this exercise is this high on the list, having a strong chest and tricep muscles can go a long way in lacrosse, especially someone for playing defense. When you’re playing defense, you want to be able to push your opponent away effectively. If you have a strong chest, you will be a much better defender, and your ability to turn attackmen away from the goal will increase. Start with pushups, trying to work up to 5 sets of 20 each. Once you can do this, start using a barbell to bench the weight. Just remember, be careful!
5. Hill Sprints: Hill Sprints are the king of conditioning, so they should be high on your list of good lacrosse exercises. Many famous athletes use these in their training routine because of how effective they are. Find yourself a hill nearby and sprint up it. That’s it. Start at the bottom of the hill, sprint to the top, walk down, repeat. Don’t worry, you’ll be out of breath very soon.
6. Ladder Exercises: Ladder exercises have been a mainstay in a variety of sports including football and soccer. These are great for working on your agility. There are so many different combinations of exercises that you can do on the ladder. My favorites are the “icky shuffle” and the “two feet in, two feet out.” Here’s a great ladder that I have used before.
7. Cable Chop: If you’re looking to increase your shot speed, do the cable chop. The cable chop is one of the more advanced lacrosse exercises on this list. If you have access to a good gym, there will most likely be cable machines around that you can use for this exercise. The best way to explain this exercise is with a video, so here’s a great one I found on YouTube.
8. Forearm Curls: One of the most underrated areas of lacrosse is wrist/forearm strength. Some of the best face-off men have incredible strong forearms, since they need to clamp the ball quickly with force. Wrist strength also helps your passing and shooting. Throw in a few sets of forearm curls to your routine and see your play increase. This might be my favorite lacrosse exercise on this list.
9. Tricep Extensions: The tricep extension is a great lacrosse exercise to help with your shooting. The last part of your shooting release uses a lot of your triceps, so having strong triceps can increase the speed of your lacrosse shot. You can start out by doing bodyweight dips before you do the weightlifting exercise. Here is another video showing you what we mean.
10. Long Runs: Long, slow runs are probably the most overlooked lacrosse exercise. Most everyone is so focused on doing short sprints and intervals, but long runs are key for endurance. Every player on the lacrosse field needs to have endurance, so incorporating one or two long runs each week into your routine will benefit you a great deal. Plus, long runs can be rejuvenating, so throw on some music or an audiobook and just relax!
Stretching: In order to be the best lacrosse player that you can be, you need to treat your recovery just as seriously as your training. This means stretching after every practice or training session. You need to be flexible in order to play without injuries. Get yourself a lacrosse ball or foam roller and stretch out. There are so many great tools out there that can help with your recovery.
Yoga: You might not think yoga applies to lacrosse, but many great lacrosse players swear by yoga to help with their conditioning and recovery! In fact, my lacrosse team did yoga in the morning in order to keep us fresh after hard practices. You can go to a yoga studio and take classes or get yourself a yoga mat and follow videos at home.
If you perform these lacrosse exercises, you will become a different lacrosse player. Having a strong core, being in good physical shape, and practicing good recovery methods will elevate your performance to the next level.
The most important thing to remember is that you must practice these lacrosse exercises consistently. One workout will not make you better, but several workouts over a period of time will give you vast improvements. Remember, be safe with these exercises and consult a doctor or physician if you are unsure if you are able to do these exercises. Good luck!