Many of our player development features this summer have focused on helpful tips, workouts, and drills that players can use during the offseason – no matter if they have access to a lacrosse field or not. When it comes to getting the body prepared for the rigors of the lacrosse season, there are a number of useful exercises and workouts players can turn to.
In this week’s player development feature, we highlight 12 easy drills to improve dynamic flexibility. The drills — led by renowned strength & conditioning coach Alan Stein — are easy to implement and most can be done at the gym or on the field.
By incorporating dynamic flexibility exercises to your workouts, your athletes will be well prepared for competition. The following exercises will help your players with their Achilles, hip flexors, low back, hamstrings, calf muscles, and core.
Drill 1: Knee Hug in Place
Stay in place. Hug your knee to your chest. Stay stationary. Go for about 10-12 seconds. Switch knees each time.
Drill 2: Quad Stretch in Place
Stay in place. Be sure to hug your heel on the backside.
Drill 3: Pointers in Place
Toes should go up toward the nose. Reach down and touch your opposite foot that’s stretched out. Switch and stand up in between. Stretch those hamstrings and calf muscles.
Drill 4: Side-to-Side Lunge in Place
Start with a lateral lunge to the left and then back to the right. Keep your ankles, knees, hips, and shoulders always facing forward.
Drill 5: Lateral Lunge, Lunge in Place
Now add a crossover step. Lunge to the left, step right over left, and bend straight down. Then lunge to the right, step left over right, and bend straight down.
Drill 6: Eagle to Hamstring
Get down in a catcher’s position. Keep your heels on the ground and put all 10 fingers on the ground. Raise your hips up as high as you can (legs straight) and don’t let your fingers leave the ground. Go low to high each time and then back to low.
Drill 7: Leg Swings Side-to-Side
Start by leaning into a wall at a 45-degree angle. The foot that’s on the ground should stay stationary. The tendency is to open it up – but don’t do that. Then, swing across with the opposite leg and go high on each swing. Open your hips up as far as you can. The foot on the ground stays stationary. Go with the right leg first, so the left foot is planted firmly on the ground.
Drill 8: Leg Swings Front to Back
Now stand parallel to the wall. Now, use your inside leg and swing from front to back. This really works that hip flexor. Do 10 reps on each side.
Drill 9: Leg Swings open Hips
Face forward and try to swing across like before, but this time open your hips up and out. You will actually move your leg behind you, but the other leg will stay completely stationary.
Drill 10: Scorpion
Lay face down on the ground. Your arms should be at a T with your palms on the ground. Take your left heel and try and bring it all the way up to your right hand. Keep your hands and shoulders as close to the ground as you can. Then bring them back to center and repeat on the other side. Do three on each side.
Drill 11: Windshield Wipers
Your back should be flat on the ground. Your arms are at a T again. Meanwhile, your arms and legs are 90 degrees so that your heels are pointed up to the sky. Do a set of wipers. Bring your legs down on one side and touch the floor. Then bring them back up and touch on the other side. Repeat. Do 3-4 on each side. Keep those arms and shoulders down.
Drill 12: Lunge with Reachback
These are stationary lunges. Your right foot will remain stationary the entire time. Step forward and reach back. Every time go back to center. Then go forward and reach back. Do 4 reps on each side. Be sure to reach straight back and look back, too.
The previous exercises can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “130 Pro Power Strength, Power, and Explosiveness Drills” with Alan Stein. To check out more videos in our extensive video training library, click here.