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Archives by Tag 'Alan Stein'

14 Lunge and Step-Up Exercises to Build Lower Body Strength

By adam.warner - Last updated: Wednesday, November 2, 2011

According to renowned strength and conditioning coach Alan Stein, the stronger and more powerful a player can become in the weight room, the more explosive they’ll be on the court. And with the 2011-12 basketball season right around the corner, it’s important that players make use of the weight room and an effective strength and conditioning program.

In this week’s player development feature, follow along with Stein as he takes you through some dynamic lower body exercises focusing on lunges and step-ups. Hopefully by implementing some of these workouts, your players will lessen the occurrence of injury and improve their performance on the court.

Lower Body Overview

One of the key components to being a more explosive player on the court is strengthening up your lower body and core. Lunges, squats and step-ups make up the bulk of what we do from a lower body standpoint. It’s key that we try to challenge players with as much variety as we can, too.


In this situation, the left foot will be the pivot foot. The left foot won’t move here, just like on the court. There are six different lunges we can do. First, start with just body weight, but then you can progress to dumbbells or medicine balls.

1) Front Lunge – Ankles, knees, hips, and shoulders should stay facing forward.

2) Lateral Lunge – Should start 90 degrees to the right. When stepping to the right, the left foot should stay flat. Make sure your ankle doesn’t roll over. Still keep those ankles, knees, hips, and shoulders facing forward. This workout is great for strengthening the hips and groin.

3) 135 degree Lunge – Keep your left foot facing forward. Your entire left leg will face forward here. Also, you will rotate your hips and shoulders and aim for back diagonal at 135 degrees.

4) Step Back Lunge – This is almost identical to a forward lunge, but now we will step back with our right foot.

5) Step Behind Lunge – With your ankles, knees, hips, and shoulders facing forward, take your right leg and reach it back as far as you can to the left side, dropping that knee as far as possible. Then step back. If you have some discomfort, you can piviot that left foot a bit.

6) Cross Over Lunge – Same principles as before, but now we will step across and in front. Keep your chest square to the direction you are facing.



First, start by putting your right foot on top of the steps or box. Make sure that your entire foot is on top of the step (no heel hanging off).

1) Front Step-Up – Make a right leg step, then drive the left knee up to the sky. Do 2-3 reps with right leg. Leave your right leg up each time.

2) Front Step-Up: Hip Flexor – This workout is the same thing as before, but this time take your foot off the step each time.

3) Step-Up Lunge – Step up and drive your knee up, and when you step back down, lunge back with your right leg/foot. Repeat.

4) Lateral Step Ups – Stand lateral to the step/box. Put one foot on and keep it parallel. You want to pull yourself up using your groin. Just raise the left knee; you don’t have to twist at the top.

5) 135 Step Up – Put your leg perpendicular to the step/box now (i.e. your right foot should face to the right but your body is facing out front). At the top, you will turn and face to the right (or a different direction) and raise your knee in the air.

6) Cross Over Step Up – Stand lateral to the box. Step across with the left foot and on top of the step/box. The right foot never touches the box. Take off your left foot each time and then come to square one.


The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “Alan Stein’s DeMatha Basketball: Strength and Power.” To check out our entire Strength and Conditioning catalog, click here.

12 Effective Exercises to Improve Dynamic Flexibility

By adam.warner - Last updated: Tuesday, August 23, 2011

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.

Drills Overview

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.

12 Simple Drills to Improve Player Agility

By adam.warner - Last updated: Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Many of our features this summer focus 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 drills and workouts players can turn to.

In this week’s player development feature, we highlight 12 easy drills to improve agility. The drills — led by renowned strength & conditioning coach Alan Stein — are easy to implement and only require a few cones. Then, see how your hard work pays off for the upcoming season when you have an added advantage on the competition.

Agility Workout Background

Agility is defined as the ability to start, stop, and change direction at full speed. It’s important in every sport. It’s also key to be able to react at a split second, whether it’s for a ball or reacting to an opponent’s move. When working on changing direction, it’s also important to key in on footwork, body balance, and the ability to accelerate and decelerate effectively.

Key Coaching Points:

1)    Change direction from a low, athletic stance

2)    Keep your feet wide and your hips low

3)    Use shorter, choppier steps when decelerating and keep the hips low

4)    When accelerating, have a slight lean in the direction you want to go

5)    Plant using a T-step, which is perpendicular to the direction you want to go

6)    Practice planting off of both ankles equally

Drill 1: 135 Degree Angle Cut Right

One at a time, start in the center (let’s say at the baseline of a basketball court) and then sprint to the center cone (set out at the foul line). For now, do everything to the right. Going to the right, we will plant off of our left foot heading into the first cone with slow deceleration, and then proceed to get the ankles, knees, hips and shoulders facing the next cone. Sprint directly at the next cone and run right through it.

Drill 2: 90 Degree Angle Cut Right

This drill is the same as before, except now we are cutting at 90 degrees. Plant with the left and go right.

Drill 3: 45 Degree Angle Cut Left

Again, this is the same as before, except now we are cutting at 45 degrees (diagonal but more backwards this time).

Drill 4: Right Cut Combinations (Coach’s Call)

A coach will now call out a number as a player is approaching the center cone. 1 is for the top, 2 is for the middle and 3 is for down low. Do the same as before in terms of your cuts.

Drill 5: 135 Degree Angle Cut Left

Remember go hard to the center cone, decelerate, plant with the right foot, and then sprint straight over at a 135-degree angle.

Drill 6: 90 Degree Angle Cut Left

Remember, plant with the right and go left this time.

Drill 7: 45 Degree Angle Cut Left

You’ll be cutting almost backwards on a diagonal.

Drill 8: Left Cut Combination – Coach’s Call

Call out the same numbers as before.


Drill 9: Agility Square

Each player starts out in a different corner. Meanwhile, each player will do something different at the same time. The first player will sprint, turn and face the outside, touch the next cone, turn back, sprint again, and then touch the other cone with the left hand, turn back again, and then give a nice easy jog back to the near corner where the other player started out from.

The second player will sprint and then backpedal with the cones. Also, the third player will sprint to the cones but slide back (like a shuffle). The players will go through the same motions even when they get to the next corner. When players get to the next set, they should start things up again immediately.


Drills 10-12: Wheel Sprint Series

This is similar to the agility square, but now players will go around a wheel established with the cones. Basically, it’s a circle of cones set 3-4 yards apart. There are about eight cones on the outside and one in the middle where the player starts out.

You can go clockwise or counter clockwise, but you must go around the horn. Start with sprints and touch each cone, then sprint and do side shuffles back, following by sprints and backpedals to each cone.


The follow clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “130 Pro Power Speed, Quickness, and Reaction Drills” with Alan Stein. Check out the entire collection featuring renowned strength and conditioning coach Alan Stein by clicking here.


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