With the preseason just around the corner for many college programs, it’s important for athletes to be in the best shape they can be when the season arrives. Therefore, this week’s conditioning feature places an emphasis on the body’s core muscles and follows five easy workouts specifically geared toward lacrosse players. If followed correctly and incorporated into a regular training routine, players can reap some major benefits from these effective exercises.
The workouts focus on five key areas: regular abdominals, transverse abdominals (the abdominals that twist you), obliques (side bend), the lower back and glutes, plus hip flexors. Players that hit all five of these areas on a consistent basis will find greater core strength, posture and flexibility, all of which will hopefully lead towards better health, improvement and success on the field.
The drills — which can be done with or without lacrosse sticks — can easily be implemented into any of your upcoming practices, can be used at any level and will also be beneficial at any time of the year. Athletes can add a med ball to make the workouts more advanced, too.
Perform 20 standard sit-ups. Keeps arms straight in the air. Do not rest your shoulders. Keep feet flat on the floor. Make movements slow and controlled. Always look toward the ceiling.
2.) Alternating Pike
In this exercise, bring your chest up from the floor and at the same time, bring one leg straight up and have your hands meet your feet. Do 10 reps on each side. Keeps arms straight and legs straight. Upper and lower body should meet at the top. Be sure to keep your abs tight and make slow and controlled movements.
3.) Russian Twist
Start out sitting down with your feet off the floor and legs bent. Next, twist to the right and touch the floor and then twist over and touch the floor to the left. Do 20 reps on each side. Start slow and methodical before picking up the pace. Abs and low back should be tight. Add a med ball or stick and use it to touch the floor. Follow your stick/ball with your eyes. Chest should be up and core tight. Eyes should follow hands during rotation.
4.) Leg Raise
This is a great exercise for the hip flexors. Do 20 raises. Sit with your full body and black on the floor. Toes should be pointed and hands and arms should be on the ground as well. Next, lift your legs up 60 degrees and hold them there. Then move your legs up and down with toes pointed but never touching the ground. Push your hands hard into the ground. Legs should be straight and breathe out on exertion. Keep your lower back on the floor and keep movements slow and controlled.
5.) Superman Drill
Lay on your stomach with your arms stretched out in front of you. Also, lift your legs off the ground but keep them straight. At the same time, left your arms off the ground but straight, similar to a “Superman” pose. Go up and down like this for 20 reps. Always keep your arms and legs straight as your upper and lower body raises off the ground at the same time. Add med balls or lacrosse sticks to your hands for an advanced movement.
The 3-Cone Crazy Drill is a perfect preseason workout for lacrosse players as it works on improving overall quickness and reaction time. For this drill, only five cones are needed and they should be placed about three yards a part. To ensure of proper spacing with this drill, be sure to have three players participate per five cone set.
Meanwhile, players should stand about five yards away from the cones, but facing them. The overall goal of this drill is for players to react to stimuli and then get back to their original spot as quickly as possible, simulating game-like situations as well.
In this drill, when the coach points to a cone, the players have to quickly sprint to it and touch it with their lacrosse stick before backpedaling to their starting position. Players should start out in a ready position with knees bent and eyes looking straight ahead. The coach will then point to either the left, right or center, and whenever that happens, the players must explode to each cone in whichever direction that the coach points.
Keys: Drop and push yourself off your mark, have little or no step back when starting out, and have a quick arm snap when exploding off.
With rapid fire, players should incorporate “hot feet” whenever back in ready position. Hot feet means engaging in fast up and down movements with the feet when stationary. The coach will begin the drill with players making hot feet before pointing in various directions to dictate movements. Whenever the players get back to their original starting points, they should continue making rapid fire movements with their feet.
In continuous, the coaching signals are now constant. After commencing the drill, the players will never go back to a set position again nor back to their original starting points like before. This time, players are always moving and changing direction. If back pedaling, players should continue to back pedal until they hear or see the call of a new direction. There is no stopping in this workout.