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Archives by Tag 'Strength Development'

Offseason Workout: 4 Weight Room Exercises for the Fourth Quarter Lacrosse Player

By adam.warner - Last updated: Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Professional fitness trainer Greg Howard has designed a proven training program aimed at conditioning athletes to be above game shape. “Fourth quarter” athletes control the tempo of the game and the game doesn’t control them. Come crunch time, they’re a step ahead of the competition and still playing at the top of their game.

In this week’s player development feature, Howard heads to the weight room to reveal several key weight training exercises to build strength and endurance. By supersetting workouts, athletes can really build their explosiveness and get in some great cardio as well.

Also, check out our previous fourth quarter athlete workouts highlighting multiple indoor and outdoor exercises perfect for offseason training.

Squats & Box Jumps

In our weight training series this week, we’re working specifically on supersetting our reps. In other words, go from one exercise directly to another and continue on with your workout.

Let’s start out with squats. While some trainers prefer three sets, aim for four. Start with 15 straight squats. Keep your head up and maintain good form. Don’t bend the back.

After racking that squat weight, you will move right into 15 reps with box jumps. With this exercise, you’ll be jumping up and down from a stool or chair. Maintain good form and make it easy coming off and on. Explode up and get to the top of the platform.

When finished, take a few deep breaths and go right back into your second round of squats. Drop it down to 10 reps this time. This is where your legs begin to feel fatigued and you need to push through. Now with the new round of box jumps, you will really feel fatigued. You must work hard at it. Go for 10 reps here. You can then finish with 8 and 5 reps before moving on.

When combined, you’re getting a 100 percent leg workout, increasing your explosiveness, and getting in a cardio workout by supersetting them together. These workouts really improve that first explosive step.


Shoulder Press & Dumbbell Front Press

For the shoulder press and dumbbell front press combined, we like to go four sets total. Start with 10 shoulder press reps and then move into 20 dumbbell front presses. On the should press, make sure the bar gets no lower than the chin. Work on developing the front deltoids. Keep a strong back and your core tight.

Next, go right into a stationary front press. One arm at a time, press the dumbbells high into the air. When finished with your set, go right back into the shoulder press after a 5-10 second breather. Aim for another 10 reps on the second time. Shoot for 20-25 seconds of rest and be sure to keep up your breathing techniques learned from our first outdoor exercise feature.


The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “Training the Fourth Quarter Athlete” with Greg Howard. To check out additional training and performance enhancement videos, click here.

Strength Training: A Pair of Circuit Workouts Designed for Lacrosse Players

By adam.warner - Last updated: Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Look to implement this dynamic circuit workout for in-season strength training. Follow along with Syracuse University Strength & Conditioning Olympic Sports Director Veronica Dyer as she leads you through a pair of circuit workouts proven to be effective for lacrosse players.

Circuit 1

Circuits are fast-paced, quick, and challenging strength training exercises designed to mix up a traditional strength and conditioning program. Let’s start with this circuit.

Med Ball Slam – Slam a med ball side to side. Be sure to always bring the ball back up over your head after each purposeful slam. This exercise really engages the core and shoulders.

Havards – Use a standard bench for this one. Stand straight and facing the bench. Tap your toe quickly to the bench, alternating feet. This is almost like a running motion. Look to go quicker each time.

Wide Pushups – Get your hands out wider than your standard pushups (further than shoulder width apart). Your body should be nice and in line. Get down and deep. The wider pushup exercise targets shoulder areas more, plus your chest muscles and triceps.

Crossover Step – Use a bench again for this exercise. Step with your outside leg up onto the bench and then down to the opposite side of the ground. Keep going back and forth like this, using your outside leg each time to step up and onto the bench. Establish a rhythm, pick up the pace, and always try to go a little bit faster.

Bench Dips – Use your hands and grab the bench behind you. Face away from the bench and keep your legs straight out. Dip down bending at the elbows and come back straight up. You can also bend your knees to make this an easier routine.

Wall Sit – Press your back against the ball. Keep your feet are shoulder width apart. Sink down with your back pressed nice and firm against the wall. Your arms should be down at your side. Remember to breathe. Hold this position about 20-45 seconds. Continue to breathe and don’t creep up against the wall.


Circuit 2

Squat to Bench – Squat down, touch the bench with your butt, and stand all the way back up. Your feet should be shoulder width apart. Make each rep controlled. Go down and all the way back. Keep a nice flat back and don’t do any turning or twisting.

Superhero Pushup Series

Superman Pushup – Come down and then lift up with one arm and the opposite leg. Alternate each time. Keep your back flat when you come up with that movement and don’t twist too much with the body. Make sure you are lifting with the shoulder and hip.

Batman – Do a pushup. Then open up like a cape to one side, turning those hips to the side. Then go down and back up with the opposite side. Square up your hips and really open up the body. Continue straight up with minimal rotation.

Spiderman – Go down and then bring that knee up to the side, as if crawling up a building. Look to bring the knee to the elbow.

Alternating V-Sit – Lay on the floor on your back with your arms behind you. Reach up with both hands to one leg. Crunch up and bring up the leg straight. Reach for the toe as high as you can and then come back down. Keep each rep nice and controlled.

Squat Hold – Start with your feet shoulder width apart. Drop down into a squat and hold it there. Keep your back flat and thighs parallel to the ground. Hold this position up to 45 seconds (depending on length of circuit).

Lateral Band Walk – Get bands around your ankles. Squat down, take two steps to the side, and then retreat. Look to maintain a lower squat position. Keep each movement controlled and always have tension in the band. Also, don’t get too close with the feet.


The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “Strength Training for Women’s Lacrosse.” To check out more videos focusing on strength and conditioning for lacrosse, click here

4 Outdoor Exercises to Train the Fourth Quarter Athlete

By adam.warner - Last updated: Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Greg Howard has developed a proven training program to take an athlete above game shape. This way, athletes control the tempo of the game, and the game doesn’t control them. Come crunch time, they’re a step ahead of the competition and still playing at the top of their game.

In this week’s player development feature, Howard provides three easy-to-implement outdoor exercises designed to give athletes a fourth quarter edge. While Howard’s program is a bit more extensive, these exercises will provide lacrosse players with a great foundation towards becoming the ultimate fourth quarter athlete.

3 Components Needed to Become a Fourth Quarter Athlete

1) An athlete must dedicate themselves to offseason training and in-season maintenance

2) Proper Breathing. It’s about the proper amount of oxygen to take in so you can recover quickly.

3) Confidence in knowing you can outlast the competition. This is done through training, breathing, executing and listening to coaches to help maintain goals.

Outdoor Exercise Segment #1: Dynamic Warm-Up

Every training segment should have a dynamic warm-up. This enables you to warm up the joints, connective tissue, hamstrings, and other muscles so they can be warm and ready to go for the high-intensity workouts.

Your dynamic warm-up should be 10-15 minutes in length. Three examples of exercises perfect for a dynamic warm-up include:

High Knees. Go for about 30 yards while jogging.

High Knees with butt kickers.

High Knees with commands. Commands could be side shuffles frontward, backward, sprints, etc.


Outdoor Exercise Segment #2: Crisscross

For the crisscross, set up cones in a zigzag pattern. Players will be cutting at the cone, sprinting off, and working on those first 2-3 steps. When finished, work on your breathing. Take one good deep breath in and one good deep breath out. Repeat. Then start the drill again.

Power off the cone and cruise into the next cone. On the third and fourth reps through, players will fatigue a bit. Coaches should constantly remind athletes to take big, deep breaths. This is part of a breathing technique designed to drop the heart rate so we can recover quicker.

Set-up: Have cones staggered at 8-10 yards apart. Set up at least four cones on each side.

Outdoor Exercise Segment #3: Squad Jumps with Crisscross

Here we are combining squat jumps with our previous crisscross exercise. Start in a squatted format. Your knees should be bent, your head and eyes should point straight ahead and your arms should be straight out in front of you. Then jump straight up and immediately back into your squat format. It’s all one movement. Now, do this with a combo of crisscrosses.

This drill really helps condition those hip flexors and thighs. You’re also fatiguing the legs and then going off into a sprint. It’s a difficult exercise, but the rewards are worth it.

First Set: 20 squat jumps with crisscross X 2.

Second Set: 15 squat jumps with crisscross X 2.

Third Set: 10 squat jumps with crisscross X 2.

Fourth Set: 5 squat jumps with crisscross X 2.


Outdoor Exercise Segment #4: Combo Exercises

Next, we are shortening the crisscross cones to about 5-6 yards apart. Out of this, athletes will move into a red cone section for “Quick Feet” to work on fast steps while fatigued. Then it’s to the black cone section to work on a step-over move. After that, it’s to the sideways hurdles.

These drills are done in five-set formats, with no breaks. It’s really key here to focus on breathing here. It helps the athlete calm down and recover quicker. Do 5-7 sets with no breaks and focus in on your breathing.


The previous clips can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “Training the Fourth Quarter Athlete” with Greg Howard. To check out additional training and performance enhancement videos, 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.

10 Plyometric Drills to Build Explosiveness

By adam.warner - Last updated: Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Plyometric exercises typically focus on developing explosiveness in sports. This comes particularly important in basketball, where quick and explosive jumping ability pays major dividends for a player.

Follow along as Alan Stein runs through 10 plyometric exercises that have proven to be effective for basketball players, not only for explosiveness, but also in the areas of injury prevention, power development and increased speed.

*Keys to Remember

Here are some keys points to remember when participating in plyometric exercises. Avoid Knock-Kneed Position, keep your chest over your knees and knees over your feet, absorb shock with your ankles, knees and hips, land toe to heel, and also jump as high and as hard as you can.

Plyo Lunges

Start out with one leg in front of the other while squatting. Your back should be straight and eyes focused straight ahead. One knees should be in front with your opposite knee pointing straight down. Jump up with a burst and switch the leg that you land on. Ultimately, you will always remain in the same position, but you’ll just be switching sides upon landing. Raise your arms high in the air.

Plyo Skips

Stand up straight, skip up in the air and raise one knee high out in front of you, all while raising your opposite arm at your side at the same time. Always switch sides, back and forth. Really get a good burst.

Standing Broad Jumps

With your feet in place, make giant broad jumps and land in place. Really try to bend your knees and get good propulsion.

Quick Broad Jumps

With these, as soon as you land, you should be right back into your next jump. In other words, you want quick jumps all the way.

Cross Under Lateral Bounds

Facing the side, you should jump across using one foot to jump and the other foot to land. Use one foot only at a time. But the other foot can land after the initial jump.


Quick Lateral Bounds

This is the same as before, only much faster. There should constant stepping in your shuffle.

Single Step Vertical Jumps

Here you are essentially taking one single step and then leaping high into the air and then landing in place. When you land, keep a staggered positioning with your knees slightly bent.

Forward Side-to-Side, 2-Foot Bounds

These are basically zigzags while jumping and landing in place. There will be no stepping here, just jumps on a zigzag. Keep those knees bent and maintain a low positioning like when playing defense in basketball. Look to leap as far as you can go.

Backward Side-to-Side, 2-Foot Bounds

This exercise is essentially the same as before, but this time face the baseline and jump backwards on a zigzag (side to side).

Speed Skaters

In a similar form to a speed skater, you will be jumping here using just one foot on a zigzag and then landing with the opposite foot. Meanwhile, your other foot will trail behind and remain in the air like a speed skater would do.


The following exercises – along with many others – can be seen on Championship Productions’ DVD “130 Pro Power Strength, Power, and Explosiveness Drills” featuring Alan Stein. Check out more conditioning workouts in our exclusive training library.


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