-April 19th, 2012-
I am often asked what my favorite exercise is for lacrosse players.
My answer is always the same: It depends.
It depends on the individual and what their weakness is.
If someone is really strong but lacks the ability to express that strength in a powerful manner, then a power exercise like Hang Cleans would be my favorite for them (that is if they are competent in the lift).
If someone has a strong upper body but lacks leg strength, deadlifts might be my favorite exercise.
And if someone has never ever trained before in their life, WALKING INTO A GYM would be my favorite exercise for them.
Last week I found a blog post from IMG Acadamies in Bradenton, Florida (which looks like a great spot). The blog was about 3 exercises to become a bigger, faster lacrosse player.
I am always a little skeptical of lists like this because as I stated earlier it depends on the individual.
However the list presented in the blog was pretty good. The exercises included were the Single Arm Snatch, Double Leg Box Jump, and Rear Foot Elevated Split Squat (with bar in Front Squat posistion).
I use all 3 of these exercises with all my athletes at some point in their training program.
The Single Arm Snatch is the easiest variation of the Olympic Lifts to learn and therefore I use it early in my programs to teach my athletes proper triple extension of the lower body (ankles, knees, and hips) to maximize power to transfer over to running.
The Hang Clean is my favorite variation of the Olympic Lifts, but is very technical and takes longer to learn so the SA Snatch is a great tool to immediately begin to develop power with my athletes while they learn the Hang Clean.
The Double Leg Box Jump again trains triple extension of the lower body and is easier to learn than the SA Snatch. Too often people try to use a box much to high to jump onto. The box is only there to minimize the force that your joints must absorb when landing from a jump (if you have a 30 inch vertical jump and land on a 24 inch box, your body only absorbs the force of 6 inches of gravity when landing).
Lastly, the Rear Foot Elevated Split Squat (RFESS) is a great exercise. In the blog they use the Front Squat position but I personally use it in the back squat position (which may sound weird to my athletes because I NEVER let them Back Squat, only Front Squat). And actually I only go Back Squat position after progressing through DB Goblet position and DB in each hand.
However in the RFESS the weight loaded on the spine isn’t near as severe as in Back Squats, and also I find most athletes new to training cannot physically hold the bar properly in the Front Squat position.
The RFESS may be the greatest exercise for developing single leg strength which is extremely important for Lacrosse. Running is a single leg power activity and developing that strength in each leg, then transferring that strength into power using the first 2 exercises mentioned will help you become a bigger, faster lacrosse player.
While this list isn’t necessarily perfect as again it depends on the individual athlete’s needs, it is a quality list and these exercises would be included in every athletes program at some point so give them a try.
P.S. If you want to see where they fall into Dan Dawson’s strength training program for FREE simply enter on the right of the page.