Improving Your Strength For Lacrosse
Many young lacrosse players are misinformed as to which areas of the body they should focus on in the weight room. Frankly, huge traps and a massive chest won’t do you much good on the lacrosse field, so athletes must constantly make sure they're training and working on the right stuff. Don't get caught up in what looks cool or better because overtrained muscles often put extra strain on the underdeveloped muscles. Simply put, you cannot focus on just one area of the body because it all must work in symphony in order to be most effective. If you train hard and smart, the sky's the limit! Grab CoachUp's tips for the three areas of your body that you should focus on when training for lacrosse.
As with athletes in almost every sport, the core is the most important muscle group for a lacrosse player. You may think your shot speed comes from your arms, but velocity comes from torque, which is generated by rotating your core. In a sense, most of your power is generated from your core. Having a stronger core will lead to more torque, which will in turn lead to faster shots. Not only is strengthening your core good for your shot, but it will help all aspects of your game from balance to stability and more. So, make sure to work every part of your core, not just your abs, but your back and hips as well, and you’ll see a huge difference in your performance on the field.
Believe it or not, but a very high percentage of lacrosse players don’t take the time to strengthen their legs. While squats and deadlifts are helpful, try doing exercises that will work on your speed and explosiveness, these are qualities that will translate directly to the field. Try doing front squats or lunges with a weight to work on your speed, try or plyometric exercises like box jumps to help with your explosiveness. Make sure you're stretching thoroughly before and after a workout, and flexibility is a major factor in speed and agility. Plus the more you stretch, the less likely it is you’ll injure yourself and the more well-prepared you'll be for your next workout.
Additionally, it may come as a surprise, but aspiring players often focus on the wrong parts of their arms as well. So, next time, try focusing on your forearms instead. Big biceps may look good on the beach but, unfortunately, they aren’t very helpful in lacrosse. However, stronger forearms will give you a more secure grip on your stick, which will help you quickly release accurate and powerful shots and passes. And, the benefits don't just end there either! By working on your forearms, you'll have a stronger, less shakable grasp over the stick and ball. Weaker forearms often allow the slightest stick check or hit to jar the ball lose, so the stronger you are, the less likely it is to move.
(Related: Read about improving your shooting + dodging skills here.)
Young or inexperienced players often don’t understand how to use workouts that will truly optimize their lacrosse performance. Don’t just follow your friends that play football to the bench press, make sure you're focusing on the best possible exercises for you and not anybody else. Concentrate on these three areas of your body in the weight room, making sure to combine conditioning and stick-work exercises as well, and you'll begin working towards another level. Of course, we stress safety first during in any workout, so be careful! It's absolutely necessary to make sure you have a spotter at all times and make an effort to stretch as much as possible -- your body will thank you later!
If you're still struggling with improving your strength from inside the gym, consider booking one of CoachUp's private trainers to get you on the right track. Our experienced and intelligent team will have you crushing a personalized fitness plan with the right form, balance, and safety in no time! What are you waiting for?