As a lacrosse player, you're probably accustomed to performing some type of warm-up before your workouts, practices and games, but it may not be enough. A dynamic warm-up prepares your body to perform at its peak from the first faceoff. It also reduces your chance of sustaining an injury caused by playing at full speed with cold, tight muscles.It sounds like a no-brainer to focus on this aspect of your performance, right? Unfortunately, it's an afterthought in the minds of many lacrosse players and coaches.
Carl Christensen, strength coach for Duke University lacrosse and a consultant for BridgeLacrosse, frequently sees young players overlook—or outright ignore—this critical part of their preparation. He says, "Watching high school camps, many kids don't even warm up. Or sometimes, only half the team warms up, while attackmen go shoot on the goalkeeper—and then they start playing."
Every lacrosse player should commit to performing a dynamic warm-up with as much conviction as they would when approaching a workout. You can't go through the motions or jog around the field and expect to reap the full benefits of a proper warm-up.
The process starts with low-intensity exercises that elevate your body temperature and heart rate. The difficulty and intensity of the exercises gradually increase to activate your muscles and increase your range of motion. To finish the warm-up, you perform drills at or near max effort so your body is ready for the speed of a game or the intensity of a practice. "Before a practice or game, the warm-up needs to include a movement that is 100% effort," Christensen says.
Along with the Duke performance, sports medicine and coaching staffs, Christensen developed the following 13-exercise dynamic warm-up, which includes general activation and mobility work along with drills specific to the movements and demands of lacrosse. He says, "Something we do beyond a normal dynamic warm-up is to include acceleration, deceleration and lateral movement."
Perform this before a workout individually or before a practice or game as a team. If you consistently make this a part of your routine, your game performance will immediately improve, and you will become a better and more durable athlete.
Duke Lacrosse Warm-Up
- Stride - 2x40-60 yards
- Stride – 2x30 yards (increase speed over last 10 yards)
- Walking Knee Hugs – 1x10 yards
- Toy Soldier Skip – 1x10 yards
- Lunging Bottoms-Up – 1x10 yards
- Lateral Lunge – 1x10 yards each side
- Spiderman – 1x10 yards
- Inchworm – 1x10 yards
- Carioca with Big Turns – 1x10 yards each direction
- Backward Run – 1x15 yards
- Shuffle and Sprint – 1x15 yards each direction (Shuffle 5 yards, Sprint 10 yards
- Sprint and Shuffle – 1x15 yards each direction (Sprint 10 yards, Shuffle 5 yards)
- Build-Ups – 2x30 yards (80% for 10 yards, 90% for 10 yards, 100% for 10 yards)
To learn more about the program and get custom lacrosse workouts created by elite experts, go to BridgeAthletic.com.