How to Optimally Warm Up for Lacrosse

 

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We are often asked about an optimal warm up routine for the lacrosse player.

While the optimal warm up for each athlete would need to be more individualized to the athlete’s specific needs, using certain principles and methods in general will produce a more effective warm up. 

And this is important as one of the best ways to ensure enhance performance and decrease the risk of injury for lacrosse players is to complete a quality warm up before training, practice and competition. 

A warm up that is designed to specifically address the demands of lacrosse is the key to optimal results and success in sport.

With that, there are 5 components to a quality warm up for lacrosse players. The first three components are important but we know that it may not always be possible and practical for an entire team to go through it, especially on the field. 

So, at the very least completing steps 4 and 5 is absolutely necessary to helping lacrosse players warm up properly, enhance performance and decrease injury.

BUT!!!!…..

If you can, taking 5-10 minutes to go through the first three components will have a dramatic positive effect on the outcome of the rest of the warm up, as well as the subsequent performance during practice and competition.

 

  1. Soft Tissue

To prepare the lacrosse player for an optimal warm up the first consideration is to make sure the muscles are not too stiff. This is best accomplished by using a foam roller, tiger tail or lacrosse ball to complete self myofascial work.

The most important muscles to target are the quads and hip flexors, IT band, hamstrings, adductor (groin), glutes, calves, lats and bottoms of the feet.

 

 

2) Flexibility and Mobility

Now that the muscles are “reset” from the self myofascial work, for a lacrosse player to maximize acceleration, change of direction, top speed and rotational power, the muscles and joints must have adequate range of motion to safely and effectively maximize these qualities.

This is best accomplished with targeted stretching and mobility work.

The areas to focus on include the hip flexors and quads, adductors and thoracic ribcage (upper back rotation).

 

 

3) Activation

With flexibility and range of motion addressed, it is time for the lacrosse player to turn on the muscles that many times are less active, but are extremely important for maximum performance and injury reduction.

These include the core, hips and glutes.

 

4) Movement Preparation

Now that the lacrosse player has activated the desired muscles, it is time to use them in more integrated movements that are specific to sport. 

These bigger movements will prepare the lacrosse player for the upcoming dynamic and speed movements.

Included in these movements are spidermans, reverse lunges, forward lunges, lateral lunges and inverted hamstrings. 

 

5) Dynamic Movement

Now it is time to expose the lacrosse player to higher speed movements that more specifically resemble those of sport.

This will help to prepare the athlete for the forces they will encounter in sport as well as warm the muscles up even further.

Dynamic movements such as high knees, lateral shuffles, butt kicks, carioca, A skips, straight leg skips, straight leg runs and straight leg marches are first.

 

 

These can then be followed up by short distance sprints, change of direction lateral shuffles and lateral bounds.

 

CNS Activation Video <–Click Here

 

Wrap Up

When a lacrosse player and team complete a warm up that addresses all of the components above they will not only be better prepared to maximize performance, but they will be less likely to experience injuries that result from an underprepared state for sport. 

To stay healthy and enhance sport performance is the key for lacrosse players and a quality warm up is a critical factor to achieving these results.

For more specific help with your warm up, and for a document with all of the exercises and videos in this article simply reach out to scott@gotopfitness.com or kyle@gotopfitness.com and we will help you out and send the document your way. 

 

To your health and performance,

KA