With most sports, the ability to quickly produce high levels of power is essential to become a successful player. Lacrosse is no exception. Power is needed to run, jump, cut, dive, hit, and shoot. The aim of this blog is to break down three power-training exercises that will help get those lacrosse players to the next level. Let me just start by addressing the importance of stability in power production. A nice, centered base position will always help ensure maximal force can be produced. You will notice that a stable base is the starting position for each of the following exercises. It is very important that the athlete exhibits a strong, grounded base before each rep.
Exercise #1: Total Body PowerOne-Arm DB Snatch:
As I just mentioned, the athlete must start in a strong, stable base. The start of the exercise comes from the ground as the athlete pushes through their heels, and begins to go into triple extension. Triple extension refers to extension in the ankle, knee, and hip joints. Achieving extension throughout the lower extremities allows force to transfer up through the body and result in a more powerful run, jump, dive, hit or shot. The snatch allows one to train the body to fully extend and, therefore, maximize force production. The dumbbell should start about mid thigh height, and should stay close to the body throughout the entire range of motion. The arm should not actively be pulling the dumbbell. The lower body will generate enough force to allow the dumbbell to travel up the body. Once the athlete has fully extended the lower body, they need to drop quickly and powerfully under the dumbbell. They will once again land in a stable base position. The dumbbell should be directly overhead, with the arm completely extended and stable. The dumbbell snatch is not only a great way to work on power throughout triple extension, but also stability and strength throughout the shoulder joint. This is important to prevent shoulder impingements and possible injuries. Typically, 2-3 sets of 4-6 reps per arm are performed.
Rotational movements occur throughout every practice and game. The ability to produce power throughout every pass and shot are very important to the success of the team as well as the individual. Once again, power production in a rotational plane of motion starts with a stable base. The medicine ball is placed on the outside of the hip, as the athlete stands perpendicular to the wall. As with the snatch, the athlete starts in a base, begins to drive through the heel of the outside leg, and force will transfer throughout the body, through the arms, through the ball and into the wall. Triple extension should once again be achieved, primarily in the outside leg, and you want to avoid spinning the outside foot. The athlete should focus on pushing rather than spinning the back foot and leg. Good kinetic chain alignment is important throughout the throw, as if alignment is lost, energy is lost, and force production will suffer. As a reminder, proper kinetic chain alignment is seen as a straight line from head to toe, as the athlete finishes the throw. Typically 2-3 sets of 6-8 reps per side are performed.
This power exercise is all about the ability to pull the arms from an overhead position downward. This can be a similar motion to shots on goal in lacrosse. As with the previous two exercises, a stable and secure lower body is very important. With this throw, stable legs, and flexed glutes and mid-section are essential to stabilize the body so that the athlete can produce power through the upper extremities. The athlete should keep the hips up through the entire throw. Arms will be extended overhead while holding the Medicine Ball. While keeping the hips up, the athlete will throw the ball against the wall, and then reload. The goal is to keep the arms as straight as possible the entire time. Typically 2-3 sets of 6-10 reps are performed.