Lacrosse’s fast-paced nature that requires speed, endurance, and coordination skills make it a popular sport among all ages and genders. However, the high-contact nature of the game makes players vulnerable to injury.
When it comes to lacrosse, the athlete’s cardiovascular endurance is essential to performance. Lacrosse uses the anaerobic energy system in your body, which is used for very high intensity exercise that lasts from 10-60 seconds. Taking this into consideration, Lacrosse training should focus on sprints and interval training.
For strength training, sessions should occur 3 times a week and should always include a warm up of 5-10 minutes and dynamic stretches. Plyometric exercises should be included along with general strengthening of all major muscle groups. Consider setting up circuit training to maintain interval like demands on your cardiovascular system while strengthening and increasing power through sport specific motions. For example, try squats, 3 way lunges, dead lifts, burpee’s, side shuffles, planks etc.
Cardio and conditioning sessions should include periods of sprints and rest. Although the athlete can probably run 4+ miles easily, they need to train for the demands they will see on the field. So, you still want to run those 4 miles but in periods of sprints and jogs. For example, run 15 seconds, rest 45 and repeat for the length of your run. Another way to incorporate interval training is to do field drills. Set up cones in an “X” at various corners/spots and accelerate and decelerate to each cone. Incorporate running forwards, back pedaling, side shuffles and skipping. This type of routine allows interval training while focusing on movement in all directions.
Always remember to allow your body a proper cool down with stretching, and have fun!
To help prevent injury, make sure you practice these general safety tips:
- Warm up and stretch before and after you play.
- Review passing technique with a coach or trainer to make sure you don’t develop bad habits that could lead to injury.
- Use properly fitting equipment, specifically mouth guards, gloves, helmets, and cleats.
- Increase frequency, duration, and difficulty of training slowly to avoid overuse injuries.
- An athletic trainer should be present at games to assess and treat injuries.
- Always wear sunscreen to protect your skin and drink water to stay hydrated.
- Participate in a conditioning course to strengthen your muscles, particularly those statistically at risk for injury.
- Consult with your coach or athletic trainer about ways to prevent overuse injuries like tendonitis and stress fractures.
- Have a physical examination at the start of the season to make sure you’re healthy to play.
Back, Neck & Spine
• Low back pain
• Hip flexor tendonitis
At the scholastic level, ankle sprains represent 21% of all reported injuries for girls and 16% for boys1
Knee injuries, including anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears, are the leading cause of lost game and practice time for both girls and boys1
Overall, there are about 6.3 injuries for every 1,000 athletic exposures to the game for boys and girls combined2
Remember to always check with your doctor before beginning an exercise program. If you have any type of persistent pain, be sure to see a doctor.
1 “Lacrosse Injury Prevention,” STOP Sports Injury.
2 “Rate of injury among youth lacrosse players,” US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health.