By Dave Donovan
Of Lacrosse Evolution
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 5/17/08
We are coming down to the critical point in the season where every game counts. What we sometimes forget in all the excitement is that we still need to maintain fitness and prevent injuries. You can’t play in those critical situations if you are sidelined by an injury.
We’re about to go through what should be a review for most but important nonetheless: a proper warm up.
Static stretching is no longer the standard for preparation of the body prior to a sporting event. Research has shown that muscle activation and warming is achieved more effectively with Dynamic Movement Warm Ups.
In other words jogging around the perimeter of the field and getting in a big circle to touch your toes while you all count together does not cut it anymore.
To properly prime the body you have to systematically activate the muscles you will need for the task (in this case a lacrosse game or practice), then dynamically stretch them mimicking the movements you will use on the field. All we need is 10 to 15 yards, you and your lax gear.
We start with Multi-Directional Movements. Its purpose is to get your blood pumping to the muscles you will utilize for the game or practice. In the next installment we will finish the warm up with Dynamic Flexibility and Neuromuscular Activation. Let’s start in the lateral direction with a side shuffle.
Maintain an athletic stance with a wide stance, your knees bent, butt back and down, and chest over toes. Push off to the side with the back leg keeping your athletic position and not letting your feet come together. Go across the 10 to 15 yards, then back facing the same direction so you are then pushing off with the opposite leg.
Carioca or Grapevine Step:
The focus for this one is hip turn. Step behind your front foot with the back foot then explosively snap the hip up field as you step over the front foot with the back foot. Remember shorter steps are more effective then long lazy ones.
In good sprinting form, pump knees up in front of the hips and throw your elbows back behind your body as you move slowly across the ten yards trying to get as many foot strikes as you can. The buttkick is done in the same fashion accept you are squeezing your heel up towards your butt. The knees should still be pumped up in front of the hip and not pointing down towards the ground.
Again in a good athletic stance, knees bent, butt back and down, and chest over toes, backpedal across the 10 to 15 yards. Do not lean backwards and do not let your heels contact the ground.
All of these can be varied by adding movements in the transverse plane or changing direction. A few quick examples are: pivoting every three steps in the side shuffle, doing high knees laterally, backpedaling then sprint/jog forward or backpedal then turn and sprint/jog.
This should have gotten your heart pumping a bit next time we’ll make you sweat.