As lacrosse players, we love to stay in great shape and train ourselves in new ways that push our limits and help us stay competitive. In an effort to give you the upper hand, we’re working to supply you with a list of 1,000 training methods that will assist you in your quest to be the next Lacrosse All Star.
Whether your goal is the Tewaaraton winner or Summer League MVP, add these workouts to your repertoire and prepare the best.
Editor’s Note: Kennith Campbell writes about slideboard training and other fitness training techniques for UltraSlide.
While maybe not the first tool or technique that comes to mind when you think of lacrosse training, slideboards offer a very unique range of motion that can bring about some serious benefits on the field. The lateral movement of slideboards is one you’re not likely to find in the gym or on the field, but it’s precisely this individuality that makes them such a phenomenal training tool. Here’s just a small list of ways in which using slideboards can enhance your skills and performance.
Like training for most sports, strength and endurance should both be the focus of a good lacrosse training regime. Having gigantic pecks or quads won’t do you any good if you break down on the field to catch your breath; even defenders can’t hope to get out of running by relying on their size or long-distant passes. Nor can you make a career out of being the fastest if you lack the skills and strength to perform; nor could you expect to make wild, daring plays that require flexibility and dexterity if you haven’t taken steps to develop it. Luckily, the slideboard can work to address any of these facets.
Generally speaking, slideboards allow you workout in a way you’ve likely never been able to before, using lateral movements. This lateral movement allows you to exercise parts of your body not generally catered to in gyms, with machines or dumbbells. So how does this lateral movement translate into benefits on the field? Think of yourself as an attacker or midi on a breakaway encroaching your opponent’s goal; you’ve got a pair of defenders and a midi to deal with but your closest teammate is still too far back. The only hope you can have of making a goal is to juke around the defenders laterally, twisting your body to the side as you shoot from your back foot. Without the proper training, your juke will fail or else potentially cause you to bust the tendons in your knees. If you had trained on the slideboard this could have been avoided, allowing you to make those awkward lateral movements and make the game-winning play.
Slideboards are also great for increasing your lower body and core strength but become a secret lacrosse weapon when combined. This translates to greater dexterity, coordination, balance and flexibility: facets that become crucial for maneuvering and performing in lacrosse. Whether you’re making an ESPN-worthy play in a championship against Syracuse, or even making a relatively standard play, you’re using the physical aspects listed above, but the difference between the greats and the rest is in their proficiency with these skills—and slideboards will most assuredly help you become the former.
Power is a very valuable commodity on the field and slideboards can be a great tool to build it up. Designed to help skiers and skaters, who require powerful legs to perform their sport, the same benefits can extend to any sport and are phenomenal when applied to lacrosse. Slideboards work the inner muscles of your legs, knees and hips—in addition to endurance—making you explosive once you’ve returned to the field. After your slideboard training, you’ll be able to push off the turf or grass with greater ease and greater speed in the same ways that a baseball player uses a doughnut on his bat to facilitate the same power and ease at the plate. The universality of this benefit—especially when you consider its use in pivoting, juking or sharply changing directions— this applies to every position, from the attacker to the goalie.
Great training, whether for sports or fitness, is all about muscle confusion, making the slideboard such an effective weapon as it works areas of the body that have never had the chance to plateau or slip into a comfort zone. Once back on the field, the results are likely to leave your coach, your opponents, your teammates and even yourself blown away with your newfound power, dexterity and maneuverability.
Until next time, only 923 to go!
An important note about training: You should always consider your own goals and decide what you want to accomplish during training. Most importantly though, always learn how to properly do an exercise before you start doing it. As very few of us are experts in Sports Science or Medicine, we always recommend doing your own research and finding credible trainers to teach you how to train. Train smart, train safe, train hard, lax on.
1,000 is a big number. Please share your favorite lifts and exercises in the comments section (or email us at [email protected]) so we can add them to our list and reach the big 1-0-0-0.