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College Lacrosse IS NOT for everyone, is it for you? – Part 3, Indicator Exercises

Although college lacrosse IS NOT for everyone, that doesn’t mean you’re not cut out for it! Try these Indicator Exercises to get your body up to speed!

What You Need To Know

If your goal is to play collegiate lacrosse then following a well detailed, results oriented exercise program will help you become a better lacrosse player.

Performing a variety of random exercises that make you tired and sweaty will NOT yield results.

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In Part 2 of “College Lacrosse IS NOT for everyone, is it for you?” I stated that STRENGTH is the foundation of all athletic qualities including speed, power, and agility.

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I also described how most youth and high school lacrosse players that come through my doors are lacking the core strength that is necessary to perform proper pull-ups or push-ups. How can they possibly master the game of lacrosse with this lack of strength?

Here at SKPC we have identified 8 Indicator Exercises that we feel have a direct correlation to improving our athlete’s strength and performance on the lacrosse field.

Indicator exercises are exercises that will tell us whether or not our program is working. Our entire lacrosse training program is geared toward improving these 8 exercises.

We know from experience that if our lacrosse athletes can improve in these 8 exercises then they will see a huge improvement to their on-field performance.

For us to add an exercise to our athlete’s program, it must have a direct effect on improving one of our indicator exercises.

8 All-American Lacrosse Indicator Exercises

  1. Box Squat (Absolute Strength)
  2. Bench Press (Absolute Strength)
  3. TrapBar Deadlift (Absolute Strength)
  4. Chin-ups (Relative Strength, Speed)
  5. Push-ups (Relative Strength)
  6. 10 yd sprint (Speed/Power)
  7. Med Ball Backward Overhead Scoop Toss (Power)
  8. Vertical (Power)

As you can see, each of our indicator exercises focuses on one or more of the following athletic qualities; absolute strength, relative strength, speed, or power.

As a strength coach, the most basic question we need to be asking ourselves is “how do we know our program is translating to results on the athletic field?”

We have found that if you can improve on these 4 qualities of athleticism then you will definitely see results carry over from the weight room to the field.

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On average, most college lacrosse players that I have trained are able to perform the following:

  • 2x their Body Weight for Box Squats
  • 1.25x their Body Weight for Bench Press
  • 2x Body Weight for Trap Bar Deadlift
  • 18+ Chin-ups (and 1.25x their Body weight for a 1RM)
  • 60+ Push-ups
  • 1.60 or faster in their 10 yd sprint (hand-held stopwatch)
  • 35+ Feet with MedBall Backward Overhead Scoop Toss
  • 29+ inches in their Vertical Jump

So how do YOU get here?

By constantly working on improving each of these exercises. Below are examples of exercises we use to improve our indicator exercises.

Let’s say you need to improve your squat. In order to do so you need to strengthen the following areas:

  • Posterior Chain Upper (Upper Back)
  • Posterior Chain Lower (Hamstrings, Gluteus)
  • Grip

Some go to exercises that we frequently incorporate into our programming to address these weaknesses are:

Upper Back (Posterior Chain Upper)

Isometric “Y” Holds

Isometric “A” Holds

Isometric “T” Holds

Isometric “W” Holds

Band Pull Aparts (B.P.A.)

Band Rows

Hamstrings and Glutes (Core/Posterior Chain Lower)

Band Pull Throughs

Weighted Front Plank

Side Planks

Eccentric Partner Glute Ham Raise

Weighted Glute Bridge

Dumbbell Farmer’s Walk


Captains of Crush Gripper

In addition to identifying and improving on areas of weakness, we also want to address any restrictions in movement our athletes have that may be limiting their results.

For example I have gotten great results improving athlete’s squat simply by improving mobility and range of motion in the following areas:

  • Hip Flexors
  • Traps
  • Pecs
  • Upper Back
  • Lats

Some of our favorite corrective exercises for these areas are:

Ankle Mobility Wall Drill

Wall Hip Flexor Stretch

Band Lat Stretch

1/2 Kneeling Inline Chop

Foam Roll T-Spine Crunchers

Scap Wall Slides

PVC Overhead Straight Arm

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Remember being tired is NOT the goal. Getting results and becoming the best lacrosse player on the planet IS the goal.

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