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3 Steps Toward a STRONGER Face Off

Editor’s Note: Let’s extend a special welcome to our NEW Strength Training provider, Volt Athletics. Volt, a cutting-edge sports technology company out of Seattle, WA, provides athletes big and small with affordable access to elite-level strength and conditioning . Learn more about Volt and find out how becoming a member of can help you SAVE on your workouts!

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Winning the face-off provides an early advantage for your team and can send a clear message to the opposing team that you’ve shown up to win.

Next to quick reactions and sheer aggression, winning a face-off takes some overpowering strength.

Ohio Machine vs. Boston Cannons 2014

Practice your skills until they are second nature and aim to incorporate these three goals into your strength program to improve your face-off.

3 Steps to a Stronger Face-Off

1.) Get a Stronger Deadlift


The deadlift is a foundational movement for all athletes. It challenges you to produce tremendous amounts force through actively extending the hip while keeping the torso in an efficient position.

The face-off begins in a similar position to the start of a deadlift, with hips and knees flexed and the upper body in a stable position. If you can’t beat your opponent to the ball, you’ll most likely end up going shoulder to shoulder with them. Your deadlift strength will be critical for allowing you to maintain leverage and keep a better position over the ball.

Strengthening your deadlift is paramount for any sport where there is physical contact, because it reinforces the strength of the hips to produce power while reinforcing the spine.

2.) Get Mobile in Your Front Squat

The front squat provides two favorable performance improvements.

First, it front-loads your torso, which challenges the upper back to remain stable and strong. Second, it places a high mobility demand on the hips and ankles while the quads and hips work to provide force through the system.


The mobility requirements for front squatting provide an incredible transfer to positioning yourself to get leverage during face-offs. The strength need to then produce effort through that mobility in the front squat provides even more benefit to the face-off specialist because now they are strengthening key advantageous positions.

3.) Do More Step-Ups


Face-offs are highly dynamic, meaning they have a degree of movement variability that can’t truly be predicted. Often you find yourself battling it out with momentum taking you one way and the strength of your opponent the other way.

Single-leg strength is key here, for you’ll be attempting to reset your feet and maintain balance while repositioning your center of gravity. Step-ups are an awesome single-leg movement that places the muscles of hip in high flexion, training powerful single-leg drive.

It’s important that your legs are strong independently, and can effectively produce enough force to beat your opponent.

Greg gurenlian
The words Greg Gurenlian, face off, and strong are frequently in the same sentence.

Just Remember: Face-offs are an integral part of lacrosse and direct the course of the game. Reinforcing your skills with consistent practice is necessary – and so is spending time strengthening the proper movement patterns.

Make your time in the weight room effective for improving your game on the field.