Duke Lacrosse Dynamic Warm-up

October 1, 2008 | Featured in the October 2008 Issue

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No need to attend yoga classes with your girlfriend to achieve functional athletic flexibility. Randall Dorvin, lacrosse strength and conditioning coach at Duke University, recommends regularly performing basic stretches to stay limber.

“I advocate a dynamic warm-up that takes the body through a full range of motion in a slow, controlled manner,” Dorvin says. “This creates joint fluidity so our players can move violently in a coordinated manner on the field.”

Here, Dorvin explains three dynamic warm-up phases used by the 2007 National finalist Blue Devils before practice and games.

Phase 1: Full-body warm-up

• Toe walks
• Heel walks
• Walk on outsides of feet
• Walk on insides of feet

Sets/Distance: 1x20 yards for each drill; no rest time between exercises

Coaching Points: When walking on heels, keep toes pointed up // Maintain balance and avoid wobbling // Walk barefoot if shoes hinder your movements

Benefits: Every step strengthens and stretches all muscles that surround the foot

Phase 2: Gaining full range of motion

• Forward lunges
• Backward lunges
• Side Lunges

– Face right sideline
– Step left into lunge with left foot
– Collapse trailing leg; pop back up
– Pivot 180 degrees
– Step with right foot into lunge; pop up and repeat

Sets/Reps/Distance: Perform 1x8, each direction, over 20 yards

Coaching Points: Use slow, elongated lunges // Take a solid step, then slowly sink hips until back knee hits ground // Maintain upright posture

Benefits: Stretches hips, groins, abductors and adductors

Phase 3: Tempo with “single fast leg”

• Perform while jogging lightly for 20 yards
• Every time right foot hits ground, pop right heel back up and swing right elbow back into sprint mechanics position for quick second. Keep left side of body relaxed entire time
• Perform over 20 yards; switch to left side

Coaching Points: Close distance between calves and hamstrings // Keep knee and toe up // Keep torso erect and in comfortable posture // Don’t use “choo-choo” train arm motion

Related Exercises

Phase 2: Gaining full range of motion
Phase 3: Tempo with “single fast leg” Phase 1: Full-body warm-up
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