Historically, lacrosse players have not been considered gym rats compared to football players and wrestlers. But times are changing, as elite players, like first team All-American and 2012 Tewaaraton winner Pete Baum, are hitting the weight room hard.
Developing athleticism for lacrosse is more than skill training and stick drills. Players today are bigger, stronger and faster than in years past. To stay ahead of the curve, players must supplement their skill work with strength and conditioning drills that translate to becoming a better athlete on the field.
Baum recently started using the TRX Rip Trainer two to three times per week to improve his strength with his stick. The pole of the Rip Trainer simulates a lacrosse stick with added resistance. This helps Baum increase his rotational power for faster shot speed, build his non-dominant side, and stay agile when battling defenders.
Baum particularly likes the cardiovascular demands of Rip exercises. "The first time I performed a shuffle strike, I couldn't believe how much cardio conditioning was involved," says Baum. "Now I often use the Rip instead of doing wind sprints after practice."
Let's break down one of Baum's favorite Rip Training exercises.
Rip Triangle Drill
- Increases agility, which is critical for creating balance and evasiveness.
- Develops reactive strength to start and stop on a dime and enhance your shot speed.
- Improves conditioning so you can maintain the previous two skills over four quarters.
- Set up two cones 8 feet apart and 14 feet from the anchor point.
- Stand perpendicular to the anchor with your feet in a parallel stance.
- Hold the Rip like you would hold your lacrosse stick.
- Shuffle away from the anchor and perform an overhead chopping motion at the end of the shuffle.
- Shuffle back toward the anchor, change hands and shuffle strike to the opposite cone.
Sets/Reps: 3x30 seconds, with 60 seconds rest
Young, W., Wilson, G., and Byrne, C. (1999) "Relationship between strength qualities and performance in standing run-up vertical jumps." Journal of Sports Medicine Physical Fitness 39, 285-293