For success in lacrosse, you must master several specific movement patterns. You need to be able to plant your feet and produce a powerful check, transfer force from your legs through the core and into your arms and stick, and step into a shot on goal. These skills require a unique blend of mobility, stability, strength, efficiency and power.
The Lacrosse Shot Kinetic Chain
Based on Gray Cook’s and Mike Boyle’s Joint by Joint theory, you need optimum mobility at the ankle, hip, thoracic spine and shoulder. Alternatively, you need optimum stability at the knee, lumbar spine and scapulothoracic joint. In terms of the lacrosse shot, the rotation you need to efficiently shoot must come from your hips and thoracic spine, while your lumbar spine or core generates stability. A lack of adequate mobility at the hips and/or thoracic spine will cause your body to take the path of least resistance, commonly the lumbar spine, causing you to give up core stability, decrease energy transfer and increase stress on your spine. To maximize mobility, when you load the hips in preparation for the lacrosse shot, you should shift your weight to your back leg while rotating away from the goal, pre-loading the glutes and hamstrings to explode. In addition, you should extend and rotate from your upper back to help with the pre-load phase. This will allow your shoulder blades to tilt back and rotate upward, making your upper arms and shoulders more flexible.
In the first video above, you’ll find examples of mobility drills that can be incorporated into your warm-up, recovery circuits or as an active rest between strength training sets. These address some of the more commonly seen mobility dysfunctions that lead to a decrease in energy transfer.
If you’re having issues with stabililty, the second video features two great strategies to increase core control and stiffness utilizing the TRX Rip Trainer. This piece of equipment is excellent for mimicking the lacrosse stick in order to improve stability and stiffness of the core and produce the most powerful and efficient lacrosse shot.