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Three exercises to help you become stronger and faster on the lacrosse field

Dumbbell one-arm snatch

By Eric Grantham

Eric Grantham is a Performance Specialist at the Athletic & Personal Development program with a focus on lacrosse and football training. Previously, Grantham served as a Strength and Conditioning Coach at the University of Alabama. For more information on performance training, go to www.imgacademies.com.

Lacrosse is a fast-paced game that requires successful players to have speed and shooting power. These drills will help lacrosse players of any skill level gain more force in their shots and more explosive movement up and down the lacrosse field.

DUMBBELL ONE-ARM SNATCH

Purpose: Create a quick and explosive movement. The dumbbell one-arm snatch includes the performing of a triple extension from the ground up (ankle, knee and hip extension).

Stance: Position your feet at hip width and parallel to each other. As the dumbbell is on the ground, position your body in squat position with the dumbbell in line with the shoe laces and one arm on the dumbbell.

Ready Position: While maintaining a squat position, make sure that your back is in a natural position and the scapula is retracted (shoulder blades pulled back together). Your chest should be big and over the dumbbell with the shoulders in line with your feet.

Initiation: In the squat position, begin to pull the dumbbell up extending the hips and knees. While extending your body upward, shrug your shoulders and pull the dumbbell upward (keeping it close to your body) with your arm

allowing the elbow to pull up to your side. Aggressively pull your body under the dumbbell. Catch the dumbbell at arm's length while moving into a squat position.

Execution: As the dumbbell is caught and locked out in a squat position, extend up in a standing position with the dumbbell overhead.

Completion: Lower the dumbbell to front of your shoulder, then down to original position in front of your thigh.

Set: Four sets of four reps on each arm or three sets of three with heavy weight.

DOUBLE BOX JUMP

Purpose: Develops explosive strength and quick movement from a dead stop. The double box jump builds power in all major muscles in the lower body.

Stance: Position feet at hip width and parallel to each other. Your chest is up while the spine should be in a neutral position, with your scapula retracted (shoulder blades pulled back together).

Ready Position: With your feet at hip width apart, begin by engaging your hips back and lowering yourself into a squat position. As you lower yourself down, pull your chest up so that it is over your toes. Your arms shift back to the point that your thumb is at your hip.

Initiation: While taking a deep breath, squat down with your feet flat on the ground. As you load down in the squat position, load your hip and arms back (keeping chest up and eyes straight ahead) then jump powerfully up onto the box (keeping toes up). Land softly (on the whole foot) on top of the box.

Execution. Upon reaching the squat position, quickly and powerfully extend your hips and knees and jump onto the box. After landing on top of the box, quickly and powerfully jump straight up again. After your second jump, land back in an athletic position (chest over toes and feet hip width apart).

Completion: After completing the second jump, stand up and then step down. When stepping down from the box, be cautious of your surrounding area.

Set: Three-Four sets of three reps.

Rear Elevated Foot Split Squat (Using Front Squat Position):

Purpose: Builds strength in lower body. It helps develop balance and hip flexibility, while also targeting the leg extenders.

Stance: Lift the bar off the squat rack and put it in the front squat position (either with elbows up or in a crossed arms position). Your feet are in a lunge position and the rear foot is elevated on a bench.

Ready Position: After placing the bar in a front squat position, take one foot (let's say your right foot) and reach backwards so that your foot (not your toes) is placed on the bench. Once you have your balance, square your hips and make sure your chest is out, shoulders down and back/abs tight. Remember that getting into this position requires a lot of stability, mobility and balance, so don't be in a rush to get there. Make sure everything is in line and that you have your balance before you start to move.

Initiation: With your rear foot elevated and your body in an upright position, begin to descend. Lower yourself down and back until your right knee is still slightly off the ground. While lowering yourself down, make sure that your core is tight and your chest is up.

Execution: Upon reaching the bottom, change the direction of drive out of the bottom position by pushing through the front foot and pull yourself back up to the start.

Completion: Once you have done the number of reps for both legs, returns the bar back into rack.

Set: Four sets of five reps.

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