Injury prevention is crucial for any athlete’s athletic performance, no matter what sport they play. To stay healthy on the field, it is important that the athlete takes preventative measures, and that they incorporate exercises that may help them avoid injuries in the long run.
Although the rules of lacrosse are quite different for males and females, there are many aspects of the game that are similar. Regardless of gender, both athletes require an assortment of skills in order to be successful on the field. They must be speedy, agile, reactive, powerful, and coordinated so they can accelerate, decelerate, cut, pivot, twist, turn, and change direction to the best of their abilities. They spend the majority of the game on the run, so the endurance component is a big part of their game. To perform well, lacrosse players need strong glutes, quads, hamstrings, core, and sufficient mobility in their arms and shoulders.
Common lacrosse injuries
Hits from a stick, colliding head to head with another player, or hitting the ground
Knee: ACL injuries
Injury Prevention Specialist Corey Dawkins explains, “these are more likely to be non-contact injuries, especially for females”
Ankle: ankle sprains
Rolling the ankle the wrong way
Shoulder: dislocated shoulders
Typically from collisions with other players
Can result from slashing (although slashing is illegal, it still happens)
Hip: labral tear
Sports with frequent cutting and twisting (such as lacrosse) can put the athlete at risk for this injury
Dawkins suggests, “the exercises these athletes should perform will depend on their specific position. Attackers need to be quick, while midfielders need endurance. Defenders have to be able to push the attackers away.” However, here are 5 simple exercises that will help to prevent injury for a lacrosse player.
Gopher ball toss
Looking for something more challenging? Corey recommends that athletes use a weighted medicine ball to toss. “The athlete will absorb the force when they catch it, then when they throw it back, they are using power. They are firing multiple muscles that they would then use on the field.”
Inverted row (shoulder)
Assisted single leg squats (knee)
Dead bug progression (core)
Hip flexor/TFL (Tensor Fasciae Latae) stretch
Athletes, be sure to wear your protective gear to help prevent injury. (Both females and males: eye protection, mouth guard. Males: helmet, face mask, elbow/arm/shoulder pads, gloves.) Good luck on the field this season!