Core Workouts for Lacrosse Players

8 Essential Core Workouts for Lacrosse Players

The core muscles are the epicenter of power and stability for every lacrosse player. A strong core is essential for maintaining balance during quick direction changes, dodging defenders, and transferring power from the lower body to the upper body in shots and passes.

It’s the foundation that allows for coordinated movements, protects against injuries, and maximizes performance on the field.

Yet, amid the focus on perfecting stick skills and defensive strategies, core training can sometimes fall by the wayside. However, that’s a critical mistake.

A well-designed lacrosse core workout isn’t just about sculpting a six-packā€”it’s about crafting a pillar of power that can withstand the rigors of a fast-paced season while providing the torque necessary for explosive movements and precise control.

I’ve been a College Strength and Conditioning Coach for 20 years and have been able to work with some elite-level lacrosse players. In this article, I will share with you 8 lacrosse core workouts that you can start incorporating into your training today.

Lacrosse Core Workouts

These core workouts incorporate different pieces of equipment, from medicine balls to pull-up bars – even exercises that can be done with only your bodyweight.

They also all focus on different areas of emphasis – from core stability exercises to endurance to core strength.

Finally, each style of workout will have both a beginner version and an advanced version. I would recommend most lacrosse players start with the beginner version and then work their way up toward the advanced plan.

Bodyweight Core Workout

This is the type of core workout that most lacrosse players are probably familiar with. Bodyweight exercises have two big advantages:

Because they don’t require any equipment, these core exercises can be done anywhere, anytime (in other words, no excuses!).

Second, bodyweight core exercises are great for building muscular endurance. They can be done for high reps and thus, help lacrosse players build the kind of stamina that can carry over to those late-game situations.

Bodyweight Core Workout – Beginner

This workout should be done circuit-style. Do the first set of each exercise with minimal rest in between each exercise. Then, take a short break (30-45 seconds) and roll through the second set of each exercise.

ExerciseSets x Reps
1ACrunches2 x 15
1BOblique Crunches (Left over Right)2 x 15
1COblique Crunches (Right over Left)2 x 15
1DBack Crunches2 x 15

Bodyweight Core Workout – Advanced

The advanced version incorporates more challenging core exercises and increases the overall volume.

ExerciseSets and Reps
1AV-ups2 x 25
1BRussian Twist2 x 25
1CSky Crunches2 x 25
1DSupermans2 x 25

Plank Workout

Male Athlete Doing a Plank

Planks are one of my favorite core exercises for lacrosse players (or really any athlete).

This Plank series emphasizes core stability and learning how to properly brace the core through a series of isometric core movements.

Plank Workout – Beginner

The beginner version sticks to the two main plank variations, Front Planks and Side Planks. Do the Front Plank, followed immediately by a Side Plank on both sides (90 seconds total). Rest for 1 minute and repeat for the second set.

ExerciseSets and Time
1AFront Plank2 x 30 seconds
1BSide Plank (left)2 x 30 seconds
1CSide Plank (right)2 x 30 seconds

Plank Workout – Advanced

The advanced version of the plank series adds some movement to the plank to increase the difficulty and extend the total amount of time for the hold.

ExerciseSets & Time/Reps
1AFront Plank2 x 45 seconds
1BSide Plank w/ Leg Lift (right)2 x 15 reps
1CSide Plank w/ Leg Lift (left)2 x 15 reps
1DBoat Pose2 x 30 seconds

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Medicine Ball Core Workout

Best Med Ball Exercise for Athletes

Incorporating a medicine ball into your core workouts can really elevate them to the next level. A medicine ball allows you to add more dynamic core exercises to your strength program and develop explosive core power.

Medicine Ball Core Workout – Beginner

The beginner variation sticks to the most common medicine ball exercises that focus on building a powerful core.

Like the workouts above, this one is also done circuit style – completing the first set of each exercise before moving on to the second set.

ExerciseSets and Reps
1AMedicine Ball Slams2 x 10
1BMedicine Ball Side Throws (left)2 x 10
1CMedicine Ball Side Throws (right)2 x 10

Medicine Ball Core Workout – Advanced

The advanced version adds an additional (and more challenging in my opinion) exercise along with upping the reps for each set.

ExerciseSets and Reps
1AMedicine Ball Slams2 x 15
1BMedicine Ball Side Throws (left)2 x 15
1CMedicine Ball Side Throws (right)2 x 15
1DSit-up and Throw2 x 15

Hanging Abs Workout

Hanging ab exercises are some of the most difficult to be able to learn and execute. However, that’s also the reason they’re some of the most effective movements for building an extremely strong core.

Plus, not only are hanging core exercises great for developing core strength, but they’re also great for improving upper body strength as well. Win-win!

For this workout, you’ll need a pull-up bar – either within a power rack or a wall-mounted bar.

Hanging Abs Workout – Beginner

The beginner version focuses on a couple of the more beginner-friendly and easier to execute movements. Both of these exercises are great for building core strength and laying the building blocks to move on to the more advanced exercises.

Because these exercises are more strength-focused, I suggest doing each set one at a time with 20 to 30 seconds rest in between each set (instead of the higher tempo circuit-style sets above).

ExerciseSets and Reps
1Hanging Knee Raises3 x 10
2Hanging Straight Leg Raises3 x 10

Hanging Abs Workout – Advanced

The advanced version contains a couple of the most difficult movements to pull off in the weight room, period. Have patience and don’t get frustrated if it takes a while before you’re able to pull this workout off.

ExerciseSets and Reps
1Knees to Elbows2 x 10
2Toes to Bar2 x 10
3Windshield Wipers2 x 8e

Core Workouts – Before or After the Lift?

This is one of the most common questions that I receive from lacrosse players. The question is referring to whether it’s better to do your core training prior to the rest of your strength training or at the end.

While I will sometimes incorporate a set or two of abs within a warm-up, I believe it’s best to hold off until the end of your workout for your high-intensity core work.

Many compound exercises require a tremendous amount of core strength and stability (Olympic lifts, Squats, etc). Heavily fatiguing your core before performing these types of movements could potentially lead to reduced performance, or worse, injury.

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Final Thoughts

We’ve taken a close look at the critical importance of building core strength, explored various workouts, and highlighted the game-changing benefits that follow a dedicated core training regimen.

Whether your goal is to maintain balance during face-offs, enhance your agility in field maneuvers, or simply enjoy the game with a lower risk of injury, a well-conceived core workout is your undisputed ally.

Remember, the strength of your game is only as formidable as the strength of your core.

Now, with the foundation laid and the strategy set, it’s time to embrace the grind and let your core lead the way to lacrosse greatness.

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