Bodyweight Exercises for Lacrosse

10 Best Bodyweight Exercises for Lacrosse Players

In the highly competitive game of lacrosse, players are always on the hunt for training strategies that can deliver results.

While gym workouts are incredibly important, you may not always have access to the gym (or ever for some).

This is where bodyweight exercises come into play, offering a practical solution for those without gym access, or for athletes who might actually prefer the simplicity of using their own body weight as resistance.

From age-old favorites like Push-Ups and Squats to core strengtheners like Planks, I’m going to share with you the 10 best bodyweight exercises that a lacrosse player can utilize to maximize their performance on the field.

Best Bodyweight Exercises for Lacrosse Players

Here they are, in no particular order, my 10 favorite bodyweight exercises for lacrosse players.

Stick around to the end because I put these 10 exercises into a workout circuit that you can try out right now.


Athlete Doing Push-Ups

Why: Push-Ups target the chest, shoulders, and triceps, fostering upper body strength that is essential for powerful shots and passes.

Push-Ups aren’t just one of my favorite bodyweight exercises, they are one of my favorite upper-body exercises for lacrosse players, period.

How To

  • Lie face down on the floor.
  • Pull your toes in so that you’re on the tip of your shoes.
  • Eyes should be focused straight down or slightly up.
  • Pull your hands close to about the nipple line of the chest and bring them out about 2-3 inches away.
  • Take a deep breath, engage the core and brace.
  • Push yourself up in one unit. There should be no sagging of the waist. The entire body from head to toe should move up and then back down in unison.
  • Feel your scapula upwardly rotate and make sure the antagonist muscles (Back and biceps) are fully engaging.
  • Lock out your push-up and pause.
  • Slowly lower yourself back down and get ready for the next repetition from just above the ground. Do not fully relax at the bottom of the push-up unless your program specifies.


Male Athlete Doing a Plank

Why: Holding a Plank position works the entire core, enhancing stability and reducing the risk of injuries during intense physical activities.

How To

  • Start on the ground on your stomach.
  • Assume a push-up like position on your elbows and toes. Elbows should be directly under the shoulders.
  • Position your body in a straight line from the shoulders through the hips, knees and ankles.
  • Brace the core tight. (As if you’re going to be punched in the stomach)
  • Do not let the body slouch to the ground nor push the hips up high in the air.

Bodyweight Squats

Bodyweight Squat

Why: Bodyweight Squats are fantastic for building lower body strength, which aids in quick and explosive movements on the lacrosse field.

How To

  • Perform your bodyweight squat by placing feet shoulder width apart, toes straight ahead or slightly pointed out.
  • Squat down by first hinging the hips back and then bending the knees and dropping the hips straight down.
  • Chest should stay up, eyes focused straight ahead.
  • Feet should remain flat on the floor with weight evenly distributed between the heel and ball of the foot.
  • Stand tall by pushing the feet ‘through the floor’, driving the hips up and the shoulders tall.


Burpees in Motion

Why: Burpees are a full-body exercise that not only builds strength but also improves cardiovascular endurance, which is crucial during long matches.

How To

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your hands by your sides.
  • Lower your body into a squat position by bending your knees and hips. Place your hands on the ground in front of you, just outside shoulder-width apart.
  • Jump your feet back into a plank position, with your hands still on the ground and your body in a straight line.
  • Do a push-up by lowering your chest towards the ground, then pressing back up to the plank position.
  • Jump your feet back towards your hands, then stand (or jump) up and reach your arms overhead.

Mountain Climbers

Mountain Climbers with Right Knee Up

Why: Mountain Climbers work the core while also offering a cardiovascular challenge, aiding in both muscle-building and endurance training.

How To

  • Begin in a push-up position – hands under shoulders, core engaged, body in a straight line
  • Now raise one knee toward the chest and place the ball of the foot on the ground – from this position you’re ready to begin performing reps.
  • Drive one leg up and place the foot right next to where the opposite foot just left.
  • Simultaneously extend the ‘up foot’ back to the original starting position.
  • Continue alternating back and forth until all reps are completed.


Bodyweight Lunge

Why: Lunges focus on the lower body, improving balance and stability, which is vital for maneuvering swiftly during a game.

How To

  • Stand upright with feet hip-width apart, shoulders relaxed and engage your core
  • Step forward with one leg and lower your body, bending both knees at 90 degrees.
  • Front knee above ankle, not past toes. Back knee close to but not touching the ground.
  • Push off the front foot and return to the start position. Alternate legs each rep.


Dips Being Done Outside on Parallel Bars

Why: Targeting the triceps, Dips enhance arm strength, aiding in powerful throws and shots in lacrosse.

Dips are tricky, because yes they’re bodyweight, but they also require a piece of equipment. Worst case scenario, grab a chair or bench and do Bench Dips.

How To

  • Attach your dip rack to your rack. This process will vary based on your rack and dip attachment. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions closely.
  • Set your dip rack just above waist height. This will allow enough room for your feet not to hit the ground while doing reps, but not so high you feel you have to jump up into your first rep.
  • Starting position is hands on bars, arms extended, knees slightly bent and feet crossed (crossing feet is optional but does help with unwanted swinging in my experience.
  • Descend down by bending the elbows and slightly leaning forward.
  • Lower yourself under control until the triceps become parallel with the ground and then drive yourself back up to the starting position.


Bottom Position of Pull-Up

Why: Pull-Ups work on the upper body extensively, improving grip strength and arm muscles which are pivotal for shooting and passing in lacrosse.

Like Dips, Pull-ups are a bit tricky to classify as bodyweight or not.

Yes, technically you need a pull-up bar (or anything similar that can work as one), but Pull-ups are still a bodyweight exercise and they’re just too good to leave off the list.

How To

  • Approach the pull-up bar and grab the bar with a pronated grip (palms facing away).
  • Use a bench to get to the bar if it is too high.
  • Later in the article, I will talk about variations, alternatives, and modifications where the supinated (palms facing in) grip will be discussed.
  • Squeeze the bar and engage the core muscles and do not cross your legs.
  • Engage the upper back and pull up until your chin is over the bar.
  • Pause for 1 second with your chin over the bar.
  • Slowly lower yourself back to the starting position.

Squat Jumps

Squat Jumps (1)

Why: An explosive version of the traditional squat, Squat Jumps aid in building powerful and fast legs for dynamic movements on the field.

How To

  • First, make sure you have enough clearance to safely do Squat Jumps (no low ceilings!)
  • Start in a shoulder-width with toes either straight ahead or turned slightly out.
  • Squat down, exactly how you would with a normal Bodyweight Squat.
  • As you squat down, cock your arms back so that they are down and slightly behind the hips.
  • When you get to the bottom of the squat, explosively drive yourself up – hips and arms – into the air as high as possible.
  • Land softly by bending the hips and knees to absorb force when contacting the ground.

Bicycle Crunches

Why: Bicycle Crunches aid in developing a strong midsection, which is the powerhouse for almost every movement in lacrosse.

Bicycle Crunches aren’t the only bodyweight exercise that are great for core training. Here are some of my other favorite core exercises for lacrosse players.

How To

  • Lay on your back with your knee and hip flexed to 90 degrees
  • Raise your shoulder blades off of the ground several inches and put your hands behind your head.
  • Keep your chin off of your chest and keep your left leg off of the ground.
  • Straighten your right knee while simultaneously driving the left knee in the opposite direction toward your shoulder.
  • Touch your left knee to your right elbow and immediately repeat to the other side.

Bodyweight Circuit

Here’s a bodyweight circuit that you can follow to build strength and endurance utilizing the exercises above:

Circuit 13 Rounds
Push-Upsx 15
Bodyweight Squatsx 15
Burpeesx 12
Plankx 45 seconds
Circuit 23 Rounds
Mountain Climbersx 15 each leg
Squat Jumpsx 12
Bicycle Crunchesx 15 each side
Circuit 33 Rounds
Pull-Upsx 10
Lungesx 12 each leg
Dipsx 10

Circuit Instructions

Make sure to start off with a proper warm-up. I have a few sample warmups here if you need one.

Perform each exercise in Circuit 1 one after another, with minimal rest in between, until 3 total rounds have been completed.

Rest 2 minutes.

Continue on to Circuit 2 in the same manner, resting another 2 minutes between Circuit 2 and 3.

If you want to increase the challenge, try 4 rounds of each circuit instead of 3.

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Final Thoughts

Bodyweight exercises can be an amazing tool to improve strength and endurance in the training program of a lacrosse player. They offer a no-frills, straightforward approach to building a formidable physical foundation.

This is especially true if you find yourself lacking access to gym and gym equipment.

By embracing these exercises, players can cultivate a level of fitness that is both accessible and effective, primed to meet the dynamic demands of lacrosse.

It’s time to champion your own strength, one exercise at a time.

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