I would argue that the majority of lacrosse goalies don’t know how to properly warm up their bodies for maximum performance prior to a practice or a game.
Enter dynamic stretching.
Dynamic stretching for lacrosse goalies gets your muscles ready to perform at a high level before that first whistle blows.
Properly warming up the body can result in more saves early in the game but apart from that a great dynamic warmup can ensure that we avoid a serious injury.
In this post we’ll define what exactly is dynamic stretching, what are the benefits, and then outline a dynamic stretching routine you can use to get your body ready to dominate.
So What Is Dynamic Stretching?
You’ve probably seen or participated with lacrosse teams on the field doing pregame stretches that resemble something like this:
These types of stretches are known as “static” stretching where you stretch the muscle and hold the stretch for about 15 seconds or so while remaining motionless.
For decades static stretching was the most popular type of warmup for athletes.
A dynamic warm-up uses stretches that are “dynamic,” meaning you are moving as you stretch. Dynamic stretching is using movement to stretch and warm up certain muscles or muscle groups.
Around 10 years ago, dynamic warm-ups started gaining popularity in the sports world as an effective method for athletes to prep before an event. Today, dynamic warm-ups are a standard routine for athletes ranging from amateurs to professionals and it should be in the standard warmup routine for all goalies.
Benefits of Dynamic Stretching
So what makes dynamic stretching so great?
It activates muscles you will use during your time in goal. For example, a lunge with a twist is a dynamic stretching exercise that engages your hips, legs, and core muscles.
Dynamic stretching improves your range of motion. So if you feel like you can barely bend over to tie your shoes after a long day at school, a dynamic warm-up routine can help you feel more limber.
Dynamic stretching improves body awareness. Without a proper warmup your body might not be performing optimally and your team could find itsself training by 5 goals before you’re warmed up and moving well.
Moving as you stretch challenges your balance and coordination; skills that could help your performance.
Warming up in motion enhances muscular performance and power. Studies reveal dynamic stretching before a game/practice can help you increase overall athletic performance compared to no stretching or static stretching .
If you are trying to get stronger, build more muscle, or simply perform better, a dynamic warm-up routine is likely your best bet.
Dynamic Stretching Plan for Lacrosse Goalies
We’ll split the dynamic stretching warmup into 3 components:
Sport Specific Movement
Each of these general movement exercises should be done for about 30 yards.
1. Jog forward / Jog backwards:
2. Skip forwards / Skip backwards
3. Side Hop 30 yards / Side Hop other direction 30 yards
4. Leg Slide / Leg Slide other direction
5. Side Kick Lateral / Side Kick Lateral other direction
6. Carioca Step Overs / Carioca return
Each general stretch should go for about 30 yards.
Stretch 1: Knee Hugs / Skipping Knee Hugs
Stretch 2: Step Lunges / Backwards Step Lunges
Stretch 3: Straight Leg Kicks
Each of the following should go for 30 yards.
1. Butt Kicks – Keeping knees in front of body
2. Heel Over Knee Running
3. Single Butt Kick into Heel Over Knee
4. Same as step 3 except do 2 in row before taking 3 steps
5. Build Ups – 4 x 30 yard sprints (1st – 70%, 2nd – 80%, 3rd – 90%, final full speed)
If anything feels extra tight, feel free to do an additional dynamic stretch of that area. Sometimes we include one or two additional stretches or movements, like the Sumo Squat Stretch for 10 reps; Leg Swings with a partner; or Tuck Jumps. Once the basic series is done, include what makes you feel good and ready.
After this dynamic warmup you’re ready for top performance. Jump into the cage and perform a warmup of shots to get your save movement on point.
This dynamic warmup should take anywhere from 15-20 minutes and can be modified to add or remove exercises depending on the time allotment you have.
Full Dynamic Stretching Video
This dynamic stretching plan for lacrosse goalies was adapted from this routine by Doug Hicks, a trainer of NFL athletes:
This is certainly not the only dynamic stretching routine thats out there. So if you don’t like this one, find one that works for your needs.
While most lacrosse teams perform some form of static stretching, this is actually not the most ideal method to prepare your body to play a lacrosse game.
We need to incorporate dynamic stretching which involves movement while we stretch and gets the muscles warm and loose and better prepares us for physical activity.
Use the dynamic stretching plan outlined in this post to get your body warm before you jump into the cage.
Until next time! Coach Damon
Any other questions about dynamic stretching for lacrosse goalies? Leave me a comment down below.
Lacrosse is my passion! The game has given me so much and this blog is my way of giving back to the lax community. Specifically the most bad a$$ part of that community - the goalies! After learning to play goalie from scratch, I wanted to create a site where I could share what I learned with others so they too can become champions in the crease and in life. Learn more about Coach Damon.