Sure, learning how to save a lacrosse ball and taking shot after shot is crucial to our success as a goalie. However, as athletes our body is our tool. To dominate in the crease we must keep that tool sharp.
This starts in the weight room.
A good lacrosse goalie workout program will increase your strength, quickness, fitness, and reaction time. Regardless of your technical ability to play goalie, an athlete who can produce the greatest amount of force quickly will be the athlete who explodes to the ball and makes more saves.
If you don’t like this particular goalie workout, I had a professional trainer put together a lax goalie workout specifically for this blog. Checkout that lacrosse goalie workout here.
Lacrosse Goalie Needs
Playing goalie in lacrosse is a unique position. To get our bodies in the state to be an All-American goalie, here is what our weight training and exercise program needs to consist of.
Injury Prevention – You can’t make saves if you aren’t healthy. Muscle imbalances can very easily lead to injuries so lacrosse goalies need to use a program which focuses on a full-body workout. I don’t care if you think the ladies love pecs, we’re going to be incorporating the entire body. As goalies our legs and shoulders are extremely instrumental muscle groups in the movements we make. That’s why they are hit frequently in this program.
Strength and Power – There is a difference between strength and power and in this program we will focus on both. Power is needed for the athletic movement that is involved in a lacrosse save. Lacrosse goalies need strength and power in both their upper and lower bodies. This workout below incorporates both power and strength workouts for optimal athletic performance in the goal.
Plyometrics – Plyometrics, such as box jumps, jumping rope, and lateral hops, teach the body to produce force rapidly. Which is exactly what a goalie needs as they react with their entire body to save a shot.
Posterior Chain – The back, butt, and hamstrings – which comprise our posterior chain – are crucial for explosion sports. Playing lacrosse goalie is certainly an explosion sport and thus in our program we’ll focus on developing our posterior chain through squats and deadlifts.
Core Strength – Our core transfers force throughout the body and maintains a great posture as we stay in our goalie stance for an extended period of time. A weak core can lead to a poor stance and a poor performance in a game, especially in the 4th quarter when our bodies are tired.
They are many weight programs for lacrosse goalies that accomplish these goals. Below I’ve listed my favorite. The important thing isn’t that you follow this program, its that you follow some program.
It’s much better to just select a program and stick with it, versus spending hours researching the right workout program.
Lacrosse Goalie Workout
In this weight training program you’re in the gym 3 times per week. I prefer going Mon. / Wed. / Fri. but select a 3 day split that works for your schedule ensuring that you don’t lift weights on consecutive days. During our off days we’ll focus on stretching and conditioning exercises.
I prefer Olympic style exercises since they work multiple muscle groups at the same time and also work our fitness.
For each of these exercises, always start with a low weight that you’re comfortable with. Remember you can’t make saves if you’re injured. So injury prevention is key and going too heavy with bad form is the #1 way to cause an injury. So start low and build up weight each week.
I’ve embedded a quick video for each exercise so you can see demonstrations of technique. I cannot stress this enough: make sure your technique is perfect.
Warmup: Jump Rope – 10 minutes
Barbell Power Snatch – 3 sets of 5 reps
Depth Jumps – 3×6
Front Squat – 4×6
Hamstring Curl – 3×10
Hanging Leg Raise – 3×10
Warmup: Rowing 10 minutes
Power Clean & Jerk – 3×5
Medicine Ball Pushups – 3 x max
Bench Press – 3×6
Lat Pulldowns – 3×8
Straight-Leg Deadlift – 3×10
Calf Raises – 3×15
Stretching – Same program as Tuesday
Power Clean Pulls – 3×5
Box Jumps – 3×6
Back Squat – 4×6
Leg Raises – 3×10
Good Mornings – 3×10
Military Press – 3×10
Saturday / Sunday: Rest
Remember: Listen to your body. I’m not a doctor but never try to push through when you feel something wrong in your body. Stop the workout. Injury prevention is our top priority because an injured goalie cannot make saves.
Repeat the above lacrosse goalie workout week after week.
Avoid this exercise at all cost
On the spectrum of explosion and non-explosion sports, playing goalie in the sport of lacrosse is about as far on the explosion side as you can get. We must react to the ball and explode with our entire body.
Our bodies consist of both fast-twitch muscle fiber which are responsible for explosion and slow-twitch muscle fiber responsible for slower movements and endurance. As a lacrosse goalie we want to develop fast twitch muscle fibers.
Therefore, long distance running is our enemy.
You may want to print out this article to show to your lacrosse coach next time he suggests a 5-10 mile run for your team. In my opinion, lacrosse teams do too much long distance running which tend to build slow-twitch muscle fibers.
On the teams that I coach, we focus definitely focus on endurance. After all lacrosse is a running game and you must be in shape to play at a high level. However, we do so with sprints and high-intensity workouts, not long distance running.
A good lacrosse goalie workout does not consistent of a lot of long distance running.
There are thousands of different weight training programs out there in internet land. But goalies have specific needs and that’s why you must ensure you select a workout program which touches on the unique needs of lax goalies.
You don’t have to follow this one I recommend but lacrosse goalies do need a program that incorporates full body workouts, includes plyometrics, and increases our overall strength and power especially in the posterior chain and shoulders.
When I was in college, I was a gym rat. I still am to this day. I loved being in there not only because of the way I felt after the workout, but also because I knew that each time I did a squat, each time I lifted the bar off my chest, each time I jumped up on top of that box, I was one step closer to becoming a champion.
Until next time! Coach Damon
Are there any exercises that you incorporate into your training program that I missed? Let me know in the comments.
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.