Lacrosse Goalie Workout: Get Your Body In Shape to Make Saves | Lax Goalie Rat

Lacrosse Goalie Workout: Get Your Body In Shape to Make Saves

Lacrosse-Workout-For-Goalies

One of the best things a lacrosse goalie can do to increase their save percentage is to get their body in shape by following a lacrosse goalie workout specifically designed to handle the demands of this unique position.

The idea of just putting the fat kid in goal does not apply to lacrosse. All-American lacrosse goalies are the best athletes on the team.

My brother-in-law is a personal trainer in Santa Rosa, CA.

The dude is ripped and understands pretty much everything there is know about nutrition, exercise, fitness, and the human body.

While at dinner the other day I asked him what workout program he’d recommend for lacrosse goalies.

His eyes lit up – Damon, I’ll put together a lacrosse goalie workout for you, no problem.

I had previously posted a lacrosse goalie workout on this blog however here is the goalie workout my brother-in-law designed. There are plenty of workouts that fit a goalie’s needs. The important thing is to follow the workout and not spend so much time stressing about which exercises to do that you never get started in the 1st place.

While designed with lacrosse goalies in mind this workout would be beneficial to any athlete, not just lacrosse goalies.

The Ultimate Lacrosse Goalie Workout

Jump Rope 

Jumping rope is a goalie’s best friend. It’s one of the oldest pieces of training equipment and yet it’s one of the best.

Jumping rope is going to improve the goalie’s foot speed, agility, quickness and get our body’s into better overall shape to make saves.

In a lacrosse goalie workout jumping rope is so important that we’ll begin every single workout with a jump rope session.

Here’s a good jump rope workout you can follow. Do 50 reps of each of following types of jumps. If at any point in this workout you mess up, i.e. the rope hits your feet, you must drop and do 10 plyometric pushups and then continue the rope workout at the same count you left off at.

Round 1:

  • Two Foot Jumps
  • Single Foot Jumps – Right Foot
  • Single Foot Jumps – Left Foot

Round 2:

  • Two Foot – Side to Side
  • Single Leg Right – Side to Side
  • Single Leg Left – Side to Side
  • High Knees

Round 3:

  • Double Unders
  • Boxer Shuffle

Here’s David Wright of the New York Mets demonstrating this workout.

If you don’t have a rope, you can get a cheap one like this Exercise Speed Rope on Amazon.com.

Box Jumps

Jumping up onto a box is an exercise that’s perfect for goalies as the biggest benefit is that it improves the reaction of fast-twitch muscle fibers throughout the body.

The same fast-twitch muscle fibers we’re going to rely on to make our saves.

The higher and more explosive you jump the better, or harder, the exercise is going to be.

Here’s a demo of the box jump:

For box jumps, most gyms will have some sort of box to perform this exercise. Otherwise you can use just about anything in place of a box – a stable bench, a ledge, a study wooden box, etc. Or you could always get yourself an official plyometric box to perform this exercise.

Long lateral jumps (skaters)

With this exercise we’ll work on our lateral movement and explosion.

Quick lateral movements are critical for lax goalie’s even if you’re stepping at angle to get your body in front of the ball. There’s still an element of lateral movement in every lacrosse save and this exercise will us develop strength in that movement.

Here’s a demo of the exercise:

Agility Ladder drills

Agility is our ability to change positions quickly, using quick, controlled movements.

In the cage, having agility is essential as we follow an attackman’s series of fakes with quick, controlled movements.

Lax goalies also flash agility in reacting to bounce shot that appears to be headed low but then bounces back up for a high save.

A great addition for lacrosse goalies is to work tennis balls into this agility ladder drills. Have a coach throw you tennis balls during the ladder exercises. By having to catch and throw them back we’ll help work our hand-eye coordination so important for playing goalie.

Agility ladder drills were always some of my favorite exercises. Here’s an agility ladder routine for you to follow:

I like to add in a short sprint at the end of each pass through the agility ladder. So the goalie goes through the ladder with the desired move and then sprints 5-10 yards before jogging back to the start of the ladder and either repeating the movement or going to the next exercise.

An agility ladder is inexpensive piece of equipment vital to lacrosse goalie training.

Slow side shuffles (place rubber band around legs, above the knees)

Performing slow side shuffles with a resistance band is an exercise that’s going to build up the muscles in our legs and hips required for exploding to the ball during a lacrosse save.

Here’s a quick demo of how to perform the slow side shuffle with resistance:

For the slow side shuffles make sure you’ve got yourself a resistance band located above the knee.

Fast side shuffling (throw weighted ball back and forth)

After the slow side shuffles we’ll remove the resistance band and go into fast side shuffling adding in a weighted ball (medicine ball).

Like many exercises in this lacrosse goalie workout we’re once again working our body’s lateral movement that’s so important in the lacrosse goalie save process.

Here’s a fast side shuffling routine with a medicine ball that you can follow:

If your gym doesn’t have a medicine ball (most do), you can pick up a cheap one here on Amazon.

Wall sits

Wall sits are a great plyometric exercises for building the strength in our glutes, hamstrings and quads that us goalies need.

This exercise is fairly basic however here’s a quick demo video for those unaware of how to perform the wall sit.

This is another drill where we can work in a tennis ball to work hand/eye coordination. Have a coach or friend throw you a tennis ball while you’re in the wall sit. Catch the ball with two hands and throw it back.

Power Cleans

If there’s one quality we want to develop as lacrosse goalies it’s explosiveness.

Many athletes want this quality but its especially important for lacrosse goalies who need to explode with their body and hands towards the shot that’s coming at them.

The power clean is a compound movement exercise that’s going to help the lacrosse goalie build explosiveness.

The initial phase of the power clean requires intense muscle contractions. This trains your explosiveness from the ground, which helps in position like lacrosse goalie where the action is fast paced.

The second part of the power clean motion (the scoop, 2nd pull and catch) is extremely useful for goalies who need quick feet. This exercise also develops phenomenal grip strength that’s use in the stick rotations required to make a save.

Here’s a demo on how to perform the Power Clean:

Deadlifts

Another weight lifting exercise that, when done properly, increases strength in all major muscle groups is the deadlift.

When we deadlift a heavy weight we’re working our entire body – back, chest, legs, arms as well as improving our cardiovascular conditioning

Like the power clean, another reason I love deadlifts is that it builds amazing grip strength. This forearm strengths helps goalies in their rotation of the stick as well as stick handling and outlet passes.

Here’s a quick demo on how to perform the deadlift –

Squats

Squats don’t only work your legs, they work the entire body building natural testosterone and hormones.

Squats are an amazing exercise and definitely one that needs to be apart of our lacrosse goalie workout.

Here’s a quick tutorial on how to properly squat:

Seated Cable Row

By strengthening and building the muscles in our rear deltoid and back we’re helping our posture which helps with everything in your life, not just making lacrosse saves.

Seated Cable Rows emphasize muscles around the back including the lats, the erector spinae, rear delts, biceps, and forearm flexors.

Here’s a demo on how to properly perform the seated cable row:

Seated Reverse Fly

This is another exercise that great’s for building the strong back and rear deltoids that is going to help the lacrosse goalie maintain a strong stance throughout the game.

This is a very tough exercise so be sure to go light on the weight and focus on the correct form.

Heres’s a demo on how to perform the seated reverse flyes:

Lunges with Weighted Torso Rotation

This exercise is great for any sport that involves rotation. To properly throw a lacrosse ball there is a fair amount of torso rotation involved.

This exercise is also going to work those core muscles so important for goalies.

For the weight you can either use a dumbbell or a heavy medicine ball.

Here’s demo of the walking lunge with torso rotation:

Sprints on stairs

At Cal we used to run Stadiums. The entire team headed into Memorial Stadium and sprinted up and down each section of the bleacher seating of the 87,000 capacity football stadium. They were brutal.

But they also were also amazing for getting your body into shape and building the muscles that goalies need to make saves.

The added load of working against gravity and balancing while sprinting up stairs adds muscle power and strength in the glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings and calves of goalies. When going down the steps, we subject our quads to eccentric contractions which further works the body.

Just in case you don’t know what sprinting on stairs looks like –

Pushups

Pushups are an excellent pushing exercise that’s going to work your chest and shoulder muscles. There are several different versions of pushups that vary the muscles that are worked.

Building strong shoulders is important to being able to stay in lacrosse goalie ready position for an extended period.

This quick video outlines the correct form for performing pushups:

As I mentioned for many of these drills you can work in tennis balls to help increase the lacrosse goalie’s reaction time.  You can include them at almost any point during any of the drills/ exercises. The athletes will have to keep their eyes up at all times, ready to react and catch the ball.

Lacrosse Goalie Workout

Weekly Schedule for the Lacrosse Goalie Workout

Above we’ve outlined all the exercises for our ideal lacrosse goalie workout. But obviously that is too much exercise to fit into a single session.

Now let’s craft a workout plan. This plan follows a 3 day on, 1 day off schedule.

If you want to become an NCAA DI lacrosse goalie, that’s the bare minimum amount of work I would recommend putting in during the off-season.

For each of the weighted exercises like squats, deadlift, and power cleans start at around 50% of your body weight during week 1 and then increase the lift by 5-10 lbs. each week.

Never sacrifice form for more weight. That’s the easiest way to get injured. We always want perfect form, whether in the weight room or on the lacrosse field.

Each session is going to begin with jumping rope and agility ladder exercises.

Day 1

  • Jump Rope – Full routine from video / 4 x 3 minute rounds
  • Agility Ladder – Full routine from video performing each exercise two runs through the ladder (20mins)
  • Slow Side Shuffle – 20 each direction x 3
  • Fast Side Shuffle – 20 each direction x 3
  • Wall Sits + Chest Pass with medicine ball – 30 seconds x 3
  • Power Cleans – 2 warm up sets, 15 reps x 3 sets
  • Walking Lunges – 20 x 3
  • Walking Lunges + Torso Rotation with Medicine Ball – 20 x 3

Day 2 

  • Jump Rope – Full routine from video / 4 x 3 minute rounds
  • Agility Ladder – Full routine from video performing each exercise two runs through the ladder (20mins)
  • Long Lateral Jumps – 30 seconds x 3
  • Stair Sprints
    • Normal sprint up stairs – x3
    • 2 foot hop up each stair Double Footed Stair Sprints – x3
    • Lateral sprint in each direction – x3
    • Normal sprint up stairs – x3
  • Box Jumps – 20 x 3
  • Pushups – 20 x 3
  • Deadlift – 2 warm up sets, 15 x 3 (lighter weight, focus on explosion)

Day 3 

  • Jump Rope – Full routine from video / 4 x 3 minute rounds
  • Agility Ladder – Full routine from video performing each exercise two runs through the ladder (20mins)
  • Slow side Shuffle – 20 each direction x 3
  • Walking Lunges – 20 x 3
  • Squats – 2 warm up sets, 20 reps x 3 sets
  • Seated Cable Row – 15 reps x 3 sets
  • Reverse Fly – 20 reps x 3 sets
  • Fast side Shuffle – 20 each direction x 3

Day 4: Off

Then we’re back to day 1.

Conclusion

To be a great lacrosse goalie we must transform our bodies into that of an athlete.

By following a lacrosse goalie workout with the following exercises we’re improving every element needed to have the body of an All-American goalie. These exercises are designed to help build the strength and explosion that is required to dominate this position.

While you may need to substitute an exercise due lack of equipment or space restrictions, a minimum lacrosse goalie workout should contain all the following:

  • Jump Rope
  • Box jumps
  • Long lateral jumps (skaters)
  • Agility Ladder Drills
  • Slow side shuffles with resistance
  • Fast side shuffling with medicine ball
  • Wall sits
  • Power cleans
  • Deadlifts
  • Squats
  • Seated Cable Rows
  • Rear Deltoid Fly
  • Lunges with Medicine Ball
  • Sprints on stairs

If you religiously follow this lacrosse goalie workout using a 3 days on, 1 day off system for the entire off-season you’ll be amazed at how many more saves you’ll be able to make once the season is back in full swing.

You can even incorporate this workout during the season to ensure your body stays in shape and explosive for making saves.

Until next time! Coach Damon

Any questions or suggestions on this particular lacrosse goalie workout? Let me know in the comments. 

10 thoughts on “Lacrosse Goalie Workout: Get Your Body In Shape to Make Saves

  1. Your most recent guide for Lacrosse Goalie Workouts will surely be an invaluable source of information for myself and many others. That being said, now that we are in season, is there a different workout we should follow? I’ve heard that in-season athletes do things such as lowering weight and increasing reps. Would the work with the workouts you provided? Or are there other exercises in general we should do?

    Your website has transformed and improved me in monumental amounts, so please keep it up and thank you so much!

    Willem Bowman

    1. Willem! Thanks a ton for the compliments on this lacrosse goalie workout and the site in general! Totally appreciate that! Great question. This workout was designed to be more of an off-season thing. While coaching goalies is my expertise, personal training is not. Let me ask I brother-in-law about in-season workouts and I’ll update the post in a few days. Thanks again! Damon

      1. Sorry for the delay on this one. In season you would want to lower the weight and increase the reps with the idea being not to kill yourself in the gym. You really just want to do maintenance during the season and focus on building strength and quickness in the offseason.

  2. I am really good with down low saves but I have some trouble with higher saves. I am kind of short in goal at 5′ 7″ when I bend my knees. Is there any thing that would help me improve up high?

    1. Hi Ben – You could try setting up with your hands a little higher in your stance to help cover that top part of the goal. Also make sure you seeing the shot, not guessing low. Hope that helps.

  3. Great post, any weight room lifting suggestions to help with faster hand reaction to shots(i.e. wrist curls)? Or any exercises to do to react faster to shots that you can do by yourself at home or in the weight room?

    1. Hi Tim – That’s tough. Most goalies in the offseason choose to focus on strength training, agility training, and wall ball specifically because shooters might not be available. Then they start to ramp up shots in fall ball. That’s what I’d recommend but if you’re absolutely set on seeing shots the options are limited. The Doc Drill is a good one that somewhat simulates shots. Other baseball pitching machines can simulate shots.

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