by Chelsea Ortega, DPT, SCS, CSCS >> Request an Appointment
Performing a consistent regimen of maintenance work is essential for both injury prevention and increasing the level of an athlete’s performance. However, many athletes have difficulty prioritizing which exercises to perform in order to achieve these goals. With the need for practice, recovery, nutrition, strength training, conditioning and skills training, it often seems impossible to fit in the maintenance work that can be pivotal to an athlete's success. These programs should have both a mobility and an activation sequence. The mobility section allows the athlete to achieve more range of motion while the activation component teaches the body how to control this motion.
It's essential for this regimen to be based on the demands of the specific sport the athlete participates in. Lacrosse players often present with decreased hip and thoracic spine mobility, both of which can be a detriment to their ability to perform the necessary skills to be successful in lacrosse. Below are a few great examples of exercises that can address these deficits. Give them a shot, and let us know what you think!
Keep in mind: it's always best to have an individualized program to get the most from your maintenance work - see a PT if you would like a more tailored approach!
Wall Windmill and Open Book (1-2 x 10 reps each side)
Start in a half kneeling position with the knee closest to the wall in front. Maintain contact of your knee on the wall as you raise both arms out in front of you. Drag your inside hand along the wall as you move it up and over behind you in a windmill fashion, then return to starting position. Next, take your outside hand and reach toward the wall behind you. Return to starting position and repeat.
Adductor Thread the Needle (1-2 x 10 reps each side)
Start with one knee down and one leg out to the side. Take hand behind head and rotate chest up toward ceiling, rotate back down and reach through to rotate down toward foot that is out. Breathe in as you rotate up, breathe out as you rotate down and through.
Hip Flexor Stretch (2 x 1 min each side)
Kneeling on one leg, lift the foot of the leg whose knee is on the ground onto a ball, wall or chair. Round the tailbone under the body and pull your heel close to your back side as you squeeze your glute.
90/90 Hip Stretch (2 x 1 min each side)
Orient your hips and legs into the 90/90 position. Keeping your spine straight, lean forward so your sternum is going directly over the knee. Hold for 1 minute, then switch sides. Repeat on the other side for 1 minute.
Check out Part 2 of this series for discussion on the most important activation exercises for lacrosse players!