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Agile Athlete: A Complete Guide to Workouts for Lacrosse Players

The physical demands on lacrosse players have never been higher. In both the men’s and women’s games, lacrosse is getting faster and more dynamic each season. Gone are the days when some players were highly skilled, quick, and fast, while others got away with being positionally smart or just brute strength. To play in today’s game – speed, agility, strength, and power are all essential attributes to thrive.

And much like the game is evolving on the field, the training off the field is evolving too. The days of half-assing workouts in the gym and then focusing on conditioning on the field are long gone. So are the old school “body part” focused bodybuilding workouts or old school heavy lift sessions. 

Today, elite players are training with a completely different approach. They’re utilizing integrative workouts that focus on training kinetic chains, they’re optimizing movement patterns, they’re focusing on developing explosive power, and they’re getting savagely strong while staying lean, mobile, and agile. 

The game demands it. 

The strength & conditioning for lacrosse players specifically translates to the field. We’ve worked with thousands of lacrosse players to refine this training formula – and deliver the process that produces on-field results. 

In this post, we wanted to pull back the curtain on how elite lacrosse players are training and structuring their workouts. 

Our goal is to give you a look at not only how these players are training, but also give you a blueprint for how you elevate your training and take your game to the next level. 

So, let’s dive in.‍


We often hear about epic workout schedules from fitness influencers and celebrities, the two-a-days from pro athletes, and the latest bodybuilding split that’s “the best” for putting on muscle – but what’s the best? And, what’s best for lacrosse players?

Whenever we have a conversation with lacrosse players we inevitably get asked the question: what’s the perfect training split/workout schedule for lacrosse players?  

This is both an easy and challenging question to answer.

Traditional training splits are typically broken into upper/lower, push/pull, or body part days (i.e. chest days). For non-athletes, including bodybuilders, this is perfect because it creates a compounding overload stimulus on a specific area on one day and then gives them anywhere from 3 days to a week of rest. But, for lacrosse players, this training style is extremely outdated and is making players’ training far less effective.

All of our lacrosse workout programs, like nearly all NCAA programs we’ve seen, use a full-body approach for lacrosse players. This approach is valuable because it allows us to challenge all of the movement patterns within each workout and begin to improve our capacity to utilize kinetic chains.

The caveat to this full-body approach is that we still emphasize different movement patterns on a particular day within a workout schedule. This is where we’ll take a specific movement pattern and make the primary focus. 

 Let’s look at an example of this: 

  • Day 1: Squat + Push – in our primary block we could include a goblet squat with a horizontal press-based exercise like an Incline Chest Press. 
  • Day 2: Lunge + Pull – in our primary block we could include a reverse lunge with pull-ups.  
  • Day 3: Hinge + Push – in our primary block we could include a Trap Bar Deadlift with a Half Kneeling Shoulder Press. 

While we might go heavier, or create a more intense demand on these exercises in our first block, we’ll still be using all the other movement patterns (squat, lunge, hinge, push, pull) in the rest of the workout. 

In summary, lacrosse players should use full-body split training that utilizes all the movement patterns in each workout. 

This brings us to our second question, how often should lacrosse players work out? 

How often lacrosse players should be training truly depends on the training priorities of the player, the time of year, and their training age/experience. 

While some strength coaches will have their players training 4 days per week (typically Monday/Tuesday, rest Wednesday, Thursday/Friday, and rest weekend) – we see lacrosse players make more progress with just three strength workouts per week. 

This allows for the addition of extra speed, mobility, and skill sessions to be added based on individual needs, but it also allows for greater nervous system recovery in between sessions, ultimately allowing players to go harder each workout and be fresher for important motor skill learning on the field. 

This means the perfect workout schedule for lacrosse could look like 3 focused lifts, 2-speed sessions, 2-3 mobility sessions, and potentially one extra conditioning session. 

While these 8+ sessions suddenly sound like an intense schedule – let’s break it down: 

  • Monday – lift (60-75 min), 
  • Tuesday – speed session (30 min) + mobility session
  • Wednesday – lift (60-75 min) 
  • Thursday – speed sessions (30 min) + mobility session (20-30 min)
  • Friday – lift (60-75 min)
  • Saturday – speed or conditioning sessions (30 min) + mobility session (20-30 min). 
  • Sunday – complete rest 

This allows players to get into high-quality skill sessions without placing too much overload on the nervous system. This needs to be a priority for lacrosse players because overloading the nervous system without adequate recovery will ultimately reduce output on lift days and reduce your capacity for skill development. 

Obviously, this schedule would look intensely different in-season, but college teams still do 2-4 solid strength workouts per week in-season.  

Ultimately, you need to find and create a schedule that fits your lifestyle and training goals. Some players will be better served focusing on skill development in the off-season, and others need to place emphasis on getting stronger or more powerful. Either way, you need to seek clarity on what you need to elevate your game and create a schedule around that. 


Workouts for lacrosse players are a lot different than the workout that the average Joe is doing in the gym. This is for good reason. 

While the average Joe is training for appearance or strength, lacrosse players are focused on developing integrative systems that translate to on-ice performance. 

While we explored the premise of body splits versus full-body workouts in the last section, we’re going to focus on exactly what workouts for lacrosse players should look like. 

While exercise selection and intention (training focus, intensity, etc.) will vary both on the time of year and the individual training needs – this is the structure that should remain universal for lacrosse players.  

The workout structure for lacrosse players should look like this: 

  1. Dynamic Warm-Up
  2. Prehab & Mobility 
  3. Athleticism 
  4. Strength & Power Blocks 
  5. Extra Conditioning/Core/Mobility Work 
  6. Cool Down 

This isn’t just our opinion. If you get your hands on nearly any NCAA or Professional program, you’ll see them structured nearly the exact same way. This allows strength coaches & athletes to cover a lot of bases while putting integrative concepts together throughout a workout. 

Of course, there will be some variance between in-season and off-season here. Often we’ll see programs that reduce or eliminate the athleticism/speed work during the season. While ideally, we want to lower the intensity of this work near game time, our philosophy is that we don’t want to eliminate the development opportunities throughout the season.  

Before we get into a sample workout that we use in our lacrosse programs, let’s dive into each one of these sections to explore the intention and how players can get the most out of each workout. 


Prehab is essential for lacrosse players – but is often an area of their training that is skipped or quickly run through so that they can get to the fun stuff. 

If you watch nearly any pro athlete player train, you’ll see that their prehab is approached with the same intensity and intention as their main workout. 

They know this is the stuff that matters. 

Prehab can be defined as exercises that are done to prevent injuries. These are typically activation, mobility, and corrective exercises that aim to compensate for or correct the imbalances caused by the demands of the sport. 

While these will often be custom-tailored to a player’s individual needs according to their postural imbalances or mobility restrictions when it comes to lacrosse players – they share nearly all the same restrictions and thus have a lot of the same prehab demands.

It’s important to note, this is different from a warm-up. We’ll typically have our players go through a ~10-minute workout before getting into their prehab work. This allows the body to be warm, primed, and ready for work – and ultimately allows us to better activate and mobilize specific muscle groups with this prehab work.  


Speed training for lacrosse players is a topic worthy of its own article. 

Because this is a small training block of speed training and not an entire workout – our goal is to focus on one common theme of speed/athleticism for that day. 

Some of these themes can include: 

  • Acceleration (linear, lateral, or both);
  • Deceleration (including landing patterns);
  • Lateral, curvilinear, & multi-directional speed;
  • Linear speed;
  • Change of direction capacity;
  • Agility & reactive speed;
  • Positional & postural focuses (landing, planting, absorbing & expressing, etc.);
  • Athleticism & kinaesthetic awareness development

This goes beyond just the classic “quick feet” or ladder drills and hones in on specific movement patterns that will translate to the various elements of speed that lacrosse players need on the field. 

Within our workouts, we’ll typically have lacrosse perform 3-5 drills all in a similar theme. This allows players to really challenge a specific motor skill & enhance their capacity for better movement and refined mechanics. 

Admittedly, for most lacrosse players this isn’t enough speed & athleticism training – but it does ensure that players are getting in highly targeted and intentional work throughout the week. We’ll also have our players do “speed days” where they’ll expand on this work with an entire workout dedicated to speed and athleticism. 


The “primary” focus of lacrosse players for any workout should be getting stronger and more powerful. 

This is what lacrosse players most commonly consider a “strength workout” because we’re typically in the weight room and using strength training equipment.

For lacrosse players, this section of the workout will typically be 2 or 3 “blocks” comprising 3-4 exercises each. These blocks are typically meant to be done in a “superset” fashion, in which all of the exercises in the block are done back to back before taking a rest. 

It’s important to note that this doesn’t make these exercises “circuit training” – lacrosse players shouldn’t be going through exercises as fast as possible to create a conditioning response, but instead giving themselves enough rest time to hit each exercise with intensity and intention. 

Because our goal is full-body and movement-focused training, we want to ensure that we’re getting all five movement patterns into each workout. These include: 

  • Squat Pattern
  • Hinge Pattern 
  • Lunge Pattern 
  • Upper Body Push 
  • Upper Body Pull 

While these can be broken down further into horizontal or vertical expressions, if lacrosse players can find a way to include all five of these movement patterns in each workout, their workouts will be better than 98% of other players


We actually hate the term “finisher” in workout programs. 

The fitness industry has adopted this term as a blanket phrase to justify wild and often obscene “conditioning sessions” that are really just intended to make people suffer through high-rep work and leave them feeling sweaty and accomplished. 

For lacrosse players, we want to skip the “finisher” mentality – and instead focus on finishing with intention and intensity. Depending on the workout, this finishing block can be composed of three components: conditioning, extra core, or extra mobility. 

Let’s look at how to make each component more effective. 


While all of our lacrosse programs have independent conditioning days, we’ll still use a short and intense block of conditioning at the end of some workouts. This work allows us to get in short bursts and high-intensity work and continue to develop the energy systems so valuable for lacrosse players. 

This HIIT-based work is always intentional. We’re never just grinding for the sake of chasing breakdown/fatigue, but instead intentionally trying to build those energy systems. 

While on-field conditioning work is the most transferable for lacrosse players, we’ll also use bikes, conditioning complexes (with KBs, DBs, or bodyweight), and of course run. The modality choice here is less important than being strict with work and rest times and really letting it rip.

Extra Core: 

When players think core at the end of the workout, they traditionally think of the bodybuilding “core finisher” approach that crushes your abs with hundreds of reps to the point of exhaustion. 

While most of our workouts have core exercises built into them, sometimes extra core can be valuable for a workout that is more movement-focused. Again, this work is designed to be intense and intentional – and because it’s separated from the rest of the workout we can use multiple core-focused exercises to build a synergistic effect. While some players will revert to high-rep exercises here, our goal here is to find intentional activation in the core and really focus on creating that braced trunk position – all the value is in finding and challenging that squeeze. 

Extra Mobility:

All lacrosse players’ workouts should end in some sort of mobility work. It’s important to note, that just like the rest of the “finishing work” – this work needs to be approached with intention. After a tough workout, we’ll often see players just flop into some stretch positions and hang out with their buddies or on their phones. 

While this is technically better than nothing, it’s still not nearly as valuable as getting intentional. 

Here, we want to focus on using a warm body (both physically and neuromuscularly) to reclaim extra range. This stretching will be far more valuable than even the pre-hab or at-home mobility sequence because the body is primed and fatigued. After a handful of active and intentional exercises, we’ll typically have players move to longer hold exercises and start to unwind the body. 

For these passive stretches, we really want lacrosse players to emphasize two elements: 

  1. Sinking into range – because we’re using longer holds (30-120s) we really want players to “let go” and sink into the stretch to reclaim flexibility and mobility. This is especially valuable in the hip flexor and ankles which hold a lot of tension but can release with these long holds (for example a Squat Hold works amazingly well here).
  2. Breathing – as we transition to the “cool down phase” of a workout, we want to see players get really intentional with their breathing. Slow and deep belly breathing with an emphasis on long exhales triggers a parasympathetic response – ultimately allowing your body to slow down and start the recovery process. Through all of our stretches, we’re focusing on this breathing, and will occasionally even finish by laying with our feet elevated and just focusing on slow breathing. 

Whether it’s conditioning, core, or mobility – the end of your workout truly needs intensity and intention in order to be actually valuable for development. Just because it’s the end of our workout, doesn’t mean that it’s less important. 


So now that we’ve explored what the structure of a lacrosse workout should look like — let’s put it all together in an example. This is a workout that’s been pulled from phase 1 of our Explosive Power Program and adapted/simplified for clarity. 


Repeat this series twice, really focusing on activation and range of motion.  

Standing Opening the Gate [8 each]

RDL to T Spine Rotational Hold [8 each]

Banded Pull Aparts [10 reps]

Banded Shoulder Dislocator [10 reps]

Lizard Lunge to Rotational Reach [8 each]

1 Arm Trap Raise to Swimmer Hold [8 each]

Moose Antlers [8 each]

Single Arm Shoulder CAR [8 each]

Yoga Push Up to Up Dog [6-8 reps]


Repeat this series twice, taking a short break to make sure you’re going into each rep fresh so that you can generate as much power in each rep as possible.

5 Yard Shuffle [20 sec]

Lateral Hurdle Bounds [12 reps]

Lateral Hurdle Bound to Hop [8 reps]

Diagonal Skater Bounds w/ 2s Pause [10 reps]

Block A 

Repeat this block 3-4 times. Focus on controlling the way down (eccentric phase) of the split squat for at least 4 seconds. Choose a weight that is challenging for the final reps. 

Goblet Split Squat Lunge [8 each]

Half Kneeling DB Shoulder Press [8 each]

Activated Bird Dog [8 each]

Adductor Side Plank [20 sec]

Block B 

Repeat this block 3-4 times. Make sure that you’re keeping a consistent pace through all of the exercises. Make sure that you’re really activating your abs through all of these exercises. 

Kettlebell Swing [12 reps]

Half Kneeling Lat Pull Down [8 each]

Palloff Press [10 each]

Bear Crawl [20 reps]

Extra Core

Repeat this 2-4 times. Make sure that you’re intentionally creating that “ab squeeze” and not allowing your ribs to flare open.

Slider Planks [10 reps]

Weighted Deadbug [12 reps]

Bear Crawl Drag Throughs [10 reps]

Superman with Arm Circles [10 reps]

Extra Mobility 

Complete this series 1-2 times. Really focus on slowing down the body, while also creating extra range of motion in each exercise. 

Activated Couch Stretch [8 each]

Pec T Stretch [8 each]

Scorpions [14 reps]

90/90 Hip Flows  [5 each]


If structured properly,  three workouts per week can be more effective than most players’ 4-5 basic workouts. 

And, while our workouts integrate multiple training components into one workout, lacrosse players should still be looking to get in “extra” workouts depending on their development and training needs. 

Sometimes extra work is better served on skill development (either on or off-field), but all lacrosse players can improve in three key areas: speed, conditioning, and mobility. 

That’s why we find it valuable for players to add intentional and intensely focused workouts that attack one of these key areas, and why having three main workouts per week is so valuable – it allows for extra work where you need it most. 

Let’s look at each and see how you can maximize your workouts.


Understanding speed development for lacrosse players could be worth its own book. We do take a deep dive into speed training for lacrosse players in this article here – but for this article’s case, let’s just go over our three keys of speed training

There are hundreds of thousands of speed drills on social media these days. Some good, some horrific. But it’s often not the drill, but the approach to the drill that determines if it’s valuable. 

If a lacrosse player just understands these important concepts, then they can 10x the value and impact of their speed training and be far ahead of 98% of players. 

  1. Rule #1: Speed training is not conditioning training. Speed training is tough work. It has an intense cardiovascular demand and if you’re pushing the pace, many drills can quickly turn into “baggers”. We need to avoid this. Either do a conditioning session or a speed session. Not both.
  2. Rule #2: Every speed drill should be approached fresh. This is so key that we want to reiterate it again. Speed training has an intense neuromuscular demand. To truly improve your speed capacity, you’re training your nervous system and movement mechanics and for this, you need to be fresh. Take a second between drills to make sure you’re feeling fresh heading into the next drill. 
  3. Rule #3: Every exercise should have a purpose. Make sure you know the purpose of each drill. There are a lot of “speed coaches” who will set up random drills that look like obstacle drills. If you can’t understand the intention of an exercise, it’s likely not serving you – furthermore, being able to visualize or create the “on-field feel” will support motor learning and game transfer.

For our players, we schedule these workouts 1-3 times per week depending on the time of year. 


Lacrosse Players used to get in a jog in the off-season and then maybe do a couple of “suicides” before training camp to get into “lacrosse shape” – those days are long gone. 

While you could argue that this approach still developed an aerobic base – with the speed of the game today, lacrosse players need truly elite conditioning levels – and that means developing the energy systems that translate to a game.

It’s no secret, that lacrosse is the best conditioning for lacrosse. But the second best conditioning is high-intensity interval style training. Not only is the work the highest return on investment for your time and saves you the compounding stress of long conditioning workouts, but it’s also the most transferable to a game that has so many explosive bursts.  

Here are our three rules for conditioning for lacrosse players:

  1. Make it intentional. Create a game plan before you start a conditioning workout and don’t quit on it. Conditioning work demands a relentless work ethic and the “what should I do next” mentality is going to leave you choosing easy. 
  2. Short and intense is more valuable than slow and long. Chances are, you already have an intensive aerobic base. While there are some use cases for longer/slower conditioning in the early off-season, 97/100 conditioning should be high-intensity and interval-based. This doesn’t just need to be in the 15-30s working time frame and should include intervals that are in the 60-120+ seconds frame as well. But get intense.
  3. Don’t add it to rest days. If you’re doing conditioning work, you can combine it with shoot/skill work at home, a mobility series, and even add a two-a-day. But make sure you’re not clouding your rest day with conditioning sessions that will prevent nervous system recovery. 


All lacrosse players should be working on their mobility. 

While some athletes can be prone to hyper-mobility, it’s extremely rare to see a lacrosse player that is “too mobile”. That’s why when in doubt, we recommend all lacrosse players spend more time on mobility and look to fit additional mobility work into their week. 

While most players consider this “injury prevention” – improved mobility also comes with improved performance, including refining movement patterns, creating more range of motion to express force, and creating a longer and smoother stride. 

This, paired with the obvious injury prevention benefits, is why all lacrosse players should be looking to add some sort of mobility training into their workout schedule. 

While we take a deeper dive into this topic in the articles/resources listed below, we want to take the time now to look at how players can add mobility to their schedules. 

Mobility sessions for lacrosse players can be broken into three categories, all of which are equally valuable and should be used weekly. 

  1. Intentional Mobility Training. These are series or entire workouts that are designed to improve the mobility of a player. This could be something like yoga that uses movement flows or just a series of exercises – but the entire intention of the session is to increase the range of motion and flexibility. 
  2. Active Recovery Workouts. These workouts combine activation, bodyweight, and mobility exercises to increase blood flow and improve mobility. These short workouts often have players in a very light sweat but have been shown to have huge recovery benefits (1). They can easily be added to your morning or off days.
  3. Release & realign. This type of session utilizes both foam roller, active mobility exercises, and static stretching to improve flexibility and overall tissue quality. These sessions can be done post-hockey or before bed with the intention of creating a parasympathetic response and involve slowing the body down and releasing chronic tension throughout the body. 

In future articles and videos, we’ll be creating a deep dive and sample workouts for each of these styles of mobility workouts. But for now, if you’re focusing on getting in mobility work like this on a weekly basis, you’ll be far ahead of other lacrosse players – and more important be building a healthy and mobile body that will allow you to perform your best. 


We know it can be tough to find the exact answer to your lacrosse training questions. While we took a deep dive into lacrosse workouts and what they can look like, we still get questions from players ranging from deep periodization questions to basic training questions. 
We figured we’d answer some common questions that lacrosse players ask. If you have a more intensive question or something that’s not answered here – just send us an email!

How often should lacrosse players work out?

Lacrosse players should be working out roughly 3-5 times a week. Including 3 strength workouts, 2 speed workouts, and 1-2 conditioning or mobility workouts. This will depend on the time of year and the player’s development needs. 

What muscles do you train for lacrosse?

Glutes, the muscles of the posterior chain (hamstrings & calves), the rotational core muscles, and both upper body pull muscles (such as the lats) and push muscles (such as the deltoids and pecs).

If we had to make a list, it would look something like that (probably in that order) – but the truth is lacrosse players should focus on training kinetic chains, not individual muscle groups. 

Lacrosse Players need to develop their glutes (the powerhouse of the lower body) and posterior chain (hamstrings, calves, etc.) for speed, agility, and athleticism.

They need to develop their core (not just the rectus abdominis, but the obliques, erectors, and muscles of the lower back) to improve both their ability to resist contact and their ability to rotate and shoot harder. 

They need to develop their upper body (both pull muscles and push muscles) to play stronger and shoot harder. 

They need total body strength, and that’s why it’s so important to develop integrative kinetic chains that develop together. 

What are the best exercises for lacrosse players?

If we’re to answer this simply, the best exercises for lacrosse players include Goblet Squats, Trapbar Deadlifts, Reverse Lunges, Single Leg RDLs, Split Squats, Half Kneeling DB Shoulder Press, Incline Chest Presses, Pull-Ups, Face Pulls, Pallof Press, Cable Chops. 

The true answer is it depends on the player’s training needs – but even when we answer this, lacrosse players still ask for the exact exercises they should be doing. If you included these exercises in your weekly training, you’d be ahead of 90% of other lacrosse players. 

What is a good lacrosse training program? 

This question is largely based on your development needs. 

This is why we created lacrosse training programs based on training demands like Explosive SpeedSize & Strength, and Lean & Agile as well as training needs like Relentless GoalieYouth Development, and Weekend Warrior 

If we’re not plugging our own programs – any good lacrosse training program should deliver structured strength & conditioning workouts that are built to prepare players for the demands of on-ice performance. No fluff exercises. No random exercise. 

Your lacrosse training program should also have speed workouts, conditioning sessions, and mobility series. At the end of the day, a good lacrosse training program is one that uses an integrative training approach to maximize development and prepare players for on-ice performance.

footwork, speed, workouts