I’d like to welcome Andrew McCrumb as a contributor to Arsenal Strength. Andrew is a native of Baltimore, MD and a graduate of Stevenson University. While at Stevenson, Andrew, was named an All-American defensive midfielder and a captain his senior year. Andrew is a certified personal trainer through the National Academy of Sports Medicine, the current Strength and Conditioning specialist at Old Mill High School, and the Operations Manager at East Coast Dyes. Make sure to follow him on Instagram @COACH_CRUMB
As a midfielder, you have to be prepared for anything and everything. Any given run could have you going from defending a dodger, to picking up a groundball and running a fast break, to getting back in the hole for more defense. In most cases, the midfield matchups are wars of attrition: the man who is most physically prepared for the wear and tear of a full 4 quarters is the man who is going to come out on top. The last thing you want is to have your number called late in the game when your legs are shot and you’re gasping for air. These are the moments that a midfielder must simulate in training, so when that time comes, you have enough left in the tank to make the big play for your team.
Lateral Strength Exercises
Playing both offense and defense demands high levels of agility. Efficiently cutting from side to side is a requirement of a midfielder at any level of lacrosse, yet is the aspect of training that is often most overlooked. Lateral strength exercises can improve your agility and can help give you the edge over your opponent. The exercises include banded lateral walks, lateral jumps, lateral box jumps, and the kettlebell lateral lunge. Volume of these exercises doesn’t have to be high, so add two or three of these movements at the end of your workout session for 12-15 reps to experience benefits in your lateral agility.
Lacrosse is a game of speed, and your legs are your driving force. The entire game is made up of efforts of sprint after sprint, so it only makes sense that sprints should be a focal point of any midfielder’s training program. To train both speed and endurance, try to keep the work to rest ratio close to 1:2. That is, if you sprint for 20 seconds, keep your rest period between bouts to around 40-60 seconds, depending on your current endurance level. There is no perfect sprint workout, so there is room to get creative with the design. Here are two good example sprint workouts:
- 5 x 20 yards, 3 x 40 yards, 2 x 100 yards
- Sprint 75 yards every minute on the minute for 12 minutes
Midfielders often must exert their force on an opposing player, then quickly accelerate down field. After bodying up the opponent while playing defense or fighting for a groundball, you’re going to have to take off to either run a break out or a fast break. Physically engaging another player is taxing and can leave you gassed within seconds. This is where cardio acceleration comes into play. It’s basically a compound movement, like squats or deadlifts, super-setted with a minute of intense cardio. This strategy will improve your endurance without having to slave away at long, monotonous running workouts. To implement this strategy into your training, immediately begin a minute’s worth of cardio after every set of resistance exercise you perform. The best cardio options include, but are not limited to, mountain climbers, kettlebell swings, jump rope, medicine ball slams, and box jumps.
If you want to learn more about how a strength and conditioning program can help take your game to the next level check out our American Revolution Performance program.