Lacrosse athletes need speed, endurance, strength and explosive power on the field. If you thought the treadmill was just for cardio exercise, think again -- the treadmill can also be used to effectively increase your speed and strengthen your upper body muscles you use to shoot in a game. Rain is no longer an excuse to miss a lacrosse training section. However, all these treadmill exercises can be performed outdoors on the ground as well.
High Intensity Interval Training
The best way to increase your speed is to do high intensity interval training, which you can do by running sprints on a treadmill. Speed intervals will improve your cardiovascular fitness and build muscles you need for speed. Run at a normal pace and do intensity bursts for varying short interval periods until you've been on the treadmill for about 25 to 30 minutes. To improve explosive power, do intensity intervals at your maximal intensity for five to 15 seconds. For endurance speed, do other intensity intervals for 30 to 60 seconds at 85 to 90 percent of your maximal intensity.
Another benefit of using a treadmill for lacrosse training is that you can easily adjust the inclination to create resistance against your legs. This strengthens the muscles you need for speed and explosive power, namely your glutes, hamstrings and quads. Do high-intensity interval training like you normally would in a speed training workout, but to mix it up, try increasing the incline on your treadmill instead of increasing the speed. Or, if you can, increase both the speed and the inclination.
The treadmill isn't only for speed work. Lacrosse players need explosive arm and shoulder power to aim and shoot the lacrosse ball from a lacrosse stick. The treadmill can help you do bodyweight exercises that strengthen your arms and abs. Do the walking treadmill plank by getting in a plank position with your hands at the end of the treadmill. Elevate your feet on a box or bench a few feet behind the end of the treadmill so you can walk your hands on the treadmill while it's set at 1 mph. Do the crab crawl by facing away from the treadmill. With your feet on the floor, squat down and place your hands on the sides of the treadmill. Keep your hips lifted and abs tight as you walk your hands backwards on the moving belt. Perform each exercise for at least one minute.
According to Sports Fitness Advisor, lacrosse players need to have a substantial amount of bodyweight to cope with physical contact in the aggressive game. On the other hand, you need a low body fat percentage for maximal speed and agility. That means the bulk of your weight and brute force should come from your muscular strength, which can only result from following an effective, regular strength training program. For aerobic workouts, avoid steady-paced running on the treadmill without intensity bursts, since this could promote muscle loss. Set the treadmill inclination so that it's one percent elevated to compensate for the treadmill's moving belt.
- Photo Credit Thinkstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images