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How does Duke Lacrosse Warm up for Games and Practice? | BridgeAthletic

Posted by BridgeAthletic on Feb 20, 2015 11:05:17 AM

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13-Step Duke Lacrosse Dynamic Warm-Up


All lacrosse players warm up before competition and training sessions. Or at least I should say, all players go through the motions of a warm-up. The best lacrosse teams, like the 2-time NCAA champions of Duke Lacrosse, activate their muscles through a rigorous dynamic warm-up that truly gets the blood flowing. How do they do it? And why? Carl Christensen, strength coach for Duke University Lacrosse and a BridgeAthletic Performance Advisory Board member overseeing BridgeLacrosse, frequently sees young players dismiss this critical part of their preparation. He says, “Watching high school camps, many kids don’t even warm up. Or sometimes, only half the team warms up, while attackmen go shoot on the goalkeeper—and then they start playing.”


The main purpose of a dynamic warm-up is threefold: 1) to elevate the internal body temperature to an optimal level for muscular activation 2) to prevent joint and soft tissue injury by rehearsing the motor patterns that will be used during the performance, and 3) to enhance nerve conductivity to allow for faster reaction time, greater agility, and overall mind-body coordination during competition. To achieve this, the warm-up begins with low-intensity exercises and progresses to higher intensity movements to gradually elevate the body temp while increasing the athlete’s range of motion and muscle activation. The warm-up finishes with a concise effort that is at or near max effort to mimic the realistic demands of the upcoming event. “Before a practice or game, the warm-up needs to include a movement that is 100% effort,” Christensen says. 

Christensen, along with fellow Duke performance, sports medicine and coaching staff, developed the following 13-exercise dynamic warm-up that takes athletes through general range of motion and muscle activation exercises, followed by lacrosse-specific drills that leave them feeling sharp for performance. He says, “Something we do beyond a normal dynamic warm-up is to include acceleration, deceleration and lateral movement.”

The dynamic warm-up is the lacrosse athlete’s bread and butter for peak performance. Complete this warm-up prior to your next game or practice and you’ll find increased vigor and focus in the quality of your play.

Duke Lacrosse Warm-Up

  1. Stride - 2x40-60 yards
  2. Stride – 2x30 yards (increase speed over last 10 yards)
  3. Walking Knee Hugs – 1x10 yards
  4. Toy Soldier Skip – 1x10 yards
  5. Lunging Bottoms-Up – 1x10 yards
  6. Lateral Lunge – 1x10 yards each side
  7. Spiderman – 1x10 yards
  8. Inchworm – 1x10 yards
  9. Carioca with Big Turns – 1x10 yards each direction
  10. Backward Run – 1x15 yards
  11. Shuffle and Sprint – 1x15 yards each direction (Shuffle 5 yards, Sprint 10 yards
  12. Sprint and Shuffle – 1x15 yards each direction (Sprint 10 yards, Shuffle 5 yards)
  13. Build-Ups – 2x30 yards (80% for 10 yards, 90% for 10 yards, 100% for 10 yards)


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Topics: Performance Trends