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Performance Lacrosse: The Necessity of Multiplanar Training in Lacrosse

Post by:  Brian Paris, DC, NASM-PES of Performance Lacrosse

Lacrosse is a sport that requires training in all planes of motion. This article aims to teach the reader some tips on enhancing lacrosse performance in the sagittal, frontal and transverse planes of motion. Also the reader will learn about the importance of including the nervous system in training.

Although we classify movement in three planes of motion when training, one must also be aware of the six degrees of freedom in movement. For example, printing forward would be considered movement in the sagittal plane and so would sprinting backwards.  The same goes for the frontal and transverse planes. Such as, laterally shuffling to the left or laterally shuffling to the right, or  diagonal running to the left or diagonal running to the right. Training for lacrosse must have a focus on training for these types movements not solely muscles. Training the muscles to get bigger and stronger only does not train them to move more efficiently. If you want to move fast on the lacrosse field you must train fast. This is how the nervous system works. Just like ‘you are what you eat’, you perform how you train.

Movement preparation must also be done in all three planes of motion. This better prepares the nervous system for the demands of the game. Keeping your nervous system in tune for efficient movement requires flexibility and good joint mobility. This allows the best feed-back and feed-forward of information resulting in stability. If a player has tight hips he will be unable to get lower while changing direction. This also puts more abnormal strain on the knees and ankles leaving them more susceptible to injury.

Your core (everything except your arms and legs) is best trained in all planes of motion. If you were on the lacrosse field in the same position you are when doing crunches then chances are you just got leveled. Crunches were designed to make the abdominal muscles bigger in one plane of motion (sagittal) so they look good when you are static (not moving). Think about the complexity of all the movements that occur while playing lacrosse. Full body actions during training that combine planes of motion best prepare the core to integrate movement between the upper and lower body. This will help the athlete avoid injury and perform  optimally.

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