Agile Athlete: Improve Speed by Improving Mobility
As athletes, we often focus on strength training, conditioning, and skill development to enhance our performance. However, one aspect that is often overlooked but can have a significant impact on speed and overall athletic ability is mobility. The question of whether stretching can make you faster has been raised by many athletes, including lacrosse players. In this article, we will explore the connection between mobility and speed, and why improving mobility is crucial for lacrosse players.
The Importance of Mobility for Lacrosse Players
For the average lacrosse player, mobility and stretching are often an afterthought. It is typically only done when feeling tight or sore or as a quick add-on after a workout. However, the truth is that improving mobility can lead to improvements in speed, shooting, and various other aspects of performance on the field. This claim may seem bold, but it has been observed time and time again that lacrosse players who commit to improving their mobility experience enhanced mechanics, lower positions that are stronger, and increased power, ultimately resulting in improved speed.
Key Areas of Mobility for Speed Improvement
To understand why improving mobility is vital for speed improvement in lacrosse, let’s examine a few key areas:
An often overlooked aspect, ankle mobility plays a crucial role in speed enhancement. Improved ankle mobility allows players to achieve a lower hip position, leading to better stride mechanics, lower and stronger plays, and overall speed improvement. Try squatting without bending your ankles and you’ll quickly realize the limited range of motion and difficulty in achieving a low position. The same applies to the field when restricted ankle mobility hinders performance.
Another commonly neglected area, hip mobility significantly affects stride length and strength in lacrosse players. Tight and restricted hips limit stride extension and abduction, leading to compensations in the body and decreased speed. By focusing on improving hip mobility, players can enhance their stride mechanics and unlock their full-speed potential.
Shoulders & Upper Body Mobility
While lower body mobility often takes precedence, poor shoulder, and upper body mobility can also hinder speed. Optimal arm swing and movement patterns are compromised by limited shoulder and upper back mobility, resulting in shortened strides and reduced speed. It is essential to address these areas to maximize overall mobility and speed on the field.
Improving Mobility: The Solution
Fortunately, many of the common mobility issues faced by lacrosse players can be rectified through intentional and targeted movement sequences. By dedicating just a few 10-minute sessions per week to mobility exercises, players can address tightness, limited range of motion, imbalances, and restrictions. The use of a mobility checklist specifically designed for lacrosse players can be beneficial post-workout, after practice, or even during leisure time.
DO THE WORKOUT
Improving mobility is a crucial aspect of enhancing speed and overall performance for lacrosse players. Neglecting mobility work can limit stride mechanics, strength, and power, ultimately hindering speed on the field. By focusing on key areas such as ankle and hip mobility, as well as addressing shoulder and upper body mobility, players can refine their mechanics, optimize movement patterns, and build a healthy and mobile body.
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