Improving the Velocity of your shot

By Brian Yeager

Following the right workout routine can not only add power and velocity to your shot on net, but it can also help keep your shoulders injury free during the competitive season.

To start we must identify the muscles involved in the shooting process:

Latisimus dorsi-This is a large muscle comprising much of the upper and mid back. It is the primary muscle involved in extension of the humerus (upper arm).

Rotator cuff-The two primary muscles of the rotator cuff are the teres minor and the infraspinatus. These muscles lie adjacent to each other, originate on the scapulae and insert on the humerus. From a bio-mechanical perspective, these muscles help stabilize the shoulder and are critical in protecting the shoulder from injury. From a performance standpoint, they are possibly the most important, yet overlooked for improving shot velocity. For example, the players in the NHL with the strongest external rotators (rotator cuff), have the fastest slap shots in the league.

Biceps-The biceps muscle plays a very important role in the rapid acceleration of arm extension when shooting. Although not a primary mover, the biceps muscle serves as an antagonist, or opposing muscle to those involved in the shooting action. Every muscle contains a protective mechanism know as the Golgi Tendon Organ. This reflex senses when a muscle is being stretched too rapidly and shuts down contraction of the muscle. So your must train to turn off this braking effect on the arm so that you can extend and shoot with maximum force.

The program outlined below can be performed as an upper body workout by itself or you can insert it into your current training sessions as long as you allow for the added volume of work. For optimal results, you should try to perform this workout every five days. This will provide enough frequency for strength and power development while allowing the muscles adequate time to recover. If you feel you are lacking in strength in the above mentioned muscles, do this workout at the beginning of the week. Otherwise, the day after a lower body training session is fine. The workout is done by performing the lettered exercises as pairs. Alternate each two, until all sets are completed then move on to the next pair.

A1 Wide grip pull-ups (shown on right) 3x6-8* 90s
A2 Medium grip, reverse EZ bar curls 3x6-8 90s
B1 Incline Dumbbell hammer curls 3x8-10 60s
B2 Standing external rotation with high pulley 3x8-10 60s
C1 Seated rows with rope, pulling to chin 3x8-10 60s
C2 Dumbbell seated external rotation 3x8-10 60s
*Add weight with the use of a dip belt if necessary.

Have a great workout!

Functional Training for Lacrosse: Part 2
Functional Training for Lacrosse: Part 1
Building Explosiveness
Improving the Velocity of your shot

Brian Yeager is the owner of Pro Strength and new head strength and conditioning coach for the Philadelphia Barrage. In addition to training several players from the Philadelphia Wings, Brian has also worked with athletes from Villanova University, Malvern Prep, and Villa Maria Academy for Girls, in Malvern, Pa. Formerly a strength consultant for Lightning Fast training systems in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, he has now focused his attention on the exciting, fast paced sport of indoor/outdoor lacrosse.

For more information on Pro Strength, visit or contact Brian at

Medical Disclaimer: The information and routines outlined in the article are intended only for healthy individuals. Individuals with health problems or a history of injury should not use these or any exercise routines without a physician's approval. Before beginning any exercise or dietary program, please consult with your physician and/or coach, as well as with your parent/guardian if you are a minor.

August 22, 2005


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