Gym Rats: Ball Pikes and Pogo Pass with Dr. Karen Sutton


Since the November issue of US Lacrosse Magazine hit homes, Dr. Karen Sutton, the physician for the U.S. women’s team, completed the New York marathon representing Hospital for Special Surgery, where she is an orthopedic surgeon.  

In preparation, she worked out six days every week, including two with BlueStreak trainers Desmond Hinds and Alex Joseph. With their assistance, Sutton identified three key workouts that help with injury prevention for our 10th-annual Gym Rats edition.

“Many times, when I see an athlete for a specific injury, whether it’s an ankle sprain, an ACL tear [or] a hamstring pull, I go back to the basics and certainly try to talk to them about how we’re going to treat the injury, but also give them some background on how to prevent this from happening again,” Sutton said. “A lot of that boils down to if people can strengthen their core and their posterior chain muscles, they tend to avoid a significant amount of lower extremity injuries.”

Last week, we released their tips on Bulgarian split squats, and today, they share two full-body exercises to improve strength and stability – physio ball pikes and pogo pass – as well as nutrition tips for a strength training program.

Physio Ball Pikes

Helps With: Full body stretch and strength, especially core, shoulders and hamstrings.

I Do: 3 sets of 12 reps.


  1. Get into a tall plank position with both feet on the physio ball. Balance yourself on the ball while in a pushup position.

  2. While pushing into the ground through your hands and pushing into the ball with your feet, lift your hips to the ceiling while pulling the ball to your face.

  3. Maintain core activation and control yourself back into the tall plank position.

  4. Repeat. 

Pogo Pass

Helps With: Balance, core activation, ankle and hip stability.

I Do: 3 sets of 10 reps on each leg.


  1. Find a weight that is suitable for you in order to balance.

  2. Hold the weight at your chest and balance on one leg.

  3. While balancing, bend at the hip/knee/ankle and maintain a forward lean.

  4. Pretend there is an invisible line across your chest you must pass the plate side to side. Extend your arms laterally while balancing on one leg. 

  5. Repeat on your other leg. Focus on stabilization for the perfect plate pass.

Hydration and Recovery

Three tips that go with any workout:

  1. If your workout is an hour or less, hydrate with water.

  2. If your workout is longer than an hour, add an energy drink with electrolytes, but one that is low in sugar.

  3. After your workout, recover with protein, such as a smoothie or peanut butter on toast with honey.

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