As an ex hockey player I remember the joy at this time of year that the season was starting again. After a summer off hockey I was always more than ready to play again. However I also dreaded that first couple of games, in those days we didn’t do pre-season training (apart from maybe in the bar, or at a friends for a BBQ), instead the first time we would pick up a stick in 3 months would be the day of our first game, in warm up. Inevitably we would end up very aching over the next couple of days having used muscles and joints in ways that they hadn’t been used for a few months. Thankfully I was also much younger, and recovered quickly, so rarely did any more damage than wake up a few dormant muscles.
The Effect Of Playing Hockey on Our Bodies
As I got further in to my hockey career we started to think a bit more about pre-season training, as well as visiting the gym more regularly. However most of our training was either fitness or skills. It was rarely about addressing the strength and flexibility of our body. As we started to acquire a few injuries we would add a few stretches into our warm up routines – but mainly for our legs. We rarely consider the effect our training and matches would have on other parts of our bodies.
As weekend warriors we would spend 90 minutes bent over our sticks, twisting and bending our backs to get to the impossible balls, or to avoid those flying sticks, and occasionally one of us would manage to put the ball in the back of the net or have to dive across the goal to stop the opposition scoring. NO WONDER our backs ached in the bar afterwards or the following morning. We hadn’t prepared ourselves for the challenges we would be placing on our bodies.
Don’t Forget About Your Back
Today hockey clubs take their pre season training a lot more seriously, however most of the warm ups I see still start with players hitting the ball as hard as possible at the goal keeper, before they think about stretching out their muscles, AND most of those stretches are still aimed at the legs.
Exercises to Warm Up Your Back and Arms
Here are some sample warm up exercises for your backs, and arms to help ensure you play a full season this year (courtesy of our colleagues at rehabmypatient). For a full programme of exercises please contact us or book online to see how we can help. #osteopathyworks
Spinal Flexion / Roll Down
Standing Waist Twist
Standing Side Reach
Scaption with Hockey Stick
Passive Abduction with Hockey Stick
Passive Abduction Overhead with Hockey Stick