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Exercises for Hockey Players – Start of Season

Pre Season Training ???hockey players

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

Adopt a standing alignment. Exhale and begin to roll the spine forwards, with your nose moving towards your breast bone. Roll your middle and lower back forwards, and allow your pelvis to roll forwards. Keep your knees soft, and keep your weight even through your feet. As you exhale, roll your spine up by starting from your tail bone. Repeat as required.

Video: http://youtu.be/VpQ9SPwNPvY






Standing Waist Twist

Adopt your standing alignment. Fold your arms in front of your chest just below shoulder height. As you exhale twist your torso to the left, and allow your head to follow. Inhale as you rotate back to the starting position. Lengthen the crown of your head throughout and maintain a neutral pelvis. Repeat to each side.

Video: http://youtu.be/teSGR-bfT_k 

Standing Side Reach

Adopt the standing start position, lengthen your spine, with your legs hip-width apart. Inhale as you raise your right arm out to the side and overhead. Exhale as you reach up and over, leading with your head, bending your spine to the left. Inhale, maintaining the length of your spine. Exhale as you return to the starting position, with your arms by your side. Repeat to each side.

Video: http://youtu.be/LIhQaEDyY6Q

Extension with Hockey Stick Standing

Extend your arms behind your back while grasping a hockey stick. Go as far as feels comfortable, and then return to neutral.

Video: http://youtu.be/otp_J5ZANPA

Scaption with Hockey Stick

Holding two ends of a hockey stick in each hand, lift the stick to the side of your body, and then to the other side. The movement should be controlled, and not too fast. Try to let the painful arm stay as relaxed as possible, so you control the movement with the good arm. This is a useful mobility exercise for your shoulders. Only take your shoulder as far as feels comfortable.

Video: http://youtu.be/8DZXPGRMa9A

Passive Abduction with Hockey Stick

Hold a hockey stick in front of you, and use your arms to move it away from your body. Only go as far as feels comfortable. This exercise helps improve mobility of the shoulder.

Video: http://youtu.be/zI5QrdFmloo

Passive Abduction Overhead with Hockey Stick

Hold a hockey stick above your head, and use your arms to move it away from your body. Only go as far as feels comfortable. This exercise helps improve mobility of the shoulder.

Video: http://youtu.be/Zbk4qPwAI10