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Posts Tagged ‘exercise’

Unless it’s an opponent I hate seeing people wasting their time and money.

There are enough things to think about and prepare for in hockey that we should be as focussed and efficient as possible.

Too often I see hockey players do too many drills and exercises not relevant to improving their performance. I put their in italics because the best hockey program for you is the one that addresses your needs and goals.

The best hockey program for you is not necessarily the one being followed by the highest scorer on your team.

Or by the strongest, most powerful player on your team.

Or the one used by the top players in the NHL. You’d be surprised how many times coaches, players and parents will tell me they got a copy of (substitute your favourite hockey player’s name)’s training program and could we follow that in our training?

Sure. We can do anything we want.

But would this program get you the best results? Would it prevent you from suffering from non-contact injuries? Would it be the best investment in your time and money?

Probably not.

Let me put it you this way.

Imagine you got sick. And the doctor said you needed a specific prescription. And this prescription would be dependent on your size, age, severity of symptoms and the time you had been sick.

Let’s add to this that this prescription was new to you and you wouldn’t know how you would respond. Heck, the doctor didn’t even know for sure if the prescription would work for you. Plus with every prescription there are always side effects. So even if the drug works for you you may still suffer from other symptoms by taking this drug.

Now let’s say your friend had a prescription filled for him or her a while back. And there was some left over. The prescription may or may not be for the same illness and symptoms you are experiencing. But we do know the following:

* you and your friend are different ages

* you are totally different sizes

* you don’t have the same experience (tolerance) to prescriptions

* the severity of your symptoms was quite different

Would you take your friend’s prescription?

Nobody would. In fact even if you had your own left over prescription from a previous illness you wouldn’t be allowed to bring this in to a hospital with you.

The prescription has to be specific to the individual.

That’s how your hockey training program should be. It should address your weaklinks and be specific to your goals.

Guess what?

This is exactly the first part of Premier Hockey Training (www.premierhockeytraining.com) the complete off-season training program for hockey.

In this program you receive an Assessment Package and Corrective Exercise Cheat Sheet.

This package walks you step by  step through the various tests to identify what your weaklinks are and what needs to be addressed first.

But knowing what your weaklinks are is useless you know how to fix them. This is exactly the purpose of the Corrective Exercise Cheat Sheet.

Does your knee collapse in when you stride? The Cheat Sheet shows you how to fix this.

Do you have one foot that turns out when you squat, lunge, step or run. The Cheat Sheet fixes this one too.

And here’s the kicker.

Not only are you at a greater chance of getting injured with these kinds of compensations but are wasting energy.

That’s right. Instead of directing power into the ice for movement you are directing it into your joints, which stresses the joints, and results in lower power production.

I hope this isn’t you. I hope you aren’t wasting energy. I hope you aren’t a liabilityto get injured.

The Assessment Package and Corrective Exercise Cheat Sheet in www.premierhockeytraining.com can address these issues before they become a problem.

Want a sneak peek? Here you go.

Corrective Exercise Treatment Table ‘Cheat Sheet’

Compensatory movement Tight/over active muscles  Weak/under active muscles  Treatment 
1. Foot turns out – externally rotates in anterior view
Calf complex:  gastrocnemius,
peroneals, soleus  

 

Gluteus medius, gluteus
maximus, medial hamstring
(posterior tibialis)  

 

SMR (foam roll) calf complex,
static stretch calf complex,
lateral band walking  

 

2. Knee moves inward – adducts                                                   
Adductor complex: (peroneals,
lateral gastrocnemius)

 

Gluteus medius and gluteus
maximus (posterior tibialis)

 

SMR adductor complex, calf
complex, lateral band walking, supine bridging
 

 

Sorry that the page cuts off the treatment part on the right. But in that column you are told the exact stretches and exercises to address your compensations. In total there are 11 common compensations laid out in specific detail for you.

Plus there are videos to go with the exercises.

And we can get on the phone and discuss your assessment if you like.

Want to get started on a hockey training program specific to you? Head over to www.premierhockeytraining.com now and pick up your copy today!

Chris                                                                                                                                                     onsidehockeytraining.com

 

 


In the last post I opened the discussion on Turkish Get Ups.

And I played the Devil’s Advocate by asking if this simply wasn’t an exercise that in a year or two we’ll all be looking back on wondering what were we thinking.

But I don’t think so.

Instead I see this exercise as sticking around for a while when it comes to hockey training because it offers so many benefits to the development of the complete hockey player.

So with that in mind here are my Top 11 Reasons Hockey Players Should Do TGU.

Reason #1 – It Facilitates Shoulder Stability

Quick question…what’s one of the most common injuries a hockey player will suffer if they get hurt? If you’re talking about the whole body you’d have to think of the groin and hips. And if you think of the upper body this would have to be the shoulders.

In a game where the first part of the body to take the impact against the boards is often times the shoulder this makes sense. Add to this the fact you are dealing with the joint with the greatest range of motion but doesn’t have a hinge or socket to hold it in place and you’re asking for trouble.

By holding a kettlebell overhead you are developing the stability of this joint which helps minimize potential injury down the road.

Reason #2 – Increased Fat Loss

Do you remember the recent research article that examined which fitness and athletic parameters correlated most closely to performance in hockey?

If not, that’s ok.

One of these was how lean the player was. Lower levels of bodyfat equated to higher levels of performance.

The TGU is an excellent whole body exercise that works the upper and lower body, in all planes of motion while challenging the cardiovascular system. Athletes have realized heart rates in the 180s from as little as 3 reps of this exercise.

All of this metabolic disruption makes the TGU an excellent choice for fat loss.

Reason #3 – Full Body Exercise

Hockey isn’t a lower body game. Nor is it an upper body game.

It is a whole body game that requires strength, power and coordinated movement throughout the system.

The TGU is a great exercise because you can’t rely on only your upper or lower body to complete the exercise. As such you quickly learn and develop whole body strength to translate to on ice performance.

#4 – Excellent Core Development

We all know the benefits core training has on hockey performance.

But after that there are many choices.

What the TGU offers is a little bit of everything.

You need core stability and core strength. You need to be able to flex and rotate through the core through one part of the exercise while resisting flexion and rotation at another point.

You move through all planes, from your back to standing and can be modified to regress or progress the exercise as needed.

#5 – Excellent Neural Development

If you watch young kids play hockey you may notice that their eyes are on their feet when skating and on their stick when the pucks is theirs.

However watch the pros at the highest level and their eyes are anywhere but at their feet or stick. Instead they are looking at their teammates, an opening to shoot or where there is open ice. In other words they are able to perform complex coordinated movements without looking at the ground.

Turkish Get Ups are very similar in that they require you to look up at the kettlebell while you perform them.

While your arms and legs are moving in multiple planes and the body changes from a supine to a standing position the nervous system must learn to coordinate these movements in a similar way that a hockey player can take a pass off his skates and kick it to his all while looking ahead to see the play developing.

Stay tuned for Part II where I give you Reasons #6-11.

Chris                                                                                                                                                  onsidehockeytraining.com

The other day I was working with an athlete and he was doing some complexes. Complexes are when you use the same load on a bar and rotate through a number of exercises before putting the bar down. For example on this particular day he was doing dead-lifts, to bent-over rows, to cleans, to military presses, to good-mornings and finishing with back squats. He would complete all the movements of one exercise before proceeding to the next exercise. If you’ve never used complexes in your training before start slowly. They are very taxing and you’ll need to select a weight based on the weakest movement of the sequence. For example if the military press is the weakest movement of the six listed you will select the weight based on your ability and strength for that exercise.

So what’s the big deal with complexes? Why would we look to incorporate them into our workouts? Well, for a number of reasons.

First of all I like the amount of work that can be accomplished in a particular time. This is referred to as training density. If we use a load of 100 lbs and perform 6 reps of each exercise, for a total of 36 reps, then each set results in 3600 lbs of work. Each set takes approximately 75 seconds to complete when you use a smooth tempo of one second for the eccentric and one second for the concentric. Performing 5 sets takes less than 15 minutes with 90 second rest breaks.Not a bad investment in time for 18,000 lbs of total work.

Secondly this style of training works really when training two athletes of equal strength. The work to rest ratio is 1:1.2 or a little more than a 1:1. If you’re worked with athletes, specifically younger ones, you know there are times when they may become distracted either by the young blonde on the elliptical or just as an excuse to lengthen their rest breaks. When using complexes in this way as one is performing a set the other is resting. As the one performing the set finishes there are exactly 18 seconds for the other athlete to address the bar, get themselves set and begin. There are no opportunities to slow down.

Thirdly, this is much preferred method of conditioing our athletes than performing long, slow steady-state cardio. Our better conditioned athletes will almost be able to stay aerobic throughout the drill whereas the lessor conditioned ones will be huffing and puffing a bit more. But with this work to rest to ratio ratio we can get some conditioning work while still addressing their lifts and technique on these lifts.

Lastly I like using complexes because they are ground based. The athlete is doing the work from a standing position and requires stability in all planes as the bar moves through a sequence of movements. From a standing a position the athlete is developing ground-based strength. They are on their feet and become more in tune with their position and balance relative to the ground while handling load.

One thing I think we’ll try next time will be to mark the outline of the athlete’s feet in chalk the next time we perform our complexes. Why would we do this? Well the feet provide the cues to what is happening through the rest of the kinetic chain. Is one foot externally rotating more than the other? Is one foot advancing ahead of the other? Does the athlete take a half step as they transition from one movment to the next? Where do both feet end up at the end of the movenent?

With complexes you will see a pattern more quickly because you will have 36-42 or 48 reps to monitor the movement. If you did the same test with a 3 rep squat set you may not see much of an effect. After a 48 rep complex you simply look at the ground before you rack the bar and check the final position of your feet relative to the chalk outline and you will quickly and easily see which side is compensating, in what way and by how much. Your job then is to address this compensation.

The more we train hockey players to generate ground-based strength and power the better. If you’re going to give complex training a shot start slowly. Use 50% of the load of your weakest lift in the sequence and try 2-3 sets. And if you’re gym will allow it, trace the outline of your feet in chalk. And if your gym doesn’t allow chalk find a new gym.

Chris                                                                                                                                                                                                                        onsidehockeytraining.com