Posts Tagged ‘stabilization’

Before I get to the training tip today I’ve got ask if you think Chicago can close it out? So far it’s been a home team series. No games have been won on the road. With Chicago being so close can they finish off the Flyers? Or can Philadelphia find a way to come back at home and even up the series? Hard to say. Should be a  great game though.

One other quick aside. Congrats to the Kelowna Rockets head coach Ryan Huska on being name an assistant for the Canadian World Junior team. Well done coach.

Core training is a fundamental part of off-season training for hockey. How we going about training our core will be vastly different for a number of players. Some will use planks and bridges while others believe crunches are the way to go. Regardless of what types of exercises and equipment you use it is important to follow a particular progression when training the core. The progression involves core stabilization and core strength. Here’s a little more on each of these.

Think of core stabilization as being able to keep the torso motionless while the limbs are in motion. Core strength on the other hand involves movement through the torso, specifically at the hips and thoracic spine. And it is important to train them in this order.

Once we have achieved a stable core we can progress to strengthening the core. Doing so prior may result in energy leaks and potential injury. Below are a few tips to keep in mind to establish proper posture and thus set your core during training.

The first tip is to establish a neutral spine. At the low back there should a slight arch. Increasing this arch results in lordosis where decreasing this arch results in a kyphotic posture.

Pay attention to what the head is doing. There is something called an ocular reflex of the pelvis and head.  As the head looks down at the toes the pelvis tilts up. And as the head looks up the pelvis tilts down. Test this out by placing your fingers in the small of the back. As you move the head from looking down to looking up you should feel the muscles in the low back relax.

Know how to control your pelvis. To tell someone they have an anterior pelvic tilt may mean nothing to them. Or telling them they  have a posterior pelvic tilt may be equally useless information.

But there is a way to quickly realign pelvic control issues. If you imagine your body chopped off at the torso all you’d have left would be hips and legs.  Imagine as well that your hip and torso are like a bowl of cereal with milk. If the low back has excessive lumbar arch you will be spilling milk and cereal out of the front of the bowl. And if you lack arch in the low back and have a flat back you will spill out of the back of the bowl. Your goal is no spills.

When you stand upright your belt line should be parallel with the ground. As you perform a core drill such as a prone (face down) plank this position of the belt should not change. For most people the low back will over arch (lordosis) and they will spill out of the front of the bowl.

One of the biggest factors influencing your core is your posture. Ensure you have proper posture to begin with before you initiate training of any type. As you proceed with your training pay attention to what happens to your pelvis. Make the necessary adjustments to maintain a neutral position and rest when optimal form can no longer be maintained.

Look to incorporate these core training tips into your hockey training and let me know what you think.