The 4 Best Core Exercises for Hockey Players
Building up the core is important for any hockey player. A strong core doesn’t just help them to hit harder with their shots. It also allows them to take a hit from another player or a fall onto the ice and be unlikely to suffer injury. Falls happen often in hockey, and it’s one of the rougher sports out there, so minimizing the injury and lowering the risks are vital for hockey players of all kinds.
There are some great exercises that hockey players can do develop their cores. You may have seen hockey coaches making their players do some very strange core exercises, and we’re not going to recommend you do anything that is too out of the ordinary. We are looking to help you get results, and the following exercises should do that for you.
Stir the Pot
This is a fantastic exercise to affect your entire core along with the rest of your body. It’s the kind of exercise that you can feel in every part of your body- from the toes to the neck. If you have never performed stir the pot before, it’s very similar to planking. You will need an exercise ball for it, but it’s the kind of exercise that you can do everywhere. What makes it so effective is that it combines instability with rigidity to stress your muscles a bit while helping them to develop.
Start out in the standard planking position, bending your arms at a 90-degree angle and keeping your head in a neutral position. You should form a straight line from your neck all the way down to your ankles. You’ll need to be able to hold that position for up to 60 seconds. If you can, then you are ready to do stir the pot. You will then rotate your forearms lightly while keeping your body stationary.
With any exercise that involves some equipment, be sure to do your research and read reviews for equipment before making a purchase. Sites like Bat Critic will help guide you in choosing suitable equipment for working out and playing your sport. If you try to develop your core but use shoddy equipment, you won’t see the results you are hoping for.
This is one of the key exercises to developing a strong core. It works most of the muscles in your body, but particularly the core. Your glutes, legs, arms, back and abs will all go through the ringer with this, if you have enough weight on your barbells.
Of course, there is the result that you will injure yourself with deadlifts, but that’s only going to happen if you perform the exercise poorly. That’s a risk with any exercise, really, and if you don’t lift more than you can handle and have good posture during the entire workout, then there really is no risk involved.
Deadlifts will absolutely develop your entire core in ways that other exercises can’t even hope to do. Deadlifts may be a bit strenuous for some people, but if you take them slow at first and start off with smaller weights, you’ll be able to ramp up this exercise to a point where it can really benefit your core.
Half Kneeling Pallof Press
This is an example of an anti-extension exercise. This means it goes against the natural movement of hockey players to arch their backs as they perform shots. By resisting the normal motion, hockey players will develop the muscles necessary to perform well on the ice and be more resistant to injury.
The half-kneeling pallof press is simply kneeling on one knee and stretching the quad and hip flexor. When you do this, you do not want to arch your back. This can be easily worked into your normal regimen, and you can do as many of these presses as you can fit into two minutes.
Lunges are a great workout for much of your core, particularly working the upper legs and abdomen. You will need to start by standing with your feet one hip-length from each other. Place your hands on your hips and then shift forward with a single, large step. You want your heel to hit the floor and stay flat on the floor. If it pops up at the end of the maneuver, then you aren’t quite hitting it right.
As you shift forward, you want to lower your body until you are in the half-kneeling position. This means one knee is on the floor and the other is in front of you. From there, put pressure on your heel that is resting on the floor and use it to push yourself back to the standing position. You can repeat this as many times as necessary. When you do the lunge, be sure not to step forward in such a way that your foot lines up with your head. You get more benefit if you keep the feet parallel to your shoulders as you lunge.
Any of these exercises can eb worked into a typical regimen to help develop your core for better performance out on the ice.