Whether field hockey or ice hockey, incorporating a regular stretching routine into your hockey training will help players perform at higher levels of intensity without getting fatigued for longer periods. Off-ice hockey training also improves overall performance on the ice, while enhancing players' fitness levels.
Muscles used in Hockey
Like other sports, hockey also has different effects on different parts of the body. The most important muscles during a game are the core muscles. Core muscles include the rectus abdominus and transverse abdominus, which are the abdominal muscles, and both internal and external oblique muscles.
The strength and flexibility of the lower body is also very important. Hockey requires the players to bend over the hockey stick while playing, making it essential to have strong hamstrings, hips and lower back muscles. To condition these muscles well, your hockey training must include a hockey stretching routine.
The Benefits of a Hockey Stretching Routine
Special attention should be devoted to a good hockey stretching routine before and after every game and practice session. Here are some benefits of a good stretching program:
Despite the numerous benefits, it is important to bear in mind that stretching can have detrimental effects when done incorrectly. Improperly done stretches can over time cause permanent damage to ligaments and joint. When performing the stretching routine below, be sure to warm up first and if any of the exercises cause pain or severe discomfort, discontinue immediately. Review our article on the rules for safe stretching for more information.
Get more Stretching Exercises here...
Looking at photos and watching videos on your computer is fine, but to really take advantage of all the stretching exercises on offer, grab a copy of the Ultimate Guide to Stretching & Flexibility (Handbook, DVD & CD-ROM).
The exercises and recommendations on this page are just a small sample of the many stretching exercises presented in the Handbook and on the DVD. In total, they include 135 clear photographs and 44 video demonstrations of unique stretching exercises for every major muscle group in your body. Plus, over 80 printable stretching routines for 22 sports and 19 different muscle groups.
The DVD also includes 3 customized stretching routines (8 minutes each) for the Upper Body; the Lower Body; and the Neck, Back & Core, plus a bonus CD-ROM that allows you to print out over 80 stretching routines that you can take with you where ever you go.
The Handbook and DVD will show you, step-by-step, how to perform each stretch correctly. Plus, you'll also learn the 7 critical rules for safe stretching; the benefits of flexibility; and how to stretch properly. Check out the Ultimate Guide to Stretching & Flexibility for yourself.