Top 5 Movement Restrictions Holding Back Your Hockey Performance

Top 5 Movements To Finally Unleash Your True Potential

One of the most common issues we see with great athletes is their movement. Some of the most talented guys are not actually moving their bodies as efficiently as they could be. It’s important to be strong but to use your strength properly to be able to move fluidly and transfer your weight effectively. If you have joint movement restrictions throughout your body you will likely plateau and never unleash your true potential!

1. Lack of Ankle Mobility

One of the main reasons for this is your foot is locked into a boot reducing how much movement you can actually get from your ankle. Over time this will lead to reduced range of motion as well as muscle imbalances in the lower leg. This is a huge problem in hockey because coaches are always telling you to get low when you skate but if your ankle mobility is lacking you will bend over with your back to get low instead of sitting into your legs. This will greatly reduce your stride power, overall speed and hitting potential.

Good ankle mobility during stride

 

2. Not Fully Extending The Hips

This is typically caused by too much sitting, over activating the hip flexors/quads and a lack of the glute muscles firing. This creates an imbalance leading to an anterior pelvic tilt also know as “hockey butt.” Without full hip extension you wont be able to get a full stride leading to reduced stride length, stride speed and overall power production.

Full Hip Extension during stride

 

3. Lack of Thoracic (upper back) Rotation

This one is huge, especially when it comes to how powerful and quick your shot is. This can be caused by a lot of sitting, as well as a muscle imbalance limiting your rotation to one side. This imbalance can be very common in hockey players considering you shoot to one side almost 90% of the time, this can lead to an overdevelopment of those muscles and create excessive tightness. If your rotation is limited on your shot side your shot power and even accuracy can decrease.

Good Thoracic Rotation during a shot

 

4. Tight Shoulder Mobility

Typically with a lack of shoulder mobility you will see rounded shoulders and a rounded back. This is usually caused by an unbalanced workout program leading to a muscle imbalance. Other causes can be excessive sitting, phone use and computer use. This creates a problem when you’re trying to get low on the ice because you will be prone to rounding over instead of keeping your back straight, leading to reduced hitting power and potential injury.

Straight back (not rounded) during a hit

 

5. Poor Wrist Movement

Lack of wrist mobility can typically be caused by overuse of the forearm muscles while weight training or excessive computer work. It is so important to have efficient wrist movement. Increasing your wrist mobility can greatly improve the fluidity of your movements leading to better stick handling skills and shot accuracy.

Good wrist mobility during stick handling

 

Consistently working on and optimizing these movements will increase your speed, power, overall performance and truly take your game to an elite level!

 

Written By:

Robert Jost

NSCA-CPT, ACE-CPT

 

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