Shoulder Opener Stretches, hockey, tight shoulders, shoulder mobility, hockey player

Shoulder Mobility Exercises for Hockey Players

Boost Your Game: Top Shoulder Mobility Exercises for Hockey Players

In hockey, shoulders often bear the brunt of strain due to the constant need to keep the stick in front, and react quickly to the puck, often leading to limited mobility as the season goes on. Don’t worry, we have a few stretches that will help increase mobility and stability, helping you to excel on the ice. 


Stretch 1: PVC Shoulder Opener

Start with both arms fully extended and straighten the elbow. As you raise the arms up over the head, keep the core and hips engaged. Rotate the arms backward, while focusing on deep breathing through each rep. Repeat for 10 repetitions, or as much as needed, gradually increasing your range of motion. For advanced athletes, you may use a band for more resistance. 

Stretch 2: PVC Shoulder Around the World

Start with both arms straight, fully extended through the elbows. Take one arm and rotate it up and over your head, in a clockwise motion. Keep opposite arm straight and rotate over the head. Repeat 5 times in a clockwise direction, and then in a counterclockwise direction, to open up through both shoulder cavities.


Stretch 3: Shoulder Controlled Articular Rotations (CARs)

Start with palm facing in towards thigh, thumb facing upwards towards the ceiling. Slowly rotate through the shoulder joint, while keeping the traps relaxed. raise your arm as high as it allows up and rotate backwards. Breathe throughout the stretch. Repeat 5 times in a clockwise direction, and 5 times in a counterclockwise direction, gradually increasing range of motion. Do not forget to do both sides.

Stretch 4: Kneeling Shoulder Internal/External Rotation

Start in a kneeling position, extending arms out in a T-shaped position. Press and rotate one shoulder into the ground while using the other for balance. Reach up towards the sky, and tuck that arm under the body, to the opposite side.  Alternate between internal and external rotation of the shoulder joint. Hold stretches for 10 seconds. Repeat as many times as needed. Do not forget to do both sides. 

You don’t need a lot of space to do these shoulder stretches, that will help open up the shoulders and make you a more mobile hockey player. Remember all the exercises shown were on one side of the body, so don’t forget to stretch the other side! If you have a PVC Pipe, you can use a broom, mop, or anything that is straight and lightweight, to keep little to no stress on the shoulders.


Written by:

Darrid Watson, CSCS, NSCA-CPT


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