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Tight Hips? Let’s Get Them Loose!

Hockey, Sports Performance, Personal Training, Tight Hips, Hip Stretches

Top 5 Ways to Stretch the Hips for Hockey Players

If you’re a hockey player, these stretches are great for opening up the hip region, especially if you’re experiencing tightness in the groin, hip flexor, or hamstrings. From the constant grind of the skating motion, you may experience tightness in these areas, but don’t worry, you came to the right place. Here are 5 stretches to loosen up your hips and improve mobility, specifically tailored for hockey players.

Stretch 1: Kneeling Groin Stretch

Start in a kneeling position, with one knee on the ground and the other knee facing forward. Place both hands on the ground, slightly inside the knee, and hold there. For a deeper stretch, you can raise your back knee off the ground. Next, keep one hand on the ground and with the opposite hand, reach towards the ceiling and rotate the torso and eyes to look at the hand. Slowly lower the arm, place the arm on the ground, and then turn and repeat on the other side, staying on the same knee. Do not rush and remember to breathe through the stretch.

Stretch 2: 90-Degree Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch

With one knee on the ground, turn the other knee 90 degrees while aiming to keep the shoulders squared and facing forward. Tuck your hips and lean towards the flexed knee, stretching as deep as possible. Hold the stretch for 10-15 seconds. Repeat for 1-2 rounds or as needed.

Stretch 3: Kneeling Quad Stretch

Start in a kneeling position, with one knee on the ground and the other knee facing forward. Lean forward about 45 degrees so that the chest is slightly over the quad, and with the hamstring relaxed, reach for the back foot. If you’re having trouble reaching the back foot, a resistance band can be used for assistance. Hold the stretch for 10-15 seconds, relax, and slowly lower the foot to the ground. Repeat as needed.

Stretch 4: Kneeling Hamstring Stretch

After lowering the back foot from the Kneeling Quad Stretch, lean backward to extend the front leg, toes flexed toward the ceiling. “Fold” your torso over the leg to stretch the hamstrings. Hold for 10-15 seconds and breathe through the stretch to avoid straining the hamstring. Perform 1-2 sets or as needed.

Stretch 5: Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch

With one knee on the ground and the other facing forwards, keep the shoulders squared. Tuck your hips and lean forwards towards the flexed knee, keeping the core and glutes engaged. Hold the stretch for 10-15 seconds. Repeat for 1-2 rounds or as needed. Below is a Banded Assisted Kneeling Quad Stretch.

No Equipment, No Problem

You don’t need equipment or a lot of space to do these 5 stretches that will help loosen up your hips 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 foam roller and want a deeper stretch, check out this article if you missed it, 3 exercises for hip relief – Training Aspects. Stay tuned for next week’s article for more on these stretches specifically beneficial for hockey players.

#unleashthepotential

Written by:

Darrid Watson, CSCS, NSCA-CPT

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