Most great hockey players have a few things in common. They have good hand-eye coordination, good balance, and strong legs and wrists. One more thing they almost all have in common is an incredibly strong core.
What are Core Muscles?
Your core muscles are made up of all the muscles in the trunk of your body. Some of the muscles here are well known – your pectoral abdominal, and oblique muscles – and other, more interior muscles may be less familiar. These muscles include the multifidus, erector spinae, and pelvic floor muscles.
Why are Core Muscles Important to Hockey Players?
Strong core muscles help improve balance and make your movements stronger and more explosive while you are skating. It allows you to generate more torque when shooting for a harder shot and will give you more power when you go into the corners to battle for a puck.
What is the Best Way for Hockey Players to Max Core Strength?
Any exercise that strengthens your core is good for hockey players and working with a hockey balance board. A hockey balance board is a piece of off-ice training equipment that you can do drills to improve your balance, your stickhandling, and also do exercises to strengthen your core. This equipment looks like the top of a skateboard but, instead of wheels, it is perched cross-wise on a cylinder. To balance on it, you put your feet on either side of the board and try to get both sides off the ground at the same time.
Hockey Balance Board Core Exercises
There is a wide range of exercises you can do with a hockey balance board to strengthen your core. Here are a few of our favorites.
The Balanced Hockey Stance
Just using the board and getting in a hockey stance will do wonders for your core. Start by balancing on the board. You can use your stick, held across your body or on the floor, to find your balance. Then lean slightly forward and bend your knees with your stick ahead of you like you are getting ready for a face-off. Whether you just hold this position or do drill while standing like this, your core muscles will be challenged.
Planks mean holding yourself in the pushup position, with your back and arms as straight as possible for as long as you can. This exercise is a great core workout and Incorporating a hockey balance board into this routine can supercharge your core strength.
Using your hockey balance board, you can do planks multiple ways. For beginners start by holding the board balanced with a wide-legged stance. For a more advanced plank, put your legs together. You can also do it “backward” where your feet are keeping the board balanced and your hands are on the floor. For each of these moves, start by trying to hold it for 10-15 seconds and build from there.
This is a cool exercise move that works some of the less obvious core muscles. With your feet should-width apart, bend at the waist and grab the balance board. Then, open your hips to the right and throw your left leg through and extend it until you are almost sitting down. Return to the start position and do it on the opposite side. This can be a hard move to master but the results for your lower back and abdominal muscles are worth it.
Core muscles are a major key for any hockey player’s game. The stronger the core is, the stronger you will be able to play on the ice in many different ways. To build these muscles, a hockey balance board is the perfect piece of equipment. Check out this off-ice training device and much more at the Snipers Edge Hockey website.
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