Core Training for Hockey

Mike Bracko

Mike Bracko is a skating coach, skating researcher, strength & conditioning coach, and fitness educator. He holds a Doctorate degree in Exercise Science and Biomechanics and is a Certified Strength & Conditioning Coach through the NSCA. He played hockey in the AJHL, BCHL and NCAA (University of Illinois-Chicago). He does skating clinics with 300–400 hockey players every year specializing in 1-on-1, small group, and team skating with male and female players ranging in age from 8 years old to pro players.  He is also the strength & conditioning coach for the USA Men’s Deaflympic hockey team. www.hockeyinstitute.org  [email protected]

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The core is important in every movement in hockey. Greater core stability provides a foundation for greater force production in the upper and lower extremities.
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In hockey, the core aids in balance, acceleration, deceleration, stability, and stabilizes during body contact. Sport specific training done primarily with a neutral spine (a straight back) is recognized as the best way to train the core. The core is made up of all the muscles that surround and support the spine. All movement is initiated by the core and hips, and radiates out to the extremities.

True Core Stability

Stuart McGill, Ph.D., University of Waterloo (Spinal Biomechanist), indicates that true spine stability is achieved with a strengthening of all the muscles that surround and support the spine. The stability of the core/spine is crucial in hockey:

  • Provides a foundation for movement of upper and lower extremities
  • Protects the spinal cord and nerve roots
  • Provides proximal stability for distal mobility
  • Provides proximal to distal generation of force
  • Helps in moving and protecting distal joints

How the core works in hockey

The core is important in every movement in hockey. Greater core stability provides a foundation for greater force production in the upper and lower extremities . . .

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