Stretching Guide for Ice Hockey
Physiotherapy in Victoria, Westshore, Langford, Sooke for Hockey
Stretching is an essential part of successful ice hockey. A good stretching routine can help to minimize muscle imbalances, prevent injury, improve your exercise tolerance and your hockey performance. The following stretching program is designed for hockey players who do not have any current injuries or individual stretching needs. If you have an injury, or a specific mechanical imbalance that may be holding back your hockey performance, your Parkway Physiotherapy physiotherapist can design a stretching program just for you.
General warm up (5-10 minutes). The aim of a general warm-up is to get the blood flowing to all parts of the body to be used during hockey, including the cardiovascular system. An off-ice warm up could include a jog, light skipping or riding an exercise bike. To warm up on ice, use low intensity skating.
Dynamic stretching. Gradually the speed and intensity of your movement is increased. See below for stretches.
Technical and speed warm up. This includes high intensity, ice hockey specific drills. Drills for speed and agility should be kept short with recovery time between drills to ensure you are not fatigued before your game.
Cool down. A cool down allows the body, in particular the cardiovascular system, to gradually return to its resting state. A cool-down reduces your chances of becoming dizzy or faint after exercise, allows any waste such as lactic acid that has built up during exercise to dissipate and may reduce your chance of having Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS). Cool down, by gradually reducing your intensity of skating on ice, or walking or cycling on an exercise bike off ice, for about 5 minutes.
Static stretches. Commence your stretching regime directly after a short cool-down, before the muscles have cooled completely.
Move through your range of movement, keeping control of the movement with your muscles. Do not allow momentum to control the movement by "flinging" or "throwing" your body parts around.
Dynamic Stretches On Ice:
Please note: Pictures don't show skates and sticks.
Shoulder flexors with stick -- Stick not shown in picture
Shoulder extensors with stick
Rules for Static Stretching:
Lumbar spine lateral flexors
Hip External Rotators/ Gluteals