Do you want to skate more powerfully and with explosive speed?
Having a strong lower body is essential, along with great balance, of course. In fact, a lack of balance and strength is the No. 1 culprit limiting many players skating skill.
The Hockey Conditioning Program at the Vail Vitality Center is designed for hockey players of all levels and abilities. Taught by trainer Brent Sands, a professional hockey player who played in five leagues over the course of his career, the program is ongoing and private based on each individuals strengths and weaknesses.
The stronger a person’s lower body, the more likely they are to execute the skills required for hockey. Weak muscles result in a higher skating profile, poor balance, short strides, slow starts and heavy stops, leaving the person in a poor position to change direction quickly.
Asking a player to get lower and produce more powerful strides requires strength in their core, thighs, glutes, hips, knees and ankles. We need all these muscles to fire in sequence in order to function accordingly.
If you improve your balance and strength, you will also improve your puck handling, passing and shooting. A well-postured, confidently-controlled body brings the assurance that relaxes the mind and allows your vision to open up so you see more of the ice … and that is where the anticipation comes from. Balance is all about coordination and body control. Body control draws on the muscle to fire in coordination to maintain the balance required during the movement.
Skating involves the use of three primary joints: Knees, ankles, and hips, with assistance from the arms and shoulders. Muscles and tendons provide stability to your joints. Your lower body is connected to your upper body by your core. If a player has a weak core, the lower and upper body are somewhat disconnected in the movement. In skating, the abduction, extension and external rotation motions are the most important.
During the Vail Vitality Center’s Hockey Conditioning Program, we will target and correct your skating stride imbalances, strengthen your body and perfect your strides, enabling you to play — and feel — your best. Call us to sign up for training 970-476-7960.