On Wednesday I introduced the Front Plank and went over why it’s an essential part of any hockey training program. The Side Plank (video above) adds a greater emphasis to the lateral musculature of the core, including the muscles underneath what most people refer to as their “love handles.” Will it help get rid of your love handles? No. A clean diet and well-designed training program will, but no single exercise will ever get you there (note: be wary of the people that say otherwise…). Regardless, this is another essential exercise for hockey players as the muscles worked in this movement help maintain pelvic stability (think hip control). If you’re unsure what pelvic stability means, just know that pelvic stability is necessary to move efficiently (i.e. be explosive, save energy and minimize injury risk).
Adam is a great model for this because, like almost all hockey players, his hip flexors are very tight. It may be hard to tell from the video, but he’s bent at the hip a little. Try these coaching cues to help your athletes (or yourself) perform the exercise correctly:
This is just the tip of the iceberg for core training and hockey players. Stay tuned for my favorite rotational core exercise…
Kevin has rapidly established himself as a leader in the field of physical preparation and sports science for ice hockey. He is currently the Head Performance Coach for the Boston Bruins, where he oversees all aspects of designing and implementing the team’s performance training program, as well as monitoring the players’ performance, workload and recovery. Prior to Boston, Kevin spent 2 years as an Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach for the San Jose Sharks after serving as the Director of Performance at Endeavor Sports Performance in Pitman, NJ. He also spent 5 years as a Strength and Conditioning Coach with USA Hockey’s Women’s Olympic Hockey Team, and has been an invited speaker at conferences hosted by the NHL, NSCA, and USA Hockey.