The 90-Degree MiniBand Step-Out is an exercise we’ll integrate into our prep work both in the off-season and during the year.
The goal here is to teach the player to “hold strong” on the front side knee as they open-up in the opposite direction.
It’s fairly common for players to take some form of contact while in these positions, and a failure to keep the knee posted outward can lead to injury. This helps reinforce a stronger base that may reduce injury risk, but will also help athletes maintain space/position while taking contact through a transitional pattern.
Keeping the band around the knees provides the most direct feedback to the player about their knee position (which is largely driven by hip control).
A few quick cues:
✅ Aggressively pull the front knee out to “stretch the band” while stepping back and around 90-degrees
✅ Keep hips centered between both feet at all times
✅ Head and shoulders should stay stacked over the hips throughout the motion
If the athlete is having a hard time grasping the pattern, I’ll set up next to them with my shin parallel to theirs and lightly push my knee into theirs, so they can feel the contact while resisting the pressure during the movement.
Typically performed for 2-3 sets of 6-8 reps/side.
Give this a shot, and feel free to post any comments/questions below. If you found this helpful, tag a friend in the comments section below, and please share/re-post it so others can benefit.
To your success,
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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.