Kevin Neeld — Hockey Training, Sports Performance, & Sports Science

A Powerful New Exercise

Today I have another guest post from my friend Devan McConnell, Director or Sports Performance at UMass Lowell. In this article, he shares a new exercise he’s using in the off-season with his hockey players. Enjoy!

Introducing the Cable SLDL Hold w/ Overhead Cable Pulldown by Devan McConnell

The Cable SLDL Hold with “Overhead” Cable Pulldown is a great early off-season (what we would call the “Reconditioning” Phase) exercise. I like to utilize isometric exercises during this period of time for several reasons:

  1. It targets a contraction type that we don’t use much throughout the season
  2. It promotes postural corrections after a long hockey season
  3. It’s easy to refine exercise technique
  4. It adds some variety to the training process

The addition of the pulldown (I classify this as a “Vertical Pull” even though it’s actually horizontal to the ground; it is a movement overhead which is vertical relative to the body) adds some important pulling volume, which I believe, is very important when it comes to keeping the shoulder healthy. I try to have at least twice the amount of upper body pulling to pressing exercises in our program for that reason.

The cable is effectively pulling the body forward, which in turn forces the athlete to shift his/her weight backwards and onto their heel, which is an important technique point in the traditional SLDL exercise. At the same time, the hamstring of the down leg is isometrically contracting to hold the body in place, and the cable weight being in the opposite hand of the stance leg creates a contralateral rotational force, which requires an anti-rotational force to counteract being pulled out of position.

All in all, there are a lot of great things happening in this exercise, not the least of which is a change of pace while still maintaining the integrity of an important movement pattern that we train year round.

Give it a shot and let me know what you think below!

To your success,

Kevin Neeld

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“Kevin Neeld is one of the top 5-6 strength and conditioning coaches in the ice hockey world.”
– Mike Boyle, Head S&C Coach, US Women’s Olympic Team

“…if you want to be the best, Kevin is the one you have to train with”
– Brijesh Patel, Head S&C Coach, Quinnipiac University

Kevin Neeld

Kevin Neeld Knows Hockey

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.