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

Core Training: Frozen Bear Rotations with Stability Ball

This is a core exercise I’ve used for years to help reinforce proper centering/alignment of the rib cage over the pelvis, and breathing through a braced core.

The goal here is to rotate as a unit, so the knees, hips, and shoulders all move together. Another way to think of it is that the nose, sternum, and sacrum should all rotate together.

It’s common to see people initiate the rotation with their knees to generate momentum, and to extend/arch through their low back as a result.

Set up with the ball between your forearms and inside/top of your knees. We’ll sometimes cue to “reach your hands away from your shoulder and knees away from your hips” at this stage.

Lightly push all 4 limbs into the ball just hard enough to feel your core engage.

Start with small rotations (think 6” to the side, then back to center) and extend out from rep to rep as far as you can control.

This is teaching basic qualities (rib/pelvis stacking, breathing), but is an extremely challenging exercise.

Typically performed for 3 sets of 5-8 reps/side.

Feel free to post any comments/questions below. If you found this helpful, please share/re-post it so others can benefit.

To your success,

Kevin Neeld

P.S. If you’re interested in how core training fits into a hockey-specific training program, check out Ultimate Hockey Transformation.

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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.