Extra Core Work for Hockey Players

Every now and then I’ll walk through Endeavor and see one of our players doing extra core work on their own. At first, this really intrigued me. We do SO much core work during the off-season I was flabbergasted that they’d want to do more.

The more I thought about it, the less surprised I was. Just about everyone that steps foot in a gym, hockey player or hockey parent (or, dare I say, someone NOT involved in hockey?), wants to have a more aesthetically appealing midsection. Despite the reality that having an appealing midsection is almost strictly a function of maintaining low levels of body fat (hence the guys with the muscle mass of Gumby with shredded “abs”), and decades of researching demonstrating that training a muscle group will not magically remove the fat above that muscle, the default practice is to lay down on the floor and do “abs” for 15 minutes at the end of every workout.


The resemblance is uncanny. (I apologize to any teenage girls that may be offended by this comparison)

Unfortunately, this will never, ever get them closer to having a six pack…ever. Eating better and learning lifelong nutritional strategies to optimize your health, performance, and body composition will (check out Brian St. Pierre’s site for more information on this stuff), but doing some extra ab work will not.

The bottom line though is that hockey players, like most people, feel better about themselves when they’re a little sore. Despite me pointing out that playing in traffic will also make you sore, most players opt for the extra core work. With that in mind, I thought it would be appropriate to put together a few quick “core” routines to help players in this regard, so they don’t just default to crunches, sit-ups, leg throw downs, Russian twists and other moronic core exercises.

Core Routine 1

A1) Slideboard Bodysaw: 2-3 x 8
A2) Bird Dog: 2-3 x (6x2s holds)/side
A3) Standing Cable Rotation: 2-3 x 8/side
A4) Stability Ball Knee Tucks: 2-3 x 8

Core Routine 2

A1) Rollouts (Stability Ball, Bar, or Ab Wheel): 2-3 x 8
A2) Standing Hip Flexed Dynamic Y->W’s: 2-3 x 10

A3) Tall Kneeling Belly Press: 2-3 x 10/side
A4) 1-Arm DB Farmers Walk: 2-3 x 50 yards/side

Core Routine 3

A1) Overhead Rotational Med Ball Floor Slam: 2-3 x 6/side
A2) 1-Leg Glute Bridge w/ Active Hip Flexion/Extension: 2-3 x 6-8/side
A3) 1/2 Kneeling Cable Chop: 2-3 x 10/side
A4) Slideboard Push-Up w/ 1-Arm Reach: 2-3 x 5/side


Hopefully this will give enthusiastic hockey players a framework from which to do their “extra” core work that still fits within the confines of my core training philosophy.

To your success,

Kevin Neeld

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