In a previous post, I discussed two strategies to improve hip abduction range of motion as a means of allowing hockey players to increase stride length from a deeper skating position.
A key point of emphasis from that post is that range of motion is more likely to be integrated into dynamic patterns if strength/stability are trained at that specific range.
With this in mind, another strategy to improve strength and stability at the end of a stride is to use an exercise I call the “3-Way Hip Extension”.
This is an exercise I started using several years back, inspired by Dr. Andreo Spina and the material in his Functional Range Conditioning course.
The goal here is to stay long through the spine and maintain a rigid torso (e.g. core stiffness) to isolate movement at the hip.
With this stable base, the athlete:
1) Reaches “long and back” to maximize hip extension,
2) Maintains hip extension while rotating the heel out as wide as possible to maximize hip abduction
3) Maintains hip extension and hip abduction while rotating the toes up and pointing the toes away from the hip to maximize hip external rotation
Typically performed for 2-3 sets of 1-3 cycles of 5-15s in each position.
Give this a shot, and post any feedback in the comments section below!
To your success,
P.S. If you’re interested in more mobility and stability work to improve stride length, along with off-ice training programs specifically designed to improve speed, check out my new book Speed Training for Hockey.
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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.