On Wednesday I introduced the Front Plank and went over why it’s an essential part of any hockey training program.  The Side Plank (video above) adds a greater emphasis to the lateral musculature of the core, including the muscles underneath what most people refer to as their “love handles.”  Will it help get rid of your love handles? No.  A clean diet and well-designed training program will, but no single exercise will ever get you there (note: be wary of the people that say otherwise…).  Regardless, this is another essential exercise for hockey players as the muscles worked in this movement help maintain pelvic stability (think hip control).  If you’re unsure what pelvic stability means, just know that pelvic stability is necessary to move efficiently (i.e. be explosive, save energy and minimize injury risk).

Adam is a great model for this because, like almost all hockey players, his hip flexors are very tight.  It may be hard to tell from the video, but he’s bent at the hip a little.  Try these coaching cues to help your athletes (or yourself) perform the exercise correctly:

  1. Keep your hips up
  2. “Squeeze your butt” to push your hips all the way through  
  3. Stay straight from your shoulders down through your ankles
  4. Stack your hips so your top hip is right on top of your bottom hip

This is just the tip of the iceberg for core training and hockey players.  Stay tuned for my favorite rotational core exercise…

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