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Core Stengthening

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08-27-2007, 03:48 PM
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Core Stengthening

Since the core is a very important part of the body, and is very important for hockey, I was wondering if anyone had any good exercises for the core.

I mean, I know Crunches, Situps, and those kinds of things, but anyone know anything a bit more effective and not as straining on the back?

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08-27-2007, 04:27 PM
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Squats and deadlifts are both good for core body strength.

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08-27-2007, 06:08 PM
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Anything that involves single limb work. Your core will have to compensate for not using the other half of your body

1 arm pull ups
1 arm push ups
1 arm DB bench press (Probably one of the best. Ethan Reeves loves it, so I love it)
1 Arm DB military press
1 leg squat

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08-27-2007, 07:04 PM
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Depends on what you mean by Core Body. Abdominals are not a major part of the core body routine. One of the reasons your instructed to not hold your breath during lifts or returns is to prevent you from using your ABS extensively and cheat the interior and anterior spinal support structure. You do BRACE with the Abs, which is pretty much pulling the navel in, engaging the transverse abdominus. A simple rule of thumb is to EXHALE WHEN YOU EXERT. Which ever part of a routine or sequence is most difficult for you is the exhale portion of the breathing cycle. Some may exhale as they rise into a crunch while others may on the return. Both are perfectly fine and may change as you become stronger.

Core training, for the most part, isnt about weights. Core Body works tend to be those that engage much of the torso at the same time rather than isolation type lifting such as curls. However, by taking your curls and seated lifts off the bench and onto a medium or large swiss ball you do engage the core stabilizing groups. Swiss ball programs do a great job of engaging much of the deep torso muscles in co-ordinated movement.

Dynamic Stability is one of the new catch phrases. The Old "tried and true" exercises such as the LUNGE are part of the concept. When you perform the different variations of the LUNGE 100% correctly, you are not just targeting the legs. With proper neutral spine positioning and correct performance your also engaging the Previus mentioned TA, multifidus (deep lumbar muscle) and gluteus medius (small pelvic muscle). Speed and repetition will not compensate for improper posture/mechanics. You will simply fail to engage these stabilizers or at a much reduced level. There are 29 smaller muscles involved with core stabilization. Engaging these in large groups, involving routines that have limb movement is ideal. A strong core can be defined by the ability of the core muscles to work in an efficient and co-ordinated fashion to maintain correct alignment of the spine and pelvis while the limbs are moving.

Swiss Ball
Lunge and its variations
Pilates: Balanced Body

That is where you will find your biggest bang for the time invested. Pilates and Yoga will provide the proper form and technique along with established specific exercises. There is also a combination of the two called Yogalates that is very intense at the intermediate and advanced levels. My Personal Favorite is Pilates: Balanced Body. With devoted time and effort you would be amazed at the results that can be achieved in a short period of time.

Last edited by MikeD: 08-27-2007 at 07:07 PM. Reason: <sp>
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08-28-2007, 11:16 AM
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As a hockey player, it's important that one use functional training, as opposed to the body building training that most people are familiar with. I could go on for a long time about different functional training exercises, especially for the core, but I will instead recommend a book by Michael Boyle: Functional Training for Sports.

Mike Boyle is known for his work with hockey players, although he does not train only hockey players. His chapter on targeted torso training and rotational strength addresses a lot of the questions you probably have about core training. The rest of the book has chapters that should help you design the rest of your workout as well.

It's one thing to have beach muscle, it's another thing to have functional strength, and functional training uses a lot of exercises that the general public doesn't learn about. However, that's because most of the general public is interested in looking better.

I encourage all hockey players to get the book I mentioned above if you're serious about taking your game and conditioning to the next/elite level.

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08-28-2007, 11:51 AM
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Standing up when doing a lift which traditionally is done sitting down (i.e. rowing, lats, etc.) is a good way to incorporate core muscles and get a more efficient workout. Also, I would totally agree with dumbells instead of barbells whenever possible.

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08-28-2007, 12:35 PM
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Originally Posted by NYRChazzer View Post
Since the core is a very important part of the body, and is very important for hockey, I was wondering if anyone had any good exercises for the core.

I mean, I know Crunches, Situps, and those kinds of things, but anyone know anything a bit more effective and not as straining on the back?
First, crunches shouldn't put a strain on your back. That's why people do them over traditional sit ups.

Strengthening your core doesn't have to be about lifting or working out with weights. It can be as simple as stretching. I don't mean stretching before you play. I found tons of stuff online that I was able to do in my living room while I was watching TV. But what I have found the most helpful are all those funky sit ups. We do one in my martial arts class that is a killer. I hope I can explain it right.

Lie on the floor, elevate your legs 45 degrees.
With your legs straight alternate them up and down in a scissor type motion, counting 1, 2, 3 as 1. Do this until you get to ten.

Then do the same thing but switch the scissor to side to side. You should also be crossing your legs top bottom top as you do it. Same count, again to 10.

Then, same position but this time alternate your knees to your chest, like peddling a bike. Again, same count (1,2,3) again to 10.

If you elevate your upper noddy slightly they become more difficult. Also, slowing your count makes them much more difficult.

I usually have my back slightly off the mat with my hands either by my side palms down, or palms down tucked behind me.

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