Hockey and Hips

The hip joint ,which most of you know is a ball and socket joint and has a wide range of motion.  I remember playing basketball and my coach would tell me to follow the hips when playing defense. Little did I know what an important structure the hips and pelvis is. Being that we are in the midst of hockey playoffs and the L.A Kings are on fire. So I figured it would be a good time to explain the importance of the types of stretching for different positions. The goalie on one hand seems to benefit more from slower and longs holds in positions- Think of Jonathan Quick doing his butterfly or splits while taking away a sure goal. On the other hand –  the forwards,centers and defenseman  benefit from doing dynamic stretching when preparing for the game.This makes sense as we are preparing the body and mind for the game.

The hip joint and groin muscles are susceptible to injury due to the mechanics of the skating stride. Some of the most common soft tissue injuries in hockey players include a groin strain and a hip flexor strain. Off-season strengthening and dedicated stretching before and after practice are important to prevent these injuries. This is where a Yoga practice can really benefit these players especially if we create a unique practice to support the demands of their sport. When I’am teaching my classes I balance the dynamic movements at the beginning  and then practice longer holds after that. This makes for an effective workout for the body and mind. Namaste !

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