Animal Mode For Off-Ice Hockey Training

Off-Ice Hockey Training – – Like a BEAR!

I remember attending a fitness business marketing seminar about 6-years ago and one of the speakers was a guy who could ‘move like any animal’.  That was probably the first place I saw the bear crawl.  As I recall he also flipped around on the ground like a seal – it was something to see alright. J  Don’t worry, I am not going to have you flip around like a seal for your off-ice hockey training.

Anyway, fast forward a few years and primal movement patterns are all the rage.  I have not dug in too deep, but there are lots of strength coaches who have people learning to roll on the ground like a baby.  Give me a few months and I will probably be telling you more about that as it relates to your off-ice hockey training.  I actually don’t think it is a bad idea; I just haven’t had time to learn more about it.

Enough talk about babies…let’s talk BEARS!  More specifically, let’s talk about bear crawling.  What’s so special about it?  Well, I think the biggest benefit is that it is a nice dynamic progression from a hands and knees superman.

So I have been progressing athletes from hands and knees superman, to bear position superman (see video) and finally to bear crawl.

After you watch the video, I hope you will appreciate the hip mobility and core stability required to bear crawl.  Hip mobility and core stability are two of the big things we focus on in your off-ice hockey training, so you can see how it fits with our goals.  I look at it as a nice dynamic stability exercise for the anterior oblique sling, which connects one arm through the abdominal obliques to the opposite hip.

So far I have had good feedback with this exercise – I actually added it to this month’s workout of the month over at so I will be keen to hear what they think of it.

Bear Position Superman (video)

I keep the volume quite low on these movements – the bear position superman I start with three reps on each side with a 3-5 second hold.

Using Bear Crawl for Off-Ice Hockey Training

For the bear crawl I start with 5-meters at a deliberate pace.

Happy training gang!