Better Off-Ice Training – read this if you do PLANKS.

Hope you are having a great weekend!  We got up to Blue Mountain and out for an early season ski – it felt great to be back on the slopes!  The are calling for snow squalls today so hopefully we will get some of those and be able to head out again tomorrow!

80% Of His Workout Was Awesome – 20% A Waste Of Time…

I very rarely go into a public gym – I prefer to train in the comfy confines of the Revolution Conditioning studio – but when I travel I occasionally venture into the gym and this is where I saw a guy working really hard while limiting his progress and setting himself up for injury.

He was wearing a t-shirt that said ‘Colgate Hockey’ and he looked like he was either still in university or a fairly recent grad – maybe in the last three years or so.  His program actually looked pretty good, he wasn’t doing crunches or biceps curls, he had some progressive stuff in there.  I even saw him doing one of my personal fav’s the rear foot elevated split squat.

But he had two exercises in there that made me want to go over and offer my advice (which I stopped doing about 16 years ago).

Like many of my travels it moved me to create this article showing you the two exercises that look good, but weren’t really helping him score more goals.

Check out the VIDEO to find out what they are and what to do instead…

If you cannot see the video above, simply click on the link below…

 So let’s get back to what I saw in the gym that day with Mr. Colgate.  As I mentioned, he started with some rear foot elevated split squats and superset that with incline DB bench, so far so good.

Then he did it, he walked over to the plate rack, grabbed a 35lbs plate and sat himself down on his butt (I was thinking… ‘don’t you dare do it!’) and then he did it…Russian Twists!

I know what he was thinking, some of you probably think the same thing – I twist when I shoot, so I am going to give myself a booming slap shot by doing these twists – AND they are Russian, so they must be good.

This exercise will add unnecessary wear and tear to your lumbar spine.  Your shooting power comes from your legs and hips, not your back.  The legs and hips move you; the muscles that control the lumbar spine are designed to stabilize.

Then he moved on to pull ups – good ones too, I didn’t want to stare, but I bet he was doing 10-12 pull ups each set.  The pull-ups were superset with hamstring curls on the ball – yeah, back on track!

Then he did it – he started planking.  What’s wrong with planking you say?  Well, absolutely nothing is wrong with planking, but this guy was WAY beyond planking.  He was holding it for about 2-3 minutes; with good form too.

Instead of holding a static contraction, he would have been much better off to move on to a more dynamic version – it is in the video.

So, the moral of the story is – when you are in good shape, sometimes you can do exercises that are not good for you, with a lot of weight, which hastens the wear and tear on your body.  In this case the Russian Twists under load takes the lower back into end range rotation where it then needs to decelerate the load and accelerate in the other direction.

Remember the lower back has a limited range of motion for a reason, it is not supposed to be generating force through range, it is meant to stabilize within a mid-range.  The power for your shot should be coming from your hips and legs.

The second moral of the story is – make sure you are making progress – if you are doing an exercise that is too easy for you – doing more of it is not really the way to go.  You need to progress.

In the Hockey Training Blueprint and Hockey Workout Club we cycle through different training phases, coming back to basics every 4-months or so, just to re-establish the foundation, but then we progress.

If you have been doing the same workout for months and months and months and years -time to change it up a little; even just a few exercises.  You can find tons of free training tips and exercise variations here on – add a little variety!

Have an awesome day!