Q&A: Core Exercises For Hockey Players That Doesn’t Look Very Challenging

First off – thanks to everyone who filled out the survey for me last week – there were almost 400 responses – just awesome!  Congratulations to Steven G. from the UK – he was the winner and I have already sent the download links to you Steven if you are reading this.  Thank you again so much for all you input and for your kind words like….

Maria’s tips on training and flexibility have helped even though I play and tain on a regular basis.  I have yet to sustain any injury (other than a puck getting through padding) during my time as a player.

Hope you had a great weekend.  Mine was jam packed.  My Mom moved into a new condo on Saturday so that was exciting.  You might remember that my Dad died suddenly the summer before last (he was only 77 years old).  We sold the family home and my Mom moved into a seniors residence, but got tired of going down to the dining room for meals, etc.  So she bought a great condo close to where I grew up and Saturday was the big move!

Yesterday I worked in the gym during the morning, then Paul and I ran some errands and finally we had to do our 5 hill repeats because I failed to accomplish my weekly tasks.  Remember a few weeks ago (probably a month ago now) I sent you an email and told you all about the ‘Accountability Meeting’ I have every Thursday with three guys from my Mastermind Group?

We all have to say which three big tasks we will get accomplished before the next meeting AND we have to say what we will do if we don’t get them done.  Well, the punishment I picked for myself was to run five repeats of this big hill about a mile from our house and to do that not once per week, but twice per week until the end of the year.

Yesterday was the first day and it was tough!  I do feel bad about not getting my tasks done, but I also figure if I don’t miss from time to time that I am not aiming high enough in my goal setting.  Anyway, on to today’s Q&A:

Q&A: Core Exercises For Hockey Players That Don’t Look Very Challenging

I got this question a while ago…

Hi Maria,

I was just wondering, could you give me a few examples of advanced core training, because all the goalie specific core I’ve seen doesn’t look very challenging?

Here was my response…

Thanks for the question. I am going to answer by pointing out what doesn’t ‘look’ challenging is not the same as feeling like a challenge.
Then I will also let you know that the true core stabilizers do not need to work at a high percentage of their capacity. They need to be active and smart, so that is the goal of core training, not just doing something that feels hard.
So those are my general answers. If you let me know exactly what you have been doing for your core training over the last 6 weeks, I can give you more specifics.
So I never did get an email back with specifics (bonus tip – if you want a specific answer, please ask a specific question and give me the detailed background info I need to give a good answer please), but I want to reinforce three points.
  1. I never create a program based on what looks hard.  My programs are always designed based on what the goalie or skater needs to be more effective at their position.  There are lots of programs out there and trainers out there who make programs that look hard and there is a name for them… amateurs 🙂
  2. As I pointed out in my response – looking at exercises and actually doing exercises are two completely different things.  Because something looks easy, it does not mean that it is easy otherwise we would all be able to sprint 100m in under 10 seconds – those guys just look like they are gliding.  So you need to actually do the exercises in order to see how they feel and to see how and where your body wants to compensate (or cheat).
  3. Muscles that actually stabilize work at a low percentage of their maximum output.  I cannot remember the reference (I think it was a workshop by Dr. Stuart McGill), but the transversus abdominus (a stabilizer of the torso) only needs to work at 30% of it’s maximum output to stabilize the spine.  More importantly it needs to work in concert with other stabilizers, turn on and off at the proper time and have the endurance to do that repeatedly.

I will finish this off by giving you a few core exercises to try – this video was made just over a year ago in response to a question from one of the pro players I train – –

Have a great day!  Talk with you soon.