Your ‘Hockey Butt’ Could Be Trashing Your Hips

I know some of you secretly cherish your hockey butt – you see your reflection in the glass doors of the arena and think – ‘man, that is one strong hockey player’s butt – no wonder I skate so fast!’

I know you do it, don’t worry, I won’t tell.

Now The Harsh Truth

Prepare to have your bubble burst in 3-2-1….

What you are seeing is not really your butt – I mean, it is YOUR butt, it just isn’t your overdeveloped skating muscles making it stick out like that.

You my friend are the Kim Kardashian of the hockey world.

Sorry to call you ‘Kim’, I know that was harsh.

Kim’s butt does not include a bookshelf because she spends so much time doing squats in the gym. It is not like that because of muscle it is her anterior pelvic tilt.

It Can Also Increase Your Impingement

Kim really is a great example of anterior pelvic tilt – this is the postural tendency to ‘stick your butt out the back’ hockey players who are tight in the front of their hips do this a lot – I explained it all in this post and video HERE – the tightness in your hip flexors pulls your pelvis forward.

Not only does this increase the arch in your lower back which can create some overuse injuries when combined with skating which requires the hip extension that you are lacking.

In addition to the wear and tear on your lower back, physio therapist Mike Reinold ( shared some really interesting stats on his blog…

“A 10 degree increase in anterior pelvic tilt, which I would say is something we see clinically, resulted in a significant loss of 6-9 degrees of hip internal rotation and increase in FAI.”

If you are a goalie, that is basically like saying, your crappy posture is giving you a skinny butterfly flare and increasing the wear and tear on your hips.

So how do you decrease your anterior pelvic tilt?

As Mike points out in his blog and what holds true for most posture related inefficiencies, you need to think about your position during the 16 waking hours of the day. It is not something you will just ‘fix’ with a few exercises.

Your hips are chronically tight and you are in an anterior pelvic tilt because that is the pattern you have been teaching your body for as little as a few months and more likely many years, so it is not going to be a quick fix.

Step One: Find Neutral

You need to know where neutral is and since I am assuming that you are chronically tight in your hip flexors, let’s find neutral in a seated position where there will not be as much tension across the front of your hip.

Sit up tall with your shoulders stacked over your hips. Roll your pelvis forward and back slightly until you feel that you are sitting right up on your ‘sit bones’. Your sit bones are the bony prominences that you can feel right in the middle of each butt cheek if you dig in there with your fingers. Some of you may have a little more digging to do than others.

Now that you have found neutral, make a mental picture of what that feels like and anytime you are sitting, try to find that position. Tell your body that this is where you should be.

If you are not sure what I mean, just let me know and I can shoot a quick video.

Step Two: Increase Hip Flexor Mobility

If you do not create a little slack in the front of your hip, you will have trouble getting your pelvis into a neutral position while standing up let alone skating.

Here are three ways you can do that…

If you cannot see the video above, click here

Spend 30-45 seconds on each hip and do that 1-2 times per day. Remember that it takes about 8-months to remodel soft tissue, so it will take time.

If you cannot see the video above, click here

Do 15 on each side once per day.

If you cannot see the video above, click here

Do a 30s hold, push for 30s, pull into stretch for 30s and finally hold stretch for 30s.

Whatever You Do Don’t Tell…

Whatever you do, don’t tell Kim about this – it will ruin her career. Without that crazy butt she wouldn’t have any claim to fame (okay, maybe she would still have a few). Let’s not risk it.

Happy training.