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Helping your body in Post-Game Recovery

By Ontario Minor Hockey Association, 04/04/17, 11:15AM EDT

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Don't overlook the cool-down from intense activity

By Mark Fitzgerald,  Strength & Conditioning Coach - Anaheim Ducks, Director of Performance - Elite Training Systems, Lead Training Advisor - Under Armour Canada

Post-game recovery is one of most important aspects for an athlete but one that is often overlooked. Helping your body cool down properly from intense physical activity aids in muscle recovery and helps reduce the chances of injury.

I like to offer exercises for athletes to ‘take home’ with them that don’t necessarily have to be completed in a gym or locker room setting. The 90 Hip Switch is a stretch for the hip flexor that doubles as a mobility movement. It can be done almost anywhere, ideally on a comfortable mat or cushion.

Your hips are a key point of interest in the post-game recovery. Skating isn’t a particularly natural movement and this exercise aids in cutting into any mobility issues.

The Drill: 90 Hip Switch

By rolling your hips back and forth in a seated position you help reduce mobility issues.

What you’ll need: A mat or comfortable seating surface on the floor.

Body Position: Seated, neutral spine, both legs at 90 degree angles.

The Movement:

A) Sitting comfortably on the floor, put both legs at a 90 degree angle and keep your spine straight.

B) Keeping an upright position, use your outside leg and your hips to roll your legs into a switch.

C) Hold for 10-15 seconds then roll the other way.

The Breakdown: As you roll from one side to the other, you are working the flexors in your hips. Your hips play an important role in reducing mobility restrictions when skating.

This drill is appropriate for skaters of all ages and helps to increase flexibility on the ice. Your body can move in unnatural ways while playing hockey and this keeps muscles prepared for any twists and turns that may occur. Building a strong core is key in developing power and the 90 Hip Switch is one way to boost movement.

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