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Maximize Stride Power by Increasing Core Strength

By Mark Fitzgerald, Elite Training Systems, 02/28/19, 3:15PM EST


Hit the Gym with a Strength Coach

Strong core muscles are important for athletes and most physical activities. Being mobile with strong hips can help players get the most out of each stride move with power on the ice. Increased flexibility helps when changing speed and direction.

THE DRILL: Back Lying Hip Flexion

An exercise to increase core strength through activation of the stomach, glutes and hips. It supports the hip through both flexion and extension.

What You Need: A flat surface, running shoes, athletic clothing.

Body Position: Lie flat on your back, facing up towards the ceiling. You will be using your core – activate through your stomach and be mindful of your breathing throughout.

The Movement:

  • With one leg still lying flat, lift and pull the other leg up, bending it at the knee into a 90 degree angle at your hip and hold. The heel on the foot of the leg that is still lying flat should be pushing into the ground.
  • Drive the lifted heel away, slowly returning the bent leg into its original flat position. Repeat with the other leg.
  • Do this for 8-10 reps per leg.
  • Add a band around the feet if you’re looking for more tension.

The Breakdown: This drill builds on the Supported Sprinter’s Hold that was highlighted in an earlier episode of Hit the Gym. Keeping your lifted leg at a 90 degree angle during the drill is key. If it is pulled across the top of the hip or out to the side of the body it lowers the effectiveness of pushing back onto the ice during the recovery step.

Download the ETS Training App

OMHA athletes now have access to the ETS Athlete Development App. Pro-grade technologies deliver content and track critical athlete development metrics ensuring athletes and the coaching staff are on track for in-season developmental progress, download the training app.

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Mark Fitzgerald is the owner and founder of Elite Training Systems as well, as the ETS Athlete Development App. In addition, Fitzgerald is head of Performance Training for the Anaheim Ducks, Lead Training Advisor for Under Armour and a member of the Under Armour Global Team.

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