Simple Ab Routine for Extra Core Strength
A friend of ours asked about the benefits of a strong core for hockey players. Truth is, you’re not getting anywhere in the hockey world without one.
A strong core is a MUST for anyone looking to compete with the big boys. Your core, in broad terms, is the ensemble of your abdominal muscles, lower back, hips, and glutes.
Let’s put this into perspective…
There’s a really heavy door in front of you that you want to open oh so badly. You put your hands on the handle and begin to pull, putting your biceps to work. Now, if you had a very weak core, what would happen?
Your whole body would shift, and the door probably wouldn’t budge. This is because your CORE is what keeps you centered and what maintains your balance. Without it, you’re pretty much like a rag-doll; any slight push or pull makes you give in that direction.
Now, imagine you’re in the NHL. You’re Marty St-Louis, a little guy that plays big. Not only does he play big, he plays AGAINST THE BIG. He goes in the corners night after night against guys like Chara and Pronger and comes out on top. How does he do it?
He has amazing core strength that keeps him grounded and makes him hard to move. We have a saying here at BuiltForHockey about core strength and how each hockey player should be ‘as stable as a table’ . You want your opponents to feel like they’re running into someone with four legs. That’s how stable you want to be on the ice.
Having a strong core allows you to skate faster, have better balance, hit harder, and win more battles in the corners or along the boards.
There’s a lot of different exercises to achieve this, and there’s many that are hockey-specific. Still, we believe that you need to build up abdominal strength first before you can get into the other technical stuff, so we put together a little workout routine that will do just that. It’s very simple and basic, but will do your core strength a world of good at the same.
3 x 12 reps of Weighted Decline Situps (regular sit-ups on a declined bench, holding weight against your chest)
1 minute rest between each set.
1.5 minute rest between each set.
These are to be done one after the other (no rest):
– 40 crunches
-40 right side crunches
-40 left side crunches (same as above but the other side)
-40 reverse crunches
-1 minute Leg Raise Hold (lying down on your back with hands to your side and feet together, lift your legs about 6 inches off the ground and hold the position for 1 minute)
-5 minute rest
It’s a fairly straightforward and simple starting point to work on abdominal strength. When doing the plank, go until you can’t go anymore. Always try and improve your time each workout and use it to measure your success. Being able to do the plank for a few minutes at a time is something many people can’t do, and is definitely worth being proud of!
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Here’s to getting stronger,