Get Ready for Hockey Playoffs


Written by Mark Bittinger, PT, DPT

April is here and the regular hockey season is wrapping up. Which means playoffs are here and the intensity is picking up. By this point, I’m sure most of us have a few bumps and bruises we’re managing. I put together a quick and easy warm up to help keep you healthy through the playoffs and into the summer.   

Hockey is a dynamic sport incorporating full body movements. Skating takes the hips and knees though multiple planes of motion. Stick handling and shooting take the spine and shoulders though a full array of movements. Traditional warm ups tend to ignore that hockey incorporates linear, lateral, diagonal, and rotational movements. Static stretching does little to prepare the body for an explosive activity like hockey. Mobility and stability are key to avoiding the sprains and strains that can hold you back and open the door for more serious injuries.

The following video takes you through 6 exercises I put together which can be done in a few minutes with nothing more than a hockey stick and a little bit of room. I would recommend doing 2 sets of 10 for each exercise to start. Good luck with the rest of the season!

1.       Standing hip extension and internal rotation stretch

2.       Kneeing hip flexor and thoracic rotation stretch

3.       Lateral lunge with trunk rotation

4.       Posterior toe tap with trunk rotation

5.       Single leg balance with trunk rotation

6.       Skater’s lunge