Core Exercises


Stand on all four keeping hips directly over the knees and hands directly under the shoulders. Before adding movement, ensure the core is engaged and in a comfortable neutral position. When set, simultaneously reach arm forward and push opposite leg as far back as you can. Hold 5sec and return to start position. Do this by driving the arm and leg back down simultaneously making sure to stay in neutral positiom Increase difficulty by increasing time of holds up to 10sec and/or increase reps.

Sets & Reps

3-4 sets at 5,4,3 reps respectively holding 5 sec and drop for 1 sec.

  • 1st set = 5 reps x 5s holds/side
  • 2nd set = 4 reps x 5s holds/side
  • 3rd set = 3 reps x 5s hold/side

Side Plank

Start by lying on the left side supported by the left forearmj knee and hip in a ‘V” flexed position at the hip. Drive hips forward into extension and hold in a straight line for 10 sec. To lower, push hips directly back until you sit down for I sec. Repeat this 3 times to complete I set. Once the left side is completed, repeat on your right side. Repeat for 3 sets/side. Progress to feet in a staggered position (top leg in front).

Sets & Reps

3-4 sets at 3 reps holding 10 sec & drop for I sec/side.


3 10s holds on left with Is drop between each.

Forearm Plank

Stand on forearm and knees. Brace your core and when ready, lift your body off the ground in one motion. Keep a straight line between your shoulders and your hips while pulling your elbows down and in towards your toes and hold for 10s.

Sets & Reps

3-4 sets at 10s hold


3 reps at 10sec hold with a 1 sec drop in between reps. Complete 3 sets

Muscle Fibre Development for Hockey

Greg Eskedjian, MSc. CSCS
Director ofHockey Training & Sports Nutrition

Muscle Fibre Types

The human body contains 3 types of muscle: cardiac, smooth and skeletal. Skeletal muscle is the type of muscle used to produce movement during exercise Cie. quads, biceps, pecs). However, our body contains different types of skeletal muscle as well, that are used in different proportions based on the type of activity performed.

The three types of skeletal muscle found in the human body are: Type 1, Type 2a, and Type 2x fibres. Each fibre type has different characteristics and responsibilities related to exercise. Although we use each fibre type during exercise, exercise intensity and duration will dictate which muscle fibre type is responsible for producing the maj ority of the energy needed.

Type 1 fibre or “slow-twitch” fibre is mostly related to endurance-based activities/sports such as long-distance running or cycling. These fibres are typically smaller, with a smaller force production, but a higher fatigue resistance. Therefore, when exercise lasts beyond a couple minutes, this fibre type is most relied on for energy production.

Both Type 2a and 2x fibres are known as “fast-twitch” fibres because of their speedy contractile abilities. Type 2x fibres are large, with the ability to produce high amounts of force very quickly, although fatigue sets in much faster. Very high-intensity, short duration (under 1 Osec) activities/sports rely heavily on these fibres, such as sprinting, power lifting, and jumping.

Type 2 a fibres are known as more of an intermediate fibre, with characteristics of both Type 1 and Type 2x fibres. Type 2a fibres are intermediate in size, with the ability to produce force quickly, but are somewhat more fatigue resistant than Type 2x fibres. Type 2a fibres are mainly relied on when exercising at a high intensity for about 15sec to a couple minutes. These fibres are predominantly used in high-intensity “stop-and-go” sports such as hockey, football and basketball.

Characteristics of Muscle Fibre Types
CharacteristicType 1Type 2aType 2x
Contraction SpeedSlowFastFast
Fatigue ResistanceHigh5IntermediateLow
Force ProductionLowIntermediateHigh
Power OutputLowIntermediateHigh
Aerobic Enzyme ContentHighIntermediateLow
Anaerobic Enzyme ContentLowHighHigh
Fibre DiameterSmallIntermediateHigh
Reference: Essentials of Strength & Conditioning, 3rd Edition. Baechle & Earle, 2008.


Hockey is a “stop-and-go” sport that combines repeated, high-intensity bursts over a prolonged period of time (3 periods). Due to the dynamic nature of the sport, hockey players rely on all fibre types during practices and games. However, Type 2x and Type 2a fibres are predominantly responsible for producing the energy needed play.

During a practice or game, Type 2x fibres are used when a player is sprinting, shooting, and checking because a large amount of energy is needed in a short period of time. During slightly longer high-intensity situations such as battling on the boards, cycling or an intense penalty kill, Type 2 a fibres are mostly responsible for energy production because Type 2x fibres will fatigue at a quicker rate. As for Type I fibres, they are also used during a hockey game, but to a lesser extent. Towards the end ofa long shift or in the period after fatigue has set it, Type I fibres will help us continue to play, although our ability for powerful bursts are gone.

NOTE: Your body never only uses 1 fibre type regardless of the activity. All 3 types are always involved, however, usually we rely on one type of fibre more so than the others to produce the energy we need based on the type of activity.

Form Roller Exercises

Foam rolling

Foam rolling is a useful tool to incorporate before and immediately after your workout. This self-myofascial release technique helps reduce tension in muscles, increase range of motion and increase blood flow. This results in better movement, decreased chance of injury and most impoåantly decreased recovery time. Decreased recovery fine means more training sessions per week/month from which results can come quicker. Increased circulaüon is a huge factor for recovery. Rolling helps flush out blood that has pooled in the working muscles and allows fresh nutrients and oxygen to come in and start the tissue recovery process.

Key points

Always avoid rolling onto your joints. The roller should stay positioned under your muscles at
all times. If you hit a particularly tight or tender spot you can stop rolling and apply direct pressure for 30
seconds or until the pain decreases.


Lay on your side starting with roller halfway between your knee and ankle. Slowly roll back and f01th for 20-30s. As you roll, make sure to take deeps breaths to help your muscles relax.

Iliotibial band (ITB)

Work the same leg as make your way up to your ITB. Keep your body perpendicular to the ground as you roll over the lateral (outside) of your thigh avoiding rolling onto your joints (hip and knee). Roll out the top half of the ITB for 20s followed by the bottom half another 20s


Support your weight on your hands or forearms as you roll slowly up and down over your quad (thigh/front). Change your leg position slightly to emphasis the medial and lateral areas of your quad. Roll 20-30s

Glutes/ Piriformis

Sit on the roller leaning to your left. Place your left foot over your right knee as you roll slowly over your glutes searching for the most tender spots. Roll 20-30s


To start, place the roller parallel to your body. Place your top leg perpendicular to the roller. Slowly roll back and f01th over your adductor (groin) muscle group with your knee extended and/or bent. Roll 20-30s

Latissimus Dorsi (Lats)

Lie on your side with your shoulder perpendicular to the roller. Lean slightly backwards as you roll over your lats keeping your arm relatively straight. Roll 20-30s.

Off-Ice Strength & Conditioning

Cook Hip Lifts

Use this exercise to activate your glutes — which are highly important muscles in having a powerful stride.

  1. Lie on your back with right knee pulled into your chest and left leg bent 900 with pressure on your heel
  2. Push through your left heel and bring hips off the ground
  3. Hold extended position for 5 seconds and reset
  4. Perform 1 set of 5 reps per side

Single Leg Squats

This is a great exercise to make each leg work independently and develop strength and coordination Wth each leg.

  1. Standing on one leg, lower your body in a controlled manner to a point where your knee is at or below 900 (you can use a bench or chair to provide a target)
  2. Staying tall and keeping your knee behind your toes, drive through support leg back to 8 standing position
  3. Perform 3 sets of 8-12 repsper side, resting 1.’00 between sets

Side Leg Hip Hikes

Hip hikes target tha smaller, stabilizing muscles around your hips, helping you develop a strong stride,

  1. Standing with left leg on an elevated surface (6-12 inches), drive hips as far to the left as possible.
  2. Contract the muscles on outside of left hip to return back to neutral starting position.
  3. Perform 2 sets of 15 reps per side

Bulgarian Split Squats

Similar to Single Leg Squats, this exercise builds strength in each leg independently.

  1. Standing on right leg with left foot elevated on a 6 – 12 inch surface
  2. Lower your body until your right knee is at or below 900
  3. Keeping your body tall, push yourself back up to starting position
  4. Perform 4 sets of 8 reps per side

Wall Ankle Mobility

  1. Place a plate (1 ” height) under your forefoot of the front foot
  2. Keeping front heel on ground, slowly drive your front knee towards the wall
  3. If you can touch your knee to the wall, rnove the plate back a few inches
  4. Perform 2 sets of 15 reps per leg
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