Stay Balanced to Keep Skating Injury Free

Ice hockey season is in full stride for all players from youth to professional levels. This fast paced sport requires lower body strength and endurance in order for the skater to safely accelerate and decelerate. However if the proper pre-season conditioning hasn’t been perform the likelihood of injury from muscular imbalances is high.

Adductor strains are common in this sport accounting for up to 10% of all injuries. This was demonstrated in a study of Professional hockey players which showed a player was 17 times more likely to sustain an adductor injury if the muscle strength was less than 80% of the opposing abductor muscle strength. Therefore an exercise program focusing on all around strength both front to back and left to right is essential to keep your athletes on the ice.

Here are 3 exercises from our Hockey Conditioning Template Protocol that you can also access in WebExercises.

Bulgarian Split Lunge

Start in a shoulder-with stance. Place one foot on a bench. Engage your core. Lower your body until your rear knee nearly touches the floor and your front thigh is parallel to the floor while raising both arms. Perform 3 set of 10 repetitions as tolerated.

Skater Jumps

Stand on your left leg with your hips and knees slightly bent. Extend your left hip, knee and ankle to jump forward and to the right at a 45 degree angle. Land on the ball of your right foot with your hips and knees slightly bent to absorb the impact. Swing yours arms across your body in the same direction your jumping to. Continue bounding in this pattern for prescribed sets and reps or time.

Sprinter Skip

Begin in a sprinter start position. Explode into a skip, come back to your starting position. Repeat on one side for prescribed reps or time before switching legs.

Although this article was specific to ice hockey, the same principles can be applied to ice skating and many other sports.

(1) Manners, T. 2004. Sport-Specific Training for Ice Hockey. Strength Cond. J.  26(2):16–21.
(2) Tyler, T., et al. 2001. The Association of Hip Strength and Flexibility With the Incidence of Adductor Muscle Strains in Professional Ice Hockey Players. Am J Sports Med. 29(2).
(3) Tyler, T., et al. 2002. The Effectiveness of a Preseason Exercise Program to Prevent Adductor Muscle Strains in Professional Ice Hockey Players. Am J Sports Med. 30(5).
(4) Wolynski, D., et al. 1998. The Use of Specific Exercises in Preventing Hockey Injuries. Strength Cond. J.

Our Story
WebExercises was created by clinicians who wanted to find a better way to help patients succeed with their exercise rehabilitation programs. As clinicians we are limited with time therefore WebExercises was developed to efficiently design exercise programs. We offer an engaging patient experience that can be monitored virtually by the clinician keeping your patients motivated outside of your office.  Since 2005 we have delivered over 20 million exercises saving clinicians time and improving patient adherence. To find out more how WebExercises can improve your practice call us 866-411-4825 or visit

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David Cruz

Author David Cruz

Dr. David Cruz, DC practiced as a sports chiropractor in an medical orthopedic setting for 20 years treating athletic injuries, from weekend warriors to college athletes serving as the team chiropractor for Dominican University. He is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) as well as having both FMS and SFMA certifications. The combination of his background in sports medicine and interest in technology made him passionate about bringing these two worlds closer together, resulting in the foundation of his company WebExercises in 2005. WebExercises is used by health and fitness professionals to create, share and monitor patient exercise programs.

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