Warm-up so you can skate hot
Warming up properly before practice or competition will set the pace of your game and your ability to recover.
Pads on - check. Laces tight - check. Helmet strapped - check. Ready to hit the ice...not yet! Just as valuable as all of your equipment, no practice or game should start without a proper warm-up. As anxious as you may be to do laps around the rink, warming up is important as it prepares the body both physically and mentally; not to mention its value in helping to reduce the probability of injuries.
A proper warm-up physically increases blood flow and circulation to the muscles and elevates your heart rate. This allows the muscles to contract more efficiently and have greater extensibility. Psychologically it prepares the neurological system to engage specific nerves to key muscles improving the force generation and contractile speed of those muscles and facilitates reaction time.
Traditionally players have focused on static stretching before and after playing or practicing. It is in fact very important for the warm-up to be dynamic in nature. A dynamic warm-up better prepares the muscles for the ballistic movements required during the game of hockey. Static stretches can be done after the practice or competition.
When warming-up, full body movements such as jumping jacks or jogging on the spot are a good way to start. Then you can progress to more targeted movements involving such areas of the body as the hips, shoulders and back. Generally there should be a 10-15 minute dry land warm-up, 45 minutes before stepping on the ice and then another 10 minute warm-up on the ice.
On-ice warm up activities:
- Backward skating
- Quick stops and accelerationsleg swings forward and back
- Leg swings forward and back
Pre-playing, off-ice warm up activities:
- Jumping jacks
- High knees
- Butt kicks
- Torso rotations
- Hip openers/circles
- Arm circles
- Side lunges
- Front lunges with trunk rotations
Warming up will greatly improve your performance on the ice. When the muscles and nervous system are primed to perform at their utmost you will be able to contract your muscles faster and with more power. Your reaction time will be heightened allowing your body to respond to the challenges of the game or practice.
A properly designed warm-up helps to prevent injury as it primes the hockey player both physically and mentally for the demands of the game. Learn more by calling us at 905-332-3800 or visiting our WEBSITE.