How to Prevent Hamstring Injuries in Hockey

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two hockey players facing off

Hockey injuries

Hockey is a popular activity that sometimes leads to player injuries. The average player is subject to varying grades of trauma and physical injury due to repeated bodily stress – and most will try to tough out their ailment just to stay on the ice a little longer. This contact sport can result in an assortment of both opponent caused and non-contact injuries. Avoiding injury is a fundamental subconscious priority of an athlete’s mind. The reasoning is simple – no injury means more play time. Your dedicated efforts off of the ice will help improve your performance and promote a high level of injury prevention. Below you will find the most effective training and conditioning methods to help prevent undesirable hamstring injuries during the hockey season.

Ease Into Conditioning Workouts

Hockey players commonly have well developed quads but lack robust hamstrings. When training begins for the upcoming season, running is almost always a go-to conditioning activity. The goal here is to not rush back into running right away. Ease yourself into these conditioning drills to get your muscles used to this type of motion. Building up muscle tolerance beginning with light aerobics will help prepare you for more intense conditioning workouts. This will prevent off-ice hamstring injuries. Now fast-forward a few weeks to the midst of your running drills. Since your legs are prepared to take on more pressure, drills will now focus on building up hamstring strength for on-ice performance. You and your coaches will work on decelerating techniques to further build up the hamstrings and train for reliable durability.

Weight Training and Hamstring Strength

Hamstring strength is determined by how well the muscles are developed in the athlete’s legs. Without strength, something will give out – it’s very simple. Hockey players are incredibly susceptible to pulled hamstrings for this exact reason. Your hamstrings may be very well conditioned but without the proper weight training they’re less capable of staying healthy. To ensure optimal on-ice performance, the hamstrings must undergo weight-resistance training. Hockey players should perform deadlifts and hamstring curls to build up this imperative collection of muscles. Weight training will serve hockey players well, and your season is dependent on the level of dedication you give your body.

Improve Core Strength

It may sound strange at first, but improving core strength provides significant benefits to the health of your hamstrings and the body as a whole. An underdeveloped core allows bad posture to take place while on skates. This arching of the back puts a lot of stress on the hamstrings, creating an inopportune scenario for a hockey player’s health. Taking part in core exercises in conjunction with your hamstring-focused workout will alleviate poor flexibility and prevent future injury. Building up the strength of your core will provide full body stability, create better posture and take some tension off of the hamstrings.

The Importance of Groin Strength

Groin injuries can happen along the same path as the hamstrings. Since hamstring injuries commonly occur from overdeveloped quads, the groin can be affected from the dominance of a hockey player’s hip extenders. Single-leg work outs – similar to hamstring workouts – can provide the stability needed to avoid serious injury. Working out other parts of the body like the groin will help keep all of your lower appendages in healthy condition so one injury cannot lead to another.

Physical Therapy for Sports Injuries Near You

These tips will help hockey players decelerate and change direction on the ice without ending up in pain from a hamstring injury. The hamstring offers bodily speed and control by adding healthy muscle to a commonly injury-prone area. To stay in top-shape for the upcoming season, trust JAG-ONE Physical Therapy’s athletic training services to support you with the help you need. For more information about JAG-ONE Physical Therapy, please contact us to schedule an appointment or view our blog for helpful physical therapy and sports-related tips.