Ice hockey players go through extensive dry-land training and exercises before they actually step on the ice rink. It is mandatory for every beginner to undergo several distinct training sessions in order to make sure that he can play ice hockey without hurting himself or other players. One of the most prominent training sessions in this regard deals with stretching exercises.
One may ask why stretching is so crucial for ice hockey workouts. Well, there is a simple answer to this question. It is important because it helps you achieve muscle flexibility so that you can slide and skate easily on the ice rink. Carrying out stretching exercises is basically a proactive measure. It helps prevent injuries. During ice hockey drills or tournaments, you may have internal injuries or a muscle tear as a result of constant movements. Since your body and muscles are not used to such dynamic shifts, it is necessary for you to train yourself prior to hitting the rink.
Once you attain flexibility, you can perform better. While weight lifting and cardio training are the most talked about training methods for ice hockey, the importance of stretching cannot be ignored. The underlying reason behind why stretching is so needed is because of the unique features of the playing surface. An ice rink is a place that is basically frictionless from the surface and you must therefore have incredible core power and flexibility to hold your balance while playing.
In addition to your routine exercises, the best time to stretch is before the start of the game. This practice should be conducted off-ice and under the supervision of a trainer or coach. Stretching will help you move freely without exerting a lot of pressure. You can save your energy and muscle power for other dynamic moves you need to make during the game. Stretching is how you actually reduce the risk and the possibility of injuries while playing or practicing.
Stretch training involves several parts of the body like quads, thighs, spinal cord, hamstrings, hip flexors, etc. Stretching exercises benefit you in a number of ways and are the best way to warm up a player before the game. You can achieve a higher range of movements through enhanced body posture and muscle mechanisms. Since stretching exercises focus on limb movements, you get the opportunity to attain a higher level of limb power and strength. You can employ this increased amount of strength and motion efficiency against the competing team to win the game.
Stretching exercises help you relax your muscles as you move them in different angles. A pre-game training session will warm up your muscles to achieve optimum flexibility and avoid injuries. On the other hand, stretch training that is done after the game helps you lengthen your muscles as they are already in active mode. It’s obvious that you will be exhausted and may be in search of a proper meal to satisfy the hunger, still allocate a few minutes for post-game stretching. Consequently, you will be in a position to have effortless movements all around the ice rink. So play well and stay safe!