Make this muscle stretch for rec hockey players a part of your routine
By Coach Warren Nye
Have you ever had this feeling when you were doing your workout that something just wasn’t right? If that’s the case, you’ll want to find out about an important stretch for rec hockey players.
Just the other day, I started to feel a little pain in my hips, and I thought it was probably just old age sneaking up on me. So I thought I’d check with my good friend and colleague, Conor Doherty of Star Factory Fitness, just to be sure.
What Conor told me, and which I was a little surprised to hear, was that the area or muscle that was causing me pain is one of those areas that get the least amount of proper stretching or attention. He explained that the name of that forgotten part of the body is called the psoas muscle (pronounced with a silent “p”). Here’s Conor’s recommendation:
The Psoas Muscle Stretch for Rec Hockey Players
One thing I want to hammer home is that rec hockey players are constantly in a flexed position at the hips, and therefore need to include certain exercises in their training to help correct tight hips to avoid injury. As a result of being in that flexed position for such a long period of time—not to mention all the sitting that people do these days—it shouldn’t come as a shock that your hips are tight. (You may even have some back pain because of your tight hip flexor muscles.) The one hip flexor muscle that is probably doing more damage than you think is called the psoas.
The psoas is a major hip flexor muscle that connects from the vertebrae of your lower back to the head of your femur (the big bone in your upper leg). When we’re constantly in a flexed position at the hips, our bodies start to believe this is normal, and the muscles want to remain in that position. When we try to stand up straight or move into different positions, our hip flexors will feel tight because this is now the position that our muscles aren’t as used to. So what happens is our psoas muscle, because it’s tight, will pull on the spine, putting ourselves in an unnatural postural position. To help alleviate this tightness, we need to stretch the psoas muscle.
To begin, go into the lunge position, with the rearward knee on the ground below your hips. Next, shift forward while trying to push that hip forward so you’ll feel a stretch in the front of your leg.
Coach Warren Nye has served as player, coach, and manager, and has coached many players who have gone on to play professional hockey.
Conor Doherty is a strength and conditioning coach from Dryden, Ont., Canada. Check out more of his articles at starfactoryfitness.com.
The video below demonstrates the proper stretch and release technique for the psoas muscle.