Hockey challenges the body in several ways, and as an intensely physical sport, it demands high performance and the ability to take some hits. Getting on the ice requires a superior level of cardiovascular conditioning as well as strength, power, and muscular endurance. Even at the recreational level, you need to have these physical characteristics, hand-eye coordination, game strategy and tactics. Given the time and energy you devote to hockey, you don’t want to be sidelined by the aches and pains that come with the hits, crashes into the boards, and wipeouts on the ice. Whether it’s an on-ice practice session or a game, always follow through with some aftercare. Taking the time to look after your body will keep you on the ice and off the bench. By checking in on your body, you can take corrective action before your next game.
Following any exercise, a warm down (a gradual decrease in your workout intensity) is recommended. This allows body systems like heart rate, blood pressure, and temperature to come back down to their resting state. A warm down also allows you to check in on any points of pain or soreness mentally. Knees are often a source of pain, so pay attention to what your knees are telling you. You may need to seek advice from your health care team or provide your knees with added support with a knee brace or compression knee sleeve.
Make an effort to work yoga, mindful meditation, or mindful breathing into your daily life. These practices offer an opportunity to get in touch with your body in a meaningful way. Bringing your attention to your breath and the physical state of your muscles and joints may reveal areas of tightness, soreness, or forms of pain that require medical intervention. Your game may benefit from the use of kinesiology tape. Physix Gear Sport kinesiology tape is high quality, easy to use, and will support muscles and joints during your most intense performance. This FDA CE approved tape will reduce chronic muscle pain and is recommended by physical therapists.
Stretching offers a range of benefits, including lengthening muscles and increasing your range of motion, vital for goalies, as well as all hockey positions. Stretching does not mean those quick toe touches and side leans. It means spending at least 30 minutes on mindful stretching and working toward increasing your flexibility. Stretching can reveal areas that could do with some attention, such as muscle balance training, physiotherapy, or massage therapy. Solid stretching also improves circulation, removes lactic acid, and improves range of motion.
Self-massage is an incredibly beneficial practice that can be done in the comfort of your home and is a cost effective way to give your muscles some care and attention. Physix Gear Sport offers several massage gear products that are affordable, easy to take anywhere, and are straightforward to use.
Massage sticks will leave muscles feeling rejuvenated, refreshed, and game ready by increasing blood flow, lymphatic action, and reducing soreness. These sticks are perfect for hamstrings, thighs, and calf muscles. Massage balls will feel fantastic after having tight skates on and will target those trigger points in the soles of your feet. Massage balls are an effective way to massage out kinks, spasms, and cramps as well as releasing myofascial tissue. Taking the time to address your aches and pains, either yourself or in partnership with your health care team, will have you playing your best!