Crash Conditioning's Functional Training

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If you're an NHL stud defenseman, chances are you're spending summer vacations up in Calgary, Alberta, with Doug Crashley, enduring a ridiculous dry land, band routine.

While Sid the Kid Crosby may be getting all the headlines now, it was the impeccable strength and conditioning levels of Washington Capital Mike Green and Chicago Blackhawk Duncan Keith that got the media's attention during the season.

To keep their competitive edge against opponents, Green and Keith spend their summers engaging in dry land and on-ice training under the watchful eye of Crashley, Crash Conditioning's president and director of athletic performance.

Crashley trains hockey players exclusively.  At the training home of top NHL and AHL players, he focuses on functional movements instead of traditional body building, which for a long time was the more common approach for skaters.

"My program as a whole [emphasizes] athleticism first," Crashley says. "We use the band exercises to strengthen the glutes, which are pretty valuable…[for] a [hockey] stride. You are standing on your feet for everything, so you should do as many [training] movements as possible in that position. [It also gets] hockey players to see the value of developing their athleticism and not just being hockey players, but being athletes first. We are not going to do what [the athletes] necessarily want to do. We are going to try [to] push them past what they believe is their threshold to get more out of them."

Below is a little taste of what Crash Conditioning's athletes go through during their dynamic warm-up band training. To see more of Crashley's training methods and the full Canadian hockey workout, check out the Crash Conditioning, Mike Green and Duncan Keith athlete pages.

Lateral Shuffle with Band
• Start in low athletic stance with slight forward lean, flat back and band wrapped around ankles
• Keeping toes pointed forward, laterally shuffle right for 20 meters
• Repeat same movement laterally to the left

Sets: 2x 20 meters, each direction
Coaching Points: Control movement throughout exercise // Keep toes, hips and knees facing forward at all times

Cowboy Walk with Band
• Start in athletic position with bands wrapped around ankles
• Keeping tension on band, step forward with right foot in half circle movement, planting on heel
• Continue moving forward, using half circle movement to place left foot in front of right foot, planting heel to toe
• Continue alternating legs in half circle movements for 20 meters

Sets: 2x20 meters, forward and backward
Coaching Points: Lead with ankle and bring heel of foot to toe of opposite foot // Don't overstride while taking half-circle steps // Keep resistance on band at all times

Skater Walk with Band
• Start in athletic position with slight forward lean; wrap bands around ankles and place hands behind back
• Step left leg out at 45-degree angle, putting tension on band
• Bring right leg back toward left foot, but don't plant right foot on ground
• Step right leg out at 45-degree angle
• Continue alternating movement for 20 meters

Sets: 2x20 meters
Coaching Points: Keep hands on hips or behind back// Maintain slight forward lean // Keep tension on band // Keep hips and feet pointed forward at all times

Monster Walk with Band

• Start in below parallel squat position with hips slightly open and relaxed and bands wrapped around ankles
• Maintaining squat position, walk 20 meters while keeping tension on band

Sets: 2x20 meters
Coaching Points: Maintain squat position // Keep chest up and back flat // Keep knees and toes pointed forward

Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock