A split lip from a stick to the face. A sick stomach from a slap shot in the groin. Or a concussion from being checked head first into the boards. These are the hockey injuries people usually think of—not separated shoulders. But according to Kris Lewandoski, director of performance at The Sports Performance Institute [Medina, Ohio], “There are a lot of shoulder injuries in hockey, because the athletes do a lot of falling on the ice and getting hit into the boards with their arms extended. Those types of movements can lead to subluxations and shoulder separations.”
To prevent shoulder injuries from affecting his athletes, Lewandoski works the stability and strength of their shoulder complex. One way he accomplishes this is through super-setting a pressing exercise with a rowing exercise—both of which incorporate stabilization.
Start with one set of a pressing exercise followed immediately by one set of a row, then repeat from the beginning. This method reduces downtime, making your workout more efficient. Perform 2-3 sets of 10-15 reps for each Lewandoski recommended exercise below.
Physioball Push-up with Catch
• Place hands on physioball in push-up position
• Lower chest to ball and explode up so hands come off ball
• Catch and stabilize yourself on ball with arms extended
Coaching Point: Catching yourself forces you to stabilize right away and teaches your muscles to fire properly. Injury can result if your muscles misfire when you land funny on the ice.
Bosu Shoulder Punch
• Place hands on round side of BOSU ball in push-up position
• Keep elbows locked and both hands in contact with ball at all times
• Push hands into ball, one at a time
Coaching Point: If you do this drill right, you’ll feel it in your shoulders more than anywhere else.
• Holding dumbbell in each hand, get into push-up position
• Keeping elbow tight to side, pull one dumbbell toward chest
• Return to starting position, then repeat with opposite arm
Coaching Point: This exercise really ties in the core, making it a much more functional movement.
Single-Leg One-Arm Row
• Stand on left leg holding dumbbell in right hand
• Bend forward with slight flex in left knee
• Lower chest until back is parallel to ground
• Let right arm hang straight down toward ground
• Pull dumbbell toward chest, keeping elbow tight to side
• Repeat with opposite arm and leg
Coaching Point: Because you’re holding the dumbbell in the hand opposite the leg you’re standing on, your hip does a lot of work to help you stabilize and hold the position—so don’t use a real heavy weight.