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Ice hockey is truly a full-body sport, so the entire body should be trained to prepare for the stress of hockey. However, it is wise to strengthen the core first and foremost as this is where movement starts. It is also important to have a strong core because it provides stability, deceleration of force, and force production during the hockey game. Once your core is strong, focus on the inner thighs, thighs (quadriceps), hamstrings, and hip flexors since these muscle need to be strong and powerful to allow for acceleration in skating, stopping, and change of direction. To train the core, use two-leg floor bridge and prone-iso abs. To perform the two-leg bridge, lie on your back with the knees bent and feet flat on the ground about hip width apart. Start the movement by pushing through the heels and driving the hips up in the air; hold at the top position and then slowly return to the ground. To perform the prone-iso abs, lie on your stomach with the elbows under the shoulders and the forearms on the ground. Lift your body up until you are in a flat back position, hold and then return to the ground. Perform 1-2 sets of 15 repetitions of each exercise, holding at the top position for 2 seconds and using a slow tempo. Good exercise choices to work the legs include squats, leg curls, and side lunges.
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