Skating is a very unique activity that our bodies weren’t necessarily designed for. With most activities front to back hip movement is results in forward acceleration. However, the skating stride requires repetitive lateral movements of the hip. To create a powerful lateral push, our bodies must maintain flexed hips (bent over) while we are on the ice. The most common dysfunction created by this novel use of our hips is tightness in the hip flexors. As these and other muscles lose flexibility, we begin to see joint dysfunction along the chain of movement. Maintaining hip joint mobility requires targeted mobility exercise on a regular basis to maintain both our range of motion and strength. All the NHL and professional teams have shifted their training methods with the biggest focus of their off-ice training targeting hip mobility. Once hip range of motion is lost, you’re asking the low back and knees to compensate leading to joint breakdown and pain. If you want to keep your joint pain in check while continuing to play hockey, a hip mobility routine needs to be added to your exercise regimen.

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