And now, a guest post by OS Coach, William Sturgeon….
Contact sports can lead to high rates of injuries for athletes, if you are a strength coach or work with athletes, you understand that your job as a coach is to keep them safe and enhance their performance. Injury prevention is your number one goal as a coach both with athletes and general population. Working in a rehab setting this past year I was able to implement a lot of RESETS with the patients I worked with, they did a variety of rocking, crawling, rolling, breathing, and head control to help rehabilitate their bodies from current or past injuries. I left the rehab setting I had been working at to open my own training facility Restored Strength, since being opened I have started working with a variety of people, including hockey athletes.
Understanding the importance of Pressing RESET and how it benefited the patients I worked with, I knew that my hockey players would greatly benefit from it as well. Hockey is a high impact sport, with a lot of checking and falling on hard ice, which can raise some red flags. These red flags are indicators for common injuries in this sport, which are concussions, and injuries to the shoulders and knees. Knowing that these are common injuries, as a coach you will need to know how to program correctly to prevent these injuries from happening, and this is where Pressing RESET comes into play.
There are plenty of great RESETS you can use when programming for athletes, the ones that I have found most useful for my hockey athletes are segmental rolling both upper and lower body, the neck roll, crawling, and rocking. These RESETS have been a staple in their programming for both resilient strength and injury prevention. The amount of variations we can use for our RESETS are endless, I would like to explain why I have found these four so beneficial.
Segmental rolling is important being that shoulders and knees are a crucial area that are prone to being injured, when a hockey player goes to check someone they use the force of their hips to strike their opponent with their shoulder. Being that the hip and knee are providing the force and the shoulder is delivering the strike, it’s key to have these joints functioning properly in their full ranges of motion and they need to be strengthened properly. Segmental rolling will help with maintaining healthy tissue around these joints.
Concussions happen because of trauma to the head. As we know in OS, head control is mastering strength and mobility throughout life, so having a weak neck can be very dangerous for lack of head control. When we look at the neck we need to have strong foundation for our head. If we are lack certain ranges of motions or are not training the neck properly, our chances of a concussion increases. Hockey athletes are always at risk for this injury, so being able to mitigate its risk with neck rolling will help with preventing this type of injury. Not only can this prevent injury, but it will show better motor control in your athletes.
Crawling has shown my athletes what pure strength is. They have been able to recognize what control and stability can do for their bodies. Not only does crawling allow for them to build motor control, but it has allowed for them to move more gracefully on the ice. Having to slow down their pace on their crawls, rather than rush and power through it, has allowed them to have better head control on the ice. Rather than keep their heads down as most youths do from staring at their phones, they keep their heads up to watch what is coming their way and this has made them more aware of their surroundings. Another benefit from crawling, as many of you know, is the strength you are able to build from the trunk, shoulders, and quadriceps – all of which have a large roll in hockey.
The last reset I want to talk about is rocking. Most hockey players will be tight through their hips. This comes from being in their skating position. Mobility builds strength. So why not open these poor guys up? Hockey players are in a constant state of hip flexion (being a student doesn’t help that either) so allowing these athletes to get the hips to open up for better force production is going to enhance their performance. When we look at force, a majority of it will be coming from the hips, and if our hips aren’t as resilient as we want them to be, then we are limiting our full potential. Rocking also reinforces head control (you see the reoccurring movements that are important) and allows the athlete to open the ankle joint up as well.
Hopefully this can give you a better look at how you can start Pressing RESET in different ways. OS is a staple in my programming from warm ups, to strength training, to cool downs. The practical application of these movements are endless. These movements are not just made specifically for general populations or for those recovering from injuries. These resets can also be applied towards athletes and everyone else. Take the time to RESET your programming for your athletes and help them prevent potential injuries.
William Sturgeon is a level 2 RKC- certified kettlebell instructor (RKC II), a MovNat level 3- certified instructor (MCT III), and an Original Strength Coach. He has spent the last few years of his life pursuing education revolving around movement and strength. He has spent a year in rehab setting learning help others recover from their injuries. He is currently based out of Marshall, Minnesota where he spends most of his time working with clients at his facility Restored Strength. Find him online at www.restoredstrength.com and on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/restoredstrength