Thoughts on Lower-Crossed Syndrome in Ice Hockey

Last week I wrote a post that touched on Janda’s Upper-Crossed Syndrome and the effect it can have on the hockey athlete. Dr. Janda’s Lower-Crossed Syndrome is classified by a weak/inhibited glute max and anterior core along with tight/facilitated hip flexors and erector spine resulting in a malpositioned pelvis (anterior tilt). This issues commonly cause a tug-of-war between the tight hip flexors and weak anterior core which can lead to hernia issues or other hip issues that are caused by a malpositioned pelvis (FAI???).

Lower Crossed Syndrome

Moral of the story…just like hockey players tend to have some funky shoulders, they also tend to have some messed up hips! Some of the simple but important things we incorporate to counteract these issues;

  • Releasing the Hip Flexor: various ways to do this – diaphragmatic breathing, stretching the hip flexors, etc.
  • Bridging to facilitate the glute: we bridge all the time via Cook Hip Lifts, Slideboard Leg Curl, 1-Leg Shoulder Elevated Hip Bridges and some others
  • Getting into Hip Extension: in the off-season we will slowly incorporate running, first starting with tempo runs and then more sprinting in order to slowly work the hips into more and more aggressive hip extension
  • Pushing Sleds: not commonly thought of this way, but in my eyes the sled is just big hip extension machine. Because of the lack of eccentric contraction you can use a sled year round without worry of an athlete getting sore.


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