One of the most common muscular deficiencies found in ice hockey players is a lack of strength and/or lack of activation of the deep hip flexors (psoas). The psoas, a hip flexor that is active when the hip is flexed greater than 90 degrees, is generally weak. Players will typically an incredibly hard time isolating their hip flexors in that above 90 degrees without compensation. My current favorite way to improve this is through 1/2 kneeling Hip Flexor Holds.
- The Front hip start in 90 degrees, meaning all movement of the hip has to be above 90 degrees.
- 1/2 Kneeling is a more difficult position to create some type of compensation. In many other hip flexor activation exercises, compensation though lumbar flexion is commonly seen. In my experience, this helps to eliminate some of that lumbar flexion compensation.
We’ll simply perform 5, 5 second holds on each side, or take it to the next level and add diaphragmatic breathing to the movement, with a 5 second exhale at the top of the movement.
You can see how we implement this exercise along with our entire off-season training program HERE