Keeping Hockey Shoulders Healthy

The other day I did a Q&A on Instagram and received a great question — How do you keep shoulders healthy in hockey players?

Since the shoulder is statistically the most injured area of the body in the sport of 🏒, keeping shoulders healthy is a huge concern.

Here are 5 Quick Thoughts

1. More Pulling than Pushing — over the course of the training week we try to perform more pulling movements then pushing movements in our upper body training. We row and chin up a lot.

2. Pick Shoulder Friendly Presses — most of our upper body pressing is what most would consider “shoulder friendly” focusing on Landmine Presses, Floor Presses with the neutral grip bar, and dumbbell variations.

3. Ditch the Straight Bar — whether its single leg or bilateral, we never put a straight bar on someone’s back. Most hockey players don’t have enough external rotation of the shoulder to put the bar in that position. Forcing the shoulders to get into that position is just adding more wear and tear that can be avoided by simply avoiding that position. Instead of back squat we trap bar deadlift. Instead of any split squats with the bar on the back, we perform single leg work with dumbbells.

4. If Something Hurts, Don’t Do It.

5. Add in Shoulder Friendly Power Development — in the last couple years we’ve eliminated snatching and doubled down on jump squats and Landmine split jerks (along with hang cleaning) for our power work. Very few shoulders are mobile enough to get into position to snatch properly (especially with a bar), but most all shoulders can jump squat and Landmine split jerk.

If you want to find out more about how I train hockey players, check out both my Ultimate Off-Season Training Guide for Hockey and my Ultimate In-Season Training Guide for Hockey.

Both are phenomenal resources for hockey players!

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