If you’ve been following this site for any length of time, you’ve probably noticed a few common themes. The main theme is obviously training tips for hockey players, but there are a few key sub-themes as well. One of the things that I want to hammer home is that hockey players are always in a flexed position at the hips and need to include certain stretching for hockey in their hockey training to help correct tight hips to reduce the chance of injury.
As a result of being in a flexed position for such a long period of time, not to mention all the sitting that people do these days, it shouldn’t come as a shock that your hips are tight. You may even have some back pain because of the fact that your hip flexor muscles are so tight. The one hip flexor muscle that can really get tight and benefit the most from stretching for hockey is called the psoas (with a silent “p”).
The psoas is a major hip flexor muscle that connects from your vertebrae of your lower back to the head of your femur (the big bone in your upper leg). When we’re constantly in a flexed position at the hips our bodies start to believe this is normal, and the muscles want to stay in that spot. When we try to stand up straight or move into different positions our hip flexors will feel tight because this is now the position that our muscles aren’t as used to. So what will happen is our psoas muscle, because it’s tight, will pull on the spine, putting ourselves in an unnatural postural position. To help alleviate this tightness, we need a stretch for the psoas muscle.
How do you stretch the psoas muscle?
First go into the lunge position with the back knee below your hips on the ground. Next you’re going to shift forward trying to push that hip forward so you’ll feel a stretch in the front of your leg.