Stretches for Hockey and Ringette

A proper warm-up is one of the most important components of a safe, healthy hockey career.

A Good Warm-up:
• permits peak performance for the game or practice
• helps prevent injuries
• should take 10-15 minutes
• should include the 2 vital components listed below

1. General Body Warm-up
Your body is like a car, it works best when it is warm, then the blood is easily pumped through the heart, lungs, and muscle.
The best way to warm up is to begin leisurely skating around the whole rink (practice) or half the ice surface (game). The skating should be done in both a clockwise and counterclockwise direction. Turning or pivoting in both directions and skating backward should also be included in a good warm-up.

2. Stretching
After the body is warmed up, do stretches 1 through 5 on the following pages while skating or gliding. Then gather around in a circle and do stretches 6 through 11 while sitting on the ice surface. Always do the stretches slowly and hold for the recommended amount of time. Do Not Bounce.
Following the stretch a brisk skate should be done.

Stretches While Standing

1. Groin Stretch
While gliding, with your head and back erect, slide your (L) leg backward pointing your skate away from your body. Bend your (R) knee while your (L) leg stays straight. You should feel a stretch in the groin of the (L) thigh as you glide forward. Hold for 15 seconds. Repeat with the other leg.

2. Arm, Shoulder, and Upper Body Stretch
While skating and holding onto your stick, push arms up and slightly back, palms facing up. You should feel a stretch in the arms, shoulder, and upper back. Hold stretch for 15 seconds.

3. Lateral Trunk Stretch
While skating, coast with your feet apart and hold your stick with both hands. Raise your stick above your head. Gently tilt your trunk to the right. A gentle stretch should be felt on your (L) side. Hold for 10 seconds. Repeat the stretch to the other side.

4. Lower Body, and Hip Stretch
While skating, coast with feet shoulder width apart. Slowly bend forward at the hips. Keep knees slightly bent during the stretch so the low back is not stressed. Let neck and arms relax. Bend to the point where you feel a stretch in the back of the legs. Hold for 15 seconds.

5. Upper Arm
While gliding, hold stick behind your back. Raise the stick up your back with straight arms. Feel the stretch in the front of your upper arm. Hold for 15 seconds. Go slowly and feel the stretch.
Stretches On The Ice
Be sure you have sufficient space to stretch.

6. Quadriceps Stretch
Sit with your (R) leg bent. Bend the (L) leg until the sole of your (L) foot is next to the (R) leg. Now slowly lean back until you feel an easy stretch in the front of the (R) thigh. Use your hands for balance and support. Hold for 15 seconds. Repeat on the other side.

7. Groin, and Low Back Stretch
Lie on front (stomach), spread legs like a frog, and push your chest off the ice with your arms. Hold for 15 seconds. Feel the stretch in the front and inside of thighs.

8. Low Back, Hips, and Hamstrings
Sit with feet a comfortable distance apart. To stretch the inside of your upper legs and hips, slowly lean forward from the hips. Keep your hands in front of you for balance and your back straight. Hold for 15 seconds.

9. Hamstring Stretch
Sit with (L) leg straight and (R) knee bent. Reach forward with both hands to touch the skate of the straight leg. Hold for 15 seconds. Feel the stretch at the back of the (L) thigh. Try not to bend the (L) knee. Alternate legs.

10. Spinal Twist
Good for your upper back, lower back, side of hips and rib cage. Sit with (L) leg straight, bend (R) leg, cross (R) leg over (L) leg. Using (L) elbow push against (R) knee. Rotate your upper body to (R) pushing with the (L) hand and arm. Do the exercise slowly and carefully. Hold for 15 seconds. Repeat on the other side.

11. Neck and Back Stretch
Lie on your back. Slowly raise your legs and feet over your head keeping your arms straight out to your side for support. Roll down slowly. Do not rush this exercise. Important: If you have a neck or back problem do not do this stretch. Hold for 10 seconds.