Home tools and techniques 2

Injury Prevention for Ice Hockey Part III

Injury Prevention for Ice Hockey Part III: Home Tools and Techniques


How to Improve the Cylinder?

Though there are many factors to look at, the most dramatic difference is to ensure your cylinder is “stacked.” Parallel position of the ribcage (respiratory diaphragm) and the pelvis (pelvic floor) allow maximum support, stability and “teamwork” in the tissues surrounding the cylinder. For more info on this, check out Part II of this blog and our Facebook Live post from 12/22/17. All of the tips, exercises and tools in this section assume that you use proper positioning before, during, and after a collision – otherwise they will not be nearly as beneficial!

Check Yourself/Activities

  1. Take photos or better yet – video of yourself during activity.
    1. If you play Hockey, try to include all of your “usual duties” i.e. skating, making a shot, passing the puck, taking a hit, etc. If you do not play hockey, include activities from your sport or daily life.
    2. Evaluate photos and videos or positioning errors (see parts I and II). If you consistently see alteration in rib cage and pelvic alignment then you need to consider the following:
      1. Do I need to re-train new movement strategies for specific task(s)?
      2. Am I compensating for a problem with mechanics somewhere else? Most common compensations are included in this blog, but are far from comprehensive. If you think this is likely, please seek professional evaluation/help to identify the true underlying cause.
  2. Recruit a buddy to watch your patterns.
    1. Even with great body awareness, you will have difficulty feeling an alteration until new patterns start forming.
    2. Share this information with a coach, friend, teammate, or loved one. Ask them to provide constructive criticism (keyword constructive!) if they notice you are out of proper position.

Corrective Exercises

Please recognize that improper positioning can have thousands of causes or tiny details which are being far oversimplified in this post. I am sharing the most common corrective strategies I might assign based on common compensations/underlying problems.


  • If these challenge you and make a measurable difference after performing them – great! They probably work for you.
  • If these do not challenge you or create a notable change after performing them – please seek professional evaluation and treatment to help you correct the problem.
  • These exercises should NEVER cause pain. STOP IMMEDIATELY if they cause pain. Check your set-up for correct positioning and details. If they still cause pain, discontinue and seek medical advice.

Each exercise below can be accessed here: millerswc.com/videos. Each exercise can be accessed via video number. While all of the exercises on our video page are valuable, they are each a tool used for a specific purpose. Please do not self-assign exercises which may not be appropriate for you.

The exercises include:

    1. Controlling the trunk in all 3 planes of movement.
      1. Forward/back control (Sagittal Plane): Wall Press Abs.
        1. Video 1038 then 1068 (progression).
        2. Further progressions can increase difficulty but when performed correctly, these steps should be very challenging in and of themselves.
      2. Side control (Frontal Plane): Side Plank
        1. Video 1087
        2. You can progress this to your feet when ready.
      3. Rotational Control (Transverse Plane): Plank Roll
        1. Video 1001
    2. Improving Hip mobility
      1. Front of the hip: Hip Flexor Mobilization
        1. Video 1039
      2. Back of the hip: Hip Capsule Mobilization
        1. Video 1045
    3. Improving thoracic (mid back) mobility.
      1. Thoracic Rotations: Video 1059

Please join us next month for a fourth and final edition of this blog series. We will be looking at several case studies and photos to evaluate possible risk of injury, similar to the “Check Yourself Activity” in this section.

Miller Sports & Wellness Chiropractic
About the Author
Miller Sports and Wellness (MSWC) is a team of movement specialists trained to help patients understand their unique movement and lifestyle habits to optimize their body's performance. MSWC is headed by Dr. Therese Miller, a Chiropractor with training in Active Release Technique® (ART®), a Certified Corrective Exercise Specialist and overall fitness fanatic. Dr Miller loves to help patients create balance in their bodies by uncovering movement inefficiencies to get to the root cause of their pain and movement dysfunction.

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