Being able to train on an ice hockey balance board is an extraordinary bonus to a daily hockey practice routine. One of the best things that hockey players can do for their bodies is to build and strengthen their core muscles. Between the tasks of skating, stickhandling, and shooting points there is a lot of strength that is necessary to stay in the game. One of the best ways to build that kind of strength is to maximize core building by balancing on a hockey balance board.
First Things First – Safety
Although it might not seem like such a dangerous feat, balancing on a board can be dangerous if you are not prepared for it. Before you start getting fancy on your balance board, make sure that you are in an area that is free of objects that could cause you to fracture your skull. Couches, tables, walls, beds, and even other exercise equipment could turn deadly if you were to fall full-force on any of them with an unprotected head. In fact, it might be a good idea to wear a safety helmet until you are familiar with your board. I know. Don’t laugh. It sounds silly, but seriously you have to be prepared.
Get Your Balance
Remember to stay safe. Once you have this mindset, you can begin your training. The first thing you want to do is to place your roller on the floor and put your balance board crossways over the top of it. Your balance board should resemble a teeter-totter over the roller. Choose the side, right or left, that will most suit your preferences. Be sure that the side that you chose is the side that is on the ground.
Place one foot on the edge of the board that is on the ground. From there, balance yourself on that foot and place the other foot upwards on the other end of the board.
When you are ready push down on the upward side of the board and shift your body so that your balance will allow you to put the board level across the roller and you are standing as straight as you can.
It may take a moment or two to get used to it. One foot may push the other off-balance, one side of the board may go up, you might fall off, you might slip one way or the other. However, most likely you will be able to balance yourself kind of like being on a skateboard.
Test Your Limits
Once you get to the point where you can successfully balance yourself on that board without any problems at all, you will most likely be ready for the next level of training. Start out slow, don’t get too crazy with stuff until you are really ready. One of the best ways to get a better feel of balance is to do a squat while you are balanced.
From the standing position where you are balanced correctly on the board, keep your feet shoulder-width and ease down into a properly formed squat where your thighs go straight out from your body and your knees are bent.
It may be a bit challenging to do this at first, and you may even shake a little bit while your muscles quake from the newfound movement. However, this is how you build your core and blast your leg strength.
Just keep practicing on your board every day for at least 15 minutes and you will notice the strength that comes from it. Your core is what keeps you on your feet, so build it and keep it strong.
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