If you have played hockey at any level you’ll understand the importance of stamina. The sport relies on intermittent high-intensity sprints that can be taxing on your body, particularly if you are not acclimated, so vitality is important.
Regular training is necessary if you are looking to play any sort of competitive game. With a variety of sudden movements that include twists and turns, it’s unsurprising that hockey athletes are prone to injuries. Therefore it’s important that you warm up effectively, practice proper technique, and develop stamina to prevent the likelihood of injury occurring as a by-product of fatigue.
Importance of Breathing and Posture in Hockey
The function of proper posture and breathing goes far beyond the scope of just hockey. It’s important for everything from digestion to communication and even confidence. By strengthening your core and learning to breathe more effectively you can live more fully.
Proper spine posture and function is vital to performance in hockey and health in daily life. The thoracic spine for example, which covers your middle and upper back, is stiff in most hockey players because of both their position on the ice and general habits, such as sitting for extending periods of time.
Because hockey demands trunk rotation when shooting and skating, it is important that you are able to support these movements through spinal strength and inhaling through the diaphragm. Likewise, this will prevent unnecessary strain on your lumbar spine or lower back.
How can the PowerLung help?
A study at Columbus State University looked at the impact of respiratory muscle training (RMT) – with the PowerLung, on intermittent sprint athletes, in this case soccer players. Hockey likewise is considered an intermittent sprint exercise, meaning it requires frequent short high bursts of energy followed by periods of rest. The results of this study and the implications for RMT and PowerLung use among athletes are very positive.
The study took 27 athletes (20=male,7=female) over a five week training period and looked at their respiratory muscle strength (Plmax), performance (measured by a recovery test), dyspnoea (breathlessness), and respiratory muscle fatigue (RMF).
Those who receive RMT with the PowerLung showed significant improvements in their performance and their Plmax. This means that not only did they show notable developments in their ability to recover from intermittent sprint training but they showed gains in their respiratory muscle strength.
For hockey players this means that with this type of training they will be able to get more oxygen in their bodies for quick movements and explosive accelerations. They’ll also be able to last longer at their maximum speed.
Another huge benefit of better breathing and proper oxygenation is your mental acuity. Fatigue is largely an emotional response, and as other players tire and begin to make poor decisions, your improved ability to circulate oxygen will mean you stay both mentally and physically sharp throughout the game.
Ultimately, PowerLung can help with your performance in hockey on multiple levels. By improving your breathing it is targeting what is essentially the most fundamental aspect of your game. The result is that your posture improves, your functional movements are more effective, you improve your overall thresholds and performance, and you are both more mentally and physically resilient.
Contact us today if you’d like to know more about how PowerLung can help you improve your lung stamina and take your hockey performance to the next level.