Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Training Tips & Protective Equipment for Hockey Players

The sport of hockey is vastly popular and played around the world with widespread participation in North America, Scandinavia, Eastern Europe and Russia. Male and female players of all ages and skill levels enjoy the competitive nature of the sport that requires equal parts power and finesse to truly excel. The modern team sport’s origins can be traced back to the 1800’s in Canada where British soldiers passed time playing the game on skates on frozen lakes and ponds. Over the next 200 years the game has evolved to a place where indoor ice rinks and roller hockey rinks are common in cities across the United States.

Organized hockey leagues require a large amount of equipment to protect participants from the frozen rubber puck and other players while playing the game. Basic equipment needed includes a helmet, shoulder pads, neck guard, hockey gloves, padded hockey pants, skates and of course a stick. It is recommended that players invest in hockey specific equipment from a well-known hockey manufacturer due to the risk of injury players expose themselves to every time they step on the ice. While MMAR Medical recognizes the need for specific hockey gear, we also suggest you explore popular hockey rehabilitation equipment to help players recover and perform their best.

Protective padding
 Hockey players travelling at high speeds on wheels or a blade are susceptible to collisions and wipeouts. To cushion the fall and decrease the impact on a player’s knees we suggest investing in Mueller Knee pads. The extra strength knee pads slide up the player’s legs and an elastic material provides a comfortable and snug fit. The lightweight, non-bulky padding allows the player to move freely and not be encumbered by larger pads. These hockey knee pads are recommended for street or roller hockey players looking for more knee protection. Many ice hockey leagues require USA Hockey approved full leg protection available at hockey specific retailers.

Skate Insoles
The importance of leg strength to the sport of hockey cannot be overstated. Forwards, defenders and even goalies rely on their leg’s conditioning and power to skate faster and longer than opponents during training and in competition. For players to maximize their play their feet must be comfortable. Much of that has to do with properly fitted and broken in skates. If your skates are not as comfortable as you’d like consider Prothotic Performance Sport Insoles to cushion the often hard skate soles. Choose from a range of men’s and women’s insole sizes to provide exceptional arch and metatarsal rise support and guard against harmful over-pronation. An advanced polyurethane base layer cushions the entire foot and will never flatten or lose comfort over time. The anti-friction fabric will keep the hockey skate insole in one place and even wicks moisture away from the foot, reducing heat and the risk of uncomfortable blisters.

 Hockey Joint Braces 
There is no replacement for a strong and healthy joint but bracing an injured or recovering joint can give you confidence to play the sport you love at a high level. If you suffer joint weakness or pain we recommend adding a hockey knee, wrist or ankle brace to your equipment list. MMAR Medical stocks a wide selection of low profile braces designed to fit underneath your equipment. Most hockey skates provide excellent ankle support when laced properly however if you still require extra ankle support, browse our hockey ankle braces that will give additional muscle and joint stabilization.

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