Applications: Ice Hockey

In professional ice hockey, flywheel training is used by strength & conditioning coaches and players of many elite teams in their regular training protocols.

Ice HockeyIce Hockey is where the Exxentric journey started. The idea was to develop an efficient multi-exercise tool to use for both developing younger players and for professional players during pre-season, competition and rehab. Today, many versions later, the kBox4 targets many important aspects of the hockey player’s strength and conditioning needs.

Benefits

The kBox allows younger players to develop strength even at an early training age, even when their limited skills with technical strength training (such as olympic lifts) are holding their physical development back. By incorporating both heavy and explosive squats, lateral squats and splits squats beside the technical training with the bar, can also help build strength from day one.

In a team setting, you often have limited space and a high risk of collision when working with barbells. You also spend a lot of time forming groups to work together depending on length and strength. All those aspects become obsolete with the kBox training. Setting ROM in a second and with variable resistance, you work through the team with a few kBoxes in no time.

For coaches working with professional athletes focusing on performance, the eccentric overload and variable resistance give faster gains in strength and mass, and can give players that upper hand in the pre-season training. Two major factors that greatly affect skating performance are stride rate and stride length. Stride length is achieved with greater levels of leg power, allowing one to forcefully extend in a stride, whereas stride rate is indicated by leg recovery speed.

Traditional strength training with free weights or weight stack means muscle work against a constant external load. The load in the concentric phase of the movement with traditional strength training needs to be adapted to the angle of the range of motion where the external lever is at the longest. As the length of the external lever varies with the joint angle and the muscle´s ability to develop force is affected by muscle length, the internal lever causes an incomplete activation of muscle motor unites throughout the range of motion.

With the variable resistance, it enables maximum load throughout the full range of motion in the concentric phase of the movement at each repetition in a set regardless of internal and external lever and provides a higher activation of motor unites. Also, the possibility to add load and move in all three dimensions mimics the skating stride for a more specific training stimulus which will most likely help to increase the transfer of power and strength to performance on the ice hockey rink.

After a few years, the number of limitations increase with injuries and sore backs, and during season injuries to arms and hands limit many players for shorter or longer periods. With the kBox, you can put the load on your hips or let the harness unload you from the point pressure from the top down allowing the athlete to work harder and do basic heavy lifts like squat variations or lateral squats even with a cast on.

Use the kMeter to limit the intensity, motivate for higher intensity or follow up in testing for evaluation. With the kBox, you get most of the hockey players’ needs fulfilled regardless if your goal is to increase general or specific strength.

References

kBox users in ice hockey already include coaches and players in the National Hockey League in the US as well as players in countries such as Canada, Germany, Sweden and Switzerland.

NHL players regularly using the kBox include team members of the Arizona Coyotes, the Columbus Blue Jackets, the Florida Panthers, the Pittsburgh Penguins, the San Jose Sharks, the Toronto Maple Leafs, the New Jersey Devils, the Edmonton Oilers, the Chicago Blackhawks, the St Loius Blues and the Vancouver Canucks.

 

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