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Body composition matters in ice hockey.  Here’s why!  One of the most important physical abilities needed to be an effective player is acceleration or the ability to win 10-15’ puck races. Excess body mass negatively affects acceleration.  To see why, a basic understanding of physics is needed.  Newton’s second law states that force is equal to the product of mass and acceleration (F=ma).  A simple manipulation of this formula allows us to solve for acceleration leading us to the conclusion that acceleration is equal to force/ body mass.  Larger body mass leads to a decrease in acceleration.  It’s important for players to focus on foods that promote the growth and maintenance of lean mass throughout the course of the off-season.  Poor body composition leads to decrease efficiency on the ice.

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When it comes to programming for ice hockey we must ask ourselves…what qualities matter most in sport competition?  In other words, what qualities can we train off the ice, that make the most tangible differences on the ice?  What abilities make great players great?   In order to answer these questions, a good place to start is to look at some of the existing literature and attempt to see what correlates best with on-ice performance. 

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Welcome back!  Last month we spoke in depth about how movement efficiency off the ice can tangibly aid in on-ice skating performance.  We used basic physics to determine that if we increase impulse (the product of net force and the time the force is applied) we can improve our stride efficiency while using less energy to accomplish a given task.  Let’s stay with basic physics as this helps elucidate just why strength training is important for the aspiring hockey player.  First, we must proceed with an elementary understanding of force.

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