The Activcore Blog

How Do We Help Professional Hockey Players Develop a Smarter, Balanced Body?

Posted by Dr. Nick Passe, Physical Therapist at Activcore on August 6, 2019 at 3:38 PM

Hockey player

Three times a year, I have the exciting opportunity to teach about the power of neuromuscular activation to the Washington Capitals NHL Hockey Team.

The Capitals first installed Redcord suspension systems into their athletic training facilities in 2011; and since then, they have been utilizing the equipment and my training methods as part of their workout routine for NHL and farm team players.

Mark Nemish, strength and conditioning coach of the Washington Capitals, reports using Redcord extensively with his athletes. Nemish incorporates what he calls “The Big 5” Redcord exercises:  supine bridge, supine pelvic lift, side-lying hip abduction, side-lying hip adduction, and prone plank.

I also teach them how to use Redcord as an assessment tool. We take each player through a series of kinetic chain tests to grade the movement patterns, core control and myofascial strength. These grading scores help us determine underlying muscle deficiencies and compensations in a player, especially when someone is overcoming an injury. We can then develop a tailored workout program that addresses these findings.

Nemish reports, “The two most common weaknesses we have seen with our players after doing the kinetic chain testing are supine pelvic lift and side-lying hip adduction, on either side. I believe this is due to the high incidence of groin injuries and sports hernias in ice hockey players.”

The Washington Capitals athletic trainers have even incorporated Redcord screenings into their pre-season training program. Nemish explains, “We can see if players who were injured last year have been doing enough rehab or strength training over the summer, and see if they are fully recovered to begin the season.” He made note of a player who was transferred from another team this year who had groin issues in the past. This player is now working on the Redcord; and, for the first time, according to Nemish, “his muscles feel more equally balanced.”

Nemish also reports, “I like to use the Redcord AXIS to add rotational movements, variety to the programs, and additional high level challenges. Training with Redcord allows me flexibility, and it is overall a great complement to what we do with our players.”


Disclaimer:  The views expressed in this article are based on the opinion of the author, unless otherwise noted, and should not be taken as personal medical advice. The information provided is intended to help readers make their own informed health and wellness decisions.

Learn more about how a physical therapist and performance specialist can help you by clicking here to find an Activcore location near you.

Also check out our Telehealth offerings to get help from the comfort of your home.



Nick Passe. Bio

Nick Passe is a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) who specializes in contact sports like football, basketball, lacrosse and ice hockey. He works at Activcore in Princeton, New Jersey, located just 2 miles from Princeton University.

As a former football player and college cheerleader, Nick knows what it takes to succeed in competitive sports and to overcome injuries. He holds a Bachelors degree in Psychology and Natural Sciences from Pittsburgh University, as well as a Doctorate degree in Physical Therapy from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (now part of Rutgers University), ranked among the top 50 PT schools in the country. He also has advanced post-graduate training in movement assessment and treatment of athletes, including concussion management and prevention.

Nick goes beyond the symptoms and looks at the whole body to help his athletes recover from pain and injury, and safely return to a fulfilling life of sport, activity and wellness. He is among just a handful of physical therapists nationwide to have earned the prestigious designation as a Certified Neurac Provider (CNP), making him exceptionally equipped to evaluate and treat each athlete from head to toe.

Applying the principles of Neurac (Neuromuscular Activation), Nick utilizes the Redcord suspension system to optimize how the mind and muscles work together as one. This is an evidence-based method that a few high-level sports teams are using to keep their athletes healthy and free from pain and injury. In fact, Nick has the pleasure every few months to teach these principles to both the Washington Capitals NHL team and the Washington Nationals MLB team. [READ MORE]



Related Topics: Move Better, Redcord, Performance, Strength, Crossfit / Fitness, Athlete, Balance, Stability, Sports Injuries