The Activcore Blog

Activcore Helps 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


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.”

Nick Passe is a Doctor of Physical Therapy and Redcord Instructor at Activcore in Princeton, New Jersey. He specializes in contact sports like hockey and football with a special interest in concussions. Nick has extensive training in Redcord, the SFMA, manual therapy, concussion management and prevention, and TPI golf assessment and treatment for professional, amateur and junior players.

Topics: SFMA, Movement Assessment, Performance training