The Activcore Blog

Activcore Helps Professional Hockey Players Develop a Smarter, Balanced Body

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Three times a year, I now have the exciting opportunity to teach Redcord suspension and the power of neuromuscular activation to the Washington Capitals Hockey Team. The Capitals first installed Redcord into their athletic training room in 2011, and now they utilize the equipment and 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 – into his training programs.

Nemish explains that the Redcord system is also utilized as an assessment tool. They take the players through a series of kinetic-chain tests on the Redcord in order to grade their movement patterns, core control and myofascial strength. These grading scores help the Trainers determine underlying muscle deficiencies and compensations in a player, especially if he is overcoming an injury; and they can 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 the Redcords allows me flexibility, and it is overall a great complement to what we do with our players.”

Dr. Nick Passe is a physical therapist and Redcord Instructor at Activcore in Princeton, New Jersey who specializes in the treatment of athletes of all ages. He has specialized trained in the SFMA, Redcord, manual therapy and TPI golf assessment and treatment. Dr. Nick Passe can be reached at

Topics: SFMA, Movement Assessment, Performance training