Catch the Spirit- How to Exercise Like a Blackhawk

There is one thing that Chicagoans cannot escape today- the anticipation and excitement for game six of the Stanley Cup finals because of the potential that our very own Blackhawks could bring the Cup home TONIGHT. I have to admit, I am a bandwagon-jumper. I’ve always been an avid baseball and football fan, but like many Chicagoans, the Blackhawks are something new to me. Of course, I always known what hockey was, but I never truly understood the intensity of the game. The strength, speed, and agility of a hockey player are arguably the most fine-tuned compared to any other professional athlete.  For three periods lasting 20 minutes each, these players are on their game, sprinting, on ICE, barreling their bodies into each other while being shoved with full force into the walls, while thousands of fans cheer on. So how do these professional hockey players stay in this incredible shape? Listed below are some of their workouts (the easier ones of course), so that you can turn that Blackhawk spirit into a workout!

  • In the regular season, the quick off-the-ice circuit workouts can be as follows:
    • Burpees 10 repetitions
    • Crunches: 10 repetitions
    • Step ups: 10 repetitions, each leg
    • Plank: 1 minute
    • Push ups: 10 repetitions
    • Rest for one minute after a round, and repeat another 3 or 4 times.
    • In the off-season, most hockey players try to get outside after being inside on the ice. Perfect for Chicagoans in the summer!
      • Biking, Cycling, Jogging, hiking and swimming
      • This is constant for 30-90 minutes a day, three times a week
      • Each time you go out, try to increase the length and intensity
      • On and off the ice, short spurts of sprinting can have many health benefitsIf your workout consists of long, slow jogs, adding sprints in and changing into interval training (lengths of running intermixed with sprinting) can help if you’ve reached a plateau of leanness. Sprinting requires maximal recruitment of muscles, which basically means you are using many muscles for a short time.
        • This can strengthen the cardiovascular system. Fast sprints make your heart work hard for a short period of time.
        • Remember that most people are not born with speed; it needs to be developed, so increase your speed slowly.
        • Many hockey players take yoga to increase flexibility, build core and increase blood supply to reduce the likelihood of injury
          • George Laraque of the Montreal Canadians is a strong believer in yoga, “Most guys that fight use the weights, weights, and weights, and they’re so big in their bodies that the muscle doesn’t matter, yoga helps your core strength and that is way better than weights. I’m not the strongest guy weight-wise with enforcers in the NHL, but I’m strong, but not because I bench press six plates. If you do yoga, you don’t need to do weights that much because it’s like a weight exercise, but instead of using weights, you’re using your body.”
          • Increase your intake of vitamin D
            • The Blackhawks began being treated for vitamin D deficiency around 18 months ago.
              • According to a study published in February 2009 by the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, “adolescents with higher levels of vitamin D can jump higher, quicker, and with greater power than those with lower vitamin D levels”.
              • Vitamin D is supposed to lead to improved athletic performance, while reducing the severity and amount of not only flu and cold viruses but also the number and gravity of repetitive use injuries.

SOURCES:

Hockeyplayertips.com, sunlightment.com, livestrong.com

We would like to introduce our summer intern, Madeline. Born and raised in Chicago, she is an avid Chicago sports fan and is a seasoned lacrosse player. She loves to run and eat healthy, but has a sweet tooth and her lazy days. She is a communications major at Elon University in North Carolina and an experienced writer. She wrote the past couple of blogs including “Take Me Out to The Ball Game” and “The Detox”, and she will continue writing blogs for us throughout the summer. Questions for our intern? Email her at healthyinchicago@gmail.com

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