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2024 BBHS Part 2: More Gain with Less Pain with Simple Posture Adjustments

By Phillip Goodman

April 3, 2024


Reno Ice Raiders’ play-by-play broadcaster and team writer Phillip Goodman takes a deep dive into the Battle Born Hockey School in this five-part series. Part Two is a guide on increasing your mobility.


The physical demands of training for ice hockey should be more rigorous than playing in any game, be it Ice Raiders, pickup, or adult league. So whether you're participating in one or all of Battle Born Hockey School's Adult, Shooters & Scorers, or Power Skating Camps, you can expect to put your body through an intense amount of work in a condensed period of time.


BBHS and Reno's mobility training expert Bobby Baum have teamed up to provide you with a game plan to make sure you're ready before camps begin, to keep you feeling good during the camps, and then maintaining your levels of fitness after the camps.


Baum, who attended Univ. of Nevada, Reno for community health sciences and whose mother's chiropractic practice was attached to his childhood home, has treated NFL players, swimmers, pole vaulters, crossfitters, pickleball and lacrosse players. 



PG: Where does hockey rank to you in the hierarchy of physically demanding sports?


BB: Hockey has to be one of the more extreme things you can do to your body. It's a powerful, dysfunctional display of athleticism. You're sprinting around with knives on your feet. If you do nothing to build your endurance and physical strength before the Adult Camp, you will not maximize your time or value from the camp.


Hockey definitely has to be in its own class because you're using your body totally differently than most other athletes - balance, stability, core stuff - and you have to make super fast adjustments to avoid a traumatic event. You're using a lot of muscles that you don't spend a lot of time with like adductors. You're in a 'ready position' so your center of mass is off and your flexors get lit up. Hockey is pretty gnarly."


PG: What should someone do to get ready for the camp to ensure they're flexible enough for the two or three days of intense physical activity?


BB: Precamp stuff will be more about getting tuned up with where your issues are. Go through simple, light range of motion tests and identify where certain motions might be more difficult and then do some warming-up activities. Like if you feel you can't warm up your hamstrings, focus on the areas where you have a limited range and do foam rolling  or PVC pipe pass throughs [which you can also do with a hockey stick]. You don't want to lose your explosive motions by being tied down from a lack of mobility. 


Becoming a Supple Leopard is one of the best books I feel any athlete should have. You have to slow down and make time for yourself. Even if you exercise one hour a day, that's only four percent of your day. If you mobilize for 15 minutes, that's only one percent of your day. No one is too busy to spend one percent of their time getting cross-fiber friction and building a plan to soften the effects of bad posture or extreme activities.


PG: During the camps, what areas will you focus on for mobility?


BB: Most of the focus will be hip flexors, ankles, and anything that's more explosive and under-attended. Lots of calf work, lots of shoulder work just because everyone is in that folded, internally-rotated position. We want to stretch and mobilize to open up the positions we spend the most time in. We want to stretch for the inverse of how you hold yourself. You can fail from a strong position and be okay but when you fail from a weak position, that's how dysfunctional patterning kicks in. 





PG: And what is dysfunctional patterning?


BB: Let's say I put a rock in your shoe. You're going to change your gait to try not to load on top of that rock. Your entire body is like that. If you have any inflammation or tendinopathy, you're going to try to find the path of least resistance to get the job done and you're going to create a dysfunctional effect. You're going to create more heat than is necessary to do the amount of work. That will create inflammation, pressure, and pain. Friction is cancer for the body.


PG: All the more reason you need to make sure your skates are properly fitted for size and molded properly to your feet for the maximum distribution of energy.


BB: 100%. You can tune yourself for the areas that are most affected and damaged so you can continue to do the activities you want to keep doing.


PG: So now that I've just spent two or three days of intense physical activity and suddenly I'm too tired to move. What am I supposed to do for my mobility?


BB: You wouldn't build your house on a 130-degree angle. You need a solid, level foundation. Same thing with your body. So when you tuck your tailbone in and slouch in your chair, your skeletal system isn't acting like a support function anymore. When you go to stand up and the muscles turn on all at the same time, it's super painful and jarring. You want to keep yourself stacked evenly, especially when you're just sitting on the couch watching hockey.


Let's say you sleep on your side with a bad posture. You are already starting your day with a huge deficit and that's one-third of your life. As soon as you take symmetry away from the body, you're overloading one side. You want to load things evenly, you want to adjust evenly, and take advantage of that smooth, even separation and recruitment of work. That's when you're going to be the best version of yourself. If you sleep eight hours a night in bad posture, then sit at a desk not moving for another eight hours, that's 70 percent of your day you're not engaged at all. Then try to bust your butt for a 90-minute hockey game? You're not gonna feel good. 





PG: Sounds like one of the biggest keys to being an effective hockey player starts with your mattress?


BB: Absolutely! If you have a really soft mattress, that is crippling. You want to make sure your spine is maintaining a nice healthy S-shape, your kneecaps are above your hips so you take away the weight of your legs from your low back. Even side-sleeping with a body pillow is not effective because the shoulders are what I most worry about. The shoulders are the second weakest joint in the body. Any joint with that much available range of motion means there's less stability in the joint. So if you collapse in, your whole posterior chain is weak or it's not stacking and makes your AC joints super fragile. 


Motion is lotion. Proper rest, posture, and stretching will best prepare you for the BBHS camps. Stay loose, stay mobile. You don't wait to change the oil in your car until your engine explodes. It's way better to have a plan that keeps everything open and lubed up and ready. You want to have a routine that's going to take advantage of the major joints. You want to look at what you do for a living, look at how you sleep, what your sports are, and give yourself the opportunity to have the biggest posture you can so you can evenly transfer that work.



***

If you feel you need guided assistance with your mobility, reach out to Bobby at www.massagebaum.com to schedule a visit at his office in Midtown Reno. Bobby will perform a thorough assessment and if he deems your issues to be outside his scope, i.e. you need a chiropractor to adjust skeletal issues before addressing muscular, he has a vast network of colleagues for a proper referral.

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