Hockey players hear all the time how important their ”core” is. Core strength is critical because the core is the center of the body where all movement is modulated. Anatomically, the core consists of the muscles of the hips, abdomen, and lower back. One of the reasons why the core is so important is because the structural integrity of the body depends on it during movement. Without a fully functional core, efficient movement is not possible. A strong core not only helps connect the upper and lower extremities, but acts to accelerate, decelerate, and dynamically stabilize the body During the season, you are automatically building your leg strength with all the skating you do. You must then continue to train your core during the season so you don’t have a muscle imbalance. In hockey, you must utilize your core muscles when you are skating, checking, shooting, passing, and stick handling. Many players lose power in their shots because of poor core strength. Many players have an inefficient stride because their core is not strong enough for a ninety degree knee bend for a long and efficient stride. When checking, players with weak cores end up with shoulder injuries as they try to initiate their body checks with their shoulders instead of their core muscles. Even in stick handling, your core muscles are vital for lateral movement and puck protection. Work your core all year long and you will see the results on the ice.