Mind-Body Exercise for Healthy Hockey Hips
From the desk of Kristen M. Reynolds, DPT, CPT...
Tim Thomas’ yoga practitioner determined that his left trapezius muscle was shorter and tighter than his right, which created an imbalance and affected the movement with his catching glove. The highly acclaimed goaltender credits yoga to improving hip mobility and balance to enhance his play on the ice, especially when playing through the 2008-2009 season with a torn labrum well enough to win the Vezina Trophy.
Thomas’ teammate, Mark Recchi, who announced his retirement after Game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals at the age of 43 (elderly in NHL years), also found the integrative approach essential to his success. He reported that yoga and Pilates “is one of the best things I ever decided to do when faced with the realization of retirement and wanting to “go out” on top...my posture has improved, core strength fortified, leg strength enhanced, and joint mobility and flexibility have increased 10 fold. My stamina is significantly greater. I’m playing hockey stronger and more youthful then when I began my career 20 yrs ago and this was only after a few sessions.”
Pilates will strengthen the muscles essential to hitting the ice, such as the obliques (to increase shot power), gluteals (to develop speed and stability on skates), and improve the coordination and control of the adductors. A certified instructor will assess the alignment, mobility, and stability of a player and design a program to target these essential components utilizing Mat exercises and equipment such as the Reformer.
Kristen M. Reynolds, DPT, CPT
Doctor of Physical Therapy and Certified Pilates Teacher
Kristen Reynolds earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology with a concentration in Exercise Science from James Madison University in 2006 and a Doctorate in Physical Therapy from the MGH Institute of Health Professions in 2009.
While practicing in orthopedics and sports medicine, a mentor introduced her to the Pilates Method and she has since pursued comprehensive certification to compliment her clinical interests. She has studied with Balanced Body, Peak Pilates, and most recently Balancepoint Pilates. She is an active member of the Pilates Method Alliance, American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) Orthopedic and Sports Physical Therapy Sections, as well as the APTA of Massachusetts Shoulder and Manual Physical Therapy Special Interest Groups.
Always interested in sports and fitness, she is a former YMCA and Junior Olympic gymnast, coach, and ACE personal trainer. Integrating the Pilates principles and Mat, Reformer, Cadillac, and Chair repertoire into her physical therapy practice has produced successful rehabilitation outcomes for a wide variety of patients, including adolescents, elite athletes and dancers, and individuals with chronic orthopedic conditions. Kristen utilizes this alternative therapeutic approach to improve muscle performance and joint mobility, correct posture and alignment, enhance body awareness, and create an evenly conditioned body that is more resilient to extremity and spinal injury. She greatly enjoys designing programs to target personal goals, educating clients to incorporate Pilates into their daily activities, and teaching small group classes.