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How to Choose Supplements

Supplements have become a cornerstone in athletics. They can range from whey protein, creatine, pre-workout, iron supplements, beta alanine, etc. Athletes consume supplements to reach their goals of increasing lean muscle mass, increasing strength and power, or recovering quicker; however, it is important to know what all the ingredients are in the supplement. Supplement manufacturers are not required to be approved by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA); therefore, there is no regulation of the supplement’s purity, effectiveness, or listed ingredients being a banned substance. The FDA is only involved with regulating a supplement if it is proven to be harmful or contain banned substances. If you test positive for a banned substances NCAA drug test, the consequences is at minimum 365 day suspension and a loss of a year of eligibility.


High Ankle Sprains in Hockey

Ankle sprains are the most common injury seen in sports. Typically, the ligaments on the lateral or outside part of the ankle are affected. In hockey, the stiffness of the skate helps protect these ligaments, but the force can be translated up above the ankle joint resulting in a high ankle sprain. The tibiofibular ligament and interosseous membrane hold the two shin bones together and are located above the ankle joint. These two structures are at a higher risk of injury in the hockey player. The injury can occur when 

Sports Specific Training: Energy Systems

There are three different physiological systems that the body uses to produce energy to meet the body’s demands. Energy systems can also be considered metabolic efficiency, essentially it is preparing the athlete to meet their sport’s specific energy demands. For example, a cross country runner will have different energy/metabolic demands that a sprinter.

The Role of Stability and Mobility in the Ankle

Ankle range of motion and ankle stability often are trained separately.  While they seem independent and opposite of each other, they are both needed to reach peak performance. Many athletes do not work on ankle range of motion unless they experience an injury to the lower extremity and, often, ankle stability is expected of the athlete to already have after a certain age.  Stability of the ankle should not limit the range of motion; stability allows the athlete to strongly balance on different surfaces with forces acting upon them while performing the proper technique with the required range of motion at the joint. 

The Importance of In Season Training in Hockey

The grind of a hockey season can take a toll on a player’s body. There can be upwards of 50-60 games plus two to three practices a week and private training during a season that can run from August until USA Hockey Nationals in April. This grind can break down the muscles in the body leading to decreased performance and possible acute or overuse injuries. A common oversight is to either stop “Dryland” training during the season or to train the wrong systems leading to more breakdowns in the body. 

The Importance of Core Strength

The look of an “eight-pack” is what most desire and expect when training their abdominal muscles. Except true core strength is not represented by the appearance of an eight-pack but provided by an overall stabilization and control during athletic and everyday activities. The three main core muscles are the rectus abdominis, which is the “eight pack”, the transverse 

Knee MCL Injuries in Hockey

The medial collateral ligament in the knee or MCL was the second most common injury in NCAA hockey in 2013 as stated by Grant, Bedi, Kurz, Bancroft & Miller. The study showed that only concussions had a higher injury rate in male collegiate players. The MCL is one of four ligaments in the knee and is located on the inside or medial portion of the knee connecting the femur and tibia. The ligaments purpose is to provide support to the inside of the knee helping 

Soccer Conditioning is Not Just Running

Conditioning for soccer does not mean distance running. There is no purpose of having soccer players go on distance runs or just instructing athletes that they “need to run”. Similar to every other anaerobic power sport, conditioning for soccer needs to be interval training not long distance runs. Soccer is a series of small sprints, change of direction, change of speed, jumping, and strength. None of these actions are usually over 30 or 40 yards, so why instruct soccer players to go on long high milage runs. It is detrimental because this trains the aerobic system not the anaerobic system. Essentially this is training their bodies to run similar to endurance cross country runners versus explosive soccer players.
Instead be specific as to what is expected of your athletes and construct the training to be purposeful and soccer specific. An example is intervals with a work-to-rest ratio of 3:1, 2:1, or 1:1. Depending on what fitness level the players are at, the duration, intensity, and volume can all be adjusted accordingly. 
Samples of ideas 

Use These Two Exercises to Help Prevent ACL Injuries

An Anterior Cruciate Ligament or ACL tear is one of the more feared injuries in sports, especially football. The ACL is the main stabilizing ligament of the knee joint and does not heal on it’s own. When an ACL ruptures it needs to be surgically repaired in order for the joint to be stable and function normally. Recovery from an ACL tear can take from six to 

Keeping It Simple

Today’s social media blitz shows top athletes performing extraordinary exercises and drills that almost look impossible. Sure, they look cool, but are they really beneficial? Are they for everyone? I recently spoke at a seminar and the common notion was “master the simple stuff.” This is true not only for the amateur athletes but professional athletes as well. Simple exercises such as the squat, lunge and push up are not always as simple as they may seem. Minor defects in mechanics can lead to asymmetries in strength, stability and flexibility. These defects can lead to decreased performance and injuries.