I like to walk through the book stores every once in a while, just to see what might be out there. I always peruse through the NY Times best sellers, the business section, and of course, the sports section. A new book called Hockey Anatomy caught my eye. It is written by Michael Terry M.D. and Paul Goodman, the team doctor and the strength coach for the Chicago Blackhawks.

What I really like about this book is the excellent anatomical illustrations of the exercises that most hockey players perform in the weight room. In fact, almost the entire book is page after page of these illustrations showing exactly which muscles are involved, and a description on how to properly perform each exercise.

Knowing most teenage athletes as I do, I found their idea to write a “picture book” to be genius! But more importantly, I think the illustrations are so good they may peak some player’s curiosity about all of the named muscles in each picture. The muscles have big “fancy” medical names, probably words/names most teenagers have never heard of or seen before. My hope is that at least a few of the kids might be fascinated by the SCIENCE behind the methods, and maybe they will even start thinking about a career in kinesiology, athletic training, sports medicine, or better yet, medical school.

There are also some very simple and easy to read definitions of speed, power, explosiveness, etc. With each pictured exercise there are tips on how to perform the exercise, and an explanation of what the exercise is helping you improve on. I get a lot of questions from players and parents alike on what they can do to enhance their skating off-ice. I am always hesitant to offer any suggestions because it is critical that the exercises are performed correctly. This book is a nice reference guide for players and parents to start to understand the biomechanics of why strength training is so important for hockey players.

If your son or daughter is around the age of 13 or older and has expressed an interest in dry-land strength training, I would highly recommend this book. For obvious safety reasons, I still feel it is necessary to hire a certified strength coach to oversee your child’s training. But I think this is a great book to keep on hand to help understand the exercises you’re doing and why you’re doing them.