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Strengthening the Core

Tuesday, 08.28.2012 / 4:23 PM / Features
By John Bishop  - BostonBruins.com

BostonBruins.com -- As one of the more dynamic new players (and personalities) in the NHL, Tyler Seguin's on-ice twists and turns certainly make life interesting for opposing defenders.

But off the ice, Tyler's movements in a downtown Toronto Pilates studio made for one of this summer's most interesting moments captured on bostonbruinsTV.

"Yeah it’s a little frustrating," said Seguin after a tough workout with trainer Sally Belanger. "Obviously, with hockey you’ve been training your whole life with it, but when you go in [an] atmosphere where you’re not too familiar with I was definitely a little nervous during the summer doing this.

"But I knew it was gonna help me in the long run and obviously with Sally’s help I feel stronger in those areas I’ve been working on," explained Tyler. "I feel like my core has gotten better."

Belanger explained Pilates' benefit for hockey players.

"A lot of these guys are really good at their really big muscles, so they can use them well, [but] if you use them over time incorrectly then you’re gonna lead to cheating patterns or you won’t be as strong or as fast on the ice," explained Belanger. "So, if you find the 'littler' muscles then you can keep the proper movement patterns and then you put the big muscles on top of that and they’re amazing."

Some of the moves that Belanger coaxed Seguin into were amazing, too. But that's exactly why Tyler tried Pilates.

"A lot of hockey players -- because they’re in a similar stance all the time -- they get really short or tight in one plane of motion and the other plane of motion is elongated," continued Belanger. "So, if you find the balance, they can be quicker in their reactions times, and they can get more mobility and a longer reach which is important."

And the tough exercises certainly strengthened Seguin's all-important core muscles.

"Going in this summer the main thing I said I wanted to improve on was my core," said Tyler. "Obviously for the game – a lot of it’s dealing with your core and I felt like in battles and in corners I was being more involved this past year and I thought that if I had a stronger core I’d come out with even more pucks just being stronger.

"I think with having a summer with core training on top of everything that you guys even saw today [on the ice and in the gym] I think that’s just gonna make me one step stronger and one step quicker."

BTW: The process is fun, too.

"It’s fun because a lot of movements that you put Tyler into - he’s not necessarily used to doing them, so he doesn’t get them right away," laughed Belanger. "But he’s easy to coach in that he gets it after a couple repetitions and then he puts what he’s used to doing on top of it and then he’s really strong."

"I think anytime you’re training you’re going to have fun," said Seguin. "When you’re improving in the end that’s what’s going to be fun - even though sometimes the exercises aren’t, frankly, quite fun.

"But I think with the environment here she’s a pretty funny lady and I feel like I have a decent sense of humor, so it turns out to a good time."

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