Why is it easier to turn left ?

Sport physiotherapist

In hockey, various skating techniques are used to beat an opponent. The technique of rapidly changing direction while maintaining a good speed is the tight turn.

On one hand, some players have a preference and a facilatate when they perform the sharp turn from one side to another. To improve this aspect of the game, we must understand the different perspective. From a physical aspect, it was noted that, during the turn, the outside leg produces a force more than double than that of the inside bend. To improve a tight turn, it might be interesting to dwell on the athleticism of the lower limb on the opposite side to which the player is less capable to perform his turns.

Furthermore, in a study carried out on ice, it was observed that players were generating on average more force when turning left then when they turned right (Fortier et al., 2014). This trend seems to result in a facility for a larger player to turn on the left side rather than the right side. We even noticed that players in the NHL go left 53% of the time when making a turn in games situations (Bracko, 2004). Although this difference may be due to several factors such as the side of the dominant leg of the players and the side they hold their stick, everyone remembers turning the left (anti-clockwise) a thousands times before the start of practice. Does this difference be improved by changing the habits at the start of practice?

Written by Maxime Provencher, M. Physiotherapy

References:
Bracko MR. (2004) Biomechanics powers ice hockey performance. Sports Med Biomech. 2004 Sept:47-53.
Fortier A, Turcotte RA, Pearsall DJ. (2013) Skating mechanics of change-of-direction manoeuvres in ice hockey players. Sports Biomech. 13(4):341-50.

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