Editor’s Note: This is the third story on the Stik, a tool recently re-released to the public that can be used as part of a strength and training program to improve an athlete’s strength in the forearm, wrist, hands and grip. Click here for the first article; click here for second article.
By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 11/19/14
As the highly-recognized Philadelphia Flyers’ head trainer and strength and conditioning coach, Jim McCrossin has worked with some of the world’s elite hockey players.
McCrossin has used many training tools and equipment in his career. One he recommends highly is The Stik, a training device that strengthens the arms, wrist, hands and grip and recently was re-introduced to the public.
The Stik – available in three sizes at prices of $39.95, $49.95 and $59.95 – is easy to use in any location and convenient to carry. It has been a regular training tool for the Flyers and now is being employed by more and more lacrosse players as well as other athletes that rely on the use of a stick, club, racquet or other piece of equipment in their hands.
McCrossin has used the Stik with Flyers such as Claude Giroux and Mike Richards (now a two-time Stanley Cup champion with the Los Angeles Kings) for rehab and training purposes.
McCrossin said he and former strength and conditioning guru and Philadelphia Sixers President Pat Croce, considered one of the leading rehabilitation experts in the field years ago, recommended The Stik for their clients in over 40 rehab/training locations. Now, McCrossin has seen so much value by using The Stik he has become a partner in the company.
McCrossin believes the Stik can help lacrosse players build strength to improve the speed and of their shot, fend off players, improve their strength at the face-off X, tighten their cradle and strengthen their check.
The Stik is also being used for rehabilitation for high school athletes, and for people of all ages. Click here to go to Thestik.com to learn more about this product.
“We utilized it in 40 locations in 11 states for physical therapy,” said McCrossin. “People used it for anything from elbows to finger tips in rehabilitation. So I was happy when (Stik owner) Buck (Boettger) came to me with the (upgraded) Stik.
“Ice hockey is a lot like lacrosse. You are holding a stick in your hands and there is not much difference in the snap of a snapshot to our wristshot in our sport. It is a part of our team’s conditioning and they like to take it on the road for because it is so accessible.”
McCrossin said many Flyers have regularly used The Stik as rehabilitation tools for hand injuries in the past few years.
“You Look at your body as a whole; you have to condition the entire body,” McCrossin said. “Hockey or lacrosse players are not very different with the forearms that snap the shot.
“Everything transpires through the core, but the final snap uses the wrist and extensions such as the flexors. There is no better way to do it than through The Stik. And it’s not like heavy dumbbells; you can put it into your bag.”
McCrossin said The Stik is ideal for a high school lacrosse player trying to gain strength.
“Your grip strength and muscles, such as those in the forearm are essential to hockey and lacrosse,” McCrossin said. “These sports are similar.
“I do believe the majority of velocity comes from the core, but the final phase are from the wrist, hands and how strong the wrist flexors are. I think hand and forearm strength are much overlooked conditioning areas for the wrist shot.”
“This is the type of device that helps you get to the next level.”
McCrossin said that the forearms and wrist often are underdeveloped by youngsters who focus most on building their chest and bench pressing.
“I hate to say it, but a lot of players in any sport train for the beach,” he said. “They want to look good and they don’t always train to perform well.
“The Stik helps reduce risk of injury. I believe that strengthening and creating endurance is important. When you have muscle fatigue, you are more likely to get injured. Training with it can really minimize injury to the wrist and elbow.”
McCrossin believes strengthening the arms, wrist and hands should be part of any training program for an athlete that uses a stick.
“Training the body as a whole to play sports is essential,” he said. “So many studies correlate good strength and overall conditioning to success.”
One of the best parts of the Stik is how easy it is to use and adjust levels of resistance, and how light it is to take anywhere and use anywhere.
“With the Stik, two or three people can utilize it at one time and you can just throw it in your bag and bring it to the rink,” said McCrossin. “No matter what sport you play, we are creatures of habit and if they can work out on their own and stay out of the medical room it makes my job that much easier.”