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DEMERS DEVELOPS DE-BODY: OFF DAY WORKOUT

Islanders Strength and Conditioning coach Jesse Demers takes readers through an off-day work out.

Monday, 08.16.2010 / 9:46 AM / News
By Jesse D. Eisenberg
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DEMERS DEVELOPS DE-BODY: OFF DAY WORKOUT
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(This is the third installation in this series.)

Click here for Part 2: Nutrition
Click here for Part 1

Read more one the water workout components.

Islander’s Strength and Conditioning Coach Jesse Demers’ off-season workout program pushes players through a grueling week-long circuit of strenuous weight lifting and cardio exercises. After a tough Monday in the gym and a long Tuesday at the track, this week’s group of Matt Martin, Justin DiBenedetto, Radek Martinek and Frans Nielsen took part in a decidedly different type of warm-up routine before the start of Wednesday’s session.

Instead of jogging around the rink or riding a stationary bike, the players loosened up in a 102-degree hot tub, complete with jets and a waterfall.

“About twice a week we do an ‘active recovery’ day,” explained Demers, who’s responsible for designing off-season exercise programs for every player in the Islanders organization. “They work so hard on the other days that we kind of reward them with, not a day off, but a day where they’re recovering their bodies a little bit.”

The hot tub wasn’t officially part of Demers’ “active recovery” program, but it’s become a popular pre-workout feature of the hump-day routine.  Once the troops were gathered at the spa, they hit the Olympic-sized lap pool for the real workout.

“There’s two reasons why you do the pool program,” Demers said. “To unload the body, because you’re pretty much weightless in the pool, and to improve your range of motion. In the water, there’s very little stress on you, so you can really open up the body.”

The foursome endured an hour-long routine that ranged from swimming laps, to jogging and lunging the length of the pool, to stationary moves like squats, chest flies and shoulder raises. After a not-so-relaxing morning in nearly four feet of chlorinated water, the players’ eyes weren’t the only things burning. 

“You are going to get a little bit of a muscle burn because of the resistance of the water, which hits you both ways as you’re going through a movement,” explained Demers.

While typical out-of-water exercises feature a brief reprieve as the weight is returned to the starting position after each repetition, water provides resistance in both directions of any given movement.

“It’s pretty intense still, but it’s more fun than the other days,” admitted Martin, who’s been working with Demers every week since last month’s Islanders prospect camp. “Working out in a pool isn’t too hard, but it’s definitely good for your hips and shoulders. Swimming laps at the end was tough, but that’s as hard as it got. You definitely get a bit of cardio.”

The cardiovascular component of the workout is crucial to Demers’ muscle recovery program.

As he explains, the players “have so much built up in the body from working so hard over the last two days, that come Wednesday, they really wouldn’t be able to make any gains. When the heart rate increases that much, the blood flow is greater, which carries oxygen and nutrients to the muscles to start the rebuilding process. When they come in on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, they’re a little fresher.”

Martin elaborated on the need for an “off-day” by further describing his rigorous “on-days.”

“Monday is a big leg day and Tuesday we’re on the track, doing a lot of core and upper body work. Those are two pretty intense days where we build power and strength. Wednesday is the off day and then Thursday is another big leg day. Friday is another track day and than Saturday is our unconventional day, where we flip some tires and carry each other around and do crazy stuff like that.”

Compared to the rest of their week, Wednesday’s “active recovery” workout seems like a leisurely day at the pool.

“Today was a chance to have fun and recover a little bit,” said Martin, who added, “The hot tub is pretty nice too.”

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 TBL 50 31 15 4 163 132 66
2 MTL 47 31 13 3 127 108 65
3 NYI 48 32 15 1 157 135 65
4 DET 49 28 12 9 145 128 65
5 PIT 49 28 13 8 145 125 64
6 WSH 48 25 14 9 144 124 59
7 BOS 49 26 16 7 131 123 59
8 NYR 46 27 15 4 135 111 58
9 FLA 46 21 15 10 114 129 52
10 PHI 50 21 22 7 139 151 49
11 TOR 50 22 24 4 144 155 48
12 OTT 47 19 19 9 129 134 47
13 CBJ 47 21 23 3 119 148 45
14 NJD 49 18 22 9 110 137 45
15 CAR 48 17 25 6 104 125 40
16 BUF 50 14 33 3 94 179 31

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Tavares 48 23 25 -1 48
K. Okposo 46 14 30 -2 44
R. Strome 48 9 25 16 34
B. Nelson 48 15 15 5 30
F. Nielsen 48 9 17 4 26
J. Boychuk 38 4 21 16 25
J. Bailey 36 8 14 7 22
N. Leddy 48 7 14 14 21
N. Kulemin 48 11 9 0 20
A. Lee 42 13 5 6 18
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Halak 26 10 0 .912 2.42
C. Johnson 6 5 0 .870 3.38

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