There’s one thing we know for sure, Nicklas Backstrom is training hard in the off-season. While back in his Sweden hometown, Gävle, Backstrom has been working under the supervision and guidance of personal trainer, Andreas Öhgren.
You may remember reading about Backstrom’s rehabilitation with Andreas last summer, after his hip surgery. Well, the two are back together again, and this time there are a few other Swedish NHLers who have joined in. NoVa Caps Swedish Translator, Sofie Bengtsson has translated a recent article by hockeysverige.se. The published article in Swedish can be found by clicking here.
A Successful Coach Will Give NHL Stars a Boost In the Off-Season
A translated article from http://www.hockeysverige.se
The group of NHL players who want to take part in Andreas Öhgren’s exercise programs is getting bigger every year. More and more NHL athletes are beginning to hear about the Swedish personal trainer. “He is the best, that’s as simple as it is.” says Elias Lindholm.
Personal trainer Andreas Öhgren has become an important person for many NHL players. Last summer we (hockeysverige.se) visited him during training sessions with a number of NHL players at a gym in central Stockholm. At that time Öhgren had developed a close collaboration with Washington’s Nicklas Backstrom, after his hip surgery. This training relationship has continued this off-season and has expanded as he now trains two more NHL players from Gävle, the cousins Calle Järnkrok and Elias Lindholm.
Last season, Andreas traveled to Washington and helped the Capitals’ medical team. “They worked well together and got me [Backstrom] ready to play. Because the medical team over there (in Washington, DC) is also in charge of many other players it was good that he was able to take care of me, which meant I was able to do more and to also focus on continuing to rehabilitate my injury” says Nicklas Backstrom.
Initially, Öhgren came to DC for two weeks, and he continued to go back and forth from DC to Sweden an additional four times throughout the season. “Currently, he regularly comes up to Gävle and trains us every Monday. Then, the three of us, Bäckström, Elias Lindholm and Calle Järnkrok, continue to do the program daily during the week. Just last week, we traveled to Stockholm and trained with him for the day.”
“Backstrom had hip surgery last summer (2015) so last year’s training was all about rehabilitation. The focus was to get a functioning hip. Many hockey players have very stiff hips because the motion of skating is not a natural movement of the hip. The rehabilitation goal from last summer was to get the hip to move as well as possible so he can skate freely, to get it done properly so he doesn’t have to get another surgery. That’s where the focus has been from the beginning. Last summer we only did rehabilitation, but this summer, we can press firmly” explains Andreas.
What respect do you get when you come over to the NHL organizations?
“Yeah, it’s quite good because they see what I do works. When I was over to see (Niklas) Kronwall (Detroit Red Wings), Mike Green had injured his shoulder. He had played for Washington previously and Backstrom had said that Mike had to meet his personal trainer when he comes to Detroit. After that, Kronwall said that he has to meet his personal trainer, but what Mike Green did not know was that the personal trainer was the same guy,” laughs Andreas Öhgren, “and he continues and says that I got to help him (Mike Green) with his shoulder and he recovered quickly from his injury. This meant that other players started to get curious and wanted some help as well. But I do not want to work with any organization, I want to work with the players.” [Andreas]
How did you get in touch with the “Gävle guys”?
“I think the rumors circulated after I helped Sebastian Lauritzen with his hips. Backstrom had heard quite a lot about me and knew who I was. He then contacted me last year in May and said he wanted help with his rehabilitation.
I know Elias has been interested in training with me for a year or so. He has played with, and knows many of the guys I work out with who are approximately in the same age group. Last summer, when I was up in Gävle and did rehabilitation with Nicklas Backstrom I talked with Elias because he wanted to optimize to get more out of his body. Later came Calle as well because he knows Nicklas and Elias, too.
I’ll go up there every Monday. And they all come down to Stockholm once a week, on Thursdays. Then I prepare videos on what to do during the weeks when I’m not there.” [Andreas]
Can you already see an effect on these three guys ?
“Yes, I can! When I was up there I saw a huge difference and the guys themselves felt a significant difference as compared to when they started with me. We try to optimize each training day so no workout is unnecessary because there is not much fun with physical training” Öhgren says with a smile.
“I think it is very important to be ready for whatever you are going to do, in this case to play (professional) hockey. Most hockey players are very immobile. In particular the hips because of all the skating, which is not quite optimal for a body. I can see a big difference in their function primarily in the hips after these specific workouts. They get a lot more power in ever move they make and their whole body syncs much better than before.” [Andreas]
Andreas Öhgren currently works with sixteen NHL players, plus ten others during exercise, given his current client base, he has to stop taking on more.
“That is it. I can’t have any more. Admittedly, I could make a group and remove the juniors, but I don’t want to do that. I want to train them as well” concludes Andreas Öhgren.
Hockeysverige.se took the opportunity to ask both Elias Lindholm and Calle Järnkrok what attracted them both to work out with Andreas Öhgren.
“I know many who have been with Andreas and he’s very good at what he does. It was perfect since he could come here and work out with us. We talk to him every day, so we know what we are going to work on when he’s not here.” Elias Lindholm
Calle Järnkrok has been working out with Andreas Öhgren for a shorter period, but so far very satisfied with the training he received.
“We’ve only been training together for two weeks, but it has worked very well so far. We’ll see this winter how good the training was”, says Calle Järnkrok jokingly as Öhgren was standing right next to him to discuss warm-up exercises with Nicklas Backstrom.
How does Nashville feel about you hiring Andreas Öhgren for your summer training?
“Everyone gets to do their own thing in the summer and while I have gotten some suggestions from Nashville in areas to work, which I may do some of, as they wanted me to. They are happy just to have us to come back well trained” says Calle.
His cousin Elias Lindholm adds: “I had heard very good things about Andreas. First, he had taken care of (Sebastian) Lauritzen and then Backstrom last summer. He is simply the best. My impression so far is really good, simply world class. It’s been really good.”