CALGARY - Core strength is a sledge hockey players money maker. [url=http://www.soccermexicojerseysteamshop.com/oribe-peralta-mexico-jersey/]Oribe Peralta Jersey[/url] . When Canadas players go into the gym, they expect to leave with their stomach muscles aching.If you go to where your muscles literally cant go any more, youll make real big gains, says forward Greg Westlake. You want to fail every time. Part of being an elite athlete versus a weekend warrior is pushing yourself to failure.Back and arm strength matters in a sport where hockey players propel themselves on sledges using two picks, but the hard, about-face turn when the puck changes possession requires a powerful trunk to re-direct the sledge.So those battle-rope drills so popular on sports drink commercials now are part of the sledge teams dryland training routine. From their wheelchairs or on their prosthetic legs, they whip the ropes above their heads and yank them down.Another drill is using one arm to pull a rope attached to a heavy chain while in a push-up position, and then switching to the other arm.One of the best things right now is theres a big trend for the battle ropes, Westlake says. We have real heavy ones.The most important muscle groups in terms of just power would be your back, triceps and your core. Your whole upper body is important because you need the balance and you dont want to get injured.The Canadian sledge team has two titles to defend in 2015. Canada will compete Feb. 1-7 in the World Sledge Hockey Challenge in Leduc, Alta., followed by the world championship April 24 to May 2 in Buffalo, N.Y.The Canadians won bronze at the 2014 Winter Paralympics in Sochi, Russia.At a training camp in Calgary this week, strength and conditioning coach Chris Osmond put the 19 players from Summerside, P.E.I., to Quesnel, B.C., team through circuit training at Canada Olympic Park.It was Osmonds first time working with the national team. He wanted to send each athlete home knowing exactly what muscle groups require attention.The big thing is core, upper-body strength, upper-body power, Osmond said.But before the athletes even got to the power part of their workout, they spent a lot of time stretching out their upper bodies. The wheelchair athletes put strain on their shoulders just wheeling around in daily life.So the first piece of equipment forward Billy Bridges grabs at the gym is a foam roller to roll out his shoulder and back muscles. The second item hell pick up is an elastic rope to loosen up his rotator cuffs.It seems like every day is a battle for posture and getting your back realigned, Bridges says. Theres so much strain on your shoulders that if you dont keep those strong, were not going to have much longevity in this sport.As in able-bodied hockey, the sledge player needs the aerobic fitness to quickly recover from one shift to the next. Westlake, a 28-year-old from Oakville, Ont., is an advocate of lean muscle mass.Its a cardio-based sport. Youve got to be in shape to play, he says. Weve had guys who have made this team who are muscle-bound ... and maybe their cardio isnt up to par. Maybe theyre too heavy and its hard to pull yourself.Youve got to find the weight that works for you and then youve got to build off that. Get as strong as you can at the lightest weight you can be.Adds Osmond: Sledge hockey is no different from able-bodied hockey. Sure youre using your anaerobic system, but thats all driven by your aerobic system. You need a big engine. If you cant keep it going, then youre not going to be an impact player for your team.Bridges is bulkier than Westlake, which the 30-year-old from Summerside says fits his power forward game.When I was first on the team, I was 14 and 95 pounds and that was fine, he said. There was hitting, but we werent moving that fast. Now people are joining this sport at a younger age and training hard at a young age, so we have guys like Ben Delaney pushing the boundaries of whats possible.With me, I like being big. I play a big game and I feel the stronger I can be, the harder it is to knock me off the puck.Bridges plays wheelchair tennis and Westlake kayaks as cross-training for sledge hockey.Both are veterans of the national sledge team having won Paralympic gold in 2006. They say competing at that level requires three to five sessions a week in the gym in addition to almost daily on-ice practices.The athletes are getting better, the technology is improving and the sport is becoming more competitive, Westlake says.Just because its team sport, its hard to quantify how good everybody is. Its so much faster and so much better than it was 10 years ago. Im finally at that point where young guys are coming in and pushing me. Theyre fast and fit and its a really fun thing to be a part of. [url=http://www.soccermexicojerseysteamshop.com/jonathan-dos-santos-mexico-jersey/]Jonathan Dos Santos Mexico Jersey[/url] . Zimmermann became the National Leagues first 16-game winner, pitching seven solid innings to lead the Washington Nationals past the Philadelphia Phillies 3-2 Wednesday night. 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The "O Canada" moment wasnt lost on any of them. "The national anthem played right before my last attempt and I thought, If this isnt going to get me pumped up I dont know whats going to," Drouin said. Drouin and Theisen-Eaton would both go on to claim gold, while Jessica Zelinka won silver in the heptathlon and Mike Mason took bronze in the high jump. Julie Labonte added a bronze in shot put for a five-medal night for Canada at the track. "When we were in the tunnel ... I was listening to the Canadian anthem and thinking, An hour and that could be me," Theisen-Eaton said. Drouin, from Corunna, Ont., cleared 2.31 metres to win his first major international high jump title, while Mason, from Nanoose Bay, B.C., won the bronze with 2.25 metres. Theisen-Eaton won the heptathlon with a score of 6,597 and Zelinka scored 6,270 for silver. "We got four medals in the span of about two minutes there, so were definitely moving in the right direction. Good things are happening," Drouin said. "And Mike and I got to pass our (Canadian) flags on to the heptathlon girls, so it was a pretty special five minutes there." Added Theisen-Eaton: "All of a sudden, all of once, Scott (MacDonald, Athletics Canadas high performance director) was trying to give everybody flags. Good problem to have." After another strong day, Canada remained in third place in the overall medal standings with 51 medals (22 gold, seven silver, 22 bronze). Australia leads with 106 medals, one more than England. David Tremblay of Windsor, Ont., won gold in the mens 61-kilogram category, Dori Yeats of Montreal won the womens 69-kilo title and Arjun Gill of Surrey, B.C., won gold in the mens 97-kilo event. Jill Gallays of Saskatoon and Braxton Stone-Papadopoulos of Pickering, Ont., won bronze medals. Gallays finished third in the womens 53-kilo category and Stone-Papadopoulos was third in the womens 58-kilo class. In diving, Montreals Meaghan Benfeito and Roseline Filion of Laval, Que., won gold in the womens synchronized 10-metre platform. Lavals Jennifer Abel and Pamela Ware of Beloeil, Que., later added silver in the three-metre springboard. The 24-year-old Drouin, who won bronze at both the 2012 London Olympics and 2013 world championships, had hoped to go higher. Hes broken the Canadian record three times in less than a year, and in his first meet this season, cleared 2.40 metres to join an exclusive club -- only about a dozen jumpers in history have jumped that high. It wasnt to be on a blustery night at Hampden Park, as he missed all three attempts at 2.35. "I would really love to jump 2.40 again. Id like to get up to those high heights again," he said. "I think we got a taste of what Scottish weather was like," he added, of the conditions. "It was funny, within a matter of about two minutes we had a problem of rain and then the sun being in our eyes. Its just what you have to deal with, it obviously wasnt perfect but we dealt with it." Theisen-Eaton, a 25-year-old from Humboldt, Sask., won five of the seven events -- high jump, shot put, 200 metres, long jump and the 800 -- over the two days for her first major international victory. She won silver at both last years world indoor and outdoor world championships. "So this gold medal makes me really happy,"t; she said. [url=http://www.soccermexicojerseysteamshop.com/jesus-manuel-corona-mexico-jersey/]Jesus Manuel Corona Jersey[/url]. "I always said I dont think I would get choked up but I had to fight back a few tears (on the podium). Its just representing your country and knowing everybody back home is happy and watching and supporting you. It feels really good." Theisen-Eatons husband Ashton Eaton -- a world record-holder and Olympic and world champion in the decathlon -- cheered her on from the stands. The American even wore a Canada T-shirt. "Ashton obviously knows what its like to be out there as an athlete, and knows that sometimes its hard to fire yourself up," Theisen-Eaton said. "So at the long jump, he walked over and said, Bri, come here! and I go over there, he was like, Come on, youve got to get fired up for this one! "He just amps me up." The heptathlon marked the first time Theisen-Eaton and Zelinka had battled head-to-head since the London Olympics. The 32-year-old Zelinka, from London, Ont., took last year off from the multi-events, needing a break. Earlier this season, Theisen-Eaton broke Zelinkas Canadian record of 6,599 points, recording 6,641 in Gotzis, Austria. Theisen-Eaton had a virtually unbeatable 326-point lead after six of the seven events, and they capped the two days with a hard-fought 800. Theisen-Eaton won in two minutes 11.46 seconds, Zelinka finishing eight-10ths of a second behind her. "I wanted to be competitive and show Im back, and Im strong mentally in this event," said Zelinka, who won the two events that Theisen-Eaton didnt -- the 100-metre hurdles and javelin. "This is kind of like a little opening ceremonies for me coming back. Its good to play again, it was playing. It was fun." Asked for her reaction to Theisen-Eatons victory, Zelinka said: "No reaction, I knew she could do it. She was second coming in. In the world. I was 20th. So it was no surprise. But I still wanted to challenge her, because thats what we do in heptathlon." Zelinka, who was seventh in both the hurdles and heptathlon in London, almost didnt qualify for Glasgow, as the cut-off date to qualify was June 1. She missed the qualifying standard at a meet in May, so decided at the last minute to try again. "I did a race in Texas at 9 oclock, drove four hours, got to bed at two, started the hep at about 10 oclock the next day just to try again and I got (the qualifying standard)," she said. "I havent not made a national team since I was pregnant, every year Ive been on the national team, and it really means a lot." Zelinka echoed the praise of all the Canadians for the raucous crowd in the 44,000-seat Hampden Park -- normally the home of Scotlands national soccer team, but transformed into the track and field venue for the Games. The noise from the crowd for every event was deafening. "It took us forever to get around that (victory) lap, everyone is so into it here," Zelinka said. "Its such a great crowd, very genuine and very supportive of just great efforts, no matter what country." The 24-year-old Labonte threw 17.58 metres for the shot put bronze. Valerie Adams of New Zealand won the gold with 19.88, while Cleopatra Borel of Trinidad & Tobago was second with 18.57. Canada has 10 medals in track and field, including five gold, with three days of competition to go. The Canadian team brought home 17 medals in the sport from the Games four years ago in New Delhi. 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