Hockey Training

Hockey training or off-ice training as the players call it, is an integral part of the hockey players quest for all facets of a quality strength and conditioning program.

Having had the privilege to work with various hockey teams in the in –season and in the off-season, I found that only a minority of the players knew how to build a strength base using weights (such as dead lifts, back squats, bench press etc). Half, I found used some resistance training but it was not used to gain strength. It was more high repetition, moderate weight and single joint exercises, like biceps curls and lateral dumbbell raises.

This formula does not increase strength and chances are will not build power and make you faster.

As with the other power sports mentioned on this website, the goals for the hockey player(s) are the same; increase flexibility, increase core stability and strength, increase base strength, include power and various speed training exercises and highly encourage performance and recovery sports nutrition as well as recovery exercises.

An example of the latter (recovery as well as warm-up exercises) I found to be effective was to perform hip and ankle mobility exercises. Because skates do not allow the foot to move up and down (because of the blade), the ankle is “locked.”

Hip movement, as a result is limited. So, what I was finding was hockey players with tight lower and mid-back muscles and tight muscles of the lower leg and ankle complex.

By performing movements such as standing and quadruped (hands and knees position) hip swings (kicking leg forward and back) and other hip movements for hip mobility and coupling that with ankle mobility exercises like ankle points and circles and dynamic movement exercises, I found less tight muscles throughout the season and better movement with the players.

Hockey training still has some misconceptions as I have mentioned and needs to be addressed to some coaches and players. If you fall into this category and would like some guidance or if you feel you need to get your game to the next level, please contact me.

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