Hockey is a sport that carries plenty of nostalgia for most Canadians. It is a game that can be played by all different age groups and abilities. It is an activity with participants from around the world whether it’s a game on the street, a frozen pond, or a sporting venue holding thousands of people. It is a fast-paced, physical game that requires years of practice to become proficient at. Hockey requires full body strength, cardiovascular endurance and power.
A shift in hockey generally only lasts 45 seconds and in that time you must utilize a reserve of anaerobic energy and produce explosive leg power in short bursts. In order to improve your game, it is advantageous to strengthen using full body, high intensity exercises to maximize gains that will transfer to the sport.
This is a hockey workout routine that will help improve leg strength, power and core strength in a sport-specific way that will help increase your speed, agility and strength on the ice.
Skaters Stride; 2 sets of 12-15/leg
This is a great exercise to start a workout with as it can be used to increase flexibility and activate similar muscles utilized during a hockey stride.
Find a surface that allows your foot to slide easily. Ensure you have your head up, shoulders back. Reach with your stride leg as far as you can. Keep your stationary leg slightly bent with hands on waist.
Split Squat; 3 sets of 10/leg
Split squat is an excellent exercise that focuses on single leg strength that will increase power generated from the legs during the skating stride. Incorporate it into your workouts to improve power.
Elevate your back leg on a bench or box to increase the force on your front leg. Hands on your waist, or holding dumbbells. Make sure your knee remains behind your toes as you squat down.
One-Arm Dumbbell Snatch; 3 sets of 8/arm
This is a favourite exercise, as it incorporates plenty of muscles and elevates your heart rate quickly. This movement must be done in an explosive and powerful manner to get the full benefits from it. Start off with a lighter load to get used to the movement then progressively add weight to increase the challenge.
Begin with the dumbbell between your legs, with one hand on your hip, and the other reaching down for the weight. The movement is initiated from your legs and once the dumbbell reaches waist height pull with your arm to get the weight overtop of your head.
Stability Ball Side Toss; 3 sets of 8/side
Core strength is a necessary quality to be stable on your skates as well as producing force while shooting. The stability ball side toss features a rotation in the core experienced often during the sport of hockey, especially in regards to your shot. This exercise will really force your core to work while catching and throwing the ball when trying to remain balanced on the ball. Make sure during the toss and catch phase that the motion is generated from the core, and not the arms. This can be accomplished either with a partner, or against a wall.