There’s plenty of hockey training exercises out there, but which ones are actually worth doing?
To be able to play hockey at a high level takes all kinds of skill. First of all, it’s one of the only sports I can think of that requires you to be able to balance on something other than your feet. The thickness of a hockey skate blade is about 5mm wide, so before even starting the sport you have to learn how to stand and then move on those things. Once you’ve mastered that and want to get to levels that not everyone is able to achieve, you need to put in the work off the ice. Besides the regular strength exercises that improve strength like the squat, pullup, row, lunge, and bench press that should be at the core of every strength training program, I’ve added a list of exercises that will help take hockey players to next level.
So taking into consideration the types of functional movements involved in hockey, here’s my list of the best hockey training exercises:
1. Bulgarian Split Squats.
If you want to generate more power in your stride, this exercise is a MUST. Single leg training is making a big push in more and more professionals’ programs because of the decreased external load and the balance aspect that comes into play.
2. Side or Lateral Lunges.
Talk about a functional exercise. Lunging out to your immediate left or right and having to push back to your starting point with an external load can mimic a hockey stride very well with the addition of a relatively heavy weight.
3. Single Arm Alternating Dumbbell Bench Press
Sounds like a mouth full, but it’s basically bench pressing one dumbbell at a time. You’re working on upper body strength but what makes this exercise a killer is how hard your core has to work to stabalize yourself so you’re not tipping off the bench.
If you’re looking for a great way to build upper body strength, this is it. Use a chain to add some weight and really create some power. Improve your grip strength by pulling yourself up by a towel. Or watch Kris Letang from the Penguins do both.
In order to improve strength everywhere else, we have to focus on our core strength. Woodchoppers do just that and add in the functional aspect of hockey movements. Hockey players twist all the time, whether shooting, stickhandling, or battling for a loose puck. Watch how to do the exercise below.
So use those exercises on a regular basis and you’ll help yourself become a stronger and more complete player.
Tags: athletes, fitness, fitness industry, hockey exercise, hockey off-season, hockey players, hockey specific exercises, hockey training, hockey training programs, increase overall athletic performance, personal trainer, personal training