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A ex-college hockey player, a current high school hockey coach, a camp instructor, and product reviewer.
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Sidney Crosby #87 of the Pittsburgh Penguins participates in a workout at the Ice Den on December 3, 2012 in Scottsdale, Arizona. How long do you think a conditioning workout for hockey players should last?  90-minutes?  60-minutes? Today I want to share a quick interval workout that you can do at home in only 15-minutes.  Is it the perfect off-ice energy system workout for hockey? Dig out either your old jump rope, Reebok step or tape out an agility ladder pattern on the basement floor (ask your parents first) or just do stair stepping on the bottom step in the basement. There you go a quick 15-minute interval workout for hockey players that you can do at home without buying any equipment!  Enjoy!
Maria Mountain is a Fitness Coach and the owner of Revolution Conditioning in London, Ontario.
Hockey training is very important for any hockey player who is looking to improve their game. Below you will learn more about how to train for hockey and why hockey training is different than training for anything else. Below I will demonstrate the different details involved in hockey training program design and why a separate, more specialized approach is required outside of the normal bodybuilding training philosophies that most people use. It’s not a bad thing to do bodybuilding workouts, some training is better than no training, but that approach to training is a far cry from what would be an optimal routine for a hockey player.
All of the above reasons are the most common I come across when consulting with a new athlete.
But with his primary focus being an athlete plus the fact that he may not be trying to make a career out of strength and conditioning, he doesn’t have time to review and research every aspect of periodization, strength qualities, strength curves, biomechanics, recovery, physiology, biochemistry, nutrition, supplementation, program design structure, proper muscular balance among many other things.
It is simply way too much to ask of an athlete to train himself (at least properly anyways), he can try, but it will be a defeating technique.
Believe it or not, just because you are a certified personal trainer it doesn’t mean that you know jack about training or the human body.
Everybody reading this, provided they are over 18, can become a personal trainer in a weekend if they want to. With that out of the way I can now discuss why hockey training is different from the average approach and what you should be looking for in a hockey performance training system. Each of these topics could stand alone as full books on their own as there is so much to discuss in their implications to hockey performance. Structural balance is an absolute key component to achieving maximum speed, agility, strength, prevention of injury and power output. When one side performs better than the other, your risk of injury drastically increases as you are putting the body in an awkward position during movement and if one side can output a force greater than your other side, this can very quickly lead to strains and pulls. There are many structural imbalances hockey players naturally create simply by playing the game. Hockey players carry lots of natural tightness in their hips, calves, lats and Achilles tendon.
I have discussed this before in other articles and also in many videos, it is very important.
It’s tough to give options to a large audience for this issue but one thing I can tell you is that split squats are fantastic for hockey players. Additionally, something everybody can do is get some fascia stretch therapy or active release done of them to improve these adhesions.
To put it very simply, the body operates on certain energy systems that are either anaerobic or aerobic.

The aerobic system on the other hand is the system you use throughout your day for light, physical movement or for long, steady state cardio (bike, jogging, etc). Just think about a hockey shift for example, this is usually 60 secs of all out skating as hard as you can, shooting as hard as you can and lots of explosive, high velocity direction change. It makes zero sense for a hockey player to be jogging off the ice to build “cardio” or for a coach to have his player’s coast around the ice doing 20 laps for “cardio”. Not only will aerobic training not improve your game, but it will actually hurt your anaerobic conditioning. So let’s say you strength train 4 days a week, but also go for a few jogs per week, your body is going to adapt somewhere in the middle. But it is up to the strength and conditioning coach to provide proper periodization of training phases to allow for the best results both on and off the ice.
Properly periodizing your training phases in a certain order to maximize the required adaptations from training during that time of the season will make leaps and bounds difference with your performance. For example: Peaking for tryouts, maintaining your strength and endurance during the season, maximizing your strength and weak points during the off-season, addressing the physical speed qualities for hockey training and all the transition plans in between.
Textbooks have been wrote on periodization and each sport varies depending on the length and frequency of the competitive season and to try and wing this aspect of the strategy will come right back to bite you in the ass. Each of those phases all include goal setting, speed training, strength training, mental training and nutrition to support and maximize the process. With the above 4 considerations to hockey training, they all affect the 5th and final category for this article. All of these factors come into play when training for hockey and what exercises you choose and the order in which you perform them in will all have a major impact on how successful your training program is going to be. I hope I was able to open up some key concepts to why hockey training, and more specifically, why hockey players are different in this article. There is no such thing as fitness, the question is “fit for what?” Strongman competitors are lean and muscular, would they be good hockey players?
Different sports have different requirements based on a wide variety of human performance so to be a better hockey player you have to train like a hockey player. Visit our Hockey Training Blog to see our most recent published articles that will help you become a become a better hockey player.
Check out our Hockey Training Videos for more information on how to train properly as a hockey player to help increase your performance. You can create your own patterns to go through in short bursts of time to help gain foot speed. More than a dozen players from around the league that are not able to play during the NHL lockout have been attending workouts at the Phoenix Coyotes practice rink. But for the sake of keeping this article just an article, I will touch on the important but easy to comprehend factors behind them. Hockey players are notorious for having strong glutes and weak hamstrings, being imbalanced in their upper body based on which side they shoot with, and also having a poor balance in the quadriceps, mainly a weak VMO. You are only as strong as your weakest link, if an imbalance is present, it will hold back your entire bodies performance.
Re-correcting this in the weight room is one of the top priorities for hockey performance training. I have found that a very large percentage of hockey players over 15 years old have these issues. It doesn’t matter how strong or co-ordinated you are, if you’re tight, you won’t have the proper movement mechanics to perform to the best of your ability. With proper training program design and exercise selection, these tightness’s can be addressed both in and outside the gym. They really, really attack this issue, especially for the hips, and are great to have in your training.

You need to train anaerobically in order to properly train the energy systems that are most conducive to your sport. These are all high-effort, short duration movements that your anaerobic energy system is backing.
Your body will adapt to what it is exposed to most, the intracellular signalling and hormonal cascade are different from anaerobic to aerobic so your body has the adapt somewhere in the middle because it doesn’t know what you want to excel in if you are trying to do both.
If you’re focusing on the wrong training adaptations at the wrong time it can create big issues, particularly during the in-season. In the offseason it is the best time to focus on your most glaring weaknesses as you can apply the most amount of your time and effort into these phases without worrying about game time or travelling.
Incorporating these properly into the hockey in-season and offseason is a long conversation, one that separates entirely from other forms of training and makes hockey training very different. For exercise selection the reason is simple, some exercises are better for hockey players than others, but the reasons behind the reason are very complex.
What are we trying to get out of the exercise, is it for speed, power, structural balance, flexibility, explosiveness, prevention of injury, energy system conditioning or agility?
Being able to explode to the puck, get your feet up ice, and to separate yourself from a defender become even more important as you move up in the level of play. You’re working on quick twitch muscles and muscle memory, NOT endurance and conditioning!  Here is a informational video on gaining acceleration and foot speed for your favorite game, HOCKEY!
The best hockey players in the world are constantly training on and off the ice to improve their game. He is on the ice because he is an incredible athlete and he is looking to improve his game even further so he can make the jump to the juniors, semi-pro’s or even the pro leagues.
So when choosing a trainer in your area, choose wisely and ask for credentials, testimonials, pictures and who they have worked with or been mentored by. So something as simple as correcting an imbalance in your quadriceps could result in much faster skating on the ice. Tightness in hockey players is a sneaky phenomenon because it can drastically hurt performance, but yet people overlook it because their lifts in the weight room might be going up, yet they aren’t getting any faster or agile. On the other side, when have you ever seen a hockey shift that has resembled anything of aerobic nature? He decides he is going to add 2 “cardio” days (I keep putting that in quotations because it is ridiculous, strength training is just as good for the heart as aerobic training, “cardio” and cardiovascular health are not interchangeable, it is stupid) but you decide you are going to add just 1 sprinting day.
This is where the physiology behind training comes into play and ensuring your program design matches all qualities behind hockey performance even to the cellular level. They should also be able to show you your ideal periodization for the year and explain why. How are you expected to be agile and create high velocity direction change on the ice if you are tight? Is hockey more comparable to jogging for 30 minutes or is it more comparable to sprinting for 30-60 secs? You’re conditioning on the ice will be superior to his conditioning on the ice even though you only added 1 extra workout per week and he added two. Look, hockey players looking to become better hockey players are not in the gym to become better weight lifters, they are in the gym to become better athletes.
Because you’re training the proper energy system and his body is adapting somewhere in the middle between an anaerobic athlete and an aerobic athlete.

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Author: admin | 09.03.2016

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