As the NHL Lockout continues to keep our favourite players off the ice, many find themselves looking for other ways to cure their hockey fix. This is an ideal time to concentrate on your own game by examining individual aspects of the sport. Aspects like your attention to a healthy diet, athletic creativity on the ice and sufficient training off the ice. As your season begins, there are essential training practices and exercises you can incorporate into your game that are sure to give you an edge when the puck drops. We’ve put together four helpful off ice hockey training tips to help you get the most out of the NHL downtime.
An essential aspect of training for the hockey season is sprinting. This helps overcome muscular imbalances created by skating. Sprinting will also greatly improve your acceleration on the ice as the correlation between sprinting speed and skating speed is quite high. On the ice, this could mean the difference between a give-away and a break-away.
Anyone that has played a full game of hockey knows how hard the final minutes can be. You need to have exceptional stamina if you want to make a difference on the ice. That’s why it is important to train with resistance. Whether you pull a weighted sled, wear leg weights or use a parachute, regular dedication towards strength and conditioning will enable you to be a game-changer in those crucial final moments.
Weight room visits are imperative for hockey players. Although Wayne Gretzky has stated he “never lifted weights” while playing in the NHL, the game has changed. Skating only stresses the legs through a partial range of motion. You should concentrate on performing full-range lower body movement. This will not only correct the muscular imbalances hockey players occasionally suffer from, but also improve skating power.
Although the game of hockey calls for powerful legs and lower body, you cannot ignore your upper body, more specially your lats. Having strong lats will have a direct effect on you stick work, both stick handling and shooting. Exercises like chin-ups, rowing and pull downs will improve your chances of the getting the puck, keeping the puck and shooting the puck. Your lat strength is highly correlated with your slap shot power, which can be your greatest asset on the ice as it is extremely unpredictable and overwhelmingly intimidating.
By working out these specific body parts before hitting the ice, you are sure to notice improvement in your strength, stamina and overall play. Once the basics are covered, you can concentrate on what kind of celebration you will do after you score.
Whether it’s on the ice, grass or in the gym, how do you plan on preparing for your upcoming hockey season?