While hockey is a great way to keep yourself physically fit, you should also take measures to ensure that you are keeping your body conditioned for the sport. If you do not work on exercises and strength building off the ice, you do put yourself at a greater risk for future injuries.
We checked with a friends at Hockey Homie to find out what are the best exercises for hockey players that they recommend.
- Box Jumps: Using a box that is at least 20 inches, jump with both feet onto the box and then back onto the floor. Do 4 sets of 5 jumps. Make sure that you are using a hard box that is designed to be jumped on, otherwise you could injure yourself.
- Side Planks: While lying on one side, lift up your hip to a side plank, resting your forearm down on the floor and the other straight up. Hold for 30 seconds on each side. Repeat 3 times. If you want to make it harder, you can straighten your base arm, holding a plank with a straight line from your shoulder to your wrist.
- Single Leg Squats: Hanging onto a heavy dumbbell, lower down into a squat on one leg. Keep your opposite leg straight in front of you as you lower down. You need to keep your back flat and your chest up. Lower down as far as you can before coming back up. Repeat for 10 reps before switching sides. Do 3 sets on each side.
- Split Squat Jumps: From standing, put one leg on a chair or table behind you. Have the other foot lunged forward. Push off the heel of the front leg, landing softly. The back leg needs to stay elevated. Do 6 reps on one leg before switching. Do 3 sets on each leg.
- Sliding Leg Curl: You need a smooth floor to do this one; it won’t work with carpet. Lying down, bend your knees. Your feet need to be on two dish towels on the floor. Bridge upward, squeezing in your glutes. Slowly, slide your feet out so your legs are straight. Then slide back to the bridge. Repeat 12 times. Do 4 sets.
- Bike Sprints: You can do this with any bike, but it is easier with a stationary bike. On the bike, push as hard and as fast as you can for 20 seconds. Then bike normally for 40 seconds. Repeat this 8 times, with intervals of 20 seconds pushing and 40 seconds normal biking.
- Ab Wheel Rollout: Let’s not leave out your core. Get down on your knees with an ab wheel. Roll yourself forward slowly, keeping your back neutral. Got out as far as you can. Then roll back up. Repeat 12 times. Try to go farther out each time you roll out. Do 4 sets.
Training for hockey is not so simple that you can just go for a 4-mile run and think that you are in shape. Hockey is really comprised of short bursts of fast energy, rather than a slow and steady test of endurance. These exercises are about building your muscles, improving your overall strength, and help you prevent any hockey-related injuries.
Remember to stop exercising if at any point you experience shortness of breath or if any exercises cause you pain. It’s normal to feel some discomfort as you work out, but you should not be in any kind of pain.
If you are concerned at all about your physical fitness, make sure that you schedule an appointment with your physician before beginning any exercise program.