Hockey is a sport that demands a unique fitness style. Quickness, explosiveness and strength take precedence over attributes such as stamina and raw speed. That's what makes staying in shape for hockey during the off-season so hard for players: most traditional exercises simply don't work the body that way. If you're a dedicated hockey player, you need to try out these simple, but effective, routines.
- Build up your stamina by mastering the “stride.” The stride is a running speed faster than jogging but slower than sprinting. It's perfect for hockey players because it emulates the quick bursts of speed crucial to good hockey. Stride the length and width of a football field every day.
- Once you've built up a little stamina, start working on your explosiveness. Start out with 5-10 yard sprints and build up to at least 20 yards. As you're sprinting, jut to the left and right to emulate the quick changes of direction that are the bread-and-butter of a successful hockey player.
- Focus on improving your core strength during your weight training sessions. Core muscles are so important to a hockey player: they support you as you skate and help you pivot, turn and check with full strength. Sit-ups and crunches are okay, but hockey players are best served by performing standing twists and overhead squats.
- Boost your flexibility before and after each exercise. Obviously, stretching is an important way to warm up and cool down your muscles, but increasing flexibility is key for hockey fitness. Just think about the last time you fought for the puck against the wall: wouldn't it have been nice to bend just a little bit more in the direction of the puck? Flexibility exercises such as yoga should be all you need.
If you have any more questions on maintaining peak level hockey fitness, contact us today. We can help you get in shape and stay in shape.