How do you get hockey fit?
Please note, workouts suggested on this website are not to be interpreted as treatment plans or substitutes for medical consultation. Before undertaking any exercise program, please consult a physician or healthcare provider for appropriate safety precautions. If at any point during a workout you start to feel dizzy, faint, short of breath, or experience physical discomfort, discontinue your exercise immediately and consult a physician.
Anyone who has seen a hockey game knows that, under all the padding, hockey players are some of the most fit and conditioned athletes in the world. In addition to training in the rink, they also work tirelessly off the ice (some in Gym Source gyms) to become stronger, faster, and more agile than they were last season.
1. Sprinting for Speed
Speed makes hockey games exciting. The average NHL player skates at speeds over 20 MPH. Physicist Thomas Humphry says that skating is “the fastest way to travel on the surface of the earth on your feet.” Basically, skating means speed. So yeah, you have to be fast.
Although players’ shifts only last a couple of minutes at a time, there is no downtime on the ice. They must be prepared for short, intense bursts of action. Sprinting drills are a great way to get in top speed shape. Try sprints on a TRUE PS800 Treadmill, it’s got one of the largest running surfaces available in a treadmill.
2. A Strong Core for a High Score
Strengthening your core is important in almost any sport or physical activity. It’s especially important in hockey conditioning. Having a strong core gives you stability – and anyone who’s ever stepped foot on the ice knows how crucial that is. For most people, keeping your balance while skating is hard enough… imagine having to handle a puck too! Exercises that focus on your abdominals and your back, like working with a Bosu Ball, will give you the strength and stability of power players.
3. Lower Body Strength for Star Power
Hockey players have incredible lower body strength. Special attention has to be given to the glutes, quadriceps, and hamstrings. Leg presses, squats, leg extension exercises, and especially leg curls with a Cybex Prestige Strength VRS Prone Leg Curl machine are great to power up the lower body like an NHL star.
4. Upper Body Matters Too
To stay hockey fit, no muscle group can be ignored. Many people think that success in the rink is built on leg strength alone, but upper body strength is also important for effective shoulder movements and arm swings. So, grab some weights – try the innovative NuBells – and work on that upper body. Overhead presses, chest presses, and pushups are simple and effective ways to increase upper body power.
5. Flexibility Counts
Flexibility is essential in hockey. The sport requires a huge range of motion. Hockey is as much about movement as it is about speed and power. There’s a reason you always see hockey players stretching during warm-ups: to prevent injury and to increase flexibility. Stretching each muscle group decreases your risk of injury and helps you move more effectively.
Workouts that increase your speed and upper/lower body strength will have you ready, not only to hit the ice, but for any other physical activity as well. Hockey is a tough sport and full body strength is important, but remember to pay attention to your stability and flexibility to be truly hockey fit.
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