Dryland Training for Young Hockey Players
Taking the time to train, strengthen, and condition your body properly in the hockey off-season will get you in shape to dominate on (and off) the ice. One thing to know before you get started, is that there is a big difference between exercising and training. Training is more specific, in that when you are training, you are working towards a goal–rather than simply just exercising. Training specifically for hockey, will ultimately translate to improving your on-ice performance.
A well-conditioned body not only increases your performance, but is also less prone to injury. Dryland training should be intense and focused on:
- Warm Up & Flexibility
- Balance & Stability
- Speed & Conditioning
SKLZ offers several training tools that are specific to athletes who play hockey. Check out these tips and tools for Hockey Dryland Training;
Warm Up & Flexibility
Warming up and flexibility can be neglected elements in training, but it is important to include these exercises in your training program because they are the foundation of your body’s movement. If your body is not flexible, you will be wasting energy with every stride you take on the ice and will be putting unnecessary stress on your body.
When warming up and trying to increase flexibility, be sure to focus on your hips, glutes and lower body, which all contribute to your skating stride. Dynamic stretching is key here, compared to static stretching (holding for 15-30 seconds), which should be done after the workout.
Dynamic stretches for your warm-up include:
- Jumping jacks
- Couch stretches
- Lateral lunges
- Trunk rotation (withstick)
- Arm circles
- Shoulder flexors (with stick)
- Single-leg hip circles
The SKLZ Mini Bands are ideal for lateral movement exercises and offer 3 different levels of resistance.
Balance & Stability
Stability is not just core focused; as a hockey player it is critical you improve the stability of your hips, knees, ankles and shoulders. These joints work in sync to provide the balance and strength every player needs. Having stability can be your secret weapon for winning the puck battles in the corner and splitting the D.
Instead of doing planks, push-ups and pillar exercises separately, combine all exercises together and train at a new level with the SKLZ Core Wheels. The rolling wheels on each side destabilizes your movements, causing your shoulders, torso and hips to work harder. Core Wheels feature ergonomic foam handles, a lightweight design, and a training guide to get you started.
Don’t have time for fancy equipment? No big deal.
- Grab something around you that has any weight to it (about 10lbs or so), stand on one foot and lower the object with one hand to the opposite side, come back up and repeat.
- Have a box or a bench nearby? Grab your stick and find a stable surface that’s about 1ft. high. Using one leg, jump onto the surface and simulate 3 quick shots with your stick, while still on one foot. Hop down and repeat, alternating legs.
Strength & Power
If you want to elevate your game and increase your speed on the ice, focus on developing strength and power through resistance exercises and drills,
First? Try running with a parachute. The COREFX Resistance Parachute and SKLZ Speed Sac allow you to maximize acceleration and top-end speed through progressive resistance and speed training. Resistance training helps you develop strength and power throughout your whole body.
COREFX Resistance Parachute targets upper body while the SKLZ Speed Sac drills target the lower body with resistance.
Don’t want any new gear? Try bodyweight training — using nothing but the weight of your body —perfect for anyone who can’t get to the gym.
- Wall sits
- Box jumps (lateral)
- Lunge jumps
Linear and Multi Directional Speed
After building strength and power for speed, focus on Linear and Multi-Directional Speed drills. This will help you be the first one to the puck and the fastest player forwards and backwards on ice. Training with SKLZ 6X Hurdles, Reaction Ball, and SKLZ Elevation Ladder deliver great training for speed, agility, hand-eye coordination and balance techniques.
Quick feet, rapid change in direction, and body control can be mastered when using these training products.
All you have is a stick and a pop can? No problem.
Try some stick jumps! Lay your stick down vertically on the ground and jump over it repeatedly from left to right. Done with that? Time for some sprints, couch dips, or a good old fashioned stick handling sesh.
Your goal is to have maximum stamina to play longer, faster and harder than your opponent. If you are a Superstar in the 1st period but too tired to go on in the 3rd, you need to focus more on your conditioning and stamina training. Implementing cardio with your training program will ensure great stamina during the whole game. Be sure to change up your pace and resistance during cardio to challenge and shock your body.
Proper hockey training in the off-season can improve skill, power, speed, stamina, injury prevention and overall health. It is important to push and improve on your limits but remember to listen to your body or else your off-season is going to last a lot longer than you thought! Ask our experts at your local Source for Sports store for tips on how to improve your game, on and off the ice.
For expert advice on hockey gear and equipment that is right for your game, level of play, and budget, come see us at your local Source for Sports hockey store near you. We Fit Your Game.
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