Hockey in the Off-Season: Training at Home
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 it will also be less prone to injury during game time. Training for hockey at home during the off-season should be intense and focused on:
- Warm Up & Flexibility
- Balance & Stability
- Strength & Power
- Speed & Conditioning
At Source for Sports, we offer several training tools that are specific to athletes, especially those that play hockey.
WARM UP & FLEXIBILITY
Warming up and flexibility are often the neglected elements in training, but they are so important for your body’s movement. When warming up and working on 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 (with stick)
- Arm circles
- Shoulder flexors (with stick)
- Single-leg hip circles
No need for any equipment here – hockey sticks are optional but, recommended.
Stability is not just core focused; as a hockey player it’s crucial that 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. Want to combine a bunch of exercises together? Check out the SKLZ Core Wheels. The rolling wheels on each side disrupts your movements, causing your shoulders, torso and hips to work harder. Trust us, you’ll be feeling this one in the morning!
BALANCE & STABILITY
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 1 ft. 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 SKLZ Speed Chute will allow you to maximize acceleration and top end speed through progressive resistance and overspeed training, ultimately improving your stride length and frequency.
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
SPEED & CONDITIONING
Quick feet, rapid change in direction, and body control can be mastered when you train properly, period. Try training with SKLZ 6X Hurdles, SKLZ Reaction Ball and/or the SKLZ Agility Cone Set for speed, agility, hand-eye coordination and balance techniques.
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. No need for rubber when you have the aluminum!
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.