How Plyometric Training Helps On-Ice Quickness | STACK

Become a Better Athlete. Sign Up for our FREE Newsletter.

How Plyometric Training Helps On-Ice Quickness

March 1, 2011

Must See Hockey Videos

To be a successful hockey player, you need speed and power. Plyometric training is used to create explosiveness in hockey players, because it increases the speed and power with which a muscle contracts—which translates to better output on the ice.

By making muscles contract faster and more forcibly, you increase leg speed [quickness] and stride length, which means you cover more ground with each step. [Can you see how this can positively affect on-ice quickness?]

Plyometric drills are composed of movements done quickly or explosively, including any form of jumping, bounding, sprinting, medicine ball throws, Olympic Lifts and low-weight resistance exercises. Players use such movements to teach their muscles how to fire properly so their bodies will move more powerfully and efficiently. Plyometrics not only work muscles, they also teach the nervous system how and when to produce force properly.

For lower body plyos in particular, a player should perform both unilateral [single leg] and bilateral [two leg] drills, as both are important in overall development of hip and leg power. Squat Jumps and Box Jumps are great basic drills that can teach proper loading.

A Lateral Jump is a single-leg plyo that crosses over to the ice naturally, because the body position is very similar to that of a hockey player’s stride. Because it’s a single-leg drill, it forces each leg to work independently, which will help even out muscle imbalances and deficiencies young players tend to have.

Once these basic jumps can be performed with efficiency, try multiple jumps over hurdles and boxes. Drills can include a pause between jumps or brief contact with the ground. When close to the season [or in-season], ground contact should be minimized, and quickness off the ground should be emphasized.

Depending on the exercises chosen, plyometrics can be performed two to four times a week in the off-season and one to three times in-season. A player should be able to perform reps without feeling fatigue. Speed and quickness are the goals, not muscle failure. Also, a player should always make sure he or she is conscious of form. Having proper guidance is a must—continuously doing drills with poor technique is dangerous and can lead to injury.

The following is an example of a plyometric workout:

Squat Jump or Box Jump: 3-5x5-8
Lateral Jumps or Split Jumps: 3x5-8 per leg
Hurdle Hops: 3x3-8 hurdles
Clap Push-Ups: 3-5x5
Kneeling Med Ball Chest Passes: 3-5x5-8

To see these exercises in action, check out Crash Conditioning's workout on STACK TV.


Adam Lockhart is the head strength and conditioning coach at Crash Conditioning in Calgary, Alberta, where many top hockey players and prospects train. His coaching strengths are in speed and agility training, as well as Olympic weightlifting. He has coached members of junior and university football teams and members of Canada’s bobsled and skeletons teams. He has also trained other national teams in bobsled and skeleton, as well as international athletes in both track and field and Olympic weightlifting. Lockhart’s personal background is in track and field, where he competed nationally in long jump, triple jump, 200m and 400m.

Adam Lockhart
- Adam Lockhart is the head strength and conditioning coach at Crash Conditioning in Calgary, Alberta, where many top hockey players and prospects train, including NHL...
Adam Lockhart
- Adam Lockhart is the head strength and conditioning coach at Crash Conditioning in Calgary, Alberta, where many top hockey players and prospects train, including NHL...
Must See
Brandon Jennings: "Always Improve"
Views: 2,590,465
How to Perform the Euro Step With Iman Shumpert
Views: 82,700
Colin Kaepernick Explains His Ridiculous Socks
Views: 23,792,114

Featured Videos

James Harden on Becoming a Franchise Player Views: 72,546
Path to the Pros 2015: Devin Smith Views: 28,813
Blake Griffin Interview and Cover Shoot Views: 574,257
Load More


STACK Fitness

Everything you need to be fitter than ever

STACK Conditioning

Sport-specific conditioning programs

Coaches and Trainers

Tips and advice for coaches and trainers


Latest issues of STACK Magazine


Women's sports workout, nutrition and lifestyle advice


Gaming, entertainment and tech news

Basic Training

Military-style training for athletes


Find the latest news relevant to athletes

Most Popular Videos

Dwight Howard Stays in the Gym All Night
Views: 3,902,816
Two-Ball Dribbling Drill With John Wall
Views: 3,359,811
Colby Lewis's Four-Seam Fastball Technique
Views: 5,011,383
Drew Brees Will Not Be Denied
Views: 7,834,380
Dwight Howard Stays in the Gym All Night
Views: 3,902,816

Load More
More Cool Stuff You'll Like

5 Essential Cross Country Workouts Explained

Don't know what a "fartlek" is? No problem. Here's a rundown of every cross country workout you'll encounter...

The Secret to Tom Brady's Newfound Speed

Get More Explosive Off the Line of Scrimmage Like DeSean Jackson

How to Train for Speed in Cold Weather

3 Speed Workouts to Improve Your Top-End Sprints

How to Improve Your Basketball Quickness in 5 Minutes

Linear Speed Drills to Improve Athleticism

The Speed Drill That Set Up DeSean Jackson's 64-Yard Touchdown

12-Week Off-Season Baseball Speed Workout

Build Strength for Baseball and Softball Speed

ZSeries 10-Minute Workouts: Multidirectional Run

Get Faster With the Ultimate Stair Workout

Ditch the Sprints. Here's How to Build True Sports Speed

ZSeries 10-Minute Workouts: The Treadmill Challenge

Build Sprint Speed Like an Olympian

How to Safely Decelerate Faster

How to Build First-Step Quickness for Baseball and Softball

Previewing the Fastest Draft Prospects of the 2015 NFL Combine

3 Speed Drills to Help You Sprint Faster and Lower Your 40 Time

Lengthen Your Stride for Maximum Speed

The Off-Season Baseball Speed and Agility Workout Program

ZSeries 10-Minute Workouts: Track Sprints

3 Biggest Myths About Soccer Speed

Skipping Drills: The Missing Link From Your Speed Workouts

Acceleration Drills to Increase Speed

3 Speed Training Essentials You Must Develop to Get Faster

Improve Your Baseball Speed With This On-Field Workout

10 Reasons Why You're Not Getting Faster

8 Speed Workout Tips to Get Faster

Speed Plyometrics to Help You Run Faster

Stability Training Can Improve Your Agility and Range of Motion

3 Simple Tips to Improve Your 40-Yard Dash

5 Ways to Spice Up Your Ladder Drills

The 5 Elements of a Successful Speed Training Program

Build Game-Breaking Speed With This Exercise

4 Powerful Band Agility Drills

Rev Up Your Sprint Training With These Complexes

Get the Most Out of Foam Rolling

STACK Challenge: 300-Yard Shuttle

Improve Your Football 40 Time During the Season

Sprint Faster With Speed Demons

Get Faster With 'The .10 Second Difference' From EXOS

Improve Your Footwork to Improve Football Agility

Increase Your Lacrosse Speed With Multi-Directional Exercises

Burn Your Competition with This Sprint Workout

8 Positions to Lower Your 40-Yard-Dash Time

3 Box Drills That Develop True Game Speed

Here's Why Andre Williams' Breakout Performance Was No Fluke