How to Increase Skating Speed for Hockey, Part 2

February 28, 2012

Must See Hockey Videos

Speed kills in hockey. It allows you to beat defenders to the net, win races to the puck and execute game-saving backchecks. In Part 1 of this series, we broke down the three phases of the forward stride—glide, push and recovery—and provided exercises to improve each one. Here, we focus on technique and on-ice drills to help make you the fastest skater on the ice.

Glide Phase Technique
It's critical that your skate is directly below your hip with your knee in line. Your ankle, knee and hip should be bent, with your knee at an 80- to 90-degree angle. You can check this by looking down past your shin pads to the toecaps of your skates. If your toes are showing, more knee bend is necessary. Your weight should be distributed over your ankle and on the flats of your blades. This allows for an efficient glide and transfer of power through the entire blade during the push phase. As your opposite leg enters the recovery phase, your glide skate begins to move outward as it prepares to push.

Push Phase Technique
During the push phase, focus on pushing at a 45-degree angle. This allows for maximum forward force to be transferred to the ice. A push of less than 45 degrees prevents the skate blade from gripping the ice. Conversely, a stride angle greater than 45 degrees causes your momentum to shift too far laterally, thus limiting your power. Make sure to push from your hips, then your knees and finish by extending your ankle. Start pushing from the back third of the blade, through the mid-blade and finally through the toe.

Recovery Phase Technique
The final phase of the stride is the recovery of the skate from the fully extended position to the fully flexed position. The fastest and most efficient way to recover your skate is in a low, straight line. The more time it takes to recover from a stride, the longer it will take before the opposite leg can initiate the push phase, thus reducing your potential speed.

Stationary T Drill
Breaking the stride down into its fundamental components is the best way to improve your speed. A great drill to start with is the Stationary T Drill. Take two sticks (or a stick and line), and form a T shape on the ice. Straddle the stick in the ready position. Stride out to the side just grazing the ice. Your goal is to work on full extension of the leg, not to propel yourself forward. Focus on the technique tips discussed above. Hold the fully extended position for two seconds and return to the start position. Perform two sets of 10 reps each leg.

Stationary T Drill

Skating Toe Drag
A drill to improve your recovery phase is the Skating Toe Drag. Skate down the ice in a straight line, focusing on pushing off at a 45-degree angle. During the recovery phase, drag the toe of your skate on the ice to aid in a low and efficient recovery. Skate the full length of the ice at 50 to 75-percent max speed for three to four sets.

Skating Toe Drag

By this time, you should have a solid foundation. The next step is to incorporate game situations in which you can focus on getting up to full speed. A partner full-ice race drill is a great way to put everything you've learned into a competitive game scenario.

Check out the video below for a detailed look at how a hockey player's stride can be broken down.


Adam Redmond, CSCS, owns RedTech Innovations, a software development company that analyzes the stride of hockey players. He also trains athletes at Crash Conditioning, and he has worked for more than a decade with Steve Serdachny, the Edmonton Oilers’ skating and skills coach. Redmond played hockey for the University of Calgary Dinos, where he was an Academic All-Canadian.

Adam Redmond
- Adam Redmond, CSCS, owns RedTech Innovations, a software development company that analyzes the stride of hockey players. He also trains athletes at Crash Conditioning, and...
Adam Redmond
- Adam Redmond, CSCS, owns RedTech Innovations, a software development company that analyzes the stride of hockey players. He also trains athletes at Crash Conditioning, and...
Must See
Peyton Manning Dumbbell Bench With 80+ Pounds
Views: 37,267,881
Perfect Dwyane Wade's Signature Euro Step
Views: 1,309,063
Why NFL Wide Receiver DeSean Jackson Counts His Blessings
Views: 6,344,447

Featured Videos

Abby Wambach's Med Ball Core Workout Views: 187,099
Kevin Love's Cone Hop Basketball Shooting Drill Views: 12,178
Eastbay Path to the Pros Episode 5: Fundamentals Training Views: 220,234
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

Charging Ground Balls With Skip Schumaker
Views: 29,842
Yoga for Athletes: Crow Pose
Views: 3,539,378
Robert Griffin III Pocket Presence QB Drill
Views: 6,865,919
Evan Longoria's Hitting Drills
Views: 9,798,784
Johny Hendricks Workout Overview
Views: 822,554

Load More
More Cool Stuff You'll Like

How to Train for Speed in Cold Weather

There is a point at which the weather or conditions or maybe even circumstance will prevent you from doing proper speed drills and speed work. For...

Increase Your Lacrosse Speed With Multi-Directional Exercises

Sprint Faster With Speed Demons

Deceleration: The Missing Link for Hockey Speed Training

Linear Speed Drills to Improve Athleticism

3 Biggest Myths About Soccer Speed

Acceleration Drills to Increase Speed

4 Speed Training Mistakes Athletes Make in the Weight Room

Improve Your Baseball Speed With This On-Field Workout

12-Week Off-Season Baseball Speed Workout

Speed Drill of the Day: Get More Explosive with Ankle Hops

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

Skipping Drills: The Missing Link From Your Speed Workouts

Improve Your Footwork to Improve Football Agility

Lengthen Your Stride for Maximum Speed

Improve Your Football 40 Time During the Season

4 Powerful Band Agility Drills

Run Faster and Longer

How the Cable Machine Can Help You Get Faster

Why Youth Athletes Need to Focus On Strength to Improve Speed

King of the Hill: 5 Hill Run Exercises to Supercharge Your Speed

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

3 Simple Steps to Get Quick

Build Sprint Speed Like an Olympian

8 Speed Workout Tips to Get Faster

6 Essential Multi-Directional Speed Drills

3 Acceleration Drills for a Faster First Step

5 Stretches That Can Instantly Make You Faster

Speed Plyometrics to Help You Run Faster

Previewing the Fastest Draft Prospects of the 2015 NFL Combine

Todd Durkin's 5 Exercises to Increase Your Agility

The Off-Season Baseball Speed and Agility Workout Program

Supreme Speed: 6 Training Tips from Football's Fastest Man

How to Improve Your Basketball Quickness in 5 Minutes

Sprinting Technique Errors and How to Fix Them

Todd Durkin's 5 Drills for Faster Sprints

The 5 Elements of a Successful Speed Training Program

5 Weight Room Speed Exercises You're Not Doing

The Secret to Tom Brady's Newfound Speed

3 Ways to Build Sprint Speed (No Sprinting Required)

The 10 Best Speed Exercises for Athletes