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Best Plyometric Exercises For Hockey Players

October 16, 2012 | Conor Doherty

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One of the best ways to build explosive speed for hockey is to add plyometric exercises to your training program. But you can't just perform any old plyo routine and expect it to yield maximum results. (Discover some off-ice drills that improve skating speed.)

You need to consider your goals and remember that hockey is unique among sports. Hockey players spend most of their time explosively pushing off one leg at a time, rather than jumping off two feet, like basketball players. So the best plyos for hockey involve single-leg jumps.

In addition, hockey players push off to the side when they skate. This requires strong lateral muscles, which are not nearly as active in other sports.

Bottom line: hockey players should select plyos that focus on single-leg and lateral movements. Pick two or three of the following exercises and perform them one or two times per week to increase your skating speed and explosive power. (Learn about skating technique.)

Single-Leg Jumps

  • Assume athletic position standing on one foot
  • Lower into quarter squat
  • Extend hip and knee and jump as high as possible
  • Land with soft knee and repeat
  • Perform set with opposite leg

Sets/Reps: 3x10 each leg

Scissor Jumps

  • Start in lunge position with back knee on ground
  • Extend front leg to explode out of lunge
  • Switch legs in air and land in lunge with opposite knee forward
  • Repeat for specified reps
  • Perform set with opposite leg in front

Sets/Reps: 3x5 each leg (progress to 3x10)

Side-to-Side Bounds

  • Start in athletic position standing on right foot
  • Explode 45 degrees to left and land softly on left foot with right foot in air
  • Repeat to right
  • Continue in alternating fashion for specified reps

Sets/Reps: 3x10

Lateral Box Jumps

  • Assume athletic stance with plyo box to side
  • Jump up to side and land softly on box
  • Step down from box
  • Repeat for specified reps
  • Perform set in opposite direction

Sets/Reps: 2-3x5 each direction

Single-Leg Box Jumps

  • Start in athletic position standing on one foot with box in front
  • Jump and land softly on box on one foot
  • Hop down from box
  • Repeat for specified reps
  • Perform set with opposite leg

Sets/Reps: 2-3x5

For more hockey training information, click here.

Photo: elitehockeyskills.ca

Conor Doherty
- Conor Doherty, PTS, is an athletic trainer in Dryden, Ontario, who specializes in sports performance. The majority of his clients are hockey players. Learn more...
Conor Doherty
- Conor Doherty, PTS, is an athletic trainer in Dryden, Ontario, who specializes in sports performance. The majority of his clients are hockey players. Learn more...
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