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The 3 Pillars of Hockey Training

November 9, 2012 | Sean Cromarty

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Elite hockey players share common approaches to their off-ice training. Take your workouts to the next level by learning the three pillars of hockey training, along with specific exercises you can use to improve each aspect of your game. (While you're at it, check out Red Wings forward Henrik Zetterberg's Workout.)

Balance

Balance refers to the ability to maintain posture, center of gravity and muscular balance. If any aspect of your balance is lacking, your skating technique will suffer. The following exercises help develop longer, more powerful strides and improve edge control, so you can get up to speed faster and maintain better control on the ice.

Hockey Balance Exercises: Single-Leg Deadlift, Hurdle Hops, Balance Board

Acceleration and Deceleration

The ability to quickly transition from defense to offense is the mark of a good hockey team. As an individual player, you can improve these skills by developing power. The more power you put into the ice, the faster you can get to your top speed. Use these explosive exercises to build hockey power.

Hockey Power Exercises: Deadlift, Back Squat With Chains

You can also improve acceleration and deceleration with overspeed training—i.e., exercises performed at a faster-than-normal pace, like sprinting while being pulled by a resistance band. Overspeed training quickens your stride rate, which increases your  top-end speed.

Hockey Overspeed Exercises: Agility Ladder Work, Sprinting

Core Stability

Without a strong core, you won't be able to properly transfer energy from your legs to your upper body, and you won't have adequate strength to protect the puck along the boards or battle in front of the net. Core strength also improves rotational power and spine stability, which directly translates to greater shot power and enhanced ability to absorb contact from an opponent's check. Try these core exercises:

Hockey Core Exercises: Rotational Strength, Windshield Wipers, Plank

Photo: USCHO.com

Sean Cromarty
- Sean Cromarty owns and operates Competitive Advantage Training. He is certified as a personal trainer by the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM), and he...
Sean Cromarty
- Sean Cromarty owns and operates Competitive Advantage Training. He is certified as a personal trainer by the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM), and he...
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