6 Components of Off-Ice Hockey Training

February 6, 2013 | Stephen McCarthy

Must See Hockey Videos

When looking for an off-ice hockey training program, you will not have a shortage of choices. But many of the routines out there call for gimmicky approaches that will do little for your game on the ice. Stick to these six pillars of off-ice hockey training to get the most out of your workouts. These tried and true methods will directly result in increased strength, speed, power and skill execution on the ice.

Off-Ice Hockey Training

Strength Training

Get into the weight room and work with loads and other forms of resistance. Too many programs include only the physioball and use trendy terms like "strengthening your core." There is no substitute for lifting a load and handling the stress it causes. Not to say that bodyweight and ball exercises are not useful, but they should not be the primary methods during your workout. (See Henrik Zetterberg's Explosive Single-Leg Series.)

Speed Training

Science has proven a correlation between running speed and skating speed. A program that improves your ability to move fast on dry land will also make you faster on the ice. Avoid getting too technical. When off-ice, develop your athleticism, not your skating stride.(Check out the STACK Performance Series 20: Quicker Skating Speed With Duncan Keith.)

Coordination Development

Russian strength coaches always talk about the athlete's ability to make connections within his body. If you make these connections quicker and more efficiently, you will have an advantage over your competition. A program must include ways to challenge your ability to understand where you are in space and how to move in the most efficient way possible. Accomplish this by incorporating neural confusion drills, which are exercises that challenge your coordination by forcing you to perform multiple movements at once—e.g., throwing and catching a ball while performing speed ladder drills with your feet.

Cardio

This is one of the most common components of off-ice programs. We all hear about running the hill behind the rink and sprinting up and down the bleachers 20 times. A different approach is to include metabolic running. This type of conditioning is more closely aligned with how hockey is actually played. Run short (30- to 40-second) sprints with rest in between.

Joint Flexibility

Every athlete benefits from mobile joints. While there has been considerable debate about the value of stretching, it is widely accepted that strong, flexible limbs and joints increase sports performance by allowing a more complete, natural and powerful range of motion during athletic movements. Full range of motion is best achieved through dynamic warm-up movements at the beginning of training sessions and post-workout stretching following the activity.

Off-Ice Drills

Look for programs that challenge your skills and makes them better. The only ditch you can fall into is trying to do too many things at one time—like stick handling with one hand and juggling a ball in the other, or hopping on one foot and kicking a soccer ball with the other. It's one thing to develop your ability to multitask and another to train for the circus. (See also G Performance Series 31: Best Hockey Exercises.)

A program that is well balanced and properly thought out will develop all aspects of your game, not just make you strong. If your program incorporates these six components and you stay away from quick-fix gimmicks, you will be on the road to success.

Topics: HOCKEY
Stephen McCarthy
- Stephen McCarthy, Director of The McCarthy Project, was born and raised in Spring Lake Park, Minn. He has worked with over 10,000 athletes, primarily...
Stephen McCarthy
- Stephen McCarthy, Director of The McCarthy Project, was born and raised in Spring Lake Park, Minn. He has worked with over 10,000 athletes, primarily...

Featured Videos

Path to the Pros 2015: Devin Smith Path to the Pros 2015: Devin Smith Views: 179,065
Path to the Pros 2015: Shaq Thompson Path to the Pros 2015: Shaq Thompson Views: 75,992
Blake Griffin Interview and Cover Shoot Blake Griffin Interview and Cover Shoot Views: 588,674
Load More

Resources

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

Magazine

Latest issues of STACK Magazine

STACK 4W

Women's sports workout, nutrition and lifestyle advice

Gamer

Gaming, entertainment and tech news

Basic Training

Military-style training for athletes

News

Find the latest news relevant to athletes

Most Popular Videos

Peyton Manning Dumbbell Bench With 80+ Pounds Peyton Manning Dumbbell Bench With 80+ Pounds
Views: 43,252,646
Ohio State Football Open Field Plyo Drill Ohio State Football Open Field Plyo Drill
Views: 9,501,192
Robert Griffin III Pocket Presence QB Drill Robert Griffin III Pocket Presence QB Drill
Views: 6,866,172
Dustin Pedroia on Training Dustin Pedroia on Training
Views: 10,920,872
Dwight Howard Stays in the Gym All Night Dwight Howard Stays in the Gym All Night
Views: 6,117,437

Load More
More Cool Stuff You'll Like
Improve Your Basketball Passes With Med Ball Exercises

Improve Your Basketball Passes With Med Ball Exercises

The medicine ball can be a great basketball workout to improve your passing. Passing is an extremely important skill in basketball. It advances the...

10 Essential Point Guard Drills From Skylar Diggins

10 Essential Point Guard Drills From Skylar Diggins

The 4 Fundamentals of Hitting a Baseball

The 4 Fundamentals of Hitting a Baseball

3 Steps to Better In-Game Baseball Hitting

3 Steps to Better In-Game Baseball Hitting

How to Dribble a Basketball

How to Dribble a Basketball

Why Basketball Players Must Improve Their Weak Hand

Why Basketball Players Must Improve Their Weak Hand

How Ryan Mathews Returned to Highlight Reel Status

How Ryan Mathews Returned to Highlight Reel Status

4 Soccer Drills to Shoot Better While on the Move

4 Soccer Drills to Shoot Better While on the Move

Drills for a Better Pole Vault Swing

Drills for a Better Pole Vault Swing

How to Shoot a Basketball Better

How to Shoot a Basketball Better

3 Things You Are Doing Wrong In Your Basketball Training

3 Things You Are Doing Wrong In Your Basketball Training

Learn from Steph Curry: Stay the Course to Beat the Defense

Learn from Steph Curry: Stay the Course to Beat the Defense

Boost Your Fastball With This Weighted Baseball Workout

Boost Your Fastball With This Weighted Baseball Workout

The Football Route Tree, Explained

The Football Route Tree, Explained

Become a Better Baserunner With This Agility Drill

Become a Better Baserunner With This Agility Drill

WATCH: 5 Post Moves From Nerlens Noel

WATCH: 5 Post Moves From Nerlens Noel

Build a Better Layup With These Basketball Speed Drills

Build a Better Layup With These Basketball Speed Drills

Why You Shouldn't Specialize in One Sport Too Soon

Why You Shouldn't Specialize in One Sport Too Soon

Never Fumble Again: How to Carry a Football

Never Fumble Again: How to Carry a Football

Basketball Speed Drills for Offense

Basketball Speed Drills for Offense

Drive Defenders Crazy With These Super Moves from NBA Legends

Drive Defenders Crazy With These Super Moves from NBA Legends

4 Tips for Coaching Low-Velocity Softball Pitchers

4 Tips for Coaching Low-Velocity Softball Pitchers

Winter Soccer Workout to Improve Ball Handling

Winter Soccer Workout to Improve Ball Handling

How to Improve Your Basketball Skills in the Weight Room

How to Improve Your Basketball Skills in the Weight Room

'Squash the Bug' and Other Softball Batting Tips That Don't Work

'Squash the Bug' and Other Softball Batting Tips That Don't Work

Learn to Shoot a Basketball with the BEEF Method

Learn to Shoot a Basketball with the BEEF Method

Improve Your Jump Shot with Core Strength

Improve Your Jump Shot with Core Strength

How to Create a Killer Crossover Without a Basketball

How to Create a Killer Crossover Without a Basketball

Basketball Shooting Technique: How to Shoot a Floater

Basketball Shooting Technique: How to Shoot a Floater

Teach the Layup with the Two-Step Drill

Teach the Layup with the Two-Step Drill

How Tampa Bay Rays Pitcher Chris Archer Got in All-Star Shape

How Tampa Bay Rays Pitcher Chris Archer Got in All-Star Shape

2 Drills to Help You Play Lockdown Basketball Defense

2 Drills to Help You Play Lockdown Basketball Defense

4 Tips to Become a Better Softball Pitcher

4 Tips to Become a Better Softball Pitcher

10 Tips Every AAU Player Must Know

10 Tips Every AAU Player Must Know

3 Secrets of the NBA's Best Shooters

3 Secrets of the NBA's Best Shooters

How Stephen Curry Became the Best Shooter in the NBA

How Stephen Curry Became the Best Shooter in the NBA

How QB Ryan Tannehill Beats the Blitz

How QB Ryan Tannehill Beats the Blitz

Train for Hockey Off the Ice This Summer

Train for Hockey Off the Ice This Summer

5 Drills to Improve Your Soccer Dribbling Skills

5 Drills to Improve Your Soccer Dribbling Skills

Softball Pitchers: How to Play Your Best Over a Complete Season

Softball Pitchers: How to Play Your Best Over a Complete Season

Success With Health: How Trevor Bauer Increased His Velocity

Success With Health: How Trevor Bauer Increased His Velocity

YardBarker