6 Components of Off-Ice Hockey Training | STACK
X

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

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...
Must See
Derrick Rose Explains How He Stays Positive
Views: 4,916,163
Michael Jordan: Mind of a Champion
Views: 545,004
Antonio Brown Juggles 3 Footballs
Views: 1,170,882

Featured Videos

Olympic Marathoner Ryan Hall: A Day in the Life Views: 327,113
Path to the Pros 2015: Danny Shelton Views: 161,266
Learn to Hit Open Three-Pointers With Damian Lillard's Baseline Drift Drill Views: 228,851
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

How Greg Nixon Converts Strength to Speed
Views: 959,620
Corey White's Off-Season Guide to Making Plays
Views: 1,396,869
Abby Wambach Will Do Whatever It Takes
Views: 2,814,024
Dwight Howard Stays in the Gym All Night
Views: 3,930,693
Two-Ball Dribbling Drill With John Wall
Views: 3,360,036

Load More
More Cool Stuff You'll Like

2 Drills to Help You Play Lockdown Basketball Defense

On the basketball court, an impenetrable basketball defense can be a teams strongest asset. When it comes down to the final possession, a stop on the...

Become a Better Point Guard With This Training Program

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

Build a Better Layup With These Basketball Speed Drills

4 Tips to Become a Better Softball Pitcher

The 4 Fundamentals of Hitting a Baseball

These 3 Route-Running Drills Will Help You Get Open

Improve Your Basketball Passes With Med Ball Exercises

3 Secrets of the NBA's Best Shooters

3 Offensive Line Drills That'll Help You Keep Your QB Clean

How QB Ryan Tannehill Beats the Blitz

Preparation Nation: DeMatha Stags

Why Basketball Players Must Improve Their Weak Hand

Why You Shouldn't Specialize in One Sport Too Soon

Drills for a Better Pole Vault Swing

How to Create a Killer Crossover Without a Basketball

Basketball Dribbling Drills: Use Chaos to Develop Killer Handles

10 Essential Point Guard Drills From Skylar Diggins

How to Improve Your Football Skills Mid-Season

3 Steps to Better In-Game Baseball Hitting

Andrew McCutchen Is Raking His Way to Consecutive MVP Honors

Boost Your Fastball With This Weighted Baseball Workout

Improve Your Jump Shot with Core Strength

Shooting Drills That Will Make You a Knock-Down Shooter

This 13-Year-Old Girl Would Strike You Out

Drive Defenders Crazy With These Super Moves from NBA Legends

How Ryan Mathews Returned to Highlight Reel Status

5 Things You Can Learn From Playing Pre-Season Basketball

4 Drills That'll Help You Become an Elite Running Back

5 Drills to Improve Your Soccer Dribbling Skills

Basketball Shooting Technique: How to Shoot a Floater

QB Skills and Drills: How to Master the Bubble Screen

Develop an Unstoppable Crossover Dribble With Just 3 Drills

Wide Receivers: Learn to Catch Every Jump Ball, Every Time

Winter Soccer Workout to Improve Ball Handling

Use These 3 Principles to Improve Your Basketball Defense

3 Things You Are Doing Wrong In Your Basketball Training

4 Soccer Drills to Shoot Better While on the Move

Success With Health: How Trevor Bauer Increased His Velocity

WATCH: 5 Post Moves From Nerlens Noel