Why Hockey Players Should Train on a Slideboard

Hockey players: improve your skating speed and strength by incorporating slideboard drills into your workouts. STACK Expert Chris Costa shows you how.

Hockey Training

The slideboard is a simple piece of equipment. A hinged piece of wood attaches two bumpers to an 8- to 10-foot piece of plastic,which, when lubricated, is highly slippery, allowing  a hockey player to mimic his or her on-ice skating stride in the gym.

Hockey slideboard training allows you to increase and decrease your lateral hip angles, which strengthen your adductors and abductors—muscles that are important from start to finish through the stride. Training these muscles can increase skating stride speed and strength.

In addition, the lateral push-off produced during each slide engages the glutes to maintain hip stability and produces a more efficient stride.

By addressing these issues, a hockey player can greatly increase the effectiveness of each stride, while decreasing the amount of work and preserving energy.

Here are a few hockey slideboard exercises to start your training.

Slide Lunges

These increase stability and power.

  • Keep one foot off the slideboard on a stable, flat surface. Place the other foot (shoe on/bootie on) on the board.
  • Your starting stance from the heel of the off-board foot to the toe of the on-board foot should be roughly the length of your tibia.
  • Lunge forward until your lead leg bends 90 degrees at the knee.
  • The foot on the board should slide as far toward the back of the board as is comfortable until your knee nearly touches the board.
  • Complete as many reps on each leg until you are no longer able to maintain proper form.

Lateral Slides

  • With shoes on, assume a starting position at one of the bumpers.
  • Push off the bumper toward the opposite bumper.
  • Maintain core, hip and lumbar stability.
  • Keep your feet shoulder-width or wider through the slide.
  • Once you reach the opposite bumper, reset.
  • Keep your feet together and push off toward the opposite bumper.
  • Repeat.

Tip: A great way to approach these exercises is the Tabata protocol. Go hard for 20 seconds and rest for 10 seconds repeatedly for at least two minutes. It will really boost your endurance. Mimicking a shift on the ice is important during your training.

Try these two slideboard exercises today to make a difference on the ice.

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Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock

Topics: HOCKEY | HOCKEY WORKOUTS | EXERCISE | STRIDE