How to Train During Your Hockey Season

STACK Expert Mike Mejia promotes in-season hockey training and offers 2 workouts that can help you maintain strength & power.

Off-season conditioning for hockey is notoriously demanding. And once the games start, holding on to the gains you made when you had more time for strength and conditioning can be a tricky business. You don't want to overdo it and hurt your ability to recover between practices and games.

To stay in top shape in-season, try some of the hockey training maintenance circuits I've outlined below. They are extremely popular with the players I work with for several reasons. First, by focusing heavily on the posterior chain and upper back, they target the muscle groups and movement patterns you're not already pounding on the ice. Second, they incorporate lots of mobility work right into actual strengthening drills, allowing you to work on maintaining or even improving range of motion in chronically tight areas like the hip flexors, groin and lats.

Third, they de-emphasize rotational power movements and promote core stabilization to counteract all of the shooting movements you make during games. Finally, since you're already doing plenty of skating, these circuits limit energy system training, allowing you to maintain strength and power without feeling completely gassed at the end of your workouts.

Perform two consecutive exercises as paired supersets and the desired number of sets before moving on to the next pairing. All workouts should be preceded by 5-7 minutes of soft tissue work and a full dynamic warm-up. Check out a demonstration of this training routine in the video player above. 

Workout 1

A-1 Power Clean to Front Squat

  • Reps: x 3-5
  • Goal: Power maintenance and anterior core activation 

A-2 Half High Kneeling Pallof Press

  • Reps x 6-8 per side
  • Goal: Core strengthening (anti-rotation)

B-1 Suspension Trainer Row with Negative Reverse Fly

  • Reps x 6-8
  • Goal: Improve scapular stabilization 

B-2 Mini-Band Barbell Hip Bridge

  • Reps x 6-8
  • Goal: Glute and core strengthening / dynamically stretch hip flexors 

C-1 Stability Ball Elevation Change

  • Reps: x 8-10 (alternating)
  • Goal: Core stability (anti-rotation) 

C-2 Slideboard Reverse / Lateral Lunge Combo

  • Reps x 4 each per side
  • Goal: Lower-body strengthening (glute and hamstring emphasis) 

D-1 Kettlebell Windmill

  • Reps x 5-6 each side
  • Goal: Hamstring stretching / Core and shoulder stability 

D-2 Wall Hip Flexor Mobilization

  • Reps: x 8-10
  • Goal: Hip flexor and ankle mobility 

Workout 2

 A-1 Lateral Skaters Board to Stabilization with Med Ball

  •  Reps x 10 alternating
  • Goal: Explosive power / lateral stabilization

A-2 Landmine Anti-Rotation Row

  • Reps: 6-8
  • Goal: Upper back strengthening / Core stability (anti-rotation) 

B-1 Suspension Trainer Chest Press to Standing Fallout

  • Reps x 5-6
  • Goal: Improve shoulder stability / core strengthening (anti-extension) 

B-2 Crossover Pistol Squat

  • Reps: 5-6
  • Goal: Ankle, knee & hip stability / ACL injury prevention 

C-1 Stability Barbell Push Press

  • Reps: 5-6
  • Goal: Shoulder / core stability 

C-2 Glute Ham Raise with Reverse Fly

  • Reps: x 5-6
  • Goal: Posterior chain / upper-back strengthening 

D-1 Half High Kneeling Lat Pulldown

  • Reps x 6-8
  • Goal: Scapular depression / hip flexor stretching 

D-2 Lateral Shift

  • Reps: x 8-10 alternating
  • Goal: Adductor mobility

Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock