2 Exercises for Women to Improve Their Ice Hockey Performance

Women hockey players: improve your performance on the ice by performing these two exercises during the off-season, suggested by STACK Expert John C. Mackersie.

Women's Hockey

For hockey players who expect to reach their peak performance on the ice, year-round training is required. In the off-season, it is important to focus on training parameters that mimic the sport and prevent injury.

These two simple exercises are perfect for women hockey players who want to maintain a competitive edge.

Sled Pushes

Besides being simple to execute, Sled Pushes are a great way to enhance mental toughness, improve conditioning, and build strength and power. Further, by manipulating training parameters, it is easy to simulate playing conditions you will face on the ice.

For example, add a moderate amount of weight to the sled and sprint as fast as possible for 60 meters, rest, and repeat. As long as you are maintaining roughly a 1:3 or 1:4 work-to-rest ratio, you will be simulating on-ice conditions. What this means is that however long it takes you to complete a 60-meter Sled Push (roughly 10 seconds), you should rest three to four times that long (roughly 30-40 seconds). This produces a lactic environment. The more your body can adapt to this in the off-season, the better your performance will be on the ice.

Sample Sled Workout

  • Weight (in addition to sled weight): 50-90 pounds
  • Distance covered: 60 meters
  • Sprint speed: As fast as possible
  • Number of sprints: 6-10
  • Rest between sprints: 1 minute

Shoulder Girdle Training

Shooting, bracing for a hit, absorbing a hit into the boards, fighting off a defender and passing the puck are just a few of the skills requiring use of the shoulder girdle. By increasing your strength in this area, you will not only increase your power, you will be reducing the likelihood of an injury. It's important to train from multiple angles (lying down, standing up, sitting) and to use various tools (bands, cables, dumbbells).

A shoulder workout does not have to be fancy. It only has to be performed consistently.

Sample Shoulder Exercise: Seated Dumbbell External Rotations

  • Sit on a bench with your right knee bent and foot flat on the bench. Your left leg should be off to the side with your foot flat on the ground.
  • Place your right elbow on your right knee and hold a lightweight dumbbell. Position your forearm so that it's parallel to your body and to the ground.
  • Raise the dumbbell by rotating your arm until your forearm is perpendicular to the ground. Maintain elbow and knee contact.
  • Rotate your arm through the reverse motion to return to the starting position.
  • Repeat for the specified number of reps, and perform with your opposite arm.
Sets/Reps: 3x8-12 each arm
Try using these two exercises in your off-season training to boost your performance in season.

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Photo: norwichathletics.com

Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock