While the 2019-20 hockey season was forced to an early end due to the
COVID-19 pandemic, there is no reason why the focus cannot begin to shift
to next season.
One positive of social distancing is the opportunity for players of all
ages and abilities to focus on improving away from the rink.
Off-ice training is just as important for hockey development as being on
the ice. It allows for athletes to focus on bio-motor abilities (speed,
power, strength, flexibility, conditioning) that will enhance their on-ice
Let’s break down the ways to improve these specific areas at home to make
sure players are ready to lave up the skates in the fall.
PART 1: SPEED |
PART 2: POWER |
PART 3: STRENGTH
PART 4: FLEXIBILITY
Flexibility is important for all sports, including hockey. It allows your
body to get into certain positions and can work to increase the range of
motion. This allows you to skate lower, which in turn will allow you to
increase your power while skating. Being flexible isn’t just for goalies!
Important areas to focus on include the hamstrings, glute muscles and hip
flexors. Here is a simple stretching routine that you can follow on days
you are not training (recovery) or following any of previous training
Hip Flexor Stretch with Reach and Rotation:
Get into a half-kneeling position, making sure your hip is stacked over the
down knee. Reach your hands forward, with your fingers pointed down (think
Spiderman shooting webs). Rotate slightly towards the down hip (think arms
at 12 o’clock and 3 o’clock), then lean (side bend) away from the down leg.
Hold for 30 seconds each side.
90/90 Hip Stretch:
Sit on one hip, with both legs positioned 90 degrees in front of and behind
you (think 90 degrees at ankle, knee and hip). Sitting up tall, squeeze
your abs and try to be straight and tall through your upper body, slightly
pressing your front leg into the ground. Hold for 30 seconds with each leg
in the front position.
Reverse Nordic (Active Stretch):
Set up in a tall kneeling position (both knees down), with your toes flat
on the ground behind you. Maintain a tall-and-tight posture, with your hips
in a neutral position. Keeping your shoulders over your hips, lean as far
back as you can, making sure you are not just moving your shoulders back.
Lean as far back as you can before you lose your posture, then return to
the starting position. It can help to maintain proper posture by holding a
broomstick behind your back and maintaining five points of contact (head,
top hand, upper back, lower hand, butt) on the stick. Perform 10 of these