Every recreational hockey player should have one main goal for his season—keeping his front teeth intact. Right behind that, however, are explosiveness, stability, and conditioning so he can play hard and remain injury-free. Here are some ways to develop these qualities without derailing your regular gym workouts—but mouth guard and visor are not included.
Skating requires exploding with one leg at a time. No exercise trains this like the lateral bound.
- Get into an athletic stance and balance on one leg. Jump laterally and land on your other leg.
- Your hips, knees, and feet should all be aligned; your lower back flat
- Regain your balance before bounding back to the other side.
The walking lunge into a vertical jump further improves single-leg power and stability.
- Step forward with one leg and descend into a lunge. Then jump straight up in the air as high as you can.
- After landing, step forward and repeat.
Do both exercises first in your workouts.
The lateral mini-band walk improves strength and endurance specifically in your hips, an underrated part of the core.
- Loop an elastic exercise band around your ankles and get in an athletic stance.
- Step a foot or so to one side so there is tension on the band.
- Keep your hips level and chest up and continue walking laterally. Work both sides.
The Lateral Mini-Band Walk
The top-leg Bunkie side plank makes you stabilize your entire core.
- Lie on your side on the floor and rest the inside of your top foot on a bench.
- Bridge your hips up so your body forms a straight line.
Top Leg Bunkie Side Plank
Hold for 15-30 seconds
You’re going to spend most of the game in a deep knee bend, so you might as well get used to it. Improve your muscle endurance with the split squat iso hold.
- Get into a lunge position with your front knee directly above your ankle. Your back knee should be right under your hip. Push through the heel of your front foot to lift your back knee one-half inch off the floor and hold it.
Deep Knee Bend
30-60 seconds (each leg)
Do this at the end of your workout. It serves as a good finisher, so you leave the gym feeling like you gave it your all.