Plyometric Training for Hockey
Designing a hockey training program is a lot like creating a delicious meal. You have an abundance of ingredients to choose from, but in order to make
something truly wonderful you need to know which ingredients go together and you need to know the proper amounts to include. Just like a meal without any salt can taste very bland, a meal with too much is inedible – you need to find the right dose.
I think of plyometrics as the ‘garlic’ of strength and conditioning. The right amount makes almost anything taste better (my Grandmother was Greek – that’s her holding me in the photo- so we got well acquainted with garlic), but too much will over power and take away from your meal.
Plyometric Training Progressions for Hockey
You will start with the basics – all of which are show in the video below…
- Drop Squats
- Squat Jump & Stick
- Squat Jumps
- Box Hop Ups
- Box Drops
- Depth Jumps
- Plyometric complexes (I will leave those for another day)
How Many Reps?
Fatigue is the enemy of plyometric training. The purpose of plyometric training is to enhance explosive power which helps your first step quickness and acceleration on the ice.
Once your muscles (or more importantly your nervous system) have fatigued, you are no longer making yourself faster, you are actually teaching your muscles to fire more slowly.
So you need to stop your plyometric training as soon as one of two things happens (regardless of what the training program says). If you are losing your technique, stop right away or if you are fatigued to the point where you are no longer moving explosively – try increasing your rest interval or stop.
I will typically program between 1-3 plyometric exercises in a workout depending on the phase of training. These will consist of 4-8 reps (for 3-4 sets) of the plyometric drill with the workout designed so there are a couple minutes rest between sets. This is not absolute rest, but active rest, so the athlete may be doing an upper body lift and a core exercise before returning to their lower body plyometric drill.
See the exact techniques in the video below…