Forwards & D: 5 Exercises To Fuel Your In-Season
I had finished writing this article yesterday when I saw my friend Kevin Neeld’s (www.KevinNeeld.com) blog post about the importance of in-season training. He shared these stats on testing at the end of the off-season and the end of the hockey season showing the drop off in power and speed as the season progresses…
Player 1: ’13 Post Off-Season Testing
- Vertical Jump: 30.5″
- 50-Yard Shuttle Avg: 8.36 seconds
- 50-Yard Shuttle Sprint Decrement: 3.2%
In short, he was an absolute animal when he left.
Player 1: ’14 Pre Off-Season Testing
- Vertical Jump: 27.5″
- 50-Yard Shuttle Avg: 9.45 seconds
- 50-Yard Shuttle Sprint Decrement: 11.2%
This player also wasn’t even able to do the reverse lunge test during his intake because his legs locked up on him after doing the vertical jump test. They seized after 3 jumps! Arguably the most pathetic thing I’ve ever seen.
I guess we are on the same wavelength because I have my top in-season exercises that you should be doing in-season to maintain or improve your speed, power and mobility.
Sorry Goalies, This One Is For The Skaters…
I should probably write an article about how much you really should be training during the season first. There is a sweet spot right between too much and too little – maybe I will get that ready for later in the week or early next week. For now I want to give you, the skaters (goalies, I already gave you yours HERE), five of my top in-season training exercises.
You could even put them together and make a great stand-alone workout from them.
If you can’t see the video in the player, just click the link below…
Why? How Many?
Thoracic Spine Extension
I gave you this technique because most of the hockey players I see in the gym are very stiff in their thoracic spine (the part of your spine in your mid back where the ribs attach). Part of this is due to your position in hockey with your stick on the ice and part is due to how you sit during the day if you spend much of you day sitting.
The problem is this…when the thoracic spine gets stiff, the body looks for somewhere else to get movement – that will likely be your lower back. The thoracic spine is designed to move and give rotation; the lumbar (lower back) spine is NOT.
So when your body takes the path to rotary power through your lumbar spine, that is a lot of extra wear and tear that the lower back is not designed to take.
How much? You can do 5 self-mobilizations in 3 different locations along the thoracic spine on a daily basis. Remember the movements are very small and you are not getting up into your neck area – stay between the shoulder blades.
Hip Flexor + Glide
I don’t think it is a surprise to anyone that hockey players have tight hips – this will help open them up a little and let you get a longer stride with less repetitive strain on your lower back.
How much? Either hold the stretch for 30s on each side or perform 10-15 glides on each side every day.
Glider Squat Lateral
I love this lower body strengthening exercise for hockey players because it requires some stabilization, it puts the bulk of the load through just one leg, but it lets the adductors (groins) on the opposite leg lengthen under a little tension. If you are not moving well at your hips, knees and ankles, you will struggle with proper form on this one.
How much? Do 3 sets of 6-8 on each side. Include this exercise in your workout 1-2 times per week.
Push Up + Row
You will get a lot of bang for your buck with this upper body strength exercise for hockey players. It challenges your chest, shoulder, triceps, mid-back, biceps and torso. Not bad for an exercise that only uses a pair of dumbbells.
Just make sure you start light with the weight and that you keep level hips and a level back. If you are twisting in the torso as you perform the row, then you are not stabilizing as you row; then you are missing the point of the exercise.
You can make your feet a little wider to help your stability.
How many? Do 3 sets 4-6 on each side. Include this exercise in your off-ice training 1-2 times per week.
½ Kneeling X-Over Acceleration
Hopefully you are getting plenty of work on your stamina during your games and practices. What tends to slide as the season wears on is your speed. You be come slower,
Being at your slowest when play-offs roll around would be a disaster, so this drill will help you keep and likely improve your first step quickness as the season wears on. So while other guys and gals are losing half a step, you are gaining one and standing out on the ice.
How much? Do 2-3 sets of 4 each way. Include this drill 1-2 times per week in your off-ice hockey training.
So that will give you a great start! Happy training.
PS – I told you to read the entire article if you were really serious about being an asset to your team come play-offs rather than a liability and here is how you can GUARANTEE that… it is a step-by-step – just follow the plan in-season workout program designed just for Forwards and D. It shows you exactly how to get the training you need, without wearing yourself down – GUARANTEED.
To celebrate the return of hockey season I am even giving you a nice big discount (just until the end of the day August 31st though) >> Click HERE for the discount