Still doing Step Ups for strong legs?
To you a Step Up is still just ‘grab a DB in each hand and step up onto a box?’ That’s it?
Wow, am I glad you stopped by today then… let’s spice up your leg strength exercises for hockey shall we? 🙂
Don’t feel bad, a lot of other hockey players are making the same mistake with their training – they don’t know any better, but soon you will!
Let me take you through a progression here, starting with the plain Jane version and then progressing from there…
Step Up (aka The Plain Jane)
Do not push off the back foot. All the weight will be over your front leg. If you sneak in a push off that back leg, then you need to lighten the weight.
Keep your kneecap pointing straight ahead – do not let it fall in as you step up or step back down again.
Control your path back down, do not just let yourself plop back down to the starting position.
Lateral Step Up (aka The Groiner)
You will have to start by shifting your hips over your foot which is on the step, but make sure you are still pulling with the adductors (groin muscles) on that leg as you make it a fluid movement.
Do not simply lean your shoulders over the working leg – you must shift your hips and torso.
X-Over Step Up (aka The Glute Grower)
Make sure it is a cross over step and not just a rotational step up. What I mean is try to keep your pelvis pointing forward rather than turning it in the direction that you are stepping.
Once you get your foot planted on the box, then focus on using the outside of your hip on that leg to lift your body up onto the box.
Get tall and strong once you are up on the box and then control your path back down again.
So that should spice up your regular old Step Up. The number of sets and reps will vary based on which phase of training you are in are you in-season or off-season? – I usually fit them into what I call the functional phase or the max strength phase. So the reps will be moderate 4-6 each leg.
PS – you will use a lighter resistance for the lateral and the x-over step up that you will use for the straight step up – each has its time and place.