For the majority of sports fans, the NHL might take a backseat to the NFL, NBA and UFC. Sports fans should know, however, that hockey players might well be the most-conditioned athletes in the world. So, the next time you're bored, flip on a hockey game and watch how agile and explosive the athletes are, especially someone like Ryan Kesler of the Vancouver Canucks.
Hockey increases the demands on areas of the body that most people never get around to training. So, if you're wondering why someone who has no desire to get cross-checked would want to know about hockey workouts, consider what parts of your body might be in need of some extra work.
These tips and workouts will not only give you a better understanding of the intense training that hockey players submit to, but will also add some spice to your bland workout routine. They might also help you shed those New Year resolution pounds.
Hockey Training Tips
1. Train Explosively
We can all agree that training the same way, workout after workout after workout, can be excruciatingly boring. To add some spice to your bland routine, try some more explosive training methods that will increase your power while giving you a surprisingly good cardio workout.
By combining a traditional exercise with an explosive exercise, you stimulate more muscle fibers in different ways. Medicine balls are my preferred tool for explosive strength work, but if your gym doesn't allow medicine ball throws, there are other ways to incorporate explosive movement into your exercises. Simply accelerate the weight as quickly as possible.
I caution you to refrain from using bad form. When you lift the weight, raise it as fast as possible, but control how you lower it.
2. Train Your Core To Move
There's a growing trend in core training to not train the core for movement. This avoidance measure is okay, initially, for people with low-back pain, but it doesn't do much for those of us who want dynamic strength.
A good example of core movement is how a hockey player performs a slap shot. In order to perform a slap shot, a hockey player needs to have enough movement in his core to generate torque, which is relayed to the extremities to create power, which is released from stick to puck to create velocity. The initial torque must be generated by the athlete from core power. Strength and stabilization in the back and shoulders is required for the torque to flow into dynamic power and, ultimately, velocity.
By training your core to move, you increase the strength of your low back stabilizers and improve your dynamic power.