Last updated on December 8th, 2023 at 01:29 pm
Getting your legs in shape for hockey can be a daunting task, but it’s a necessary one if you want to perform at your best on the ice. Use these 3 tips to get your legs in shape for hockey and get a leg up on the competition!
To get your legs in shape for hockey you need to first work on improving your leg strength. Leg strength sets the foundation for which to build leg power and explosiveness which is also needed to get your legs in game shape. You must also work on improving the energy systems that send fuel to your legs and keep you going hard for the entire game.
Hockey is a sport that demands a lot from your legs, so it’s essential to train them properly. This will help you not only keep up with your competition, but surpass them!
Understanding the Importance of Leg Training for Hockey
As mentioned earlier, hockey is a sport that requires a lot from your legs. From skating straight ahead, backwards, starts and stops, and turning, your legs are constantly in motion when you’re playing hockey. Therefore, it’s crucial to have strong legs that can withstand the demands of the game.
When it comes to leg training for hockey, you want to focus on building strength, power, explosiveness, and stamina. This means incorporating exercises that target your lower body muscles, such as your quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, and calves. Some effective exercises for leg training include Goblet Squats, Lunges, Trap Bar Deadlifts, and Romanian Deadlifts. As well plyometrics plays a huge role in regards to power and explosiveness.
Many of these exercises fall into a category I like to call the Boring Basics.
What are the Boring Basics?
Well, they are a collection of exercises and movement patterns that create a foundation for which all future success can be built.
These exercises aren’t flashy, they aren’t going to get you on Instagram, but they will turn you into a Beast!
Exercises like the already mentioned Goblets Squats, Trap Bar Deadlifts, Romanian Deadlifts, and Barbell Squats are great examples of the Boring Basics.
Months and years of perfecting and progressing the weight used in these exercises will set the foundation for future improvements in single leg exercises, power, agility, and explosiveness that will set you apart from your competition.
Tips for Getting Your Legs in Shape for Hockey
- Focus on Leg Strength
Leg strength is the foundation that aids in the development of leg power and explosiveness. Leg strength is how much force your legs can produce. In the case of hockey it’s how much force can you translate from your legs into the ice surface.
Exercises like the above mentioned Goblet Squats, Lunges, Trap Bar Deadlifts, and Romanian Deadlifts are examples of compound leg exercises that work several muscles with one movement. These exercises also happen to be bilateral exercises, meaning they utilize both legs at the same time.
You should also eventually be incorporating single leg exercises like the Bulgarian Squat and Lateral Lunge to better mimic the sport of hockey.
- Incorporate Plyometrics for Leg Power and Explosiveness
Plyometrics are exercises that help improve your power and explosiveness on the ice. Examples of plyometric exercises include Box Jumps, Jump Squats, and Lateral Hops.
This improvement in explosiveness and power is what helps create space between you and your opponent as well as win the short races to the puck.
- Improve the Energy Systems that Fuel your Shifts
The main energy system you need to improve to get in shape for hockey would be the Anaerobic energy system. This is the system that you would utilize for quick bursts of speed or rushes down the ice for example which can last anywhere from 3 to 10 seconds up to as long as 30 seconds. This means incorporating exercises that challenge your anaerobic system, such as interval training and Sprint repeats.
Getting your legs in shape for hockey requires dedication and hard work, but the rewards are well worth it. By incorporating the tips outlined in this article, you can improve your leg strength, power, explosiveness, and stamina, and ultimately perform better on the ice.
Scott is a hockey coach, hockey dad, as well as a hockey off-ice performance coach(Exercise Physiologist and Strength Coach) with a wide range of experience in everything hockey training related. Learn more about Scott.