Best Hockey Drills

Off-Ice Hockey Drills

Because all drills don’t have to be on the ice…

On-ice hockey drills are important for building skating and shooting skills. However, off-ice hockey drills can be equally vital for building muscle mass and overall athletic skills. These off-ice hockey drills can be performed in addition to an on-ice training program, as well as during the off season to enhance on-ice play for when the season arrives.

When developing a series of off-ice hockey drills, look for exercises that compliment the on-ice workout, or help to develop and condition muscles not being reached or exerted to their full extent during practices or games.

Because of the amount of skating involved, hockey requires immense leg strength, so that’s where many players focus heavily on for their off-ice training. Try these three leg training exercises to help build strength and power in the quadriceps, hamstrings, and gluteals which will translate on the ice as faster skating.

Sitting in the Imaginary Chair Off-Ice Hockey Drills

First, perform a series of 10-15 leg squats with or without a weight. To perform a leg squat, stand with the feet shoulder width apart or slightly wider pointing out at a 45 degree angle. Take a deep breath, and sit down as if to sit in an imaginary chair until the thighs are parallel with the ground. Make sure the knees remain in line with the feet, and that the eyes look forward at all times to prevent the body from leaning forward.

As soon as the lowest point in the squat is reached, stand up immediately by driving the heels into the ground and straightening the back. Take a deep breath and continue squatting.

Step-Up and Take it!

Next, perform a series of step-ups onto a step or box. The step-up exercise helps to tone and strengthen the quadriceps, which is essential for speed development. To begin the step-up exercise, put one foot up on the step. The step should be the appropriate height such that putting the foot on the step results in 90 degree angle with the knee joint, or as close to a 90 degree angle as possible.

Now, lean slightly forward and use the other leg to push off the ground. That leg comes up on the step to join the other. Step back down with that same leg, making sure to flex the hip and knee joints of the leg on the step. Make sure to keep the torso and back straight while performing the exercise.

Perform 20 repetitions for each leg. This exercise can be performed with a barbell resting on the shoulders for added weight training.

This lift will make you wish you were dead…

Finally, to strengthen the gluteal and hamstring muscles, try the Romanian deadlift. This leg drill requires the use of a barbell. To begin the exercise, grab the barbell from the floor with a shoulder width overhand grip. Make sure the feet are no more than shoulder width apart.

Bend the hips and lower the bar to the top of the feet. Now, bend the knees and lean forward, sucking in the stomach until the back is parallel with the ground. As soon as lowest point is reached, extend the hips and knees and stand back up. If the shoulders have rounded forward, pull them back before repeating. Perform 10-20 repetitions of this drill.

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