As an ice hockey player, you might not always have access to a hockey rink. Also, there might be times when all you want to do is some off-ice hockey workout that can be beneficial to your on-ice performance.
So this is a combination of some of the best ice hockey workout programmes and exercises selected to give you that all-round performance boost on the ice. This article will focus on off-ice hockey workouts for your speed, lower and upper body.
1. Bulgarian Split Squat + Skater Squat
First is the Bulgarian split squat, done together with a skater squat. This workout majorly builds your lower body strength and endurance. But the Bulgarian split squat also works on tricep stretch, balance and shifting the balance from one leg to another.
The Skater squat is an added advantage of the Bulgarian split squat; however, it builds more balance. When combined, they are a great off-ice hockey workout
How To Do A Bulgarian Split Squat
- Place a bench, chair or flat surfaced object with a height that is at your knee level or below your back.
- Take a standing position in front of the bench and bring one of your legs backwards to lie flat on the bench. The foot on the bench can be laid flat or on your toes.
- Still, in an upright position, raise your arms at an angle of 90 degrees as if protecting your face from a punch. Or you can also stretch your hands forward to allow for better balance.
- Now, go down with your front leg until the knee of your rear leg is almost touching the floor, then move back up. As an aid, place a pad under your rear knee so that it cushions it.
- It is important to note that your upper body must remain straight during this process. Also, move as low as possible until your knee is in close contact with the floor. You should feel your rear leg stretch a lot during this process.
- After this, switch legs after completing a set and continue your workout. To make it harder, you can try holding a barbell or dumbbell. Watch video
How To Do A Staker Squat
- Stand upright with your hands stretched forward fully
- Stand on one foot with your other leg behind your back
- Move downward with your foot on the ground until the knee of your other leg almost touches the ground. Just like with Bulgarian squats, you can add padding to prevent hard impact between your knee and the floor
- You can hold a stick in front of your hands to maintain your balance and posture
- Do this with your other leg after completing a set.
You can begin this workout with four sets of 10 Bulgarian split squats on both legs and then four sets of 10 Skaters squats.
2. Vertical Jumps + Broad Jumps + Sprint
This is a very different workout from the first workout programme we discussed. This second off-ice hockey workout is more of an explosive-style off-ice hockey exercise to build speed and sprinting when playing hockey.
This off-ice exercise comprises three workout routines. First is the vertical jump, followed by the broad jump and then a sprint.
For the vertical jump, stand on a stop and leap as high as you can into the air. After landing, immediately bend down into a squat and make a broad jump as far as you can, then sprint for a few meters (about 20 meters).
Repeat this a couple of times and ensure you jump as high and far as you can each time before engaging in a spontaneous sprint. You can do this about five times or more, giving yourself 20 seconds of resting time between each set.
3. Cossack Squat
Cossack squats are a very effective lower-body stretching workout that frees up a lot of muscles around the groins along with increasing hip mobility. Hip mobility in ice hockey is also equal to faster skating and strides.
Cossack squats are also a great warmup exercise for your legs and lower body.
How To Perform Cossack Squats
- Start by spreading your legs a good distance before going into a good hockey stance by squatting, just like you would do if you were on skates.
- Next, put your hand together to form a ball and stretch it a little in front of you. Your back should be slightly bent, but ensure it is not bent.
- Now that you have gotten the position move your body down to your left leg without resting on it. In this position, your right leg should be stretched sufficiently.
- Move back to your neutral position before moving your body over to your right leg. In this instance, your left leg should be receiving a stretch.
- Move back to the neutral position and continue the routine. Try doing it while carrying a dumbbell between your hands to increase the difficulty level. Watch Video
You can practice this easy off-ice hockey workout for about five sets of 10 cossack squats per leg.
4. Inch Worms + Push Up
Another off-ice hockey workout (exercise) is the inchworm. Inch worms are wonderful for endurance, upper body and arm exercises. Inch worms also work on stretching the legs and back, especially during that period of going down.
An inchworm is started first by standing straight in an upright position. Next, bend down until your hands touch the ground without buckling your knees inward. This means your knees are not to bend.
Once your hand touches the ground, use your hands to crawl your body into a push-up position. A regular inchworm will require you to use your hands to crawl back to your original standing position.
But you can spice it up by making a push-up before using your hands to carry yourself back up. It is crucial your knee is not bent during this exercise.
You can do this about ten times for a set doing as many sets as possible.
5. Dive Bomber
Dive Bombers workout is an upper body training programme that focuses on strengthening the arms. It also gives a good stretch to the back.
To perform a dive bomber, ensure your hands and legs are on the floor. Then, move your hips upward until your legs and hands are slanted. In the perfect position, your body should form an inverted V-shape.
Once you have gotten the starting postures, move your body from the starting position to what looks like a cobra stretch.
Ensure that your legs remain straight and your knees do not buckle inward. Your hands will carry the weight of your body while transitioning without your legs bending.
After completing the cobra stretch position, reverse your movement back to the original position.
6. Push up + T-Rolls + Plank
This is a full-on workout that targets your upper body, abs, arms, and lower body. Similar to what we did earlier, this is also a three-routine workout starting with a push-up and T-Rolls before finishing up with a plank.
To start, do a push-up, then raise one hand all the way above your head. Remember to keep your hand straight.
Bring your hand back down and do another push-up before lifting the other hand. Repeat this about 10-15 times before immediately holding a plank position for about 30 seconds.
The reason why the plank is done immediately after is to give you that extra conditioning and endurance that you need.
7. Double Leg Bound + Hockey Walk
This off-ice hockey workout drill works on the lower body a lot. You need about 20 meters (or more) of space to perform this exercise.
To begin, go into a squat position and go as low as you can until your but is slightly under your knee. Bring your hands fisted in from of you and kept the positions. Once you have gotten the position right, we are going to move on to perform jumps.
To jump, push your hands backwards with force and use the momentum to jump as high as possible and repeat the process.
For a set, make about ten jumps ensuring each is as high and explosive as possible. After a set then, you move on to perform a hockey walk.
For hockey walk, you maintain the same squat position as the Double leg bound, but you walk rather than jump. Note that your butt should be slightly below your knee, and your hands should be fisted forward.
So the routine that combines these two workouts goes as thus:
- Make ten double-leg bounds from a start position.
- Turn around and perform a hockey walk back to the start position immediately.
- Rest for 20 Seconds and repeat this process for 4-5 sets. To make the Hockey Walk harder, you can hold a dumbbell in between your hands. Watch video
Related Post: How Fast Can Hockey Players Skate?
Now that you have gone through the top off-ice hockey workout that you can do to improve your on-ice performance, go try them out. They are easy to perform, and for the difficult workout, we have dropped links to resource videos so you understand them better.