Strength Training for Ice Hockey

It’s the end of the season, you didn’t win the Stanley Cup and you want to get ready for the upcoming 82 game season. While you may not play on a professional level, this doesn’t mean you can follow the same strength training routine that NHL players follow to compete in the fastest game on earth.


Tips for Strength Training for Ice Hockey

Your legs are a major part of your experience as a hockey player. For all of the movements you’ll make on the ice, you’ll be using your legs and core for the vast majority of the speed you bring to the ice.

A sample leg workout would be something like this:

As a hockey player, you probably won’t spend 20 out of 60 minutes on the ice unless you’re a top defenseman. But that doesn’t mean you don’t need to build up your stamina. You will be focusing on 3 sets of 10 – 12 reps for most exercise versus trying to go the “higher weight, lesser rep” route that strength training requires.

Upper Body Training

You don’t shoot the puck like Zdeno Chara by neglecting your upper body. You need to also work on your upper body to be able to maintain puck control in the corners, shoot harder and even brace for a body check.

A few of the upper body exercises you should be doing include:

These are just some of the exercises you’ll want to focus on while in the gym. But the best-of-the-best athletes know that there is a lot more they should be doing to gain that competitive edge on the competition.

A few of the more advanced training methods that some of the world’s elite hockey players are doing, include:

  • Sled Drag – a very intense workout that will work the quads, butt, hamstrings, abs and lower back. This exercise can also be done laterally to work the knees and hips. You can even do cross over drags to make the workout more intense.
  • Sled Push – another very intense workout. The sled push allows you to build power in your calves, hamstrings and quads. You’ll also be working your hip flexors and muscles that would otherwise go unused via isolation workouts.
  • Running Springs – a great way to boost acceleration on the ice. Running sprints can boost stamina and speed.

There are also other exercises you’ll want to incorporate to help with your explosiveness as a hockey player. A few exercises to consider are:

If you ever watch hockey, you’ll notice that when a player is coming back from an injury, they’re always on the exercise bike. It happens with each and every hockey player from the best-of-the-best to the 4th liner that sees just a few minutes of ice time a game. Don’t discredit the valuable exercise bike in your gym or any cardiovascular equipment that will extend your performance on the ice.