I want to start off by saying again how excited I am to begin adding this aspect of what I do to my writing. As today’s athletes get bigger, faster, and stronger, putting in work off of the ice is no longer to gain an edge above the competition, it’s a necessary requirement in order to keep up.
Each athlete that I work with in the gym gets a program of their very own that’s specific to their goals, needs, and ability level.
That being said, there are some exercises that show up in one way or another in most programs I write.
The split squat is an amazing tool for building single leg strength, which is a key element of hockey at any position, especially goaltending. It helps goalies to develop balance as well as strength through a full range of motion.
The variation you see in the video is pretty advanced, but players can start with a simple body weight split squat with both feet on the ground and work up from there. I personally like to use these more often than a standard squat because a single leg push is more closely related to the type of push we use in hockey.
I love this exercise in some form for any age or ability level. At first glance a push-up seems to be mostly an upper body exercise, but the benefits go far beyond that. My client in this picture does an awesome job of keeping his body in a solid braced position, and although his upper body is moving him, he’s building tremendous core strength from this as well.
Building some upper body strength is important for becoming more powerful in your movements on the ice and maintaining your position, as well as the ability to use your arms to make saves throughout the game.
Split Stance Cable Row
Hockey players in general are usually stuck in a hunched over position for most of the game with their shoulders rounded, and this is especially true with goalies. With this in mind, when we have the opportunity off the ice to get out of that position and strengthen the muscles on the back side of our body, we need to take advantage of that.
The single arm cable row is a great exercise to develop the muscles of the back while also challenging the body to resist rotation, which builds the core muscles and helps develop balance.
At the end of the day, it’s not about the most advanced exercises or what’s going to look cool on Instagram. Just like goaltending, it’s about trying to be the absolute best at the basics.
These 3 movements are a great start, and a good trainer or strength coach can show you how to incorporate these into a program that’s right for you.