Conditioning for hockey players – Part 5

Posted by Eric Hofmann on Tuesday, March 11, 2014 Under: Health and Fitness blog

Greetings fellow hockey enthusiast's today in Part 5 we will be discussing conditioning for hockey in the off-season. As you may know now from our first four parts. Hockey training is very unique. Everything about the sport is unique which is why in my opinion it is the best sport on the planet. Having said that - the way we train for hockey needs to be unique as well. As I am sure you have picked up on in our other posts to this series, it is no differnt when it comes to conditioning training for Hockey. It too is unique. We will discuss in detail the intricacies of conditioning training along with providing a off-season conditioning training program for hockey.

If you haven't already please read our first four parts to this hockey off-season training series. In Part 1 we introduce what the off-season should be all about along with going into depth about rest and a strength/mass program to begin your off-season training. Part 2, we break down and develop an off-season stick-handling program. Part 3, we build a power-shooting program. Part 4, we dive into Phase two of a hockey players off-season training with Agility and Speed training along with changing our weight-room program to strength and maintenance. We also layout a hockey players off-season training schedule as well in Part 4. 

Conditioning for hockey is a bit of a challenge when you get right into it. The sport requires athletes to give small bursts of 100% or as close to of exertion for 30-75 seconds. Then come back and sit-down, repeating this anywhere from 4 times a game to 40 times. Depending on where you are in the depth chart of any particular team. With this in mind your standard forms of conditioning training simply do not work. Such as: cycling, long distance running, elliptical training, swimming, etc. With that said the before mentioned cardiovascular training methods are good for one thing when it comes to hockey player and their conditioning efforts. And, that is building a base a conditioning base. Being in good physical & cardiovascular shape will only help you as a hockey player. Improving fitness builds a foundation on which hockey specific training styles and intensities can build - this in turn is from our first two phases of training plus the above mentioned cardiovascular or other wise known conditioning techniques. 

Moving into Phase 3 of our off season hockey training - the Conditioning Phase if you will. Bottom line when discussing and training for conditioning for hockey. Hockey specificity: Hockey at all levels is about speed. This aspect is most evident in today's NHL and other top-level leagues across the globe. The idea should not be to be able to run for miles or be able to make it through intensive bag skates or even focusing on developing your VO2 max - this is the old way of thinking - this is in fact training to be slow for long periods of time. Not what we are looking for in hockey players. However, so many off season programs and/or hockey players turn to this mindset at a very critical point in their off-season training. The thought process should be focusing on: high-intensity anaerobic work, explosive power, speed, sprint endurance, quickness and agility. A shift towards more high intensity interval training (HIIT). Players should be focusing more on sprint work during this phase. Strength is also trained differently it is now time to build off the base you have been working on all off-season and use your base into explosive power and movements specific for hockey.

Moving right into it - your third phase you should be backing off the weight-room training and continuing with our speed & agility program from Part 4. Using that training 2-3 days a week, while including the training shown below 2 days a week. This is all on top of any on-ice training you can execute before training camp/tryouts. All the while still maintaining your stick-handling/powershooting program from Parts 2 & 3 respectively as well.

Conditioning training - Phase 3 - Two days a week
*not to be done in consecutive days

  • Dynamic Warm-up/Stretch x 10 minutes
  • Body Agility Sprints @ 50 yards
    • Superman x 4
    • Lay on back x 4
    • Indian Style x 4
    • All fours x 4
  • Sprints
    • 20 yards x 4
    • 50 yards x 4
    • 100 yards x 4
  • Ladder
    • 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60 yards
    • Touching the ground on each transition
    • Quick feet on each start developing into a long stride
  • Cool down
    • Light jog
    • Stretch

By following this program twice a week in conjunction with your training from Part's 1, 2, 3, and 4. Along with on-ice training when you can. You are best served in efficiently using your off-season wisely. Allow this phase to take you right up to training camp/tryouts. I highly recommend that you take 48 hours off before beginning training camp/tryouts. Giving your body ample time to rest and recover before it begins your in-season campaign for the next 6-7 months. 

It must go with saying these programs are all generalized and for the best results seek professional help in your coaches, trainers, or company's like Performance Training who will develop and build a full off season training program made specifically for you and your needs. Performance Training offers an e-Training service which allows us to train anyone anywhere with internet access. Developing and building custom full tailored programs to our clients. For more information on this program and training please visit our e-Training page and store. As always if you have any questions please feel free to contact me at:

Best of luck!

In : Health and Fitness blog 

Tags: hockey  off-season  training  conditioning  sprints 
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