Professional hockey players are elite athletes that train hard whether they are at the minor league level or in the NHL. The exercise regimes for these athletes is often a combination of cardio, reactive drills, and muscle development to give their entire bodies a full workout. If you want to keep fit and train like a professional hockey player, here are six exercises that they do daily to stay in shape and improve their game.
- Jumping rope:
Hockey requires major hand-eye coordination, foot-eye coordination, and quick feet. Jumping rope combines all three and improves cardio. When you skip rope, you are strengthening the lower legs, improving your agility and increasing endurance. Many players jump rope as a pre-game warmup because it gets their heart rate up.
- Medicine balls:
Using a medicine ball to play catch with a team member, hockey players are able to work on their reaction time and arm muscles. Medicine balls can also be used as weights by lifting them over your head and extending your arms. You can do the same by extending your arms forward while holding the ball.
- Push ups, planks and sit ups:
Hockey players do these three core exercises daily because they work the arms and keep the core strong.
- Weighted shooting:
Hockey players need their wrists to be strong when they shoot. To keep their wrists in great shape, they’ll shoot weighted pucks at a screen. However, if you do not have a special screen and weighted pucks lying around, you can improvise by shooting other weighted objects at a brick wall.
You are not a professional hockey player, so it’s best to start with a small amount of weight – like five or 10 pounds. This exercise strengthens the legs and core by stretching and working the hamstrings and glutes. To do swimmers, lie facedown on a bench with a weight placed between your legs. Lift the legs up and down without touching the floor. This exercise also helps players with their skating as it helps develop the muscles in the legs.
- Reactive drills:
These drills deal with hand-eye coordination and helping with a player’s reaction time. The game of hockey moves so fast and the trajectory of the puck can be hard to predict, so players hone their skills by responding to movements, sounds, or visual prompts as quickly as they can.
To truly workout like a hockey player, don’t forget to stretch when you’re done exercising. Stretching helps with flexibility and keeps muscle fatigue at bay.