The NHL lockout has left us all with a lot more free time than we would like. No longer the evenings and nights watching the various games or sitting in front of the computer setting the fantasy hockey lineups. Some of us spend their newly acquired time watching lesser sports or living in denial; pretending that EA Sports’ NHL 13 is the NHL season. Others of us though, are spending our extra free time conditioning and training for our own (non-locked out) season. I’d like to share a solid, hockey-specific leg/cardio workout that we did last night. This workout is best done on grass or a track. So don your apparel and head out there.
We begin with a few warm-up laps around the track to get the blood pumping. Following that, make sure to stretch out to ensure that your legs will make it all the way to the end of the work out. After you complete your stretching, set up a beginning marker and an end marker around 50 feet away. Then you run sprints from the beginning marker to the end marker. Run full speed until you reach the end marker and jog back to the beginning marker. Repeat this 10 times and then move the marker back 25 ft. Complete the full speed sprints 8 times and move it back again another 25 ft. Now begin the 100 ft. sprints for 6 repetitions. These sprints are beneficial to hockey specifically because you need to be able to sustain short bursts of speed for 30-45 seconds before going in for a line change.
Once the sprints are completed, move the end marker back to around the 75 ft. mark and hop on one leg to the marker, still jogging back, 7 times. Then switch legs and repeat with the other leg. This exercise works on balance as well as individual leg power and strength.
This next exercise we call hockey jumps because they emulate a players’ skating stride. Here’s how it goes: begin on one foot and jump side to side, moving slowly forward as you jump side to side until you reach the 50 ft marker. This video is an example of just the side to side motion.
When doing this for distance, move slightly forward with each side to side jump. Also, it helps with balance and launch to kick the leg that’s not on the ground past the leg recently planted into the ground (see picture below) Repeat this 5 times.
Follow this exercise with frog jumps (squat jumps) to the 50 ft marker again. If done correctly, you should feel this exercise after the first couple jumps. Make sure to go all the way down so that your rear is almost touching your heels. Then surge forward in a jumping motion as far as possible forward and then repeat.
To finish the workout, do a few sets of lunges to both cool down and keep the legs working. I can tell you right now that this set of exercises works well as I can’t really walk correctly right now… But the pain is temporary and increases your game readiness and performance. Good luck in your hockey and exercise endeavors until (and hopefully continuing even) when the lockout ends!