Hockey is a non-stop battle, where athletes must possess enough motor coordination to hit with precision, enough explosive strength for executing powerful hits, and enough stamina to outlast the competition. With high aerobic and anaerobic demands hockey is a sport that requires its athletes to have well-developed structural strength for success.
1. Better Acceleration and Agility
Strength training will improve the muscle’s ability to recruit and contract large numbers of muscle groups at the same time and have the ability to produce large amounts of force with each muscular contraction. In other words, strength training improves your muscles’ ability to contract together, to contract with strength, and to contract at faster rates (producing power).
2. Harder Shot
A strength training program designed specifically for hockey players will include movements that develop rotational core strength and power in order to transfer the most possible force from the stick to the puck. However, it’s important to note that without first developing a foundation of overall strength, sport-specific movements will not be as effective. This is why a good program will include plenty of squats, lunges, presses, pulls, and core exercises, in addition to movements that will mimic a hockey shot specifically. A strong upper-body is needed for passes and shots, while a strong lower-body is necessary for creating an efficient base for these shots. Strengthening the entire body will help increase your ability to make and receive forceful passes, while improving the speed at which you can exert this force will help make your shots unstoppable. Just remember that your upper body and lower body are connected and you must train the entire body in coordination, rather than one movement or muscle group in isolation, to reap the best results.
3. Reliability, Resiliency and Injury Prevention
No amount of strength and conditioning will ever prevent you from being injured on the ice. If you skate full-speed into an opponent, you will most likely get hurt. But the likelihood of some non-contact injuries can be reduced by a properly designed strength training program. Also each custom strength and conditioning program must also include mobility work done before and after each workout. Increasing one’s mobility will help make sure that the athlete is physically prepared for what the sport brings!