Your 5 Step Plan: Staying Healthy for Hockey | Part One: Cross Training

Excellence in hockey depends on all-around wellness, and becoming a great player means
training both your body and your mind. Here’s part one in our series about how to keep in tip-top
shape on and off the ice: all about cross training! Scroll to the end for a circuit workout! But
please make sure you are training and exercising with adult supervision and guidance.

Cross Training
Cross training is especially important for hockey players, who rely on explosive speed and
strength. Cross training can help enhance these physical skills. At the same time, a great cross
training regimen should also emphasize complementary skills, which can improve core hockey
skills and, at the same time, protect players from overuse injuries.

Enhancing Hockey Skills
To enhance explosive speed and strength, try plyometric training. In this type of physical activity,
repetitive movements build power in key muscle groups and prepare them for definitive action in
games. Movements like jump squats and burpees are key parts of this kind of training. Cross
training like this is also exciting because it doesn’t just make targeted muscle groups stronger: it
also makes your heart and your lungs more efficient! Scroll down for a circuit workout that
employs plyometric training.

Another great way to enhance the strength needed for hockey is by hitting up the gym. Tried
and true lifts, like deadlifts, squats, chin-ups, and bench presses have been proven to target
major muscle groups, leading to huge improvements in strength. Many schools have equipment
like this to use for free. These exercises can also be done from the comfort of your own home!
Try picking up a set of dumbbells: you could do many of these exercises even in your living
room. Can’t find dumbbells? Don’t worry: repetition and form will gain you a lot. Practice by
simply repeating these motions, maybe while holding two water bottles or two cans of soup.
You’ll see results! But as always, plan your workouts with a coach or trainer.

Complementing Hockey Skills
Cross training also should emphasize complementary skills, such as endurance and flexibility.
These kinds of exercises will help your body become stronger and more healthy holistically. Try
to incorporate a five-minute stretching routine, maybe like this one, before bed. Stretching is
really important for your body: according to the Mayo Clinic, stretching improves your physical
performance, decreases your injury risk, increases blood flow to muscles, and enables your
muscles to be more efficient. If you enjoy yoga, this 20-minute routine can be a great, slightly
longer way to benefit from stretching. You could also try a local class!

Hockey Cross Training Circuit Workout
Try this workout on the next day you don’t have practice!

Complete this circuit as many times as you can in 10 minutes, taking a 90 second break in between each set.

10 x Jump Squats
10 x Burpees
10 x Plyo Push Ups (if this movement is too hard, start with classic push ups and work up to it!)
20 x Jump Lunges (10 on each side)
40 x Mountain Climbers (20 on each side)

Rest for 90 seconds and repeat!