I had a coach come to the gym the other day inquiring about some off ice hockey training for his players for this upcoming season. The first thing he mentioned is that he was interested in upper body workouts for hockey players. He felt his team will be getting plenty of lower body strengthening on the ice.
I told the coach that upper body strength is definitely something we can work on and improve. However later that day I sat down at my desk and thought about the coaches inquiry.
Workouts For Hockey Players Should Concentrate on Upper and Lower Body Exercises
He was right in thinking that his players would benefit from some upper body strengthening however, you most definitely should not omit the lower body from an in season program. A lot of hockey players in general lack upper body strength. This weakness is not just in arm strength, it comes in the form of a weaker core and pulling /pushing muscles of the upper body as well. By increasing the upper body stability from the inside out – core – upper back – chest – shoulders – arms you will see a huge difference in battling for the puck along the boards.
What About Leg Workouts For Hockey Players
Now as far as which is more important in a well rounded in season training program, I would have to lean towards lower body strength development. Hockey is performed on skates, and I believe speed wins games. The stronger your legs are the faster you will be on the ice. It’s that simple. Your on ice practice does not actually develop any lower body strength or explosive power. Those qualities must be developed off the ice.
In reality even though I said lower body strengthening is more important then upper body I feel both areas should be taken care of as well as core training. So don’t play favourites when it comes to your off ice training. Give ample time to your body as a whole and reap the benefits on the ice.
Photo Credit: Flickr – DiddyOh