Keep Up the Training!

Strength and conditioning is critical to the success of hockey players at all levels. Athletes will spend time in the off-season increasing speed, power, strength, endurance and agility as well as rehabbing injuries. Considerable amounts of time and resources are spent in these endeavors.

Unfortunately, many players end up wasting these efforts during the season. After all the hard off-season work to get into peak shape, all they end up doing during the season is going to practice, doing some sprints and agility training, mixing in some plyometric exercises and playing games. With this routine, research shows that performance will begin to deteriorate after about four weeks. What good is all of the off-season work if you are going to let any gains decline by mid-season? It is important to make time for in-season strength and conditioning to at least maintain any gains from the off-season. Not only does this improve game performance, it also helps decrease the risk of injury.

Naturally, time is a factor when considering an in-season program. Research does suggest that a two-day per week off-ice training regimen can maintain performance. HockeyOT training—a comprehensive, personalized dryland training program on the web—is an ideal way to develop in-season programs because it creates time-efficient workouts that target specific player needs. Regardless of what system the player or team uses, strength and conditioning should be a priority in-season.

Some key points for in-season training:

  • Strength train at least two days per week for no longer than an hour per session

  • Decrease volume of exercises in sets and reps vs. intensity

  • Continue to target your weaknesses

In summary, in-season training is still a critical part of overall success in hockey. It can help decrease risk of injury, prevent performance deterioration and maintain strength and power gained in the off-season.

Editor’s Note: Thank you to Mike Beckman for this story. Along with working with, Mike Beckman is a physical therapist and founder of Valley Rehabilitation Services. He has been in practice since 1986. He has worked with athletes at all levels and sports in both rehab and performance training.

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