Good or Hockey Training Gimmick: Battling Ropes

Battling Ropes: Legit Training Tool or Just Another Hockey Training Gimmick?

I admit, when I first saw battling ropes appear at conferences about 5-6 years ago I was more than a little skeptical that they really had a benefit for hockey training.  Then I got a chance to play with them – I attended a workshop while I was at the Perform Better Functional Training Summit about four years ago and the presenter took great joy in taking a group of fitness professionals and turning our grippers into marshmallows (I don’t know why I say ‘marshmallows, but that is what they felt like).

After about 20-minutes of “try this drill for 45-seconds, now this one, now this one….” I could no longer feel  my arms from my elbows down.

So that proved that they work grip strength and endurance for sure, but they have so much more value than that.  The stabilization required from the hips, knees, ankles, shoulders and torso was astonishing.  The degrees of freedom to move the rope in multiple directions from multiple stabilizing positions got my wheels turning.

I purchased one on the spot and we have been getting along just great ever since.

Why is the rope useful for hockey training?

The rope requires powerful movements to make it ‘go’ – great for hockey players.  It requires dynamic stabilization against the undulations of the rope wave – great for hockey players.  We can change the stress on the hips to mimic the goalies needs or the skater’s needs – again great for hockey training.

Just remember to keep the volume under control – if you are fighting in the UFC, then your grippers need to have the endurance to last minutes on end, but if you are using the rope for hockey training, you are going after the shoulder, torso and hip stabilization benefits, so don’t burn out your grippers right off the bat.  We typically go with a 10-30 second interval, 45 seconds would be a long interval and there would be lots of rest between sets.

Battling Rope Exercises For Hockey Training (goalies and skaters)

Check out the video below to see some of my favourite hockey training drills using the battling ropes – some are for skaters and some are for goalies and I let you know in the video.

In case you were wondering – the knit hat is because it was a weekend and I had not showered yet (I like to take a day to just be stinky sometimes), but I still wanted to get these hockey training videos done for you 🙂