Is your plyometric training making you a better hockey player?

plyometric training for hockeyHi Gang,

Hope our neighbours to the south had a great Memorial Day weekend.  We had some great weather up here over the weekend too so Paul and I headed to the beach yesterday.  Of course I managed to miss a spot on the back of my neck when putting on the suncreen and yeow – I could feel it today when I had to demonstrate some back squats!

Before I get into today’s topic, I just want to let you in on something…you may feel a little neglected over the next few months, but don’t think that means I don’t love ya!  You see, the pro players I train are all back in town looking to train 3-5 days per week plus my HockeyStrong training group is on the go.  So now in addition to my regular full schedule training athletes in the gym, I have another 20+ hours per week in the gym with hockey players.  It is a fun, exciting, exhausting time around the Revolution gym!  What this means for you is that I will have less time to post blogs, but my goal is still to get two helpful tips posted each week, but I just didn’t want you to think I was getting lazy in my old age.  Okay – on to today’s topic…

Anyway, I had a question about patellar tendonitis – stay tuned for a post on that coming soon.  The hockey player mentioned that he was feeling the pain when he did his plyometric training.  Let me first go over what plyometric training is and is not…

Plyometric training is…

  • used to build power and explosiveness
  • a great training technique to help improve your acceleration
  • very short duration high intensity training (1-8 reps per exercise)
  • high impact training, so there is more risk of injury

Plyometric training is not…

  • conditioning – it is not meant to be used for conditioning
  • a training technique that you use if you do not have a very good foundation of strength, stability and flexibility
  • a training technique hockey players should use everyday.

Here are a few guidelines for plyometric training:

  • 2-3 plyometric sessions per week are appropriate
  • your plyometric session should only last 20 minutes or so including the active rest between sets
  • each rep needs to be completed with max force production, if you are doing plyometric training but are not getting maximum force production either due to fatigue or effort, you are not making yourself more powerful
  • I do not use more than 80 foot contacts in initial plyometric circuits
  • Jumping technique and alignment must be perfect or you are dramatically increasing your risk of overuse injury.

Here is a sample early off-season plyo workout for hockey players.  Repeat the circuit below four times:

  • Squat Jumps x 6
  • 30 second core plank
  • Stationary Lateral Hops x 6 each
  • 30 second side plank – right side
  • MH Hop Lateral x 6 each
  • 30 second side plank – left side

Remember, if you are not getting amplitude due to effort or fatigue, you are not doing plyos, you are doing conditioning.  Hope this helps.  Let me know what questions you have about plyo training for hockey by leaving a comment below.