The Best Skating Exercises You Are Not Doing

skating exercises for hockey

Before getting into today’s article, I want to express my sympathy to the city of Boston and everyone affected by the bombings at the Boston Marathon yesterday.  I cannot imagine the special type of coward who would do such a thing.  I hope you and your families are all safe from harm.

The Best Skating Exercises For Hockey…

If I ask you what your most powerful skating muscle is, what would you say?  If I asked you to point at your most powerful skating muscle would you point at the front of your thighs?

How many of you pointed at your butt?  If you did, you are bang on.  Not to say the quadriceps on the front of your thigh don’t contribute to your skating speed and stamina as well, but the glutes are what give you that explosive acceleration.

If I asked you what exercises you were using to develop glute strength how many of you could tell me specifically?  If you answered – squats – that is a good general exercise, but we are talking about getting more hockey specific than just ‘squats’.

Roll The Video…

Cable Strider

Clearly, I love this one because you can train your glutes in a stride specific position – which will mimic the angles of force and the hip position when you are on the ice.  I also love it because the ‘non-working’ leg is actually doing a lot of work stabilizing.

The key with this one is to stay low in the legs the entire time and maintain a stable torso, I do not want your shoulders swaying side to side.

Do 3-4 sets of 8 reps on each side

Resisted Glute Bridge (Hip Thrust)

The glute bridge/hip thrust will help you develop more powerful glutes for skating, but learning to do this exercise properly also teaches you how to hinge at the hips which will come in handy with your regular squatting and even maintaining a neutral back while you are in your low skating position.  This is good because it will save you from getting that fatigue and achy feeling along either side of your lower spine after 30-minutes on the ice.

Remember to start with just your body weight until you have a good hip hinge and no hyperextension in the lower back.  If you are feeling this exercise the most in your hamstrings or lower back, you are either doing it wrong, using too much load or you are not activating your glutes.  So when you start off with just bodyweight, make sure you thing about feeling it in your glutes.

It is okay if you feel your lower back and hamstrings working – you should, but your glutes should be doing the bulk of the work.

Work up to 3 sets of 20 perfect body weight reps, then add weight and work in the 3 sets of 8-12 rep range.

SL Squat Off Bench

I think I like this variation even better than the squat to tap from the floor, for starters you do not have to worry about what to do with your free leg, it can just hang straight down.  For some reason it seems like my players have a tougher time balancing with this one – maybe because their hips do not get to tap down at the bottom.  I also think it is much harder to cheat on this one.

Remember to start off with the hip hinge again – so reach back with your hips, make a crease in the front side of your hips and maintain a neutral back position.  It is fine if your torso angles forward, it has to, just don’t let your lower back round over.

Start by working up to 3 sets of 8 bodyweight reps on each leg.  Then add resistance and work your way to 3-4 sets of 3-6 reps on each side.

Rocket Fuel For Your Glutes

You know how race car drivers have special fuel that makes them super fast – like rocket fuel or something – well that’s what these exercises are – rocket fuel for your glutes.

Your standard exercises like squats, split squats, deadlifts, they are all great!  This is just a little something extra that I would like you to add in.

Happy training!