Strength Training for Hockey Players: Suffer school for legs.

Greetings hockey addicts!  Today I am going to share with you one of my favourite exercises for building strong legs in hockey players.  I have a lot of favourite exercises, but this one is right up there for hockey strength training.  It is called the rear foot elevated split squat or the Bulgarian split squat.  Basically, it is a standard split squat (static lunge) but the rear foot is elevated 8-12 inches on a step.

build strong legs for skating

When you perform this exercise, focus on keeping your chest up and reaching back with your hips.  At the bottom of the squat your front shin should be almost perpendicular to the floor and your back thigh should be in-line with your torso.  If your rear thigh is pointing way behind you, then either you are leaning too far forward or you are hyper-extending your back.  If you cannot get low in this exercise without your torso leaning way forward, then chances are you are tight in the rectus femoris – which is one of your quadriceps muscles that also flexes your hip.  If this is you, then also add this stretch to your training on a daily basis.

stay tall in your chest

How many?  For the elevated Split Squat complete 3-5 sets of 8-12 repetitions based on your training background and you training phase.  Do not go too heavy with this one when you are starting out or you may end up with some sore knees. 

For the rectus femoris stretch, do 2 on each side, holding for 30 seconds each.  Do this 1-2 times per day.  Make sure you place a cushion or an exercise mat under your knee when you do this stretch, otherwise it is just plain painful.  Just a reminder to consult with your health care provider prior to beginning or changing your exercise routine. 

Enjoy and make sure you use perfect technique.