Hockey is a very physical and visceral sport and it’s one that requires a lot of dedication and skill if you want to excel. To this end training is highly important and it’s crucial that you should train and develop your fitness and strength if you want to be a success. Here we will look at how to train your fitness for hockey.
First of all you are going to need to develop your cardiovascular fitness. This means fitness that requires your heart rate to increase over an extended period of time – any kind of continuous exertion. Of course hockey itself requires you to be constantly on the move and running or skating up and down the pitch for an extended period and it’s crucial that you ensure your fitness is up to the task.
In order to train this kind of fitness the best strategy is simply to ensure that you practice exerting yourself for these continued periods of time – by running on a treadmill for a certain amount of time for instance, or by cycling on a bicycle. If you do this several times per week for 40-60 minutes then you can quickly improve your stamina and ensure that your performance doesn’t start to drop off.
You can also improve CV by using something called ‘interval training’ which is a form of training that pushes your body harder, faster. The way this works is that you take it in turns to swap between slow jogging and fairly fast running. This then causes you to exert yourself more in a shorter amount of time, while your heart is forced to adapt to the changing paces which means it gets worked harder and which means your body produces more growth hormone.
You also need to develop your strength for multiple reasons in hockey. For one, barging into the opponent is part and parcel of this sport, and you’ll be at a distinct advantage if you have wider shoulders and more muscle weight behind you when you collide with your opponent. To improve this try working out regularly by lifting heavy weights. The idea here is to cause micro-tears in your muscle fibers, and when these heal the body will use amino acids from your protein to build them back thicker and stronger.
The exercises in particular you should focus on are the legs for your running and for your stability, and you should train these using squats, lunges and clean and presses. You should also train the shoulders – both deltoids and lats which you can achieve with exercises called dumbbell raises, with shoulder presses, and with shrugs. This will help to give you more pushing power and at the same time it will improve your strike. Finally abs and obliques are also very important for further stability so practice sit ups and crunches and particularly twisting sit ups which can help you to improve balance and torque.
Most important of all though is to simply practice playing hockey in every form possible. Do this as regularly as you can, because this will use the exact muscles and fitness you require for the real matches. The more you practice the more your body will be honed to perform on the day.
Chad Moreau is well versed with the best hockey training techniques. He likes to share his knowledge on his blog to make others aware of some of the best online training programs.