With the NHL, collegiate, and many local seasons still months away from kicking off, it’s safe to say that the sport of hockey is firmly in the middle of a “down” period. However, just because you won’t be slipping on your hockey socks and skates and taking the ice for live game action anytime soon, that doesn’t mean you have to spend this offseason on the couch. To keep you in great shape, let’s talk about some of the best strength and conditioning exercises that can keep you focused while you wait for the first puck to drop in this upcoming season
Flat Dumbbell Fly Press
To start things off, the training staff behind the Sacred Heart University men’s hockey team explain in their look at offseason strength building that few exercises are as good for building upper body strength and durability as the flat dumbbell fly press. To pull off this workout, all you’ll need is a standard lifting bench and some appropriately weighted dumbbells.
After laying down face up on the bench with your feet flat on the floor, lift the dumbbells up straight over your chest via a closed, pronate grip. From here, slowly flex your elbows and move the dumbbells out in downward trending arcs. As always, inhale during the downward movement phase and exhale through the upswing to ensure consistency and control.
The Stretching Routine
While stretching doesn’t necessarily build power, the Sacred Heart University team continues their look at offseason training by noting that increased muscle mass without flexibility won’t do you much good on the ice. To keep things nice and limber while you’re going through your training routine, don’t be afraid to take some time and stretch your body out. Alternating leg lunges, hamstring lifts while balancing against the wall, and lying flat on the ground and fanning out your arms and legs all fit this billing.
If you’re looking to build power across your back as part of the preparation for the upcoming season, the experts over at Star Factory Fitness suggest getting back to basics with the weighted pull-up. As the name implies, this exercise simply adds a little extra resistance to your standard freeform pull-up via a weighted shirt or leg and arm weights. Aside from increasing muscle mass, taking on sets of weighted pull-ups can also improve your posture – something that might be in need of rehabilitation after a long season of hunching over.
Finally, to keep things balanced from top to bottom, the Star Factory Fitness team goes on to note that it’s hard for dedicated hockey players to go wrong with deadlifts during the offseason. Before rushing in and maxing out on the weight, make sure to focus on your technique and keep your back straight as you lift via your hips and lower body. If you can do this, along with the rest of what you’ve learned here, then there’s no reason why you can’t be in the best shape of your life the next time you slip on your hockey socks and skates and take the ice.
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