How to Improve Hockey Speed

How to Improve hockey speed

by Jeremy Rupke on July 25, 2010

Increasing Hockey Speed – By Jeremy Weiss

Increasing hockey speed is a never-ending pursuit for most hockey players… or at least it should be!!

Today’s game is much different than it used to be. The crack-down on “clutch-and-grab” hockey has really opened up the ice for the skilled athlete. We are seeing an exciting shift toward a high-speed, quick-paced game of skill and finesse… one in which slower athletes are being left behind… LITERALLY!

Any smart hockey player should recognize this change in the game, and should be constantly striving to increase his or her hockey speed. But in order to do that, you must first understand what makes a fast hockey player.

Hockey speed is composed of Technical Elements, and Physical Elements. Or in other words: On-ice Components, and Off-ice Components.

The on-ice components are things your skating instructor should be able to help you with such as utilizing a proper knee bend, obtaining a full extension on each stride, eliminating “head-bobbing,” striding at the proper angle, using your edges properly, etc…

The on-ice elements MUST be perfected in order to achieve optimal speed. However, there are three main off-ice components every player should develop that will GREATLY ENHANCE his or her ability to generate speed on the ice.

The three main off-ice components are as follows:

  1. Leg Strength
  2. Explosiveness
  3. Agility & Footspeed

Increasing leg strength will allow for deeper knee bends, which make for longer and more efficient strides. It will also help to improve balance and stability in battling and checking situations.

Becoming more explosive will improve that quick burst of speed, and allow you to win more races to loose pucks. Races are won or lost in those first three strides!

Improving Agility and footspeed will allow you to take more strides in a shorter period of time. This, combined with an increased stride length, will complete your speed equation––allowing you to take a greater number of longer strides.

There are many ways to improve on these three main off-ice components. Here are three exercises that I think should be included in any solid hockey training program:

SQUAT FOR LEG STRENGTH: This video shows the main key points for executing a proper squat. Squats are a great exercise to increase overall leg strength!

PLYO BOX ROUTINE (AND VARIATION) FOR EXPLOSIVENESS: The first video explains what plyometrics are, how plyometric training can contribute to increased hockey speed, and shows a sample exercise routine using plyometric boxes. The second video shows what to do if you don’t have plyometric boxes available to you.

DOT DRILL FOR AGILITY AND FOOTSPEED: This video shows my favorite off-ice agility drill. This drill is cheap to set up, and only takes about a minute to perform, so there’s no excuse not to do it each day!

Summary

Increasing hockey speed is a complex task, with on-ice and off-ice variables. Go to a well-qualified skating instructor to help you nail down your on-ice components, and participate in a hockey specific strength and conditioning program to improve your off ice components by increasing your leg strength, explosiveness, and agility––starting with squats, plyometrics, and the dot drill. Combining on ice and off ice development will help you to improve your speed quickly and effectively this summer!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Jeremy Weiss owns and operates a hockey drills and skills blog. He has a degree in Exercise Science and is a Certified Personal Trainer. Jeremy recently combined his fitness knowledge with his hockey background to develop a hockey-specific, strength and conditioning program called the S3 Formula. More info on this state-of-the-art hockey training system can be found on Jeremy’s Hockey Development page

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Jeremy Rupke

Coach
Hi my name is Jeremy. I LOVE hockey and I am passionate about improving and helping others improve. My goal is to break every hockey skill down into easy to understand articles and videos. I explain everything step-by-step to help others improve. If you want to learn more about me you can read my about page. Thanks for reading and sharing!

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

mike February 14, 2014 at 5:52 pm

Hi ,my son plays travel ice hockey for 7 years.He 12 years old,I have had him in lessons and has had mutable coaches.Your drills and excercises are by far the best I have ever seen. Thanks for youe web site advice

Reply

Celeste January 5, 2013 at 2:37 pm

one of my legs is stronger them the other what do you recommend to strengthen the weak one?

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E May 1, 2012 at 4:36 pm

Great vids- helpful stuff, noticed a difference in speed recently after plyos and box drill/picnic table drill. Thanks. Are you filming out in the Boulder, CO area neighborhood looks familiar.

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Jeremy May 24, 2012 at 12:23 pm

Nope, I shoot everything around Huntsville, Ontario

Micah March 19, 2012 at 5:11 pm

A russian study showed players performing parallel squats suffered more hockey related knee injuries than players performing full (to the floor with light/no weights) squats. Ligaments and tendons were properly strengthened using full range squats. Weight can be increased as strength dictates in full range squats. Remember the old saying “speed kills” is wrong…”a sudden change of speed kills” (collision).

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sergei October 26, 2011 at 7:31 pm

hey man,
i want to get really really well in my speed in high school hockey,and can you give me drills with balance board, and all so with drills that have with weights with using the legs !
i will be more than happy if you could do this for me i want to be a really good fast hockey player.

Reply

Fizz August 16, 2011 at 6:02 pm

Great videos!!!!! but i am having troubles on my outsides edges… any tips??????

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Peter June 20, 2011 at 6:42 pm

Very helpful tutorials! How much does the Dot Drill mat cost and where can u get them in Canada?

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caelan July 29, 2010 at 5:33 pm

great videos and awesome drills. how much do the boxes cost?

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Jeremy July 30, 2010 at 1:42 am

Hi Caelan, on amazon they start at about $100 (not sure about shipping) Here is a set of four 20″ Plyo Box
there are a bunch for sale there, you could grab a book as well with some plyo workouts. Plyometrics is one of the best ways to build speed for hockey.

jazzy July 25, 2010 at 12:51 pm

This is good info, great tips for improving hockey speed!

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