When you start playing hockey, almost anything you can do that is related to skating can improve your skills on the ice. A big issue for any hockey player is that ice time is either expensive, or hard to get, or both. So how can we improve skating, without actually skating?
In this article I’ve compiled a few videos that I believe will help players on the ice. Some require roller blades, while others can be done in the living room.
Start With Balance
Most players don’t realize how much single leg balance is required in skating. In fact during a game you will be required to balance on one foot hundreds of times. Every stride, crossover, and transition requires that we lift one leg and glide, rotate, or shift our weight while balancing on a thin piece of steel on the ice. For this reason I highly suggest improving single leg balance and strength at home.
Below I have embedded a great routine that was designed for Henrik Zetterberg. You can adapt some of these exercises (less weight or less height) to practice at home
Simulate the Stride
You might not be able to get the glide feeling in your living room, but you can still replicate the motion. This exercise is called the lateral bound or a skater hop. This can be a great hockey specific plyometric exercise.
Stability and Balance
In the first set of exercises with Zetterberg most of the weight was carefully balanced over a single leg. In hockey we are constantly being pushed, hooked and shoved around which requires stability and strength. This exercise incorporates a moving weight while balancing on one leg
If you’re interested in more drills like this I highly recommend The Program from Nike. You should also print this PDF from Nike to help you follow the program
The hockey stride evolves as we skate. We start by pushing almost straight back, and as speed increases, the legs push out more to the side. We can simulate this with the 360 lunge, or as Kevin Neeld calls it, the lunge matrix!
Another great exercise from Kevin Neeld involves a lateral squat and a slideboard. If you don’t have a slideboard you may be able to perform this on a smooth surface and a fluffy sock under your foot, or the slideez.
For more from Kevin Neeld visit his website or Youtube Channel.
Feel the Glide
One feeling that we can’t get at home is the feeling of gliding. Luckily, you don’t need to be on the ice for this motion either. Training on roller blades is a great way to target specific hockey movements. In the video below I teach a progression for transitions in hockey. In the video I’m using the Marsblade roller frame.
I hope this collection of videos will help you improve your skating, without actually skating. Once you get on the ice you may be interested in my Fundamentals of skating series.
If you love hockey and want to get more hockey training in your life you can follow me on social media (links in my author bio below) you can also subscribe to our newsletter (box is in the right sidebar)