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5 Best Hockey Workouts Training to Improve Performance

5 Best Hockey Workouts Training to Improve Performance


Hockey is known for its intense speed, agility, and physical demands. It requires players to be at the peak of their physical fitness to perform at their best. Incorporating specialized hockey workouts into a player’s routine is not just beneficial—it’s essential for improving on-ice performance and reducing the risk of injury. 

This blog explores the five best hockey training workouts that aim to boost every aspect of a hockey athlete’s performance. From strength training to flexibility and mobility exercises, we’ll guide you through the most effective workout program for hockey players, ensuring you have the tools to take your game to an elite level.

Why Workouts Are Important for Hockey Players

Hockey demands more than just skill with a puck— it requires a blend of speed, power, endurance, and agility that can only be achieved through dedicated physical and specific training. Workouts for hockey players are crucial not only for enhancing these physical attributes but also for injury prevention. The rigorous nature of the sport means players are constantly at risk of strains, sprains, and more severe injuries. A well-rounded workout regimen strengthens muscles, ligaments, and tendons, making them more resilient against the stresses of the game. 

Moreover, personal training off the ice contributes significantly to improved stamina, allowing players to maintain high energy levels throughout each hockey season. Strength and conditioning exercises are particularly important, as they lead to stronger shots, faster sprints, and more effective checks, directly translating to improved performance on the ice. 

How Specific Workouts Can Enhance On-Ice Performance

Specific workouts, when tailored to the rigorous demands of hockey, play a crucial role in translating gym efforts into tangible on-ice performance enhancements. These workouts are designed to fortify the muscles and skills that are most utilized during a competitive hockey game, thus providing players with a competitive edge.

Strength Training for Hockey Players

Strength Training for Hockey Players

Strength training is a cornerstone of hockey performance enhancement, focusing on building the muscle power needed for explosive speed, powerful shots, and solid checks. It lays the foundation for resilience against injuries and is divided into lower body, upper body, and core exercises, each targeting areas crucial for hockey players.

Lower Body Strength

The foundation of a hockey player’s power lies in their lower body. Key exercises include:

  • Squats: Essential for developing leg strength, squats improve a player’s ability to execute powerful jumps, quick starts, and stops. They target the quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, and lower back, providing the necessary power for explosive skating.
  • Lunges: This exercise enhances balance, coordination, and leg strength. It mimics the skating stride, targeting each leg individually to improve symmetry and power in the lower body.
  • Deadlifts: Deadlifts focus on the posterior chain, including the hamstrings, glutes, and lower back. This exercise for hockey players is crucial for developing the strength needed for powerful skating pushes and checks.
  • Leg Press: The leg press machine allows players to focus on the quadriceps and glutes, essential muscles for fast accelerations and maintaining speed on the ice.

Incorporating these exercises into hockey workouts ensures players build the lower body strength necessary for dominating on the ice from the first period to the last.

Upper Body Strength

Upper body strength is crucial for shot power, puck control, and physical play. Key exercises include:

  • Bench Press: Bench press workout builds chest, shoulder, and triceps strength. This is crucial for powerful shots and passes, as well as for resisting checks from opponents.
  • Pull-Ups and Chin-Ups: These hockey exercises strengthen the back, shoulders, and arms. It improves a player’s ability to battle for puck possession and maintain stability during contact.
  • Dumbbell Row: Targeting the upper back and lat muscles. The dumbbell row enhances the strength needed for effective stickhandling and control and for delivering strong checks.
  • Shoulder Press: Strengthening the shoulders and upper back. The shoulder press is essential for shot power and for maintaining a strong, upright posture on the ice, which is crucial for speed and agility.
  • Wrist Curls: Often overlooked, wrist strength is important for puck control, precise passing, and shooting. Wrist curls, both flexion and extension, ensure a player’s hands are as strong as their shots.

Integrating these exercises into a hockey workout plan strengthens key muscle groups like the chest, back, and core. This not only improves a player’s ability to exert dominance in physical battles, maintain puck control, and generate powerful shots through better core-to-extremity connection but also significantly reduces the chances of shoulder injuries common in hockey.

Core Strength          

A strong core is the foundation of a hockey player’s strength. It is also essential for balance, stability, and force transfer. Core exercises include:

  • Planks: By engaging the entire core, planks improve a player’s stability on the ice. It is crucial for effective skating, shooting, and checking.
  • Russian Twists: This exercise targets the obliques, enhancing rotational strength. It is necessary for powerful shots and quick turns.
  • Leg Raises: Strengthening the lower abdominals and leg raises contribute to a strong core foundation. It improves skating posture and efficiency.
  • Medicine Ball Slams: Simulating the explosive motion of shooting. Medicine ball slams develop power in the upper and lower core, which is important for shot strength and accuracy.
  • Cable Woodchoppers: Imitating the motion of passing and shooting, this exercise strengthens the rotational muscles. It is crucial for power in shots and passes.

Incorporating core strength exercises into a hockey workout plan enhances a player’s overall performance by improving balance, stability, and power transfer from the lower to the upper body, which is critical for every aspect of the game.

Power and Plyometrics for Hockey Players

Power and plyometrics training is important for hockey players, focusing on explosive strength and speed. These workouts enhance a player’s ability to perform quick, powerful movements on the ice, such as rapid starts, stops, and direction changes, translating directly to improved game performance.

Box Jumps

Box jumps are a quintessential plyometric exercise that targets explosive leg power. By jumping onto a raised platform from a standing position, players develop the ability to quickly generate force, a skill that translates into faster sprints and more powerful leaps on the ice, enhancing overall agility and performance.

Plyometric Push-ups

Plyometric push-ups increase upper body explosiveness, which is crucial for powerful shots and strong checks. This variation of the classic push-up involves pushing up with force to lift the hands off the ground, strengthening the chest, shoulders, and triceps. It’s an effective way to build the explosive power needed for dynamic on-ice actions.

Squat Jumps

Squat jumps combine the benefits of squats with plyometric training, focusing on lower body strength and explosive power. This exercise involves performing a squat followed by a jump, promoting quick force generation. It’s essential for developing the explosive leg strength hockey players need for quick accelerations and jumps on the ice.

Agility and Speed Training for Hockey Players

Agility and speed are critical for hockey players, enabling quick direction changes, rapid acceleration, and effective maneuvering on the ice. The training focused on agility and speed improves a player’s responsiveness, making them more elusive and better positioned to capitalize on game situations.

Agility Ladder Drills

Agility ladder workouts are designed to improve foot speed, coordination, and agility. By performing various patterns of footwork through a ladder laid on the ground, players enhance their ability to make quick, precise movements, which is crucial for dodging opponents and maintaining control of the puck under pressure.

Cone Drills

Cone drills focus on agility and lateral movement patterns, which are essential for navigating the ice with speed and precision. Players weave around a series of cones, practicing rapid direction changes and improving their ability to quickly adjust their course of action, an invaluable skill during high-paced game situations.


Sprints are a fundamental exercise for developing straight-line speed and endurance. Short, high-intensity bursts improve a player’s acceleration and speed. It is crucial for beating opponents to the puck or closing down space on defense. Incorporating sprints into training routines ensures players can maintain peak performance throughout the game.

Endurance Training for Hockey Player

Endurance training is essential for hockey players to maintain high levels of performance throughout the game. It focuses on increasing the player’s stamina and cardiovascular capacity, ensuring they can sustain effort and intensity from the opening faceoff to the final buzzer, which is critical for late-game situations.

Long-Distance Running or Cycling

Long-distance running or cycling improves cardiovascular endurance, key for maintaining energy levels throughout a hockey game. These activities increase a player’s stamina, allowing them to skate at high intensities for longer periods without fatigue. It is crucial for maintaining performance in the later stages of the game.

High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

HIIT combines short bursts of high-intensity exercise with periods of rest or low-intensity activity, mirroring the stop-start nature of hockey. This training improves both aerobic and anaerobic fitness, enhancing a player’s ability to recover quickly from intense efforts and remain effective throughout the entire game.

On-Ice Drills

On-ice drills focus specifically on endurance and game-like scenarios, ensuring players can apply their stamina directly to hockey skills. These drills simulate game situations, requiring players to maintain high levels of effort and skill execution under fatigue, a direct translation to maintaining peak performance during games.

Flexibility and Mobility for Hockey Player

Flexibility and mobility training are crucial for hockey players to prevent injuries and enhance performance. These workouts improve joint range of motion and muscle elasticity, allowing for more fluid and efficient movements on the ice. They are essential for maintaining optimal body function and ensuring longevity in the sport.

Dynamic Stretching

Dynamic stretching involves active movements that stretch the muscles without holding a position for a long time. Exercises like leg swings and arm circles prepare the body for the physical demands of hockey, improving flexibility and increasing blood flow to the muscles, which is crucial for preventing injuries and enhancing performance.

Static Stretching

Static stretching involves holding a stretch for an extended period, usually 20-30 seconds. It’s best performed after training sessions or games to help muscles relax, reduce soreness, and improve flexibility over time. Regular static stretching can lead to better flexibility, decreased injury risk, and improved range of motion.

Yoga or Pilates

Yoga or Pilates can be exceptionally beneficial for hockey players, focusing on core strength, flexibility, balance, and mental focus. These practices encourage lengthening and strengthening of the muscles, promoting better posture and movement efficiency. Incorporating yoga or Pilates into a workout routine can improve on-ice performance and reduce injury risk.

Incorporating the Workouts

Incorporating the Workouts

Creating a comprehensive hockey workout plan involves integrating strength, power, endurance, and flexibility exercises to address all aspects of athletic performance. A balanced approach ensures players develop evenly and can perform at their best. 

Here’s a sample weekly workout plan for a hockey player:

  • Monday: Focus on lower body strength with exercises like squats, lunges, and deadlifts. Incorporate plyometric exercises such as box jumps to end the session, enhancing explosive power.
  • Tuesday: Upper body strength training, including bench presses, pull-ups, and dumbbell rows. Finish with wrist curls to strengthen the forearms and improve puck handling.
  • Wednesday: Active rest day with light yoga or Pilates, focusing on flexibility and core strength.
  • Thursday: Agility and speed training with agility ladder drills, cone drills, and sprints. These exercises for hockey players improve quickness and responsiveness on the ice.
  • Friday: Endurance training with a mix of HIIT and long-distance cycling or running, aiming to boost cardiovascular stamina.
  • Saturday: On-ice drills focusing on game-like scenarios and skills practice, applying stamina and skills developed through the week.
  • Sunday: Rest and recovery, with an emphasis on static stretching and foam rolling to aid muscle recovery and flexibility.

This balanced workout plan ensures that hockey players work on every aspect of their physical performance throughout the week, contributing to improved on-ice performance, injury prevention, and overall athletic development.

Professional Guidance with Kendall Performance Physical Therapy

Working with a certified athletic trainer or sports physical therapist, such as Kendall Performance Physical Therapy, can optimize your hockey workout plan tailored to your specific needs and goals. A specialized therapist can help identify areas for improvement, suggest hockey training exercises, and ensure that your training regimen supports both performance enhancement and injury prevention, including common issues like hockey wrist injury. This comprehensive approach allows you to achieve the best possible results on the ice, balancing between advancing your skills and safeguarding your health.


Incorporating a comprehensive and well-rounded workout regimen is essential for hockey players aiming to elevate their game. By focusing on strength, power, agility, endurance, and flexibility, players can improve their on-ice performance, reduce the risk of injury, and enjoy a longer, more successful hockey career. Remember, consistency, dedication, and the right guidance are key to maximizing the benefits of your hockey conditioning workouts.


How many times a week should a hockey player workout?

A hockey player should aim for 3-5 workout sessions per week, balancing strength, endurance, agility, and flexibility training while also allowing for adequate rest periods and recovery.

How many hours do hockey players train?

Hockey players’ training hours vary by play level and season, with professionals often training 20-30 hours weekly, including on-ice practice and physical conditioning. Offseason focus shifts to strength and conditioning, potentially adjusting the hours slightly. Amateur and youth players usually train between 5 to 15 hours per week, combining on-ice activities and off-ice training. Effective training emphasizes quality and optimization for performance and development, aiming to reduce injury risks.

How much sleep do hockey players get?

Hockey players should aim for 7-9 hours of quality sleep per night to support recovery, mental focus, and optimal performance.

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Dr. Christopher Kendall PT

Kendall Performance PT

We help athletes and active adults move better, live pain-free, and get stronger to improve the health of our community and provide each client the knowledge to remain healthy and independent the rest of their lives.