Posts Tagged ‘hockey-specific’

Specific and measurable off-season training

In the last post I explained how hard work and consistency of training do not necessarily translate to improved on-ice performance for hockey. As well, they are no guarantee that the potential for injury will be reduced. In this post I’ll share what the components of a off-season hockey training program should be.

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Unless it’s an opponent I hate seeing people wasting their time and money.

There are enough things to think about and prepare for in hockey that we should be as focussed and efficient as possible.

Too often I see hockey players do too many drills and exercises not relevant to improving their performance. I put their in italics because the best hockey program for you is the one that addresses your needs and goals.

The best hockey program for you is not necessarily the one being followed by the highest scorer on your team.

Or by the strongest, most powerful player on your team.

Or the one used by the top players in the NHL. You’d be surprised how many times coaches, players and parents will tell me they got a copy of (substitute your favourite hockey player’s name)’s training program and could we follow that in our training?

Sure. We can do anything we want.

But would this program get you the best results? Would it prevent you from suffering from non-contact injuries? Would it be the best investment in your time and money?

Probably not.

Let me put it you this way.

Imagine you got sick. And the doctor said you needed a specific prescription. And this prescription would be dependent on your size, age, severity of symptoms and the time you had been sick.

Let’s add to this that this prescription was new to you and you wouldn’t know how you would respond. Heck, the doctor didn’t even know for sure if the prescription would work for you. Plus with every prescription there are always side effects. So even if the drug works for you you may still suffer from other symptoms by taking this drug.

Now let’s say your friend had a prescription filled for him or her a while back. And there was some left over. The prescription may or may not be for the same illness and symptoms you are experiencing. But we do know the following:

* you and your friend are different ages

* you are totally different sizes

* you don’t have the same experience (tolerance) to prescriptions

* the severity of your symptoms was quite different

Would you take your friend’s prescription?

Nobody would. In fact even if you had your own left over prescription from a previous illness you wouldn’t be allowed to bring this in to a hospital with you.

The prescription has to be specific to the individual.

That’s how your hockey training program should be. It should address your weaklinks and be specific to your goals.

Guess what?

This is exactly the first part of Premier Hockey Training ( the complete off-season training program for hockey.

In this program you receive an Assessment Package and Corrective Exercise Cheat Sheet.

This package walks you step by  step through the various tests to identify what your weaklinks are and what needs to be addressed first.

But knowing what your weaklinks are is useless you know how to fix them. This is exactly the purpose of the Corrective Exercise Cheat Sheet.

Does your knee collapse in when you stride? The Cheat Sheet shows you how to fix this.

Do you have one foot that turns out when you squat, lunge, step or run. The Cheat Sheet fixes this one too.

And here’s the kicker.

Not only are you at a greater chance of getting injured with these kinds of compensations but are wasting energy.

That’s right. Instead of directing power into the ice for movement you are directing it into your joints, which stresses the joints, and results in lower power production.

I hope this isn’t you. I hope you aren’t wasting energy. I hope you aren’t a liabilityto get injured.

The Assessment Package and Corrective Exercise Cheat Sheet in can address these issues before they become a problem.

Want a sneak peek? Here you go.

Corrective Exercise Treatment Table ‘Cheat Sheet’

Compensatory movement Tight/over active muscles  Weak/under active muscles  Treatment 
1. Foot turns out – externally rotates in anterior view
Calf complex:  gastrocnemius,
peroneals, soleus  


Gluteus medius, gluteus
maximus, medial hamstring
(posterior tibialis)  


SMR (foam roll) calf complex,
static stretch calf complex,
lateral band walking  


2. Knee moves inward – adducts                                                   
Adductor complex: (peroneals,
lateral gastrocnemius)


Gluteus medius and gluteus
maximus (posterior tibialis)


SMR adductor complex, calf
complex, lateral band walking, supine bridging


Sorry that the page cuts off the treatment part on the right. But in that column you are told the exact stretches and exercises to address your compensations. In total there are 11 common compensations laid out in specific detail for you.

Plus there are videos to go with the exercises.

And we can get on the phone and discuss your assessment if you like.

Want to get started on a hockey training program specific to you? Head over to now and pick up your copy today!




Last night I went to check out Karate Kid with my wife. If you grew up in the 80′s you had to have seen the original with Pat Morita and Ralph Macchio. It was a cool show back then and I was curious to see how Jackie Chan and the young Smith boy would do in the remake. And it wasn’t half bad. Chan still has a some moves left in him for this type of martial arts movie and Smith is well, let’s just say the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. He definitely has his dad’s charisma and mannerisms. But what does this all have to do with hockey training?

Well in the movie Chan accepts Smith as a student to train him for karate. And he quickly establishes a protocol for training. For example training is at a certain time, place and location. And before the student can enter for training he must ask permission. Once he is allowed to enter, the old master has him take off his jacket, throw it down, pick it, hang it up and repeat. He makes him do these tasks repeatedly with the right form and attitude. Flashback to the 80′s version and you’ll remember the student having to ‘wax-on, wax-off’.

Soon the student becomes frustrated and takes it out verbally on the master telling him he’s wasting his time and needs to start training for karate instead of hanging up and taking off his jacket. It’s at this point that the master demonstrates the ingrained skills the student has learned by performing these movements repeatedly for the past few weeks. And here’s where the connection to hockey training comes in.

Sometimes I’ll work with hockey players who feel they should be doing certain exercises and may question why they are doing others. This doesn’t happen a lot but sometimes it does.

Or you speak with parents who ask me if I use a particular tool for training or have a particular ‘hockey specific’ exercise. And after biting my tongue I’ll smile and gently say that I haven’t used the tool or exercise they are referring. And here’s why.

To some the following drill may appear to have nothing to do with hockey.

I mean they aren’t standing on a balance board. Nor do they have a stick in their hands. How can this drills translate to hockey? They aren’t doing anything that resembles the game of hockey.

What this exercise does produce however is ground-based strength and power. There is a triple extension at the ankle-knee-hip and the athlete completes the movement with a weight overhead requiring a stable core and balance on their feet. Remind you of any movements?

In this picture the hockey player is accelerating by generating ground-based speed. The left leg has just completed a push off and is in triple extension. And as the play heads up ice the core is stable and the chest is tall. Sounds almost exactly like what the exercise above develops, doesn’t it?

As you continue with your off-season hockey training program remember that ‘hockey-specific’ doesn’t necessarily mean the exercise or drill has to look like the game of hockey. In fact in most cases the most effective exercises that will improve on-ice performance the most may look nothing like the game. Think instead what it is you are trying to get out of the exercise or drill to decide how beneficial it may be to improving your game.