T Nation

Hockey Tips?


Well, I just started playing ice hockey again for the first time in 10 years (!) in a local women's league. I had SO MUCH fun and am so excited to be back on the ice again. It's pretty casual, just one game a week and no practices (which is why I'm able to fit it into my life right now).

I finished my 3 months of training with Charles Staley (which was awesome!) and am starting The Waterbury Method next week and throwing in 2-3 morning tabata sessions (first time with that). My goals are to continue to build strength and lean out just a little bit more, but I'm really moving into more of a "maintain" mode for the first time.

Anyway, just wondering if anyone had any tips to help me with hockey - mostly building up my skating speed and endurance a little. I'm sure skating more would be best, but that's not an option right now. Would adding a few HIIT sessions be better than Tabata thrusters? Thanks!



I know Ryan Foster wrote a 3-part training program for hockey on John Berardi's site. It's looks pretty advanced, but you might get a few ideas from it.




Good Luck and Keep up the good work.



I think Christian T.'s HIIT article on this site was designed specifically with hockey players in mind. You obviously may need to scale the program down a little since he designed it for high level athletes, but it's definately a good start.

I'd also recommend some ankle and knee stability specific work if you haven't done that in a while. Hockey can be brutal on the joints, as I'm sure you're aware.

Have fun, keep your stick on the ice.



jilly, friends of mine who are national level hockey players do a lot of off season work with explosive lifting. Also, sprint work ie- running half tracks (400m) and interval sprinting of shorter duration such as 40 yard dashs walking that distance and doing it again. try and mimic things you would on the ice.


I used stuff from Peter Twist's book several years ago for off season training. A lot of the theory is dated, but he has a lot of fun "sport specific" drills for building strength in the skating muscles.


Jilly, if you are familiar with the Tabata method, then modify it by incorporating some non-resistance exercises. This can be anything from stationary cycling to more sport specific movements, to sprints, short sprints,that is. Plus, you don't necessarily have to follow the strict 20/10 regimen.

I have a jumping program for my college v'ball team and incorporate both resisted and non-resisted Tabata. WOW!! does it ever work. Give it a shot. If you need some ideas on some movements, let me know.


Jillybop, no suggestions but I just wanted to say it's awesome that you're getting back into hockey. You rock, girl!


you want a tip for hockey? Keep your head up!
as for the skating thing id suggest going to a powerskating camp. That and concentrate on pulling your leg back in as fast as you can because if your back leg hasnt been pulled back you cant take another stride. Also, remember big full powerfull quick strides.


Just hearing about what you're doing with your life even since before you did the Staley training is inspiring to both myself and my wife.

That's awesome that you're getting into hockey.

I just had one suggestion about the Waterbury Method and using Tabada or HIIT with it.

I remember him recomending that someone not sprint or use HIIT because the amount of stress that and the program would put on your CNS, and to do GPP or uphill treadmill walking.

It also depends on what you personally can handle and I'm sure you're CNS is more adapted than most, so it might work out for you. I just wanted to give a heads-up (not that you realy need it :wink:.


CT trains hockey players. He'd be a good guy to ask regarding training-specific information.

But what worked for me was a lot of lower body power. Energy systems training comes mainly from sprints cause if you're a forward or d man you're not going to be on the ice for longer than 1 minute (ideally 30-45 secs) but I get the impression you used to play so you know that stuff.

Yea basically the ol' "train the posterior chain" idea is applicable.


Thanks, guys! Those Ryan Foster articles are awesome - I might give that a go before next season. I've played since I was little and played 4 years of Div. 3 college hockey, but like I said, haven't played in about 10 years. I think all my training this year helped me do pretty well in my first game last Sunday - I held my own out there!

I will check out CT's stuff and maybe ask him a question in the "locker room". Thanks again!


Jillybop is going to approach CT in the Locker Room! o_O!


In season, I really like doing a lot of interval work on a stationary bike. Personally, I've always hated running. But, I've also found the regular stationary bike gets me into the best "hockey shape" besides just skating more.

I'll do a 45 minute session that has a 5 minute warm up, 35 minutes that are 45 second bursts (either just go for 45 seconds at a really high resistance or as fast as I can at a lower resistance) followed by a 75 second active rest interval.

It helps simulate the average 45 second shift.

And as far as resistance training goes, Nike Canada's site has a lot of training information up right now:


Here are some other good places to look:


Dan works with a lot of local hockey players such as Buffalo Sabre Rory Fitzpatrick, NJ Devil Brian Gionta, and a few Rochester Americans.

And here is the Colgate workout site for their women's hockey team:



There is also some dryland stuff on USA Hockey's coaching page:


The National Team Development Program, whose mission is to develop the best 16- and 17-year-old hockey players in the country, suggests circuit training, and Ken Martel, the program's director of scouting, hosts an exclusive two-circuit series of eight equipment-free exercises guaranteed to work you out.





Super Duper Jilly! You're my heroine!


Here's a tip:
"Take your time but hurry up."

Have patience with the puck, its a lot easier said that done.

I also practice stickhandling with a golfball and an UNTAPED stick.

Good luck.


Thanks, JimBob, that's some really good stuff! Those circuits would be especially good to do at home when I can't get to the gym or an off day - I don't do much stuff like that, but should start.

In case anyone's interested, here's what CT recommended:


Hey JB,

It looks like you've been supplied with tons of excellent info already but I'll throw in a few more. Here's a superset I read about in a Dan John article:

10 Deadlifts
20 Box Jumps
(Do superset 3 x with no rest between anything)

Also, if you somehow have access to something called a 'slideboard' thats a great way to train the skating. Wear a weighted vest or backpack helps more. Mix up that with a few days a week of sprint intervals.