We have all experienced this feeling at some point in our lives…
You know you are good at something, but you still desire to be better.
Quite honestly, this applies to just life in general, but more specifically, this is a common feeling experienced by athletes.
As an athlete, you dedicate an enormous amount of time, money, and effort into the sport that you love…
You buy the uniform, specialized workout equipment, and gear, and spend hours practicing.
So, if you are going to be putting so much into a sport, naturally you want to be the best you can be, right?
One major factor when it comes to practicing and exercising for sports is the importance of doing so efficiently. While you can run around in circles all day and lose weight and maybe even gain some muscle, you are not helping yourself in any specific area – that is unless your sport of choice is track.
But, the most efficient way to improve your athletic capabilities is to localize your training. Focus on one area of improvement and work on that until you have it down. This will give you better results in a shorter amount of time.
For example, hockey players have several specific areas in which they might want to improve. For some, it might be their hand-eye coordination to improve their puck and hockey stick handling skills, for others it might be their skating speed.
Skating speed is a huge part of hockey – as the opponent slides down the court effortlessly with the puck, headed toward their goal, your one job as a hockey player is to stop them. But, obviously, you need to be quick to do so. However, keep in mind that right equipment is also important. Finding the best ice skates for hockey is important step for every hockey player. In the following guide, you will find some of the best ice hockey skates for senior players: https://www.honesthockey.com/gear-reviews/skates/best-senior/
If you are looking to improve your skating speed for next season, check out these five exercises that can help hockey players improve their skating speed. All of the following can be done without even stepping foot on the rink:
- Skating lunges.
Very similar to regular lunges, skating lunges are the bending of one leg but in a motion, that works the same muscles as skating.
To start, grab a dumbbell, barbell, or even some kettle bells. Next, while holding the weights above your shoulders, step out to one side and shift your entire body in the same direction – putting all your weight on that side. At this point, you should be forming a 90-degree angle at your knee while the rest of your body remains forward facing.
Try to keep your back and butt as upright as possible for maximum effectiveness.
- Crossover step-ups.
This exercise is specifically beneficial in the exercising of the glutes and aids in hip abduction, adduction, and rotation.
Place a box or a bench next to you – right at about knee height – and once again hold a barbell, dumbbell, or kettle weights right above your shoulders. Take your foot which is farthest from the box and cross it in front of your other one. Place your foot onto the box while keeping the rest of your body forward facing.
Then, simply center your body weight and life yourself up onto the box only using that leg.
- Elevated split squats.
This exercise is mainly beneficial for your quads but it also works other areas such as your hamstrings and glutes. Again, this exercise can be performed using the same lineup of weights as listed in the first two exercises.
Using the box from exercise #2, face your back to the box and place on foot behind you on the bench or box. Then, squat – bending both your front and back leg. Bend until you reach a 90-degree angle with your front knee.
- Jump lunges.
For this exercise, simply stand in place and jump in the air ensuring that both feet leave the ground. When you land, land in a lunging position with one leg bent at a 90-degree angle and the other one bent almost until it is touching the ground.
Jump back into the air and continue to switch legs with each rep.
5. Hill sprints.
Hill sprints are designed to improve skating in a number of ways – they increase the explosive power of your legs and your form improves as this exercise mimics the posture seen when skating.
You will simply sprint up a hill, but increasing your distance each time. Begin with a 10-hill and subtract one set of reps for each additional 10 yards. Go until you reach a 50-yard hill and walk back down the hills between reps as your cool down period.