1. (Single Leg) Sliding Lateral Lunge
The Single Leg Sliding Lateral Lunge is an exercise that emphasizes specific balance points for skating and develops movement patterns transferable to ice hockey. This movement improves strength, mobility, flexibility and core stabilization with several variations. Progressions can be performed to increase difficulty and resistence using: body weight, medicine ball, dumb bells, kettle bells, and barbell. You can also be resourceful if you do not have a slide board by using a paper plate or a glider.
- Lower your hips while keeping chest up and back flat
- Keep the core engaged to maintain good posture
- If the movement feels awkward or posture is not well maintained when performing the movement, try elevating the heel on the stabilizing leg.
2. Single Leg Deadlift or Warrior 3
The Single Leg Deadlift is a dynamic exercise that emphasizes elements such as anti rotational work and core stabilization specific to ice hockey. The movement is dynamic in that it can be used in a warm up or as a strengthening exercise. Those who do yoga recognize this exercise as Warrior 3, which is generally performed as a balance pose that is held for a period of time. The image on the left demonstrates how the movement can be performed in a mobility warm up with just using body weight and the image on the right demonstrates how the movement can be performed as a strengthening exercise by adding resistance with dumb bells. Strength Coaches might add difficulty to emphasize anti rotational work in the core by having the athlete hold weight in the opposite hand only.
- Assume tall posture at the beginning of the movement
- Think of hinging at the hip instead of reaching down
- End of the movement occurs at the end of range of motion for the hamstring
- Do not round the back
- With the leg that goes back, think of pushing an imaginary wall behind you to activate the glute
- Keep the core engaged and distribute weight evenly on both glutes
3. Medicine Ball Tosses (Rotational)
This exercise can be performed with a partner or by tossing against a wall. It is great for developing rotational power transferable to ice hockey in skating, shooting and winning physical battles. Shifting of weight transfer helps build mobility + strength through core anti flexion and rotational power.
- Power comes from the back leg. Load and absorb the weight in the back leg to generate explosiveness throughout the movement
- Control the transfer of weight in your hips and follow through with the toss like you would a shot
- When receiving the ball, absorb the force and gradually shift your weight to the back leg in order to repeat the movement in a more fluid fashion