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09-01-2007, 10:50 PM
Kevin Wey
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Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Des Moines
Posts: 1,927
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Functional training, plyometrics, and sprint interval training.

One's conditioning and the functionality of their body is the key to everything. If one does not have the leg strength to skate properly... or the core strength... or the flexibility. With shooting, most people just think about forearms. Well, a good wrist shot starts in the legs, then up to the pelvis, then to the core, then to the shoulders, then the arms, then the forearms, then the wrists, hands... It's like cracking a whip. And the muscles need fire in that sequence if you're going to have the best shot possible and reduce your risk of injury. This is the same for throwing a baseball. This is not to say forearms aren't important, but it is to demonstrate how important total conditioning is, especially the legs and the core for hockey players. No amount of upper body strength (while it is important) will compensate for a weak lower body and core.

Mike Boyle has some great books and DVDs about functional training, plyometrics and agility training, etc, that I would highly recommend. Weightroom strength can be entirely different than functional strength on the ice. Beach muscle is nice for picking up chicks, so to speak, but it does not guarantee functionality on the ice.

In addition, it's important to begin functional training when you're 13 to 17. It's not a lost cause if you don't, but it's a distinct advantage for your entire hockey career if you do. The nice thing about functional training is that it utilizes body weight more.

Think about bench press. You're lifting weights from a lying position. If you're lying on your back as a hockey player, you're probably not a very good hockey player. (An old football analogy). A lot of the classic training we're all familiar with is more geared toward body building and looking good, which is actually the goal of most people. But the goal for athletes is functional strength.

If you're not doing plyometrics, agility drills, and sprint intervals, you're probably not developing your fast-twitch muscle fibers. If you start this when your 13 to 17, you're more able to influence the composition of your body in terms of fast-twitch muscle fibers for life.

So, those are my recommendations. If a player is still in high school, I'd encourage them to also run track for their high school and do sprints and perhaps jumps, too. You'll go a long way toward developing your fast-twitch muscle fibers, as long as your coach knows what he's doing training you. If not, find a good track club in your area.

Last edited by Kevin Wey: 09-01-2007 at 10:55 PM.
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