Since before the dawn of time…… oh wait…. Maybe that’s a little over dramatic… ha ha
Let me try this again –
Since I began training hockey players in 1996 and until this day (literally I was asked this question yesterday)
Question: Is it safe for my young (prepubescent hockey player) to participate in regular and consistent Dryland hockey training programs?
Answer – YES!!!!! Providing it’s safe, lead by qualified coaching and the load represents the appropriate amount of volume and intensity for your young player.
In today’s article I’m giving you a brief outline and 5 simple ‘single leg exercises’ for your son/daughter.
Why Single Leg?
Single leg dryland strength and power training holds paramount significance for pre-pubescent hockey players, fostering both physical development and on-ice performance.
This specialized training enhances these critical attributes for maneuvering on skates.
Moreover, it aids in injury prevention by
💪fortifying the muscles and joints
💪ensuring the young athletes can withstand the demands of the game.
By honing single-leg strength, these players establish a solid foundation for future skill acquisition and overall athletic prowess, laying the groundwork for a successful hockey journey.
Now to the good stuff; The Drills 🥅👇🏒
1. **Single-Leg Squats:**
*Purpose:* Develops lower body strength and stability.
Prepubescent players can perform bodyweight single-leg squats, gradually progressing to using resistance bands or light weights as they build strength. This exercise mimics the skating stance, enhancing muscle engagement specific to hockey movements.
2. **Lateral Cone Hops:**
*Purpose:* Improves agility and lateral power.
Setting up a series of cones, players can practice hopping laterally from one foot to another. This replicates the quick lateral movements required during a game, enhancing their ability to change direction rapidly while maintaining balance.
3. **Single-Leg Balance Drills:**
*Purpose:* Enhances overall stability.
Simple exercises like standing on one leg for a set duration or performing dynamic movements on a balance board help prepubescent players develop core strength and stability, essential for on-ice control and maneuverability.
4. **Plyometric Box Jumps:**
*Purpose:* Builds explosive power in the legs.
Using a sturdy box, players can perform single-leg box jumps. This exercise not only develops leg strength but also enhances the ability to generate explosive power, crucial for quick starts, stops, and changes of direction in hockey.
5. **Resistance Band Skating Strides:**
*Purpose:* Targets hip and glute strength.
Mimicking the skating stride, players can attach a resistance band to a fixed point and loop it around one leg while performing controlled skating motions. This exercise isolates and strengthens the hip and glute muscles, essential for powerful and efficient skating.
Encouraging a well-rounded approach to single-leg dry land training ensures that prepubescent hockey players not only enhance their physical capabilities but also reduce the risk of injuries while setting the stage for continued skill development as they progress in their hockey journey.
Thank you for reading.
Have a fantastic day; now, go get to work! #booyah