Weight Training for Hockey

Weight Training for Hockey

Hockey is without a doubt one of the hardest sports to play. Why? Because you’re not grounded on your own two feet, and in addition to controlling your self on the ice you have to maintain proper stick control, handling and shooting. Believe it or not, hockey is NOT an aerobic sport, it’s anaerobic. So long distance running and long treadmill work is pointless when training for hockey, in fact it will make you slower. Hockey is the ultimate HIIT sport, go fast and hard, rest, do it again. I also advise that every hockey players gets a pair of FAT GRIPZ. This will increase your hand, for arm, and arm strength drastically. Remember, you don’t play hockey with your bear hands, you have thick gloves on. The stronger your hands are, the better you will be controlling the stick with gloves on.

Weight training is your best friend when it comes to increasing your speed, power, control, and stability on the ice. Here are the top list of exercises, rep ranges, and common mistakes hockey players make in the gym.


1. Heel Elevated Front Squat– one of the primary muscles used when skating FORWARD is the vastus medialis. This is the tear drop looking muscle of your quad, and it makes up a large part of your leg. A strong VMO will result in a faster starting time and better control as you move forward on the ice. By elevating the heel in the front squat, you place even more emphasis on the VMO and less emphasis on the hamstrings and glutes. You MUST, I repeat, you MUST go all the way down in order to activate the VMO in this movement. Going parallel will not hit the muscle, you must go down until your hamstring covers your calve. Put a 10 lb plate under your feet to elevate the heel. My advice is to go heavier and do 4-6 reps, go down slow in a 4 count. FRONT SQUAT TECHNQIUE

2. Close grip bench press– this bench press variation has the greatest transfer for stick handling and power. About a 14 inch grip is ideal, slow and heavy 4-6 reps. Why close grip? A large majority of the power when you shoot is going to come from the tri ceps, not the chest. A very strong close grip bench will do wonders for the power of your shot.

3. Parallel Grip Pull Up- strong and well developed lats are essential for a powerful, fast, and accurate shot. As you lift your arms up and get in motion to shoot, you can feel your lats working in order to control and produce the force necessary to make the shot. Again, a full range of motion is 100% required in order to target all the muscles. All the way down. And then chin back over the bar. Reps of 6-8 with a 3 second descent are great for this exercise.

4. Reverse grip ez-bar curl- this exercise applies more to stick handlers and enforcers. When you’re getting into fights, as you grab on to another player you need a developed grip and forearms to get the hold. There are hundreds of little muscle fibers in your forearms, hands, and fingers that need proper development in order to hold on and control the stick. 6-8 reps are good for the reverse grip curl. I like the seated variation on a preacher bench because you can’t cheat by using your lower back.

5. Hamstring Curl Machine– I’m not a big fan of machines, but this bad boy is excellent. If done properly, it will pack major strength and size on to your hams. Skating backwards is almost all hamstrings. A powerful/quick start time, and stopping on the ice requires strong hamstrings. For hockey players I advise 4-6 reps of very heavy and super slow.

6. Deadlift– the deadlift will hit your hams, quads, traps, and forearms, so it is an excellent exercise for over all strength on the ice.

7. Seated Rotator Cuff Movements- your external rotators are an overlooked, and often underdeveloped muscle when it comes to handling the stick. Often the triceps and shoulders will get stronger from training, but the rotators will not, and your shot will suffer from this. They provide both the stability and help with the accuracy of the shot. Watch this video here to see what to do ROTATOR CUFF. 6-8 reps are ideal.

8. NEVER USE THE TREADMILL- hockey players who use the treadmill will make themselves slower. Why? A treadmill is a moving plane under your feet, skating is movement on a non moving surface. Running on a treadmill will retrain both your mind and your feet and slow you down on the ice. If you want to be more conditioned on the ice, do sprints on a track, or do HIIT on a bike. The treadmill is awful for hockey players.

Sample upper body workout for Hockey Players

A1- Close Grip Bench Press- 5×4-6 reps Rest 2 minutes

A2. Parallel Grip Pull Up- 5×6-8 Rest 2 minutes, move back to A1

B1. Rotator Cuff Extension- 4×8 Rest 2 minutes

B2. Reverse EZ Bar Curl Seated- 4×6-8 Rest 2 minutes

Every rep should be done with a 3 or 4 descent. All in all this workout should take you about 45 minutes. If it takes you an hour, or 30 minutes, you were talking to your friends or did the exercises too fast and didn’t rest long enough. Enjoy.



  • Great blog! I’ll definitely be using some of these workouts at the gym! Thanks!

    • Doug Ratner

      those fat grips should be increasing your strength with the gloves on.