In this article, I have compiled 15 of the best and most effective hockey workouts that we have ever posted so that you have all the tools you need to become an all-around better hockey player.
Below, you will find (in this order too):
- 5 Hockey Speed Workouts
- 2 Hockey Weight Training Workouts
- 3 Hockey Conditioning Workouts
- 3 Hockey Agility Workouts
- 2 Hockey Mobility Routines
I have also made sure to include both equipment-based and bodyweight-only versions as well so that no matter what equipment you have, you can bookmark this page to improve your hockey performance.
Let’s get into it and start things off with the speed workouts!
The “McDavid” Explosive Crossover Power Workout
The above video will run you through 2 different hockey speed workouts based on Connor McDavid’s training, with crossover power being the main focus.
We include a gym workout and field workout, which should be done with at least 2 days of rest between them.
Gym Crossover Power Workout:
A1: Lateral Prowler Push 4 x 5 yds/side [10 secs rest]
A2: Crossover Hurdle Jumps 4 x 3/direction [120 secs rest]
B1: BB Front Squat 4 x 5 [10 secs rest]
B2: 180-Degree Squat Jumps 4 x 3/side [120 secs rest]
C1: Banded Lateral Lunges w/ DBs 3 x 5/side [0 secs rest]
C2: Copenhagen Plank 3 x 10 secs/side [0 secs rest]
C3: BB Hip Thrust 3 x 10 [0 secs rest]
C4: Slider Rollout 3 x 10 [90 secs rest]
Field Crossover Power Workout:
A: McDavid Linear Crossover Sprint: 5 x 15 yds [90 secs rest]
B: Half-Kneeling Cross Body Slam Into Carioca: 4 x 10yds [90 secs rest]
C: Broad Jump Into Sprint: 5 x 15 yds [90 secs rest]
D1: Reverse Medicine Ball Scoop Toss: 3 x 1 [0 secs rest]
D2: Superman Hold: 3 x 30 secs [0 secs rest]
D3: Side Plank With Reach: 3 x 8/side [60 secs rest]
*Exercises grouped with the same letter are to be done back to back (after the provided rest). For example, with Superset A in the Gym workout, you would perform A1, rest 10 secs, perform A2, rest 120 secs and repeat for the four sets. Or with the “C” Quadplex, you would run through all four exercises with no rest between, and then rest 90 seconds and repeat.
**Make sure you follow the rest periods because this is speed training, not conditioning training. You need maximum recovery between sets here so you can move at the all-out velocities you need to move at to force your body to adapt to a new level of speed output.
Explosive Hockey Speed Training
A – Box Jumps – 8 x 1 jump [30 secs rest]
B – Triple Broad Jump – 6 x 1 [60 secs rest]
C – Mountain Climber Sprints – 6 x 25 yards [75 secs rest]
D1 – Alternating Split Squat Jumps – 3 x 5/side [0 secs rest]
D2 – Plank – 3 x 60 secs [0 secs rest]
D3 – Ankle Pogo Hops – 3 x 8 [90 secs rest]
*”D” exercises are a tri-set, so you would complete those three back-to-back, then rest 90 seconds and repeat for the 3 sets.
The above workout is considered advanced due to the overall training volume and technical prowess required to properly perform the movements. It is one of our all-time most popular videos because it helps you with your explosive starting speed, acceleration, and top-speed all-in-one workout.
Hockey Speed Workout With A Focus On Defensemen
A – Proper warm-up with some low-effort runs
B – Half kneeling start sprints – 8 x 20 yds [90 secs rest]
C – Backpedal sprints – 4 x 15 yds [90 secs rest] – Start 5 yards in front of starting line, backpedal 5 yards and then sprint forward 15 yards (not 10 as mentioned in the video by mistake).
D – Box jumps – 12 x 1 [60 secs rest]
E – Jumping medicine ball throw from chest – 1 x 15 [75 secs rest]
The above workout design is applicable for all forwards and defensemen, but it has a bias towards being more of a defensive workout due to the inclusion of backpedal sprints.
Backpedal sprints help teach the body to be able to immediately explode forwards after already gaining momentum skating backward (i.e., instantly change direction and explode forward at a moment’s notice, even if you’re skating backward fast).
“Anywhere” Hockey Speed Training
A1 – Split squat jump to return stance – 3 x 3 per leg [0 secs rest]
A2 – Squat jumps – 3 x 8 [90 secs rest]
B1 – Broad jumps – 3 x 6 [0 secs rest]
B2 – Single leg hip thrusts – 3 x 8 per leg [90 secs rest]
C1 – Lateral reaching lunges – 4 x 5 per leg [0 secs rest]
C2 – Mountain climber burpees – 4 x 4 [90 secs rest]
**A, B, and C are to be done as supersets. Go back and forth between the exercises, but make sure you rest for the time given between sets.
We call this training style “anywhere” hockey speed workouts because you can get a hockey-specific result with zero equipment and even limited space.
Upper Body Weight Training Workout For A Harder Shot
A1 – Wide pronated grip pull-ups 4 x 6-8 reps [60 secs rest]
A2 – DB Cuban Press 4 x 9-12 reps [90 secs rest]
B1 – BB Pendlay row: 4 x 9-12 reps [60 secs rest]
B2 – Medicine ball Russian twists: 4 x 20secs [90 secs rest]
C – DB Farmers walk: 3 x 30secs [90 secs rest]
**A and B are to be done as supersets. Go back and forth between the exercises, but make sure you rest for the time given between exercises and sets.
When it comes to building up your shot power, improving strength within your lats, rotator cuff, and grip is critical to get the most well-rounded results. Improving your strength in these areas will not only help with power, but it will also help with your shot accuracy as well.
Lower Body Weight Training For Hockey Speed Development
A1 – Trap bar deadlift – 4 x 5 [0 secs rest]
A2 – Vertical jump – 4 x 5 [2 mins rest]
B1 – Lateral step-ups – 4 x 5 per leg [0 secs rest]
B2 – Lateral hurdle hops – 4 x 3 hops per direction [2 mins rest]
C1 – BB Romanian deadlift – 2 x 8 [10 secs rest]
C2 – Hanging leg raise – 2 x 12 [10 secs rest]
C3 – Plank – 2 x 60 secs [90 secs rest]
*Each letter represents a superset. Although these are supersets, we will still rest 10 seconds between all exercises in the C-series.
Many hockey players don’t think training with weights will improve their speed. They think that weight training is just for strength. Well, strength plays a major role in speed development. I talk about it extensively here.
If you’re a hockey player who has only ever been training for speed through bodyweight-only methods, this style of training just might be the “next big thing” you add to your training arsenal for speed development and injury prevention.
Hockey Conditioning Workout With Rotational Focus
A – Horizontal hop into MB throw – 8 x 3 per side [45 secs rest]
B – Crossover into MB shotput – 6 x 3 per side [45 secs rest]
C – T-Test – 8 x 1 [45 secs rest]
D – DB split squat jumps – 6 x 3 per side [45 secs rest]
Hockey players utilize rotational power and strength to improve their shot power, agility, and body-checking impact.
But it’s not just how powerful you can generate this type of movement pattern. It’s also about how conditioned you are in this movement pattern to keep these elements strong for all three periods (even if you’re shorthanded).
If you have just been doing traditional “in a straight line” type of exercises for your conditioning and you have never included a rotational focus, you are missing a big piece of the hockey performance pie.
Hockey Conditioning Workout With Core Finisher
A – Split squat jumps – 8 x 2 per side [25 secs rest]
B – Backpedal sprints – 10 x 15 yd (backpedal 5 yds to start line then sprint to 10 yd line) – [25 secs rest]
C – Standing broad jump – 8 x 4 – [15 secs rest]
D1 – Bicycle abs x 10 per side [0 secs rest]
D2 – Reverse crunches x 15 [0 secs rest]
D3 – Side plank x 30 secs per side [2 mins rest]
Speed training is very different from conditioning training, even though the exercise prescription is similar.
The biggest difference between the two is that speed training requires long rest periods to hit maximum velocity. In conditioning workouts, the entire aim is to create a scenario where you are forced to do work in a pre-fatigued state. Thus, forcing your body to improve its endurance to keep up with the demand.
Aerobic Conditioning Training For Hockey
This is an off-season conditioning workout targeting the energy system in the body known as your Aerobic System.
Performing this workout at the 50-60% intensity level Coach Dan recommends in the video will very effectively improve the oxygen supply your working muscles receive during an intense hockey game by increasing how effectively the heart can deliver oxygen through your vascular networks.
Hockey Agility Workout With A Deceleration Emphasis
A – 3/6/9 Deceleration suicides – 5 x 1 [90 secs rest]
B1 – Partner banded resisted lateral shuffle 10yds there and back – 5 x 1 [0 secs rest]
B2 – Triple broad jump – 5 x 1 [90 secs rest]
C1 – Lateral bounds – 3 x 3 in each direction [0 secs rest]
C2 – Sprint 20yds – 3 x 1 [90 secs rest]
You might have read the above title and thought: “Deceleration, who would ever want that!?” Yet, it’s 50% of the equation regarding your Stop-Start speed.
You can’t always just focus on the “start”, you need to give the body decelerative strength so that you can stop on the dime and deal with the forces associated with high-velocity direction change effortlessly. Not to mention, most knee injuries in hockey are due to a lack of decelerative strength, so you get a protection benefit from this workout.
Explosive Mental And Physical Hockey Agility Workout
A1 – Reverse scoop toss – 6 x 1 [0 secs rest]
A2 – 3-way push up – 6 x 2 [45 secs rest]
B – Double broad jump into 20 yd sprint + 20 yd backpedal – 6 x 1 [45 secs rest]
C – 10/10/10 Partner Agility Reaction Drill – 4 x 1 [60 secs rest]
The above workout is definitely an advanced training session as it utilizes a large area, a medicine ball, and the help of a coordinated training partner. If you can get this done, it will pay you back in many more ways than one.
Explosive starting speed and reaction time are emphasized here, but it is an all-around agility enhancer to give you quicker feet out on the ice.
Hockey Conditioning And Agility Hybrid Workout
A – Split squat jump with MB throw – 8 x 1 [30 secs rest]
B – Reactive Agility lateral shuffle – 4 x 20 secs [45 secs rest]
C1 – Lay down turn around sprints – 6 x 30 yds [0 secs rest]
C2 – Reverse scoop toss – 6 x 1 [60 secs rest]
**C1 and C2 are a superset, meaning right after C1, you will go right into C2 (0 secs rest).
This is a workout that combines the training volume and rest period methodology of a conditioning workout but utilizes exercises well-suited for both mental and physical agility.
In the end, the signals being sent to the body are to become more agile while simultaneously being able to prevent that “heavy leg” feeling you can sometimes get as the game goes on. It is often a lack of conditioning within the agility coordination patterns out on the ice that fatigues hockey athletes (especially in a high-paced game).
Use this workout to get one step ahead of your opponents when they are all tired and ready to slow down.
Hockey Hip Flow Mobility Routine
Hockey players notoriously have tight hips. This hip flow is something you can use daily or before hockey to unlock your hips and improve your skating speed. It will take you five minutes or less and will have you moving much more fluid during training and out on the ice.
Total Body Mobility Routine
A – Hang from pull up bar – 1 x 1-2 minutes
B – Arm circles – 1 x 10 per direction
C – Rotational arm swing – 1 x 8/side
D – Hip circles – 1 x 10/direction
E – Zombie squat with reach through – 1 x 10
F – Scorpion kicks – 1 x 8/side
*Run through each in a circuit-like fashion with no rest between exercises
These movement patterns check all the boxes when it comes to a hockey athlete’s mobility needs from a total body perspective and is something I recommend if you don’t have any glaring mobility issues (in which case, I’d recommend a more specialized approach such as the above hip flow).
That wraps up our 15 best hockey workouts, but now let’s take a look at how you can create your own hockey workouts…
How To Create Your Own Hockey Workout
When you are creating a workout for hockey performance, it must fall within the “big picture” plan for the entire years worth of training.
A workout will only ever be as effective as its implementation within the entire system, and within a hockey training system, a workout is actually the smallest fraction.
Your vision must be large enough to understand that a training year is made up of training blocks, training blocks are then broken down into training cycles, training cycles are then broken down into training weeks, training weeks are then broken down into training days, and training days are broken down into training sessions.
Your hockey workout is the smallest possible unit within your off-season and in-season periodization, as it will only last 30-120 minutes.
The Traditional Approach (Don’t Do This)
The Warm Up (10 minutes): Pick a random cardio machine and do 5-10 minutes on it and a few random stretches at 3 x 30 seconds each.
The Workout (40 minutes): Resistance training.
The Cool Down (10 minutes): Pick a few more random stretches at 3 x 30 seconds each.
In the above workout, the lines drawn between the warm-up, workout, and cool-down and very clear and distinct. But what happens when you start using more advanced techniques to get more bang for your buck from each training session?
Why The “Traditional” Workout Structure Doesn’t Workout
Although you can get results from this type of approach, it also burns away 10-20 minutes of your time within the warm-up and cool-down sections doing things that aren’t getting you your best return on investment.
Put another way, in a one-hour session, you’re spending 30% of your time doing things that aren’t driving your hockey performance forward in the most efficient way.
Think about it…
This means after one month of training, an entire week was dedicated to just your warm-up and cool down.
Even worse, if you do this for a year, you have spent up to four months of your training time doing these suboptimal routines.
Don’t get me wrong, warm-ups and cool downs are extremely important, but only if you do them correctly.
When you do, you can create an integrated approach where it all blends in together, and each workout component is clearly working towards something significant and meaningful for hockey performance.
Put another way, don’t just design workouts to be effective because the warm-up and cool down can and should contain productive movements that do more than just warm-up or cool down a hockey athlete.
The HockeyTraining.com Workout Template (Use This!)
Going against the grain, I want to remind everybody that when you look at the research — a warm-up in no way needs to be this super light aerobically structured event.
Who started that anyway?
At HockeyTraining.com, we use warm-up methods that some athletes would consider a short workout.
So long as you don’t start too hard or explosive in the beginning, people are capable of engaging in difficult dynamic work that accomplishes everything (and more) that a warm-up should accomplish while simultaneously being much more psychologically engaging than the same old boring routines that have been used for decades.
To make things very simple, make the warm-up purposeful and meaningful, and throw out the junk work.
At HockeyTraining.com, I put our athletes right into total body warm-ups using bodyweight movements and sometimes incorporate equipment such as medicine balls and bands wherever necessary.
The typical sequence normally involves 6-8 exercises strung together to create a total body warm-up effect, this approach allows the athlete to hit the ground running when the workout starts.
While your opponents are watching reality TV on the treadmill, you can perform 75-150 reps of total body movements that accomplish the same thing, plus much more!
You would be amazed at what 400 extra reps per week will do for you (assuming 100 reps per warm-up and four workouts per week) over the course of a training cycle/block/year.
Here’s an example hockey-specific warm-up we’ve used at HockeyTraining.com:
Jumping jacks x 30
T-Stab push-ups x 6/side
Arm circles x 12/direction
Straight arm rotations x 8/side
Single-leg hip circle x 12/direction/leg
Zombie squat with reach through x 8
Shoulder T x 15
Zombie lateral lunge x 5/side
Total reps performed: 163
Each exercise is performed only once through and with excellent technique moving through a full range of motion.
This warm-up normally only takes about five minutes, yet it adds plenty of mobility, stability, flexibility, strength training, injury prevention, and muscle-building stimulus to their current routine.
163 reps x 4 workouts per week = 652 reps per week
Now, what do you think will help a hockey athlete more…
Performing this four times per week, or going on the treadmill and walking for five minutes four times per week?
It’s not even a contest. It also doesn’t take any more time, nor does it tax the athlete too much that it negates their performance during the workout.
They get in, crush this warm-up, and then are mentally and physically prepared to crush the workout.
This part isn’t overly long, nor should it be — typically 40-50 minutes.
One of the many things that have separated HockeyTraining.com apart from the rest is our approach to intensity within our workouts.
While so many professionals are out there fumbling around with silly and ineffective wobble boards, we are training our hockey athletes through real hockey-specific strength and conditioning programming.
This means you train hard!
Nobody cares about what music is on in the gym during our workouts because they focus on getting more oxygen in their lungs.
When the intensity is high, you don’t need much time to complete the job. In fact, 40-50 minutes is an eternity when you are training your butt off.
This workout section consists of the weight training and complexes that we will be doing that day.
Since it is so incredibly variable from in-season to off-season, or from speed to conditioning, or from shot power to core stability — I can’t provide an example layout here (but if you want examples, make sure you check out our hockey training videos).
Just know good and well that this is where the “meat and potatoes” part of the session takes place.
The Cool Down
What some people consider the cool down portion of the session, I like to use for additional technical, therapeutic, mobility, and parasympathetic activation work.
The cool down is broken into three phases:
Phase 1: Technical Drilling
In this phase, the athlete performs speed and/or agility-specific drills that they are having issues getting correctly.
For example, many young hockey athletes struggle to execute crossovers properly, so they would do light work on these during this time to add to their technical ability and help them begin calming down.
Typically, 2-3 drills will do the trick in this phase.
Phase 2: Mobility Routine
In the middle of the cool down routine, you will find your rehabilitation work to prevent injury and support performance.
Hip mobility drills, hamstring work, ankle mobility, and much more can all be focused on here but will always be applied on an “as-needed” basis for what the athlete needs to focus on.
In this phase, pick 2-4 hockey-specific mobility drills and perform them as needed within your cool down.
Phase 3: Parasympathetic Activation
During training, we are in a heightened state both physically and mentally. The purpose of the cool down is to bring us out of a sympathetic state (fight or flight) and into a parasympathetic state (rest and digest).
Nothing does this more effectively than deep, belly breathing.
So, once the athlete has performed some light technical work and tissue-specific mobility drills, I like to recommend they do 2-3 minutes of deep breathing to activate the parasympathetic nervous system, which will fast-track the recovery process.
This is a complete cool down routine and accomplishes way more than the standard cool down approach in traditional training.
Putting It All Together
When designing a hockey workout, everything must be purposeful within the session itself but also within the big picture of your training day, training week, training cycle, training block, and training year.
At HockeyTraining.com, our workouts are structured with this template:
The Warm-Up (5-10 minutes): An integrated sequence of movements that are dynamic in nature works to promote whole-body mobility and hockey-specific athletic development.
The Workout (40-50 minutes): A hockey-specific resistance training session designed with the correct volume, intensity, and frequency that the time of the year demands (off-season, in-season, playoffs, before tryouts, pre-season, etc.)
The Cool Down (5-10 minutes): A three-phase formula to support further technical speed ability, mobility for targeted areas and activate the parasympathetic nervous system.
Beyond this template, certain concepts you will want to always keep in mind include:
- Warm-up like you mean it
- Perform skill-based exercises before strength-based exercises
- Perform fast exercises before slow exercises
- Always perform exercises with a full range of motion and don’t do forced/cheat reps
- Your rehabilitative work should be included within your warm-ups and cool down and not be the focus of your entire session
- When combining exercises, it’s best to combine non-competing muscle groups together so that performance is not negated during any time of the training
- If it hurts (as in actual pain), don’t do it, “training through the pain” is never a smart idea
If you understand the template I provided above and consider these additional points, you’ll be way ahead of the pack in terms of knowing what’s best in the world of hockey-specific workout design.
Frequently Asked Hockey Workout Questions
Generally, a hockey workout will include a dynamic warm-up, followed by a hockey-specific training session (either weight lifting, conditioning work, or speed training), and finished with a cool-down designed to promote mobility and recovery.
The more closely a workout simulates the demand of hockey, the more specific and “functional” it is. This means as hockey players, we want to focus on lower body explosiveness, total body power, overall conditioning, lower body mobility, and more.
Usually, the ideal hockey workout would last between 40 and 90 minutes.
Final Hockey Workout Thoughts
I hope I shed some light today on how exactly hockey players should be training and what type of template they should use for their workout programming.
Remember, this article was about hockey workouts and not a program.
Biology responds to stimuli over time, not within specific time windows.
It’s not a workout that will get you results. Only a complete program can do that.
This is why I can’t recommend enough that hockey athletes get access to one of our In-Season or Off-Season training programs here at Hockey Training.
These programs will give you the exact weekly schedules to follow to become the best hockey player you can be!
Check out the Hockey Training Programs page today, and I’ll see you on the inside.