Workout For Players

The Best Strength Training Exercises for Absolute Performance


Three sets of 10 repetitions. Rest 60-90 seconds in between sets. You must stretch before AND after.

Hamstring Curl (machine) - Lying on your stomach, curl your legs upward so that your heels are moving toward your butt. Some machines are upright but the motion is the same. Photo 1 Photo 2

Lunge - Hold a dumbbell in each hand, with your feet slightly apart. Take a large step forward with your right leg, keeping your back leg in place. The knee of your back leg should almost touch the ground. Do NOT lean, keep your back straight. Return your right leg to it's original place (or bring your left leg up to meet it) and repeat with the left leg. Photo 1 Photo 2

Squat/leg press - The idea of this exercise is to imitate a sitting or squatting position. Do not bend your knees too far, this puts undue stress on your knees -- bend halfway (at the most) before returning to a standing position. This is usually done with a barbell across the shoulders. Look up slightly to maintain good posture and use a piece of wood (or similar) on the ground under your heels with your toes on the ground to prevent you from falling backwards and maintaining good back posture.

Bench Press (flat bench) - Your hands should be farther than shoulders' width apart. Make sure to use a partner to spot you for this exercise! The wider the grip, the more the chest muscles are worked. A closer grip involves the triceps more. Photo 1 Photo 2 Close Grip

Incline Press (incline bench) - The form is the same as a standard bench press but your chest is elevated above your waist. There is also the declined press where the chest is below the waist. Inclined Bench works the upper chest muscles and the decline works the bottom part of the chest.

Close Grip Bench Press - Move your hands in closer (approximately shoulder's width or less) than with a standard bench press. You will probably need to use less weight than a standard bench press as well. Photo 1 Photo 2

Pull-ups (also called chin-ups) - Keep your back straight and knees bent. Breathe out on the pull up. Try moving your hands for a variation, as well as switching hand position to palm-facing-out or palm-facing-in. Photo 1 Photo 2

Seated Row/pull (machine) - Sit with your back straight and knees bent. You will likely be sitting with your legs in front of you and your feet against a platform for leverage. Use your arms and back muscles to pull toward you, but remember to keep your back straight to localize the exercise. TIP: try to touch your shoulder blades at the back. Photo 1 Photo 2

Hammer Curl/bicep curl - Sit upright with your back straight. You may also want to find a chair or bench with a back on it to support your back. Let your arms hang down to the side, each holding a dumbbell. Raise both dumbbells toward your head (or alternate), keeping your elbows stationary, and let them back down. Optional: Start with palms facing your body, and rotate palms outwards as you raise them. This will give you a higher bicep peak. Photo 1 Photo 2

Lat Pull Down (machine) - Keep your abdominal muscles contracted and make sure you are not arching your back. Your feet should rest firmly on the floor and your knees should be at a 90 degree angle. Place your hands on the bar shoulder's width apart and pull down towards your chest (stop when the bar is chin level) -- lean back slightly and keep your head straight. Extend to the starting position.

Calf Raises/press (machine) - Some gyms have a special calf raise piece of equipment, feel free to use this and/or the leg press machine or squat machine. Your feet should be resting on a flat surface, with your heels hanging off the edge. Flex both feet (imitating a tip-toe position) and return to the starting position. Photo 1 Photo 2

Tricep press (bench) - This is much the same as the bench press, but instead of the weight being in front of you, it's over the top of your head. Lying down on a bench, grasp a barbell in both hands, holding it slightly above (not above your face) the top of your head. Keep your elbows stationary and push the weight up so that your arms are almost completely extended, and slowly let it back down. Photo 1 Photo 2 Alternate

Shoulder Shrug - With your hands grasping dumbbells, let your arms hang at your sides. Lift your shoulders up, then back down slowly. Tip: Use wrist straps if you find the weight slipping from your grip. You can go quite heavy on this exercise. Photo 1 Photo 2

Hip Adduction (machine) - Sit with your legs as far apart as they will go comfortably. Squeeze your legs together to bring them in until your knees (or the machine) come together. Slowly allow your legs to retreat to their original position. Photo 1 Photo 2

Hip Abduction (machine) - Sit with your legs straight out in front of you and close together. Spread your legs apart until they can't go any further. Slowly allow your legs to retreat to their original position.

Wrist Flex (bench) - Sit with your arms lying on your knees, palms up and dumbbells in your hands. Let your wrists bend backward, perpendicular with the ground. Curl your palms upward, keeping your arms stationary. Slowly return to the starting position. You should feel a strong burning feeling in your wrists. This is good! If you don't, increase the weight. Photo 1 Photo 2

Wrist Extension - Sit with your arms lying on your knees, palms down and dumbbells in your hands. Let your wrists bend forward, perpendicular with the ground. Flex your hands upward, keeping your arms stationary. Slowly return to the starting position. Photo 1 Photo 2

Wrist Adduction/Abduction - Stand with your feet shoulders' width apart and your hands at your sides, each holding a dumbbell. Tilt the dumbbells forward so that the front is closer to the floor, then tilt them back so the back is closer to the floor. Keep your elbows stationary, and try to keep your forearms as stationary as possibls as well -- this exercise is meant to help your wrist muscles. You may find that opposite directions for each side will make the exercise a little easier. You can also use a bench, as shown in the photos, to concentrate on the muscles more. Photo 1 Photo 2

Crunches - Lie on your back with your knees up and your feet flat on the floor. You can place your hands on your shoulders or behind your head. Lift your head toward your knees half-way, and then back down to the floor. Keep your shoulders off the ground until the set is finished.

Also make sure you visit our section on stretching exercises, these are very vital to every workout!

Another great reference for strength training specifically for hockey is Complete Conditioning for Ice Hockey, I highly recommend it!

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