We recommend that all skaters warm-up before skating, and as skaters advance, it may be beneficial to add some off-ice training. Please discuss your skater’s off-ice training requirements with his/her coach. Following are some off-ice training activities which may benefit your skater. There are also many on-line resources available. We highly recommend searching for exercises on YouTube too.
Dry-Land Exercises (Plyometrics)
Off-ice training is very important to today's athlete. The following is a list of different plyometric exercises that will benefit skaters on and off the ice. The following is just a sampling of the unlimited number of exercises one can develop in this area to improve quick and powerful leg movement. Skaters should ultimately get into box jumps and depth jumps which go far beyond this sampling of exercises for developing powerful legs.
1. Jumping Jacks
Do this with a very strong kneebend and move the legs and arms as rapidly as possible.
With a scissor movement of the legs, one leg is thrust in front and the other behind. Then the player jumps and switches the position of the legs. Focus again on kneebend and concentrate on:
(a) Distance by stretching the legs as far forward as you can (after a good warm-up)
(d) A combination of a through c above.
3. Jumping on the Spot
In a stationary position, simply jump as quickly as possible kicking your butt each time. The focus is on how fast you can move your legs together jumping. As soon as your legs tough down, they should be off the ground again. When your legs slow down, stop – doing this at medium speed defeats the purpose.
4. Jumping 90's
Same as #3, but as you jump turn 90 degrees, land, spring up again turning another 90 degrees until you have made a full circle and then go back in the opposite direction again.
5. Jumping 180's
Same as above but turn 180 degrees each time. Focus on kicking your butt each time and making sure there is not a long delay on landing and springing up again.
6. Jumping 360's
Again, the same thing only here balance comes into play. The key is trying to come down with the shoulders over the feet. Concentrate on trying to keep your shoulders back on landing.
7. One Legged Jumps
Try doing exercises 3 through 6 on one leg with the most important one being #3. Try to get the leg up kicking your butt as close as possible and alternate legs.
8. Push Up Leg Kick
Get down in a push-up position. Bend one knee forward and tuck it under the chest so that one leg is under the chest and the other is extended behind. The rapidly alternate the leg positions, moving the legs as quickly as possible. Then try the same exercise only this time moving both feet together under the chest and out extended behind. Again, do this as rapidly as possible.
9. Side Jumping
With both feet together, simply jump side to side as quickly as possible and as far to the side as possible. Trying to immediately spring up once you have touched down is the key. Try also to kick your butt.
10. Jumping Forward and Back
With both feet together, jump forward and back as far and as fast as possible.
11. Jumping Sticks
Each player gets two hockey sticks and puts them in a cross. Starting with two feet in one corner, jump diagonally ahead and on the opposite side. Then jump straight backwards with both feet. Then jump diagonally head to the opposite side. Keep going and do this repeatedly moving the feet as quickly as possible. Do this also on one foot.
12. Body Throw
Here with both feet close together you simply bend your knees and throw yourself forward with a big jump. Continue to throw yourself and try to move yourself as quickly as possible. Keep a fairly good kneebend and use your arms. For more of a challenge, try with arms held tight at your waist or behind your back.
13. Lateral Runs
With legs stretched apart and with a very low kneebend, players run sideways in one direction. As you run, pull the inside leg ahead so that at the finish of each jump, both legs are close together. Also try with legs wide apart with a good low kneebend so that you are springing off both feet and keeping them wide apart as you move sideways.
14. Side Step
Facing forward, run sideways crossing one foot in front of the other and then second step with the same foot going behind the other foot. Alternate this leg movement as you run sideways in one direction.
15. Reverse Quick Feet
Take short quick steps sideways facing one direction and every alternating step turn quickly and face the exact opposite direction. Don’t cross feet over.
16. Side Hops
Instead of hopping sideways with two feet together, hop with one outside left to the left with a good kneebend and a wide hop. As you land on the left leg, bring the right leg across the centre of gravity so that the right foot almost touches or does touch the left heel. Then jump back in the opposite direction sideways, landing on the right foot and similarly swinging his left leg across the centre of gravity to touch the other foot. Go back and forth as quickly as possible.
17. Foot Stomp
Standing on the spot, take rapidly stomp your foot with very little kneebend, alternating feet and moving as quickly as possible. Wear good cushioned running shoes!