Hockey fitness is one of the most complex areas of fitness in all of sports. The number of different roles and movements that hockey players have to assume over the course of a game demands a huge amount of fitness in a highly varied number of ways. Rivalled only by skill positions in football for the fitness level required, it’s very important that hockey players focus on the game as a whole, rather than simply focusing on individual aspects and ignoring others.
One of the most important areas of hockey fitness is core strength. This is common to most sports, but is especially important in hockey. Contact sports like hockey always come along with a higher risk of injury than non-contact sports, and improving core strength is one of the most important ways to help prevent injuries. The core also channels the power used for shooting, passing, checking and more.
Another important fitness area for hockey players is cardiovascular endurance. Anyone who’s been stuck on the ice for a long shift knows how tiring it can, and coming back to the bench for a couple minutes doesn’t give you much time to recharge. It’s very important to be able to maintain that pace over the course of an entire game without your output bleeding off. The best way to ensure this is to focus your cardio training on intervals that closely approximate shift times. Do 45 seconds to a minute at full blast, then bring it down for a couple of minutes.
Most importantly, focus on getting a complete workout so that you don’t accidentally ignore any aspects of your fitness training that could have an impact on your performance on the ice. The best way to do this is to consult a hockey specific trainer, or to pick up a book on hockey specific fitness plans.