If you're really into hockey, you should definitely be using some hockey training programs not only to improve your skills, but to keep your body in the best shape for this sport, which is very fast and furious and very demanding. Playing hockey well requires players to be in good aerobic shape as well being strong and agile.
Aerobics really improves a player's endurance and the effort needed to stay out on the ice and in the game for what could be some grueling play! And while a lot of the aerobic and cardio training, and especially the strength training and weight lifting, in some hockey training programs are done off the ice, the best training programs will definitely incorporate a good bit of on-ice training as well.
Virtual training, which you can do with online programs or DVD courses can help with some of the initial training as well. There are some good hockey training programs on video today that provide some excellent virtual training off the ice.
You can actually get some pretty good information plus learn basic stick and puck handling moves, different ways to make shots, and even some skating maneuvers.
These types of programs are really popular for players who know many of the basics already and have hectic schedules requiring them to schedule their hockey training programs around full time job or school schedules.
Some of the following types of training can be done either from home using a DVD or online program, or by going to your local gym. And of course, your team coach should definitely be adding this type of training to the team schedule along with regular practice.
1) Hockey Strength and Weight Training
You use a lot of muscles when you play hockey. Hockey is probably one of the hardest sports on your body when it comes to wear and tear. You'll be training not only for strength and flexibility, but you'll also obviously be training for speed. So while you might think that hockey is all about your legs and knees, think again.
Sure, the strength of your legs is key enabling the ultimate in puck control, balance and fast skating while preventing any serious injuries. And since you need to keep your legs strong and flexible, and because hockey players take such long strides out on the ice, leg exercises should include moves that will work the groin area too.
But just as important are other muscles you'll use extensively during the game, which include your lower back, adductors, abductors, abs, glutes, hip flexors and extensors.
2) Hockey Cardio Training
If you've never done any serious cardio training, you want to start slow and as much as possible, reduce any type of exercise that's going to create stress on your joints, like running and jumping, especially right before the season starts. You can get excellent cardio and aerobic training without pounding the heck out of your joints.
Using a stepper or an elliptical machine will really build you aerobically and help build the endurance you'll need on the ice, but without wearing out your knees before the season even starts.
In addition to aerobic conditioning, you'll also need to increase your anaerobic level higher to withstand the anaerobic shifts out on the ice during the game. So make sure the hockey training programs you're using have you working out anaerobically for 45-second shifts during your aerobic training and you'll get yourself in the shape you need for the season.
3) Plyometric Training for Hockey Players
Hockey is a sport that requires some really fast movements like stopping short and changing direction in rapid speed, jumping over players and dropped hockey sticks, running fast, then turning quickly on the ice.
What Plyometric exercises do is trains your muscles, connective tissues and your nervous system so you can successfully make these fast motion moves on the ice. Doing Plyometrics will seriously help you with rapid direction changes, your overall agility and it will help increase your shooting power during your game.
The bottom line, however you decide to train for the season, overall hockey training programs should definitely include all of the above in addition to any other training or drills you'll be doing. A good rounded program will get you in the best shape and keep you in the best shape so you're always playing your best.