Two Hockey Strength Training Exercises to Build Durable Hips
If I see one more hockey strength training program with the hip abduction/adduction machines listed, I will scream. I know the trainers hear about hockey players getting groin strains, so they want to strengthen them. Then they take a glance around the gym to find the machine that does that, et voila the seated hip abduction and seated hip adduction machines creep into the program.
For those of you who are not familiar these are machines that are usually located in some corner of the gym where you sit and then place your lower legs against pads that you either push or pull against to either bring your legs together or apart. You know the line up of guys waiting for the bench press? Well this is where all the women are lining up. They think it will make their inner thighs and their butt smaller – wrong, but that is for another article.
These machines have no place in any workout plan, but they certainly are not hockey strength training exercises. For starters you don’t play hockey sitting on your butt unless you are an athlete who plays sledge hockey, but again that is for another article. Here are two exercises that will not only make your hips stronger, but also make them more stable.
To perform this exercise you will use an adjustable cable column with the pulley set as low as it will go. The attach a cuff to your ankle and the snap on the pulley cable.
Now get into your low skating position (knees bent to at least 90 degrees). Remember to keep your chest up throughout the exercise. If the strap is attached to your right ankle, you will be stabilizing with your left leg; it may even feel more fatigued than your right side at the end of the set.
Stay in your low skating position with the cuff on your right ankle. You will stand sideways to the pulley with your left foot closer to the pulley and perform a skating stride with your right leg. Just mimic the motion you would make if you were skating across the ice using only your right leg. If the floor surface is smooth you may remove your shoe and glide your socked foot across the floor or you may simply hover your foot 1-2 inches above the floor.
Start with a light to moderate weight and complete 2-4 sets of 15-30 repetitions.
Cable Cross Under
This requires a similar set up to the striders. Attach the cuff and cable to one ankle, for this example we will stick with the right leg. You will stand sideways to the cable column, but this time your right foot will be closest to the pulley. Stand approximately 2-3 feet out from the pulley so you have space to go through a full range of motion.
Get into your low skating position with your right leg out to the side and your left leg stabilizing. Now pull your right foot under your body and push out your left foot as through you are doing a crossover with your left foot stepping over your right. Make sure you stay low the entire time.
Start with a light weight and complete 2-4 sets of 15-30 repetitions.
In contrast to the seated versions, these hockey strength exercise variations will improve your balance, your strength, your stability and your performance on the ice. Give them a try the next time the ladies are all lined up at the seated hip machines.
Maria Mountain, MSc is a Fitness Coach and the owner of Revolution Conditioning in London, Ontario. She is trusted by professional and amateur amateur hockey players to help them perform at the highest level by implementing her efficient and effective training systems.