Ice hockey can be defined as a sport of dynamic movements and speed changes. Players skate, dodge, stop, and then start again to achieve their targets. Amidst all these movements, one thing that remains constant is the player’s continuously increasing heart rate. Ice hockey workouts keep the heart rate up because of the enduring activities required. Throughout the match, players can actually feel their heart beating.
The sport is bursting with aerobic and anaerobic activities. Therefore, players must train themselves through cardio related activities. Any activity or sport that can help them make their hearts stronger is of great importance. There are loads of cardio training activities that are not only beneficial for the heart, but also for the lungs and legs. For an ice hockey player, explosive and conditioned legs are more important than anything else.
The term interval cardio training is self-explanatory. It simply means carrying out cardio training exercises at regular time intervals so that the player doesn’t stress out while also keeping the exercises in continuity. 4 to 5 rounds of multiple exercises are recommended on a daily basis. Besides, you must rest for short intervals before starting another round of cardio exercise. It will help you perform better even at an increased heart rate.
One of the highly recommended set of exercises for ice hockey players is below:
- Forward run (aka F run): 30 – 50 meters
- Backward run (aka B run): 30 – 50 meters
- Push-ups: 15 – 20
- Crunches or reverse crunches: 10 – 15
- Squats (without weight): 15 – 20
The numeric values shown here are to start with, keep increasing them as you progress with the passage of time.
It is advised to start off with push-ups as they are great to warm the body up. 15/20 push-ups will eventually boost your body for subsequent exercises. You will feel like running and lifting weights for cardio training. At this point in time, the forward run appears most significant. It will help you gradually increase your heart rate to a level that you are likely to experience when on the rink for ice hockey drills and/or tournaments.
Moving forward, it’s time for crunches or reverse crunches, whichever you feel comfortable with. However, it must be kept in mind that every single exercise must cause your heart rate to increase gradually. You are now good for backward run. It might be difficult for you in the beginning, but as you master the techniques, you will start enjoying backward running too. Also include squats in your workout plan, but make sure you perform them without carrying weights.
Once you are done with all the above stated cardio exercises, it’s time for a short break. However, don’t extend the interval and start the next round after a while. It will help you regain the strength to start the next round. On the other hand, you may experience fatigue if you rest beyond the recommended time interval. Cardio conditioning results will be great if you continue them throughout the year.