Isometrics (producing muscular force without a change in total muscle length…think of pushing against a wall) are probably one of the most effective, and under-utilized forms of training. Other than wall sits (which is a stupid exercise in my opinion), many hockey players never use isometric training at all.
I love isometrics.
I think they’re great for:
Last night I came across a great exercise from Cal Dietz, the University of Minnesota Hockey Strength Coach. While, semantically, I may disagree with calling this a deadlift (which I think requires a greater loading of the posterior chain-e.g. glutes and hamstrings), I still think it’s a phenomenal exercise that all players would benefit from. You could also perform several variations of this exercise, such as having the bar across the athletes shoulders (set between two sets of pins so that they can get under the bar, resting on the first set of pins, and push up against the second set of pins set a few inches higher).
Another variation would be to perform a an overhead pressing movement against pins from the same position. The great thing about this variation is that it’ll necessitate full body force transfer. If you push harder with your upper body than your lower body, you’ll just sink. Having said that, there’s no excuse (other than poor core stability and strength) for not being able to match overhead pressing force with leg drive force, even from this position.
Enjoy the video…
Kevin has rapidly established himself as a leader in the field of physical preparation and sports science for ice hockey. He is currently the Head Performance Coach for the Boston Bruins, where he oversees all aspects of designing and implementing the team’s performance training program, as well as monitoring the players’ performance, workload and recovery. Prior to Boston, Kevin spent 2 years as an Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach for the San Jose Sharks after serving as the Director of Performance at Endeavor Sports Performance in Pitman, NJ. He also spent 5 years as a Strength and Conditioning Coach with USA Hockey’s Women’s Olympic Hockey Team, and has been an invited speaker at conferences hosted by the NHL, NSCA, and USA Hockey.