Jump Training for Hockey

Jump training is an effective way to improve lower body power development, and the ability to decelerate.  Jump training gets a lot of emphasis because of the importance of maximizing force output while transitioning from a deceleration- to acceleration-based movement, or eccentric (muscle lengthening) to concentric (muscle shortening) contraction.

This happens anytime you precede a jump with a quick dip: you’re eccentrically contracting your quads and glutes while decelerating your fall, then transitioning into an upward acceleration by concentrically contracting your quads and glutes.

While this comes into place during changes of direction on the ice, it isn’t a big factor in the regular skating stride.  Because many of the changes of direction are done at such a high speed, a greater amount of force reduction is needed than in a common vertical or broad jump.

In other words, it takes more force and more time to complete the direction change than a normal vertical jump.

This leads me into my new favorite jumping exercise.

Single-leg high force reduction followed by an explosive lateral or diagonal bound, followed by another single-leg high force reduction.

I love it.  You can progress this exercise by adding a high knee before the forward lunge (so you’ll be decelerating from a higher height, adding to the amount of force you’ll need to reduce) or by adding a weight vest.

Lunge to Lateral Bound

I’ve always wanted to name an exercise after myself, so I changed these from: Lunge to Lateral Bound to: Neeld Bounds.  Not nearly as descriptive and I’m sure someone else has thought of it, but I’m running with the fantasy that I made it up.

Train Smart. Jump Far.

P.S. For more lower body power exercises and speed training information, check out my hockey training site.

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