Late Off-Season Conditioning

Several years back I was fortunate to be able to spend some time at Holy Cross with Brijesh Patel, who is now at Quinnipiac University. I always learn something when we get together, so I really enjoy the rare opportunity when I’m able to shut everything down and just spend the day observing and talking shop.

While I was there he had a few off-season hockey players finishing up a workout with an exercise that I saw, immediately stole, and continue to use today. In fact, it was ultimately this experience that was the inspiration for one of our hockey players favorite (…and least favorite) conditioning techniques:

Split Squat Hold into Slideboard

The exercise I stole from Brijesh is what I (and maybe he) call a Squat Hold into Vertical Jump. Pretty straight forward. You can categorize this however you want (work capacity, lactic capacity, etc.), but as I’ve mentioned in the past, the fatigue mechanisms at play in static and dynamic environments are somewhat different, but both affect hockey players every time they step on the ice. As you can imagine, this also helps reinforce low position strength/endurance, which is essential for maintaining a good skating position through fatigue.  You can learn more about these concepts in the video below:

Hockey Conditioning

Finally, here is a video of the Squat Hold to Vertical Jump. The players are holding a squat position for 10s, then doing 3 max effort vertical jumps, and cycling through that process 4 times. The progression for us looked like:

  1. Week 1: 3 x 3x(10s+3) …3 sets of 3 cycles of 10s holds with 3 max effort jumps
  2. Week 2: 3 x 4x(10s+3)
  3. Week 3: 4 x 4x(10s+3)

Squat Hold into Vertical Jump

Special thanks to Kyle Criscuolo, Gabe Antoni, Nick Cruice, Kyle Smith, and Vinny Scotti, who are entering their Freshman years at Harvard, Benley, Union, UNH, and Merrimack, respectively, for letting me film them while they go through hell!

This is an appropriate exercise for the end of the off-season and/or early pre-season before the skating volume picks up too much. Give it a try and post your comments below!

To your success,

Kevin Neeld

P.S. Get an inside look at how I design year-round comprehensive hockey training programs here: Ultimate Hockey Training

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