This is an exercise we integrate into our warm-ups to help reinforce a low skating position and strong push-off.
A common problem you see in less efficient skaters is that they adopt a wider stance and their stance leg collapses inward slightly, which causes the player to ride their inside edge, and create more friction on the glide leg, which ultimately slows the player down.
Similarly, a lot of players will make the mistake of over-reaching with the front leg, when the emphasis should be on pushing the ground away through the back leg.
I’ll cue players to think of their front knee, hip, and shoulder pushing against a wall, while the back leg pushes.
The band creates a slight inward pull on the knee, which the player can actively pull against to reinforce the foot/knee/hip/shoulder alignment we want from a stance leg in skating, but the focus on keeping the knee straight also makes it feel less natural to reach with the foot compared to when the front band is around the ankle. If you reach with the foot with the band in this position here, the band rolls up the leg, which doesn’t feel great. Once the player understands the motion, the band can be slide down to the ankle.
Typically performed for 3 sets of 8-10 reps/side
Give this a shot, and feel free to post any comments/questions below. If you found this helpful, please share/re-post it so others can benefit.
To your success,
P.S. For comprehensive hockey training programs to improve your speed AND repeat sprint ability, check out: Speed Training for Hockey
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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.