We’re in the final phase of our off-season hockey training program at Endeavor Sports Performance, which means a lot of our players are starting to trickle back to their teams. It also means we’re at the final stage of exercise progressions for physical qualities like power, speed, and conditioning. From a programming standpoint, this is the most fun phase to write. It’s also the most fun phase to coach. A lot of new exercises that encompass multiple training qualities. In today’s post, I want to show you a video of a dynamic rotational power exercise.

Before we get to that, I wanted to let you know that my friend Rick Kaselj is just releasing his new system: Muscle Imbalances Revealed: Upper Body. Rick’s lower body system was a huge hit, and this features a couple new presenters in Tony Gentilcore and Jeff Cubos. I’m about half way through reviewing it (might write a full review if I can find the time in the near future), and it’s an awesome resource. Tony’s presentations alone are worth the price of admission. I could sit down with a beer and watch these on repeat. It’s like listening to Larry David giving a highly educational and well-researched talk on upper body assessments and exercise programming. Jeff Cubos, Dean Somerset, and Rick cover a host of other important topics, including soft-tissue work, advanced core training, linking breathing to performance and rehab, and neck exercises. For those of you that train people for a living, the system comes with CEU’s too. If you’re interested, check out the link below for more information.

Click here >> Muscle Imbalances Revealed

Med Ball Shotput with Rapid Step Behind with Partner Pass
Our rotational power exercises progress in:

  • Symmetry (more sets in non-shooting direction in early off-season)
  • Volume (more sets toward end of off-season)
  • Load (heaviest load in 2nd off-season phase, then back off in 3rd phase to emphasize velocity)
  • Starting position (progress to dynamic movements toward end of off-season)

Within the 2nd and 3rd off-season phases, we’ll incorporate a partner pass. The video below is of a “Med Ball Shotput with Rapid Step Behind with Partner Pass”, an exercise our hockey players perform in the final two weeks of their last off-season program.

Great power and eye movement

Another med ball for the graveyard

I’m all for creativity, but I won’t include an exercise in our athlete’s programs unless it serves a specific purpose. In this case, we’ve added components to the exercise to integrate other important athletic qualities without sacrificing the core goal: rotational power. Adding a dynamic start teaches the athlete to generate maximal rotational power from a non-stationary position, which is traditionally how this quality is needed on the ice. Adding a partner pass teaches the athlete to make quick adjustments based on the accuracy of the pass to maintain power. We also cue our players to rapid turn their eyes to the wall, pick a spot on the wall, and throw the ball THROUGH that spot. Actually, we tell our players that’s what we’re looking for, and then we just say “eyes” as a reminder. We use the same cue during transitional sprint work: “eyes first”. We want to get our players into the habit of maximizing their occulomotor drivers, and, more simplistically, just looking where they’re going/shooting.

I’ve talked a lot about how the most sport-specific training can be anti-sport-specific training, and that you don’t want to revert back to the moronic chaos of exercises like band-resisted slap shots and things of that nature. In this case, I think the demands of this exercise are about as hockey-specific as it gets, at least without throwing in someone to play defense. Maybe the best terminology is to think of training qualities, but not skills. In this case, we’re incorporating qualities like visual adjustment and tracking, dynamic adjustment, and projectile accuracy without sacrificing the core goal of rotational power.

To your success,

Kevin Neeld

P.S. Don’t forget to check this out to see if it’s right for you! Muscle Imbalances Revealed

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