Developing strength in multiple planes is important for improving the transfer of strength to sport-specific movements and to improve durability by preparing the tissue to produce and accept force in these patterns.

The 1-Arm DB Lateral Squat is an example of an accessory single-leg strength exercise that emphasizes a lateral push.

 
 
 
 
 
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Two quick coaching cues:

✅ When you hit the “bottom” position, all your weight should be centered over your stance leg, so your nose down through your sternum should be centered over the foot.

✅ Actively push your hips away from the ground coming out of the bottom (e.g. don’t lift with your upper body).

Typically performed for 3 sets of 8-10 reps.

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,

Kevin Neeld
SpeedTrainingforHockey.com
HockeyTransformation.com
OptimizingAdaptation.com

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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One thing I used to hear from a lot of hockey players is “my legs are big enough.”

In most cases, this was the player’s way of saying “lower body training is hard, and I don’t want to do it” but aside from the laziness, there’s a misconception that bigger means stronger.

Muscle size relates to the strength POTENTIAL, but a significant portion of strength is driven by the nervous system – in terms of improving coordination, maximizing activation, and minimizing inhibition.

In other words, for any given size, strength can vary widely; so strength training is important to maximize the ability to produce force REGARDLESS of whether gaining muscle is a priority.

 
 
 
 
 
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There are 2 things that I love about this video:

1️⃣ Kyle hits an easy 3 reps at 205 at a body weight ~165lbs early in the off-season while he was in college. His relative strength was a key factor in his speed development.

2️⃣ When most players suffer an injury, they’re told to take time off while it heals. Kyle was back in the gym as soon as he got his cast put on, focusing on what he COULD do, instead of what he couldn’t. It’s this drive/leadership that lead to him becoming the first 2-time captain at Harvard since 1923.

As more and more team sport athletes prioritize speed development, improving relative strength should be a foundational training target.

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,

Kevin Neeld
SpeedTrainingforHockey.com
HockeyTransformation.com
OptimizingAdaptation.com

P.S. If you’re interested in year-round comprehensive hockey-specific training programs for players at different ages, check out Ultimate Hockey Transformation.

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Maximizing intended contraction speed leads to decreased recruitment threshold of high force motor units, increased doublet firing, and increased rate of force development (ROFD).

This is true even with isometric contractions, so this strategy can be used in a variety of ways – from improving strength through sticking points to maximizing ROFD in specific ranges to preserving fast twitch muscle in load compromised athletes.

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,

Kevin Neeld
SpeedTrainingforHockey.com
HockeyTransformation.com
OptimizingAdaptation.com

P.S. For more information on in- and off-season program design, training and reconditioning for injured players, and integrating sports science into a comprehensive training process, check out Optimizing Adaptation & Performance

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Training single-leg strength in a variety of patterns is one of the keys to having strength improvements transfer to the dynamic environment of sport.

This video is of a 1-Arm DB 1-Leg Lateral Slideboard Lunge, a supplementary exercise that serves two primary purposes:

1️⃣ Develop single leg strength, with control against competing lateral forces
2️⃣ Develop eccentric strength of the adductors in a lengthened position

These qualities are important for most team sports, but have particularly value in hockey in both developing strength in sport-relevant patterns, and improving durability by minimizing injury risk to the adductors resulting insufficient stiffness or end-range strength.

Holding a dumbbell in the opposite hand helps drive a weight shift and a slight rotation of the torso over the stance leg, both of which help load the hip.

A few key coaching points:

✅ Set-up with the majority of the weight on the outside leg (think 80/20).
✅ The outside leg should be actively pushing down into the ground through the entire range of motion.
✅ As the hips drop, the dumbbell should move toward the outside leg.
✅ Keep downward pressure into the board with the straight leg throughout the rep to maintain active tension through the adductors.

Typically performed for 2-3 sets of 8-12 reps OR 6-8 reps with a 3-5s eccentric.

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,

Kevin Neeld
SpeedTrainingforHockey.com
HockeyTransformation.com
OptimizingAdaptation.com

P.S. For more information on in- and off-season program design, training and reconditioning for injured players, and integrating sports science into a comprehensive training process, check out Optimizing Adaptation & Performance

Enter your first name and email below to sign up for my FREE Sports Performance and Hockey Training Newsletter!

When an athlete suffers an injury, the early decisions made around their training can have a profound impact on their reconditioning timeline.

Research has shown that training the opposite limb can result in up to 77% of the gained strength transferring to the untrained (injured) limb. This is a result of adaptations in the nervous system that allow for a strong neural drive and coordinated contraction to be maintained in the injured side, despite it not actively moving.

Focusing on multi-joint exercises with slow eccentric and rapid concentric phases will maximize the transfer effect.

These positive neural adaptations accompany desirable hormonal responses to heavy resistance training, which may positively impact tissue healing.

If the goal is to optimize injury healing, and expedite a return to full performance, complete rest is rarely the answer.

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,

Kevin Neeld
SpeedTrainingforHockey.com
HockeyTransformation.com
OptimizingAdaptation.com

P.S. For more information reconditioning injured athletes, check out Optimizing Adaptation & Performance

Enter your first name and email below to sign up for my FREE Sports Performance and Hockey Training Newsletter!