Hockey Speed Workout: Get Fast Like The Pros

Hockey Speed Workout: Get Fast Like The Pros

A pro hockey player from Sweden asked me on Instagram to share what a typical hockey speed workout for my athletes looks like. 

Since I’ve been getting tons of questions about off-ice speed development – which exercises to pick, how many reps you should do, how long to rest between efforts – now is the perfect time to cover this topic.

Before walking you through a full speed session, I'll share some critical background info: 

1. True speed development is neural, not muscular.

That means you must jump and sprint in a fresh state and keep training volume low.

Excluding the warm-up, 20-30 minutes per session is all a hockey player needs to develop blazing speed.

Spending an hour at the track means you're doing conditioning work, making yourself slower.

2. Apply maximal effort.

Once your take-off and landing mechanics look smooth, you have only one goal:

Jump as high or far as you can. And sprint as fast as you can.

Half-assing it at 90% won't cut it.

Like the great Canadian sprint coach Charlie Francis used to say:

"If you want to run faster, run faster."

With these two guidelines in mind, let's move on to the workout itself.

If you'd prefer to watch a video instead of reading, press "play" below.

This hockey speed workout is best done in the second half of the off-season when you have prepped your body through basic jump training progressions and shorter sprint distances of 5-10 meters.

1) Hurdle Jump 4x5 60s. 

Set up five hurdles and rebound over them.

How high should the hurdles be?

Start at knee height (this should be fairly easy and gives you a chance to nail the timing before things get harder), then go up in each set until you reach a challenging height. 

Advanced athletes can start at hip height.

Keep your reps springy with minimal ground contact time to improve the elastic properties of your muscles and tendons.

Five reps, rest 60 seconds, repeat four times.

2) Lateral Bound 4x5 60s. 

With a linear unilateral jump variation in the bag, it's time to go sideways on one leg.

One of the best jump exercises for a hockey athlete, the lateral bound mimics the skating stride.

Players who excel in this movement have great power behind their push-offs. The more ground you can cover here, the faster you'll be on the ice.

Go for maximal height and distance. Control the landing on each rep, then explode in the other direction. 

Perform four sets of five reps taking a 60-second break. 

That's five reps per set, total. NOT per leg.

3) 20m Sprint x5 120s.

Today, we're working on linear (straight ahead) acceleration with 20-meter sprints. 

Most of the time, we use a regular standing start aka two-point start.

But if you want to make things a bit more interesting, you can get down on one knee and start from a sideways position, where you have to use your back leg to push off.

Regardless of your starting position, run five sprints resting two minutes between efforts.

Perform a hockey speed workout like this – using a combination of jumps and sprints, low volume, maximal effort, and adequate breaks – twice a week in the off-season, and you can't help but feel like someone tacked rockets on your skates when you return to the ice.

For even more speed training secrets of the pros, check out

Yunus Barisik

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Yunus Barisik

Yunus Barisik, CSCS, specializes in making hockey players strong, fast and explosive. He has trained 500+ hockey players at the junior, college and pro levels, including NHL Draft picks and World Champions. An accomplished author, Yunus has had articles published on top fitness and performance sites, including T Nation, STACK and Muscle & Strength. He also wrote Next Level Hockey Training, a comprehensive resource for ice hockey players on building athletic strength, size and power, while staying injury-free.

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