Hockey Workouts For Speed: How To Skate Faster Like NHL Players

Hockey Workouts For Speed: How To Skate Faster Like NHL Players

Most hockey speed workouts you find online are garbage.

They're written by armchair experts who have never made a single elite (D1 or professional) athlete faster.

This isn't one of those articles.

Everything you read over the next few minutes has been time-tested and proven to work.

These methods have produced dozens of pro hockey players, D1 athletes, and even World Champions.

With the backdrop out of the way, let's dive in.

"How Can I Increase My Hockey Speed?"

How Can I Increase My Hockey Speed

This is by far the most common question I get from hockey players all over the world.

This 5-minute video reveals the three best types of off-ice hockey workouts for blazing speed.

In short...

If you want to gain freaky speed that lets you split the D and score on a whim, you must:

  • Get strong as hell in the gym
  • Eat a nutritious diet to pack on muscle and strip away fat
  • Sprint and jump to improve speed and explosiveness

For more info on the strength training programs I have used to develop players and prospects from 13 NHL organizations, check out my book Strength Training for Ice Hockey.

In this article, I'll cover the jumping and sprinting parts of the speed equation.

Best Hockey Workouts For Speed

Best Hockey Workouts For Speed

Outside of the kitchen and gym, you must do only two things to get faster:

1. Run over short distances as fast as possible

2. Jump as high/far as you can

That's it!

Hockey Sprint Workouts

Hockey Sprint Workouts

Every hockey player sprints in the off-season.

But why do so few get any faster over the summer?

Watch this video to learn the TRUTH about hockey sprint workouts and avoid the biggest speed training mistakes that leave you stuck in the mud year after year.

Run at 100% effort over 5-30 meters.

Hockey is a multidirectional sport, so also perform drills with changes of direction.

And by the way...

"Quick feet drills" on the agility ladder are USELESS for speed development. Stop wasting your time on that Mickey Mouse shit!

Explosive Speed Training For Hockey Through Jumping

Explosive Speed Training For Hockey

Jumping bridges the gap between the strength you gain in the weight room and being able to express it on those first few crucial steps to win a loose puck.

Add these exercises and their variations into your routine:

  • Vertical jumps
  • Broad jumps
  • Hurdle jumps
  • Depth jumps
  • Lateral bounds
  • Forward bounds

Keep volume (sets x reps) low and rest periods long to maximize the training effect.

For more in-depth jump training info, check out this article series.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do NHL Players Get Faster?

How Do NHL Players Get Faster

Unless you're blessed with excellent speed genetics, you have to bust ass in the gym, on the field, and at the kitchen table to get faster.

You'd be surprised how many NHL players (especially the younger ones) are skinny or skinny-fat weaklings. 

Two or three summers of slinging heavy iron and eating big goes a long way in transforming wiry athletes into studs.

When I say heavy iron, I'm not talking about goblet squats, wall sits, crossover step-ups, or any of that crap peddled all over the internet by clueless "hockey training experts".

I'm talking about training like a man and making real gains!

Here's Pittsburgh Penguins forward Kasper Björkqvist hang power cleaning three reps with 130 kg / 286 pounds when he was still at Providence College.

And this video shows New Jersey Devils forward Aarne Talvitie trap bar deadlifting 250 kg / 550 pounds at age 18.

Want to pack on strength and lean muscle in a hurry, just like Kasper, Aarne, and all my other athletes?

Then check out this training program

It's the perfect workout plan for any hockey player who wants to step up their game against bigger, stronger, faster guys.

How Do You Get Speed Like McDavid?

How Do You Get Speed Like McDavid

You don't.

Connor McDavid is an anomaly.

No matter how hard you train on or off the ice, you won't come close to catching up to him on skates.

That doesn't mean you can't get much faster than you're right now.

Despite all the natural gifts McDavid possesses for out-of-this-world speed, he still lifts heavy and follows a high-performance diet to gain an edge on the ice.

Watch him talk about his training routine under former NHL player Gary Roberts.


Now you know what it really takes to improve your speed off the ice.

Next steps?

1. Read Strength Training for Ice Hockey

2. Follow the workouts inside Next Level Hockey Training 2.0 and Hockey Jump Training

3. Create more chances, score more goals, and triple the number of back pats you receive from your teammates this season.

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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