Mobility

At Home Workouts for Hockey Players [With Complete Workouts!]

Workouts for Hockey Players At Home

Whether it’s shooting pucks on the driveway, or working on your hands in the garage - elite players from Peewee to Pro consistently put in the work at home to get better and take their game to the next level.

Fitness is no exception.

It’s no secret - hockey has some of the most physically intense demands of any sport on the planet. Whether it’s the functional strength to fight off contact, power to develop those explosive first steps or shots, or the conditioning levels to keep dominating long shifts and periods.

Fitness can often define performance for Hockey Players.

So, while players are eager to work on their hands or shot at home, they often feel that Strength & Conditioning is only for the gym. But, the reality is between a full hockey schedule, travel, location, and more recently gym closures - it can be challenging to actually get into the gym to get in the high quality work that’s needed to elevate a player's game.


But the truth is well structured at-home workouts can still be extremely effective for Hockey Players to develop functional strength, along with core strength, power, stability.


In this article we dive into how you can workout at home to develop the physical attributes and fitness that translates to the ice and give you some free at home workouts for hockey players!

How To Make Exercises Harder

Before we dive in, it’s important to understand how to make exercises harder, and ultimately more valuable.

Progress comes from creating an increasingly challenging demand on the body - ideally slightly past your current capacity (1). And, while this “progressive overload” is easy to get your head around in the gym (20lbs has become easy, I need 25lbs now) - it’s often why Hockey Players feel that at-home workouts are ineffective.

The reality is, by learning the dials that you can effectively turn up or down to alter exercise intensity, you can turn any workout from a quick light session to intense and valuable.

Here’s the three way to change any exercise’s intensity:

1) Increase Load:

Increasing the load (or resistance) on a movement is the most classic form of exercise progression.

In the gym this is obviously done with weights, but it really can be done with any sort of resistance. This could be with bands (super valuable) or even just a  backpack full of books.  

Find a way to load up an exercise so that you can work against a resistance.

2) Change Bilateral to Unilateral:

Unilateral exercises are insanely valuable for Hockey Players.

These single arm or leg exercises have been found to be more transferable for athletes, while also developing strength and power more effectively than bilateral exercises (2, 3).

So, while unilateral exercises should be considered a staple in the gym, they’re also a perfect opportunity to make exercises more challenging at home.

This is because:

  1. They utilize the same load but increase the demand of a single arm/leg.
  2. They create an increased stability demand that is super valuable for Hockey Players
  3. They create a core demand to stabilize the torso with an unequal load.

For at-home exercises - unilateral exercises should be considered must-dos.

3) Increase or Decrease Tempo:

This is the variable often under-looked by athletes, but insanely valuable in creating more challenging exercises in both the gym and at home.

Tempo can be increased (exercises performed faster) to create more of a conditioning/power demand, or decreased (controlled slower) to create more of strength/control demand.

The latter, through increasing the time under tension, has been shown to be an effective strategy for hypertrophy and strength gains (4). A quick example of this would be taking a light squat (some sort of medium-light weight at home) and performing the squat for 5s on the way down.

So understanding that, let’s finally dive into some workouts that Hockey Players can use at home!

Bodyweight Workouts for Hockey Players

Bodyweight workouts are often discounted by hockey players.

They think that they either need to be in the gym getting stronger or on the field working on footwork and conditioning - but bodyweight training can actually be a phenomenal tool for Hockey Players to challenge their functional strength capacities, build muscular endurance, and even develop more power.

Unfortunately most bodyweight workouts found online are often just high rep “conditioning baggers” full of squats and burpees that do little more than make you sweat.  This doesn’t mean that bodyweight workouts aren’t valuable for hockey players, in fact studies have shown that, when structured properly, bodyweight workouts can actually develop the strength and power that results in a “strong functional athlete” (4).

This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t use bodyweight workouts to improve your conditioning levels - but that you can also develop valuable strength & power if you’ve structured them properly.


So how do you create effective bodyweight workouts?

To create effective bodyweight workouts - we need to define our workout goal.

If the goal it’s strength/core/stability - then you need to focus on the 8-12 rep range with emphasis on slow tempos. For a lot of movements (i.e. push ups, lunges) slowing tempo will be enough to create a strength demand.  The best example of this would be turning a basic push up into an eccentric push up with 4-6 seconds on the way down. This eccentric stress creates the majority of strain that hockey players need to develop muscle.

For other movements, even slowing the tempo will become too easy - this is where we want to turn exercises from bilateral to unilateral. This could be swapping out a squat for a pistol squat/split squat, or push-up to a high plank shoulder touch (or single arm push up eventually). These variations will make exercises not only more challenging, but also challenge core and stability.

If the goal is conditioning/power - Choose exercises that are dynamic in nature. This doesn’t just mean more reps, but higher tempo and intensity. Unlike conditioning where we should increase tempo and decrease rest - for power based exercises we want to create max intensity with each rep, without necessarily going as fast as possible.

This is the difference between something like “speed squats” and “squat jumps” - where we actually want to maximize power, not just speed.

While it’s fine to combine training goals within workouts, each exercise should have a clearly defined training intention.

While hopefully this lets you design your own bodyweight workouts at home or on the road - we also wanted to share 3 intros workouts that you can screenshot and use at home!

If you're looking for a more comprehensive & intensive bodyweight program, we've designed the Relentless Bodyweight Program to be the ultimate training program for hockey players with no equipment.

Bodyweight Hockey Workout #1:

Time: 30 minutes

Equipment: Body Weight Only

Workout Note: This workout is shorter in nature and can easily be combined with a conditioning/mobility session. This is also the perfect “road workout” because it’s completely body weight in nature, allowing for you to do it anywhere.

For the Hamstring Walk exercise (B2) the reps imply 4 walks out and back, repeated 4 times.  For this exercise, along with all in the B-block, difficulty can be increased by holding the final position of the movement longer. Any additional work should be focused on hip/back mobility.


BLOCK A [4 SETS]

A1: Walking Lunges | 20 reps | steady tempo

A2: Squat Jump | 10 reps | max effort

A3: Yoga Push Ups | 8 reps | steady tempo

Rest 30s before repeating.


BLOCK B [3 SETS]

B1:Hamstring Walkouts | 4 x 4 reps | slow tempo

B2: 5 Second Single Leg Hold | 4 each | iso-metric

B3: High Plank Shoulder Touch | 12 reps | slow tempo

Rest 30s before repeating.


BLOCK C [3 SETS]

C1: Activated Bird Dog | 10 each | 3s hold

C2: Slider Plank | 45s hold | isometric

C3: Flutter Kicks | 20 reps | steady tempo

C4: Cross-Body V-Up | 12 reps | steady tempo

Rest as needed.


Bodyweight Hockey Workout #2

Time: 30 minutes

Equipment: Body Weight Only

Notes: This is a super efficient and effective workout for Hockey Players to challenge their power/athleticism, in addition to strength. This workout starts with a jump-based athleticism series – the goal for this is to create as much intensity in every jump as possible, not just crush through as fast as possible.

If you need to take a short rest in this series to maintain quality movements – do so, but our goal is to be able to complete this without rest.  The B-Block is our only strength block in this workout, because you should approach it with intensity and focus on controlling your tempo.

BLOCK A [4 sets]

A1: Half Kneel Lateral Jump | 5 each | explosive

A2: Explosive Crossovers |  10 reps | explosive

A3: Skater Hops (Continuous) | 12 reps | explosive

A4: 5s Single Leg Hold | 4 each | slow tempo

Rest as needed.


BLOCK B [4 sets]

B1: Eccentric Push Up (3s down) | 8+ reps | slow tempo

B2: 4-Way Lunge | 5 each | slow tempo

B3: Adductor Side Plank | 20 sec | iso hold

B4: High Plank Walk Out | 8 reps | slow tempo

Rest 30s before repeating.


BLOCK C [4 sets]

C1: 90/90 Flow | 8 reps | mobility-focus

C2: Banded Shoulder Dislocator | 8 reps | mobility-focus

C3: Hockey Stick T-Spine Extensions | 10 reps | mobility-focus

C4: Half-Kneel Groin Rock | 8 each | mobility-focus

Bodyweight Hockey Workout #3:

Time: 20 minutes

Equipment: BW

Notes: This is a quick and effective workout that Hockey Players can do anywhere. This workout’s A-Block is designed to create a conditioning demand with three consecutive lower body exercises that build on one another.


This series is meant to be done with no rest in-between exercises, but if you feel that your form is breaking down – take 5 seconds to catch your breath and get back to it. If you wanted to add additional exercises to this workout, doing so in the B-block would be ideal.


BLOCK A [4 sets]

A1: Skater Squat | 6-8 reps | slow tempo

A2: Alternating Lunge Jump | 12 reps | explosive

A3: Speed Squat | 20 reps | max tempo

Rest 60s before repeating.


BLOCK B [3 sets]

B1: Push Ups with Overhead Reach | 10 reps | steady tempo

B2: High Plank Toe Touch to Reach | 12 reps | steady tempo

B3: Side Plank | 20s each | iso hold    

Rest 30s before repeating


BLOCK A [2 sets]

C1: Fire Hydrant to Pigeon | 8 each | mobility-focus

C2: Laying-T Pec Stretch | 10 each | mobility-focused

C3: Hockey Stick T-Spine Extensions | 8 reps | mobility-focus

C4: Scorpions | 8 each | mobility-focus


As a bonus, we've included one of our favourite all-time bodyweight workouts for hockey players in this Youtube video. This includes more cues and breakdowns an entire workout that you can use at home.

Subscribe On Youtube

Band Workouts for Hockey Players

Bands are unbelievably valuable for athletes.

Whether it’s a strength or power-based exercise, bands can provide the resistance needed to really challenge an athlete with a more intense demand. Studies have shown that bands are not only an effective way to challenge unconventional movements (5), but have also been shown improve strength and power in athletes (6).

While bands can be an awesome addition to exercises in the gym, they can also be the perfect tool to create more challenging exercises, and more effective workouts, at home or on the road.  We say that all hockey players should have a set of bands because:

  1. Bands allow for pull-based exercises. Unless players have access to a chin up bar or TRX, it’s tough to get in exercises that truly challenge the musculature of the back. Bands have been shown in studies to be a strong alternative to weighted pull-based exercises (7).
  2. Bands develop the glutes better. While there’s tons of bodyweight hinge exercises - the glutes are such a powerhouse muscle group that they respond much better to some sort of resistance. Bands can add that resistance and can force players to intentionally load up and activate their glutes even in the most basic exercises.
  3. Bands allow for much more shoulder pre-hab and core exercises. Hockey Players need to look after their shoulders, and bands are the perfect “prehab” tool to develop bulletproof shoulders. In addition to opening a wide range of shoulder exercises, bands also allow for a variety of anti-rotational core exercises that are insanely valuable for Hockey Players.

Best of all, you can bring a whole gym with you anywhere. Bands can be easily thrown into a backpack and cost less than $10 - a worthy investment for better workouts.

So let’s dive into some band workouts that you can use anytime, anywhere.

Band Hockey Workout #1:

Time: 40 minutes

Equipment: Mini Band, Red Band, Stairs/Step

Notes: This full body workout is super valuable for hockey players, challenging a lot of key movements that translate on ice – while also being very core focused.

The A-Block is heavily focused on core & stability. Make sure you're finding strong and braced positions here. For your B-Block, make sure that you're focusing on creating as much intention and activation in each rep.  Any bonus work should be focused on mobility or conditioning.


BLOCK A [4 sets]

A1: Lawn Bowlers | 8 each | slow tempo

A2: Bear Crawl | 20 reps | slow/steady tempo

A3: Banded Pallof Press | 12 each | steady tempo

A4: Push Up | 10+ reps | steady tempo

BLOCK B [3 sets]

B1: Banded Pull Apart | 12 reps | steady tempo

B2: Banded Front Squat | 8-12 reps | 5s down, explosive up

B3: Banded Bent Over Row | 8-12 reps | 3s down, explosive in

BLOCK C [3-4 sets]

C1: Plank | 60 sec | iso hold

C2: Adductor Side Plank | 20 sec | iso hold

C3: Supermans | 10 reps | 2s pause at top


Band Hockey Workout #2:

Time: 35 Minutes

Equipment: Mini Band, Red Band

Notes: The intensity of this workout is 6.5/10. This full-body workout challenges strength and stability, and athletes can increase the intensity by slowing down the tempo of each exercise. The C-Block of this workout consists of mobility exercises that are super valuable for hockey players. If you’re looking to add additional work (conditioning, core, extra strength) you should add this before the C-Block.

BLOCK A [4 sets]

A1: Push Ups | Max Reps | steady tempo

A2: Half Kneeling Face Pulls w/ Band | 12 reps | steady tempo

A3: Split Stance Pallof Press | 12 each | slow tempo


BLOCK B [3 sets]

B1: Reverse Lunge to RDL | 8 each | slow tempo

B2: Bird Dogs w/ 3 sec Pause | 10 reps | slow tempo

B3: Side Plank | 30 sec | iso hold  


BLOCK C [2-3 sets]

C1: Activated Couch Stretch | 8 each | mobility-focus

C2: Internal Hip Rotations | 8 each | mobility-focus

C3: Laying-T Pec Stretch | 8 each | mobility-focus

C3: Hockey Stick T-Spine Extension | 8 each | mobility-focus


Band Hockey Workout #3:

Time: 30 minutes

Equipment: Mini Band, Red Band

Notes: This workout heavily relies on the mini-band; however, the A-block could be skipped if a mini-band is unavailable.

The B-Block of this workout requires a special consideration, as you need to complete the hold/jump combo for each leg. This means you need to complete a 20s hold, do 10 lunge jumps – and then repeat on the other side before moving onto the push ups. The C-Block for this workout is very challenging if approached with a focus on control.

BLOCK A [4 sets]

A1: Mini-Band Squats | 10 reps

A2: Mini-Band Lateral Walks |  20 reps each

A3: Mini-Band Clam Openers | 10 reps each

A4: Mini-Band Monster Walks | 14 reps

A5: Mini-Band Squats | 10 reps | 3s pause at bottom


BLOCK B [3 sets]

B1: Banded Split Squat | 8 reps | 5s down, explode up

B2: Split Squat Jumps | 6 reps | explosive

B3: Banded Half Kneeling Press | 8 reps each | steady tempo


BLOCK C [4 sets]

C1: Bear Crawl | 14 reps | slow tempo

C2: 4 Way Lunges | 5 each | slow tempo

C3: Cross Body V-Up | 12 reps | steady tempo


If you want another Band Workout that mirrors some of the workouts found in the Relentless Minimalist Program, we've created this Youtube with more detailed breakdowns and exercise cues.


Final Thoughts

If you’re a Hockey Player that’s serious about your game - you can’t just wait for the right conditions to work on your craft.

Anyone can put in work when the conditions are perfect. What defines successful players is the work they put in when they don’t have the perfect conditions. It’s how they make the most of the resources they have to get better.

While many Hockey Players screenshot the workouts above, we hope this article has given you the confidence to create your own at home workouts and motivation to get after it where you are.

If you are looking to get serious about your training at home, you can find more intensive programs that have been built specifically for Hockey Players to maximize their training with limited equipment, including the Relentless Bodyweight Program, Relentless Minimalist Program (bands only), and the Relentless At Home Program (dumbbells only).

Now go put in some work!

kyle kokotailo hockey training
Kyle Kokotailo

Kyle is a Hockey Performance Specialist who’s worked with hundreds of hockey players from Peewee to Pro. A former elite hockey player, Kyle earned his degree in Kinesiology before becoming a Strength Coach that specializes in hockey performance. Today, he runs Relentless Hockey where he works with players across the world, including pros in over 20+ leagues including the NHL, KHL, and OHL.‍

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