Monday, March 28, 2011

Add Amazing Accuracy and 25% more Power to your shot in 1 Summer

2 Shots a minute. 25 Minutes a day.  5 Days a week.  2 Months of the year (July & August). 4 weeks in July & 5 Weeks in August.  Total Shots taken for the Summer... 2250.

Clear a 10X10 ft. space in your backyard or driveway (get your parents permission first), and set up your own personal Shooting range.  All you need is a street hockey goal, but even spray paint and a pad or sheet of plywood (to serve as the target) will do.  Several products can be purchased online as the surface to shoot off of, but I have always found that pieces of boards, glass or dasher taken from the scrap heap of rinks work just fine.  As long as the surface is flat, and provides a gliding surface, your shooting board can be created with almost zero financial outlay. 10 pucks and your favorite stick are the only other tools you'll need.

Once the range is set up, it's time for you to go to work.  Set goals for yourself, including minimum time, types of shot, and targets to hit, so that you can exceed your ability rather than settling for the path of least resistance.  I always found that bringing friends into the mix can create a level of competitiveness that brings the best out of the both of you.

Use a golf ball to warm up your hands before shooting (60- 180 seconds), and pump out body weight (push ups or chin ups) or resistance exercises before and after shooting, to complete your program and strengthen your arms and shoulders.  Wear your hockey gloves when shooting, and most of all... DON'T FORGET YOUR BACKHAND!!!!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

BOSU Ball Training for Improved Hockey Balance

The BOSU ball was created in 1999 by an innovator named David Weck. He intented the BOSU ball to be a safer alternative to the traditional exercise ball, as he himself had an accident on the regular ball, and desperately longed for a unique product that could prevent injuries and yet still provide difficult balance training.
The BOSU ball is a very effective tool for hockey players. It allows them to enhance their balance, core strength and even power.  By inserting several exercises with the ball into their regimen, hockey players of all levels will be better prepared to turn on a dime and make explosive moves without losing their balance.   As we have discussed in my earlier article on dynamic edge control, being able to balance and maximize your power capabilities will make you a more explosive skater.  It also will benefit you when you are handling the puck under duress.

The following exercises should be essential for every hockey player, and can be easily added to an existing weight training program, because they strengthen essential muscle groups that are difficult to strengthen in controlled exercises.  Try these three, and do so by adding 1 a day to your current strength training program.-

Side To Side Lunges:

This exercise is done with the flat portion of the BOSU ball on the ground. Start with both feet on the ball. Take your right foot out and into a side lunge, then explode up, replace your left foot with your right, and repeat on the opposite side. Do three sets of 8-10 reps for each leg.

Bosu Bosu

Squats With Overhead Press:

This exercise should only be advanced to when you feel comfortable with basic squats. Take a pair of dumbbells, about half of the weight of your sitting shoulder press weight, and hold them at ear level as if you were about to perform dumbbell presses for the shoulders.

When you push back up on the squat press the dumbbells overhead and make sure you keep your back straight. 8-10 repetitions and 3-4 sets should be performed although you may need to take an additional minute of rest after working two muscle groups together.

Bosu Bosu Bosu
This exercise is performed with the bubble side down. Place your hands on the outer edges making sure they are directly under your shoulders. Keep a flat back and tighten your abdominals throughout the workout.
Descend until your chest is very close to the platform, and then slowly push back up. Perform one set until you cannot go any more, making sure to keep proper form the entire time. Once you complete your first set, rest for one minute, and repeat. Try 3 sets to failure.

If you incorporate these exercises you will greatly improve your balance and functional athleticism.  Incorporating these activities into your current weight training program will be an exciting challenge, and you will be amazed by the dramatic results!
Some text and pictures were provided by-