An UltraSlide is the ideal training tool for ice hockey players. The slide board mimics the conditions of a hockey rink, and thanks to its slick surface and lateral structure, hockey players are able to imitate skating and carry out training at home, in a training facility, or even in a back yard if weather permits. These five slide board exercises for hockey players challenge the muscle groups they count on to perform their best, and, they can have fun doing them!
5 Slide Board Exercises for Hockey Players
- Reverse One-Legged Lunges: A move that encourages the balance and agility players need for optimal performance.
- Speed Skaters: Speed skaters help to increase endurance and engage many muscle groups.
- Gravity Push-Ups: This exercise challenges upper body muscles that help players to effectively handle the stick.
- Side Lunges: Side lunges condition the major muscle groups in the leg that are responsible for speed and explosive power.
- Mountain Climbers: This move provides cardiovascular exercise that also works the core muscles that help a hockey player’s body to be stable on the ice.
Reverse One-Legged Lunges
This move is great for building the balance and agility essential to a hockey player’s ability to move across the ice while focusing on the game. Stand in the middle of your slide board facing its bumpers and with your hands clasped at your chest in a prayer-like position, slide one foot backward with a slight bend to that leg’s knee. Extend your foot back as far as you comfortably can while keeping your balance. Repeat the lunge, alternating your legs and completing as many repetitions as you are able.
This popular slide board exercise engages multiple muscle groups and can increase your endurance in the rink. For this exercise, stand on one end of the slide board with your foot closest to the bumper up against it. Push off the bumper and slide across the board, bending your knees and gliding until your other foot meets the other bumper. Swing your arms in the same style a skater would and add more force and speed as you become more comfortable with your balance. For an added challenge, perform this move carrying a medicine ball.
Gravity Challenged Pushups
Conditioning your upper body muscles is important to effectively handling the stick, and this exercise is great for working the arms, shoulders, and chest muscles. Lie face-down on your slide board and reach above your head to grasp the bumper, similar to the way you would hold on to a chin-up bar. Hold your forearms against the board and push your body up to be parallel to the floor. Still gripping the bumper, move up and down as if performing a pull-up. When you’re ready to make this move a bit harder, push out even farther before pulling back up.
Side lunges engage the large leg muscle groups that help hockey players and other athletes to move quickly and with power. Standing with one foot off the end slide board and one foot on, begin by lunging forward with the foot that is on the slide board until that leg reaches a 90-degree angle at the knee. Slide the foot that is on the board as far onto the board as you can, until your knee is close to touching the board. Complete as many repetitions on each leg as you are able to while maintaining proper form.
Mountain Climbers provide effective cardio and core exercise, excellent for allowing hockey players to build their stamina as well as maintain the balance and stability they need on the ice. Placing your hands on your slide board’s bumper, or the floor, assume a position similar to a sprinter getting set in a starting block. Rising to your toes, slide each foot backward and forward, quickly alternating and ending in a full leg extension each time. To take this move to the next level, push both feet out together and pull them in at the same time.
UltraSlide slide boards have benefited teams, athletes, fitness enthusiasts, and rehabilitation patients worldwide for more than 25 years including hockey players at all levels, from youth to NHL. Relied upon by professional and collegiate strength and conditioning coaches, sports medicine professionals, leaders in fitness, personal trainers, and home fitness enthusiasts, UltraSlide slide boards provide fun and challenging lower-body workouts and are highly effective functional training tools.