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Hockey At Home

Hockey Alberta is excited to partner with Doug ’Crash’ Crashley of Crash Conditioning Ltd to bring a weekly series to the homes of hockey players across Alberta, focused on strength and conditioning.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to keep us all at home, it’s important to maintain strength, conditioning and proper nutrition as much as possible. Follow along with Crash each week as he takes us through a routine to help everyone become a ’Crashlete’ at home!


Week One

The Workout:

  1. Lacrosse ball rolling - 20-30 seconds of each body part
  2. Sitting squat - 30 second hold, two sets
  3. Angle lunge mobility - 10 reps per side, two sets
  4. Standing ankle ’toes up, heels up" - 10 reps, two sets
  5. Sitting squad - 30 seconds, one set
  6. Hip-dominant push complex - repeat order of each exercise 2-4 times with 60 seconds rest between each, 5 reps per.
    a) Double-leg squat - 6 second isometric hold
    b) Rear-foot elevated single-leg squat - 6 seconds down, 4 seconds iso hold per leg
    c) Single-leg squat - 6 seconds down, 4 seconds iso hold per leg
  7. Hip posterior chain pull complex - same as above for volume
    a) Slider hip raise leg curls - 6 seconds down, 4 seconds iso hold
    b) Single-leg versions of above
    c) Stork stand to hinge reach - 6 seconds down, 4 seconds iso hold per leg
  8. Upper body prep complex - 2-3 sets of the below exercises, 60 second rest periods:
    a) Towel push-pull tension - 5 x 12 second reps with as much force as possible
    b) Split-position lateral towel raise - 5 x 8 second iso holds
  9. Aerobic recovery - 15-20 minutes of some type of static movement (jog, bike, skip, row, etc) at your 60% effort level (about 125-135 bpm heartrate)
  10. Stretch - 40 second holds of static stretch exercises
  11. Follow the Hockey Alberta nutrition guide - eat and sleep well!

Week Two

The Workout:

1. Foam rolling series - 20-30 seconds of each

2. Dynamic warm-up - 10-12 minutes:
a) Lunge complex - 3-5 reps
b) Squat stretch - 5 reps
c) Sumo squats - 5 reps
d) Mountain climber complex - 5 reps slow, 3 reps fast
e) Peeing dog to donkey kick - 5 reps
f) Hip can-opener - 2 sets: 5 opener, 5 squat

3. Ankling:
a) Ankle up/down - 5-10 reps
b) Ankling springs - 10 reps
c) Single-leg ankling - 5 reps/leg
d) 2-leg lateral hops - 2 sets, 5 reps
e) 2-leg forward/backward - 2 sets, 5 reps
f) Single-leg lateral hops - 5 reps
g) Single-leg forward/backward - 5 reps

4. Cross-over Step - 5reps per side (across and return)

5. Strength:
a) Towel pulls (step and pull) - 3 sets, 5-8 pulls
b) Banded split-position pull - 3 sets, 5 reps (hold for 4 seconds)
c) Hockey stick push-pull complex - 5 reps of forehand and backhand (hold for 10 seconds)
d) Bucket/medicine ball seated shoulder press - 2-3 sets, 5 reps

6. Follow the Hockey Alberta nutrition guide - eat and sleep well!


Week Three

Episode three features vision training with Dr. Christopher Woo, and strength training with Edmonton Oilers defenceman Mike Green.

The Workout:

1.Warmup - 15-20 metres for each, or approximately 5-15 reps:
a) Sock walk
b) Ankle walk
c) Toe walk - forward/reverse lateral
d) Lung walk - forward/reverse lateral
e) Inchworm - forward/reverse
f) Leg swings
g) Marching
h) High knees

2. Linear speed - 3 step quickness (4-8 reps)

3. Lateral step quickness (4-6 reps)

4. Strength:
a) Rear foot elevated split squat
b) Seated shoulder press

5. Follow the Hockey Alberta nutrition guide - eat and sleep well!


Week Four

Episode four features a number of special guests: Adam Lockhart, Austin Wagner, Morgan Klimchuk, Max Lajoie, Kale Clague, Reid Duke, Dryden Hunt, Andrew MacWilliam, Conner Bleackley, and Nate and Isabel Crashley.

The Workout:

  1. Dynamic warm up as we have learned in previous weeks.

  2. Sprint Prep:
    - Following protocols 1-2 sets up 10 steps of each of the 3 exercises from Adam ( A-March., 45 degree learning acceleration March, and mountain climbers at controlled speed)
    - Then 2-3 sets of each at full speed

    3. Sprint
    - Measure distance if 5/10/and if possible 25 metres.
    - Time if possible : timing gates, stopwatch or even using a phone stop watch). Track times

    4. Sprint set 1 each 5m, 10m and possible 20 m. We’ll call that a sprint Ladder Walk back and rest 20 -30s before setting up again. Then after a complete ladder rest an additional minute

    Ladders:
    # set
    [email protected] 60% effort
    2nd @ 75-80%
    3rd @ 90%
    4/5/6 at 100%.

    - Remember it’s never a good idea to push through injuries. If something doesn’t feel right, it’s better to shut down today and see how you can fix it than be shut down today and spend weeks maybe months having to fix it
    - Note: remember to rest and not rush between sets. You want to sprint recovered and full out to improve your speed. By running tired you train yourself to be tired.
    - Sprinting for Speed development is not the same as doing sprint shuttles for conditioning. They should be timed differently in your programming

  3. Follow the Hockey Alberta nutrition guide - eat and sleep well!

Week Five

Episode five focuses on jumping, with special guests Austin Wagner (Los Angeles Kings) and Josh Teves (Utica Comets/Vancouver Canucks).

Workout to Improve Jumping:


1. Box Jumps

2. Lateral Jumps: 3-4 sets x 1-1-1
* jump up onto a box landing under control ( approx height between knee and hip) , rest 10-15 seconds repeat for total of 3 jumps. Then set rest for another 60-90 seconds .*

Repeat for single leg vertical jump on a lower box 2 sets 1-1 per leg

Test your vertical at the same time and day every week

Example: Monday between warm up and actual workout.


Week Six

Episode six features Team Alberta alumni Jordan Eberle (New York Islanders), Jake Neighbours (Edmonton Oil Kings), Ozzy Wiesblatt (Prince Albert Raiders) and Oasiz Wiesblatt (Medicine Hat Tigers).

Hockey Alberta is excited to work with Ali Stead (@never2late2learn.hky) to bring you weekly off-ice skills drills, as part of the Hockey at Home Series.

Ali Stead is a hockey player and social media influencer. Having only started playing hockey a few years ago, she developed her skills quickly, and is now passionate about sharing her love and knowledge for the game. Be sure to check back every Thursday for the latest drill!


Eyes-Up Stick Handling

Now is the perfect time to improve your puck-handling by feel, this simple skill can dramatically improve hockey sense in a short time!

Scanning the ice in order to gather more information leads to better decisions, the ability to efficiently scan the ice can be severely affected by stick handling habits. Try isolating this skill, without deliberate focus and repetitions it can be easily overlooked which will ultimately limit performance. When practicing this skill try to keep the eyes up as much as possible, there will always be a need to “check” the puck but work towards handling with feel & peripherals only.

  • Start in a proper hockey stance with bent ankles/knees, chest up and back straight
  • Hands away from the body, top hand should not touch hip
  • Head should be tilted down slightly to improve peripheral range
  • Start narrow and work the puck wider as comfort level increases
  • For better control remember to pinch/shade the puck by rolling wrists
  • Practice these various scanning habits while stick-handling:
    -watching TV
    -have someone flash que cards
    -have someone flash a different number of fingers every 2-3 seconds
    -identify various things in your environment to cycle between
  • Progress to a combination of puck handling and shooting without looking directly at the puck

Wide Pulls - Backhand

The top players in the game have the ability to extend their puck handling range to beat opponents. Start with this simple stationary drill to get the feel of moving the puck out wide under control.

Challenge yourself to move the puck out as wide as possible using the points listed below:

  • Start in a good hockey stance with knees bent, head and chest up
  • Keep the puck narrow to start and work up to full extension
  • Stay low and shift weight from one leg to the other
  • Top hand must be active, roll the wrist to cradle/pinch the puck
  • Adjust elevation of the top hand, moving the top hand lower to the ground will extend range even further

Backhand Flip

Acquiring a soft touch on the backhand can open up new opportunities during gameplay. Here’s a fun drill to improve your backhand control.

Give it a try with these key points in mind:

  • Keep knees bent for a strong stance and good weight transfer
  • On the backhand flip, roll wrists forward to create a wedge that will get under the puck and create lift
  • On the forehand catch, roll wrists forward to trap and cradle the puck with a closed blade
  • Look up periodically to scan your environment

For a regressed version, try using a tennis ball instead!


Puck Pullbacks

This simple drill will help players get comfortable with pulling the puck into the protected ’pocket’ behind their heels. This move is very effective for forwards when attacking the defender or for defenders trying to shoot around a shot blocker.

Give it a try with these key points in mind:

  • Slide bottom hand to extend reach and range
  • Top hand should be off the hip and moving freely
  • Cradle/pinch puck with the backhand
  • Use ’sculling’ skating technique (push with heels)

Edge Work

Summer is the perfect time to have fun with edge work! Not only is inline a great way to work strength and stride, it can also help with ankle mobility and balance.

Tight Turn

  • Do not cross hands
  • Lead with your eyes, body will follow
  • Crossover when exiting the turn

Eagle Turn

  • Lean slightly forward
  • Keep hands away from body
  • Slip/move the puck into areas

Jump Shot

Mix up your shooting routine with this quick and deceptive shot release! Elite players have the ability to shoot off either foot in stride or from a glide. Mastering the jump shot at home will help you shoot in stride next season!

  • Eyes up before puck leaves the stick blade
  • Toes pointing towards net
  • Release puck at the exact same time foot hits the ground

As part of the Hockey at Home Series, Hockey Alberta will publish a weekly video focused on goaltender skills drills that can be done at home. Check back every Saturday for the latest goalie skills video!

Hockey Alberta Goaltender Guide >


Pulling the Puck off the Boards and Passing

Now is the perfect time to improve your puck-handling and passing, this drill can assist you in improving your passing skills as you get ready for next season!

Being able to pull the puck off the boards, move it away from pressure and up the boards to one of your teammates can assist your team in breaking the puck out of your own zone. Try isolating this skill, without deliberate focus and repetitions it can be easily overlooked which will ultimately limit performance. When practicing this skill try to keep the eyes up as much as possible, there will always be a need to “check” the puck but push yourself to keep your eyes up, when possible, to be able to scan and evaluate incoming forecheckers.

  • Start in an athletic stance - bent ankles/knees, chest up and back straight
  • Hands away from the body, blocker is positioned at the butt end of the stick and the glove hand is positioned in an inverted grip above the paddle of the stick
    • The glove can rotate to a standard player grip on the stick – based on the skill set of the goaltender
  • Glove hand applies downward pressure and prepares to pass the puck
  • Sweep the puck along the surface and pass towards your target
  • Legs are bent and feet pivot as you make the pass
  • Obstacles can be placed to simulate a defender (depending on the skill set of the goaltender)
  • To progress this drill:
    • Head is up to read options to make the pass
    • Do this on your backhand
    • Have someone flash que cards
    • Have someone flash a different number of fingers every 2-3 seconds
    • Identify various things in your environment to cycle between

Moving Across the Crease and Tracking

Now is the perfect time to improve your footwork, agility and tracking, this drill can assist you in improving your skills as you get ready for next season!

Being able to move across the crease, get your feet set and square before the shot is a key element to save selection. You can isolate your footwork and agility skills, or you can combine them with tracking exercises to your glove and blocker. In season and during team drills these skills, without deliberate focus and repetitions, can be easily overlooked which will ultimately limit performance. This drill can be done with a puck or a ball, whichever works best for your training. When practicing these skills, there are a couple of things to keep in mind:

  • Start in an athletic stance - bent ankles/knees, chest up and back straight
  • Hands away from the body, blocker and glove are positioned in front of the body. Elbows are bent and hands are ready.
  • Head stays level during shuffle movements (no bobbing up and down)
  • Both hips face forward and square up with your target
  • Make sure to square up your shoulders to the “shooter” (or ball being thrown)
  • Set your feet prior to the “shot”
  • Make sure to track the puck all the way into your glove.
    • If you do not catch it, square up to the rebound to practice good habits
  • Make sure to do this on both sides (glove and blocker)
  • To progress this drill:
    • Have someone flash a different number of fingers every 2-3 seconds at the mid-way point
    • Incorporate up/down movements to simulate getting in and out of the butterfly (knee pads encouraged)
    • Reaction balls can be bounced off of the ground towards the goaltender
    • Obstacles can be placed to simulate a screen (depending on the skill set of the goaltender)
    • Change up the footwork patterns (smaller shuffles, bigger T-Push like cross crease movements, etc)

As part of the Hockey at Home Series, Hockey Alberta will publish a weekly video focused on goaltender skills drills that can be done at home.

This week, Team Alberta alumna, University of Calgary Dinos goaltender Dayna Owen shows how to practice recoveries and crease movement. Check back every Saturday for the latest goalie skills video!


Recoveries and Crease Movement 

Oftentimes, goaltenders do not get the opportunity to practice good recovery habits in drills during the season. Now is the perfect time to work on good habits that can help get you ready for next season!

Being able to recover and move across the crease efficiently is a key element to having your feet ready and set for the next shot. You can isolate your recovery and agility skills, or you can combine them with tracking exercises to your glove and blocker. In season and during team drills these skills, without deliberate focus and repetitions, can be easily overlooked which will ultimately limit performance. This drill can be done with a puck or a ball, whichever works best for your training. When practicing these skills, there are a couple of things to keep in mind:

  • Start in an down/butterfly stance – Chest up, weight over your knees, eyes downward, chin in front of knees
  • Hands away from the body, blocker and glove are positioned in front of the body. Elbows are bent and hands are ready.
  • To rotate to start your recovery, think head, hands, hips;
    • Eyes and head turn to look where the goalie is going (new target)
    • Hands begin to move together towards the next target (remember: elbows stay against the body)
    • Lead leg pulls under the body and squares the hips up to the next target
  • Once you have rotated, get up and push with the outside/back leg
  • Stop using the lead leg
  • Make sure to square up your shoulders to the “shooter” (or ball being thrown)
  • Push yourself to set your feet prior to the “shot”
  • Make sure to track the puck all the way into your blocker (or glove)
    • If you do not catch it, square up to the rebound to practice good habits
  • Make sure to do this on both sides (glove and blocker)
  • To progress this drill:
    • Have the “shooter” move to different positions to simulate shorter/larger pushes across
    • Incorporate up/down movements to simulate getting in and out of the butterfly (knee pads encouraged)
    • Reaction balls can be bounced off of the ground towards the goaltender
    • Obstacles can be placed to simulate a screen (depending on the skill set of the goaltender)
    • Change up the footwork patterns (smaller shuffles, bigger T-Push-like cross-crease movements, etc)


Crease Movement & Screens

Oftentimes, goaltenders do not get the opportunity to practice good habits in drills during the season. Now is the perfect time to work on good habits that can help get you ready for next season!

Being able to move across the crease efficiently and setting your feet all while managing screens can be a difficult component for goaltenders to master. You can isolate working on screens, or you can combine them with some footwork. In season and during team drills these skills, without deliberate focus and repetitions, can be easily overlooked which will ultimately limit performance. This drill can be done with a puck or a ball, whichever works best for your training. When practicing these skills, there are a couple of things to keep in mind:

  • Start in an athletic stance - bent ankles/knees, chest up and back straight
  • Hands away from the body, blocker and glove are positioned in front of the body. Elbows are bent and hands are ready.
  • To rotate to start your movement, remember your eye lead that we worked on in last weeks recovery drill.
  • Set your feet square, maintain a good knee bend and look around the “screen”
  • Once the “shot” is taken, make sure to track the puck all the way into your blocker (or glove)
    • If you do not catch it, square up to the rebound to practice good habits
  • Make sure to do this on both sides (glove and blocker)
  • You can creative on the obstacles you use for a screen!
  • To progress this drill:
    • Have the “shooter” move to different positions to simulate shorter/larger pushes across
    • Incorporate up/down movements to simulate getting in and out of the butterfly (knee pads encouraged)
    • Reaction balls can be bounced off of the ground towards the goaltender
    • Obstacles can be placed to simulate a screen (depending on the skill set of the goaltender)
    • Change up the footwork patterns (smaller shuffles, bigger T-Push like cross crease movements, etc)

Hand/Eye Coordination

This week, our Puck-Stopper Saturday is going to showcase a couple of drills that can help improve your hand/eye coordination. Working on improving your hand/eye coordination will assist you in tracking pucks into your body and become more natural for you once you return to the ice next season!

These drills can be done with a tennis ball or reaction ball, whichever works best for your training. When practicing these skills, there are a couple of things to keep in mind:

Drill #1 – Quick Reaction Toss

  • Start in an athletic stance - bent ankles/knees, chest up and back straight
  • Hands away from the body, blocker and glove are positioned in front of the body. Elbows are bent and hands are ready.
  • Establish visual connection on the ball as soon as possible and track the ball all the way into your blocker (or glove) – eyes remain on the ball all the way in.
  • Make sure to do this on both sides (glove and blocker)
  • To progress this drill:
    • Use smaller objects such as a ping pong or golf ball
    • Bounce a reaction ball of the floor towards the goaltender
    • Incorporate different plyometrics prior to throwing the ball (starting face down on the ground, laying down & getting up, burpees, skater hops, etc).

Drill #2 – Quick Reaction – Wall Bounces

  • Start in an athletic stance - bent ankles/knees, chest up and back straight
  • Hands away from the body, blocker and glove are positioned in front of the body. Elbows are bent and hands are ready.
  • Establish visual connection on the ball hits the surface in front of you and track the ball all the way into your blocker (or glove) – eyes remain on the ball all the way in.
  • Make sure to do this on both sides (glove and blocker)
  • To progress this drill:
    • Use smaller objects such as a ping pong or golf ball
    • Use a reaction ball instead

Drill #3- Juggling

  • To start juggling, pick three objects of the same weight.
  • Start in an athletic stance - bent ankles/knees, chest up and back straight
  • If you are just learning how to juggle, there are many great tutorials online to help you learn this skill!
  • To progress this drill:
    • Use the wall to increase the difficulty of this skill (as shown)
    • Use smaller objects such as a ping pong or golf ball

Recovery

Oftentimes, goaltenders do not get the opportunity to practice good recovery habits in drills during the season. Now is the perfect time to work on good habits that can help get you ready for next season!

 

Being able to recover and move across the crease efficiently is a key element to having your feet ready and set for the next shot. You can isolate your recovery and agility skills, or you can combine them with tracking exercises to your glove and blocker. In season and during team drills these skills, without deliberate focus and repetitions, can be easily overlooked which will ultimately limit performance. This drill can be done with a puck or a ball, whichever works best for your training. When practicing these skills, there are a couple of things to keep in mind:

  • Start laying on your back – you can have your feet towards the shooter or away.
  • Quickly get into an athletic stance – remember to keep your ankles/knees bent, chest up and back straight,
    • Hands away from the body, blocker and glove are positioned in front of the body. Elbows are bent and hands are ready.
  • Establish visual connection on the ball as soon as possible and track the ball all the way into your blocker (or glove) – eyes remain on the ball all the way in.
    • If you do not catch it, square up to the rebound to practice good habits
  • Make sure to do this on both sides (glove and blocker)
  • If you are incorporating footwork/crease movements with this drill, remember to:
    • Stop using the lead leg
    • Make sure to square up your shoulders to the “shooter” (or ball being thrown)
    • Push yourself to set your feet prior to the “shot”
  • To progress this drill:
    • Use smaller objects such as a ping pong or golf ball
    • Have the “shooter” move to different positions so that you have to scan and recognize where they are
    • Bounce a reaction ball of the floor towards the goaltender
    • Incorporate different plyometrics prior to throwing the ball (starting face down on the ground, laying down & getting up, burpees, skater hops, etc)
    • Obstacles can be placed to simulate a screen (depending on the skill set of the goaltender)
    • Change up the footwork patterns (smaller shuffles, bigger T-Push like cross crease movements, etc)

Soft Catch & Release Shooting (with Marc & Izzie Lajoie)

The soft catch and release shooting technique allows a player to quickly control a pass and load the puck in a ready shooting position allowing the player to get the shot off quickly before a defender can apply pressure.

Some key execution points for this drill:

  • Good hockey position
  • High Elbow
  • Good transfer of weight
  • Keep your head up
  • Hands away from your body
  • Follow through to the target

Yoga Push-Up (with Jake Neighbours)

Remember to always keep your core tight, and to work on being mobile throughout the push-up. This allows for building of muscle and mobility!