WSBB Blog: GPP for Hockey
Time to Read: 3min
The sport of hockey is a sport that requires a great amount of endurance and cardiovascular capacity in order to compete at the highest levels. Considering the amount of strength and endurance it takes to balance and create speed while skating for an entire game, general physical preparedness work, or GPP, is an imperative part of the hockey player’s conjugate programming. Below, we will go over a few exercises we suggest for hockey players looking to improve their athletic capacity, while simultaneously improving their cardiovascular health.
One of the most common and simple forms of GPP work, the sled drag is a great way to increase lower body endurance. These can be done with lighter weight for long distance, or with moderate to heavy weight for short distances. When the focus is cardiovascular improvement it is recommended to keep the weight light and travel a further distance, however when sport performance improvement is the goal we recommend moderate to heavy sled drags for shorter distances of fifteen to twenty yards.
Additionally, you can pull the sled stepping side to side to further increase the amount of hip training involved, or you can pull the sled backwards to add an increased demand on the anterior leg muscles. All of these approaches will benefit a hockey player's speed and stability while skating.
Belt Squat Marches
One of the most brutal uses of the belt squat are belt squat marches for time. This exercise builds up strength and endurance specifically in the lower back, glutes, and hamstrings. Often, athletes will march while holding a kettlebell or a medicine ball to increase the involvement of the abdominals. The recommended beginning sets and time for belt squat marches are three to four walks for a time period between one to one and a half minutes.
As you become acclimated to the workout it will become necessary to increase the sets, time, or both for the training effect to remain proper.
Kettlebell Swings and Squats
When it comes to building lower body and trunk stability and endurance, few exercises are as valuable as kettlebell swings and squats. For swings, we recommended starting with a lighter kettlebell doing sets for time. Once you become stronger and familiar with swings, you can begin increasing the kettlebell weight and performing sets for twenty to twenty-five reps.
As far as kettlebell squats go, they can also be done for time or for reps. A few suggested kettlebell squat exercises are goblet squats, cossack squats, and overhead squats. These exercises are excellent for increasing lower body stability and control.
When it comes to the sport of hockey, having the ability to maintain speed and ability throughout the duration of a game depends entirely on your training. By following the suggestions above, you will be well on your way to improving your general physical preparedness, skating speed, and endurance, and your ability to recover from both sport and training. If you want to become the best athlete you can be, GPP work is crucial.