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Training ideas taken from hockey

Olympic Hockey
Olympic Hockey
Photo by Martin Rose/Getty Images

Hockey is a fast paced sport on an unstable surface. This requires as much strength as it does stability. Much can be learned from training for this sport that can be carried over to performance training and fitness. Hockey is usually played in shifts called lines, with athletes constantly substituting. This short burst of activity followed by rest requires interval training. Many hockey teams train with interval training and use heart rate monitors to monitor performance. To individualize the workout they will use heart rate recovery. This method uses target heart rate range for work effort and a level to recover to before starting the next set. For example the athlete can perform a ladder drill at 180 beats per minute. The rest period will last until the beats recover to 130. This allows for individual variance and current condition. If the athlete has been working hard and it tired the recovery may take longer and this method will take that into account as to not push the athlete further into over conditioning.

The slide board is a form of off ice conditioning that is heavily used. The slide board allows for the simulation of ice skating at a fraction of the cost of expensive purpose built treadmills that allow for the use of skates. The slide board is a low friction board that allows for sliding side to side. This helps train the hips muscles for side to side movement as well as stability. Hockey as well as soccer are sports known for groin injuries and this device is helpful in preventing these injuries. This also has an effective carry over to all sports and fitness. Most exercises are performed in the forward and back plane of motion without side to side motion to balance the body. The heart rate method can be used on the slide board to get maximum benefits.