Ice may not always be available, but it’s still possible to perform many hockey drills off the ice. Many exercises that can help improve puck and stick handling along with skating speed and stamina can be performed at home, in a gym or at another location that’s away from an ice rink. Here are some of the best ice hockey drills to run off the ice.
Upper Body Push
This drill gives the classic pushup more intensity to increase the upper body strength that’s needed for optimal stick handling and puck shooting. To perform this exercise, a hockey stick can be balanced on a foam roller with the hands grasping the stick on each side. The upper body can then be lowered and raised to do pushups while holding onto the stick and making sure that the stick stays balanced on the foam roller without either side touching the ground. One leg can be raised from the ground while doing the pushups to intensify the workout.
Stick Handling with a Tennis Ball
One of the best ways to improve stick handling is by bouncing a tennis ball on either end of a hockey stick. To perform this drill correctly, the ball should be bounced on the stick as many times as possible without letting the ball fall to the floor.
Figure-Eight Stick Handling
A player can stand with pucks or other objects that are placed on the ground at a reachable distance from each side of the body. A hockey stick can then be held and used to go from side to side around each object on the ground in a figure-eight pattern to help sharpen puck handling skills.
This classic dryland exercise simply involves shifting weight from one foot to the next in a side-to-side motion while in a skating position to simulate stroking on the ice. Weight can be transferred by stepping or hopping from one foot to the other. To simulate the feeling of skating on the ice, even more, a slide board can be used to slide each foot when the weight is being transferred between each side of the body.
Performing these off-ice drills regularly can help keep a player’s skills sharp for the next game. These exercises are easy to perform in a variety of settings and can improve a player’s ability in many ways.