How to Build Strength and Speed for Hockey Players

If you want to build your strength and speed for hockey, you may be looking for a hockey player workout program for the weight room. The weight room is where coaches notice your work ethic, physical ability, and mental strength, and these factors play a huge part in determining who makes the team, and who is sent home from tryouts.

No matter if this is your first year playing hockey, or if you’ve been playing since you were a tot, your performance in the weight room needs to be at 100% if you want to make the team. To ensure success, read on for our recommended off-ice training schedule.

In this guide, we will outline how hockey players should get started in weight training to find success. Each training session is equipped with a simple program that offers hockey players everything they need to improve performance.

To get started, perform light physical activity that increases core body temperature and a warm-up program of two exercises with lighter weights than you will manage during the workout. In addition, you want to supplement strength training with low to maximum load with a high support work, which contributes to muscle building and maintaining healthy joints.

Focus on the Fundamentals

Hockey, like many sports requires full body strength. You may be most excited about building your chest or toning your biceps, but the best hockey off season workout plans exercise every muscle group.

In fact, overworking one muscle group and neglecting the others will increase your risk of injury.

For a solid all-over workout, we suggest starting with the following exercises:

  • Bench Press
  • Squats
  • Hang Cleans
  • Dead Lifts

There is nothing fancy about this ice hockey weight training program, but it will prepare your body for peak performance on the ice.

Bench Press

3 sets of 8 reps. 1-minute rest between sets. 

Start with the bar. Lay down flat on the bench without arching your back. Lower the bar down to your chest, and lift it back up in a smooth, controlled motion.

 For a solid hockey shoulder workout grab one of these kettle bells and repeatedly lift it up over your head. If this 53lb kettle bell is too heavy for you we suggest lowering the weight and raising your reps.

3 sets of 8 reps. 1-minute rest between sets.
This is a very good leg workout for hockey players. Start with the bar. Stand with your feet shoulders-width apart, and your hands at a comfortable position. Lower slowly until your legs bend at a 90-degree angle, keeping your back straight, lift up with controlled explosive energy.


 This rack of dumbbells are the perfect alternative to use if you don’t have a barbell for your hockey conditioning workout.

Hang Cleans

3 sets of 8 reps. 1-minute rest between sets.

Start with the bar, holding it with a shoulder-width grip. Press in your heels and explode upwards, using the momentum to lift your bar to your chest and catch it. Pause for one second, then lower back to the start position. Always stay engaged in your core while doing this exercise.

Dead Lifts

3 sets of 8 reps. 1-minute rest between sets.

This is a great weight training workout for hockey speed. Start with light weight on the bar, feet at shoulder-width apart. Grasp the bar with your arms just outside your legs. Keep a flat back and drive your hips forward when you lift the bar. Lower the bar in a controlled motion.

 This rack of dumbbells are the perfect alternative to use if you don’t have a barbell for your hockey conditioning workout.

Rest and Recovery

In order to get the most out of your workout, you need to give your body time to rest and recover.

The most convenient option for this is to go ahead and choose one or two days when you can take it easy, giving your muscles a chance to repair themselves, and grow!

There are a number of workouts that combine and utilize a combination of full body training and a short ice time on the ice, but we suggest building your initial strength in the weight room first.

The majority of knee injuries that occur in hockey are due to a lack of slowing power, so not only will you get protection from these workouts, but as an athlete you will also be able to perform a split routine in your lifting program.

If you are still experiencing a growth spurt and your joint structure is not yet ready to accept heavy lifting, limit your lifting to lower weights. If you are an inexperienced lifter, use lighter weights and higher reps until the movements become comfortable and natural hockey strength training exercise or set. 

This hockey specific work out program is for ice hockey strength and conditioning, but many other high school athletes can benefit from a weight training program like this one. There are a number of hockey strength exercises that should be included in a well-balanced weight training program.

This type of progression is a popular way to get fit for hockey and has been used in the many sports. If you complete this best hockey training exercises and stretching program, you will be able to dominate each opponent you encounter on the ice.

These hockey weight training exercises are excellent for both beginners and advanced hockey players as long as they use weights that match their abilities.

With a strong mental fortitude, and a dash of dedication, you will gain muscle, confidence, and ultimately a spot on the team!