Before performing any exercise, it is important to prepare the body by performing an appropriate warm up. Warming up prepares the body for sport performance and can help decrease the risk of injury. The warm up for hockey should be done before every exercise session - whether it be for competition, practice sessions, or gym workouts, though there will be differences between what can be done on the ice versus off-ice.
Example Hockey Game Warm-Up
Ice hockey a very demanding sport that requires the body to be in excellent physical condition. The sport involves extended periods of high-intensity skating. The movements involve rapid accelerations and change of direction. To get the body prepared for such activities, a thorough warm-up is required.
The warm-up should start off at a low intensity, with a gradual progression from general and simple movements to more hockey specific and higher intensity actions. Here is an example of what can be done, but the specifics can be adjusted to suit constraints such as limited space and time, and the conditions.
- 3-5 minutes of slow skating to get the blood flowing
- 10 minutes of stretching - involving static and dynamic stretches. Stretches should include hip flexor, hurdle stretch, groin stretch, lateral trunk stretch, spinal twist.
- 5 × 10m (increasing from 50% to maximal effort).
- 5 x zigzag (75% effort).
- Hockey drills such as tackling and passing.
- The goalkeeper has very specific fitness demands. Warm-ups for the goalkeeper should concentrate on explosive power and flexibility. Prior to matches, the goalie will also do a session in the goals to hone their reflexes.
- If there are extended rest periods where the players are not exercising, for example resting on the interchange bench, they may have to go through some of these procedures again to keep the muscles and joints ready to safely and consistently perform.
- Warming Up For Sports
- List of Stretches
- Fitness components for ice hockey
- Poll about the important fitness components for ice hockey
- See information about specific fitness test protocols: the NHL draft combine, SPARQ testing for hockey and Hockey Next Testing.
- Ice hockey specific beep test