Today we are going to look at what muscles you should be targeting to increase skating strength and power.
The biomechanics of a skating stride is not a simple up and down squat motion. The low forward drive, stride locomotion in skating is generated synergistically by the quadriceps the gluteals and hamstrings in conjunction with the hips and other leg stabilizer muscles.
This why there the prevailing opinion in strength and conditioning circles is that hockey players should be doing single leg exercises to develop both strength and balance. During skating you spend a lot of time on one leg at a time. Training the same way can strengthen the posture and movement created during a hockey stride.
One great exercise that hits all the muscles of the leg is the Bulgarian Split Squat. To perform this exercise, step forward with one leg while placing the rear leg on a bench or platform. Squat down keeping the upper body stable and erect while the hips descend downwards. Your knees should extend past your toes so make sure you step forward enough to maintain a good posture.
By doing this exercise you’re challenging the legs to balance the body while also getting good activation through hips, glutes and hamstrings.