Rink Roundtable: Off-Season Fitness
Staying in shape throughout the year is fundamental to success on the ice. While the summer months may be an opportunity to recharge and recover, it’s also a time where players can make the biggest gains in their training and skill development. Now that season’s are on an indefinite hiatus, players have been thrust into an unexpected off-season in a sense.
Here’s what a few of them work on in the off-season to stay in shape.
“I have a good plan with my trainers and a strategy behind it. There is always some back and forth in what we are doing but one thing I like to do that I find beneficial is animal movement training. I’m a big fan. It keeps your body very pliable and loose.” — Mark Scheifele, Winnipeg Jets
“On off days, it’s really important to rest and make sure your legs are feeling good. When you are in the league a bit longer, you care more about your nutrition and your sleep, and that becomes really important as you prepare for the next game, the next practice, and the next season. During the off-season it’s about strength and stretching, and yoga is a big part of that.” — Morgan Rielly, Toronto Maple Leafs
“I focus on explosiveness. For that, I do lunges. They help with the explosiveness that you need in the corners [of the rink]. You can feel that that exercise helps in the game.” — Phillip Danault, Montreal Canadiens
“I’m a smaller guy, so any time I get in the weight room is important for me. I have to stay in shape and try to be as strong as I can, especially in my lower body because the speed of the game is so fast. Staying on track with that is really important so I have to get in the weight room as much as I can. It’s really important.” — Johnny Gaudreau, Calgary Flames
“A lot of my training is pretty hockey-specific and focuses on the lower body. I had knee surgery last year so I hadn’t been able to play tennis, racquetball, or anything that I normally would do to keep those muscles moving. Golf is a huge part of most hockey player’s summers. I also do a lot of biking. It’s a good way to keep your legs in shape and strong.” — Taylor Hall, Arizona Coyotes