Making Your Crossover More Explosive

Crossover - TopBy Nunzio Signore (BA, CPT, NASM, PES, FMS)

Crossovers are a very important part of a hockey player’s game. They’re also one of the most difficult skating skills to master. Without proper crossover abilities, turning quickly becomes very difficult. They are also one of the key moves that allow players to accelerate on curves and in corners. Today we’re going to look at a few key points of the crossover and some exercises we can do on the strength and conditioning side to help give you the best chance at success.

Applying More Force w/ Cross-under Leg

If you look at the crossover, it looks like the emphasis is on stepping over with the crossover leg. There’s a lot of power to be gained in the crossover by emphasizing the “push under” of the inside leg.  Many times movement may be limited by hip adduction and lack of internal rotation range of motion on the cross-under leg.  Strengthening the adductors and making sure we’re achieving full extension from the inside leg will help avoid quick “choppy steps” and give us a longer more powerful stride.

Sled Crossovers work great for teaching to apply force into the ground with the cross under leg while Money Makers work on the adductors and hip IR (internal rotation) from a mobility standpoint.

(Sled Crossovers)

(St. Ball Money Maker)

Leaning into the Turn

Tilting the shoulders rather than maintaining a level and even upper body causes the upper body to lean going into the turn.  This creates more friction between the player’s skate and the ice, slowing them down on each stride. Keeping your shoulders still and level to the ice requires good lateral core stability. We use farmer walks and waiter walks to help with this.

(Farmer Walks)

Final Push Off with the Crossover Leg

In the second half of the crossover, the front (cross over) leg needs to “finish off” the move by exploding into the next stride. This requires the hips to abduct and externally rotate. In other words, you need great glute strength and hip mobility. Deadlifts are great for strengthening the posterior chain and Reactive Heidens are great for coaching explosiveness.

(Trap Bar Deadlift)

(Reactive Heidens)

These are a few examples of exercises and drills you can do from a strength and mobility perspective off-ice to improve your game on the ice.

The RPP Skaters Program is a complete top to bottom off-season protocol for ages 13+.  It is comprised of 8-week training programs, meeting 2x per week for a total of 16 sessions in each eight week cycle.  The programs begin in March and end in September just before the start of the new high school season.  You can register by clicking here if you are interested in this program.

See you at the gym.