Skaters Program

Redgate - Skaters ProgramElite athletics are evolving, becoming more competitive than ever. As a result, so must the training programs.

A proper strength and conditioning program should help every single aspect of a hockey player’s game.  RPP’s Skaters Program is an individualized program based on the specific goals and needs of linemen and defensemen.

Here at RPP, we don’t follow bodybuilding style programs that aren’t even remotely close to what a hockey player needs.  Our program is specifically focused on the physical requirements of a hockey player and on improving his speed, power, strength and conditioning. For example, linemen skate predominantly linear (north to south) with defensemen skating more backwards than their offensive counterparts. Both utilize a crossover step to turn and skaters rely heavily on stride length to increase skating speed as well as t-spine mobility to add power to their shot. And both can give and take a beating up against the boards, requiring a strong body and stable base of support to help avoid injury.

Improving Transitional SpeedFurthermore, in the speed department, top-end speed is not as important as short distance quickness due to the nature of the sport.  Good old speed and agility drills such as ladders and track and field drills don’t carry over well to hockey due to the fact that there is very little upper body movement while the feet are moving quickly. Lastly, skaters almost never skate in a straight line therefore transitional speed (changes in speed and direction) is king.

Getting Explosive Off-IceIt is imperative that skaters follow a strength and conditioning program that places an emphasis on all of these issues as well as strength, mobility and stability.  Coming to RPP and training the right way gives players a distinct advantage over their peers at an age where players are starting to play in front of more scouts.    Our strength and conditioning program for linemen and defensemen places an emphasis on mobility and stability specifically to help these athletes not only recover from the season, but also prepare them for the kind of volume they’re going to encounter during the next season.

The program begins with a complete performance and movement assessment which helps evaluate each individual’s mobility and overall physical performance. The results are then used in programming to help every player correct faulty movement patterns, improve mobility, increase overall strength and help take their game to the next level. Physical imbalances that are not addressed could ultimately result in injury sooner or later during the season.

RPP Skaters Program

The following is a summary of program highlights:

  • Top to Bottom Performance and Movement Assessment: To pinpoint strengths as well as opportunities (click here for more info).
  • Soft Tissue Work (foam rolling): Improving soft tissue quality helps reduce trigger points without lengthening the muscle (click here for more info).
  • Ankle Strength and Mobility: After a long season on the ice, an extensive amount of mobility is lost from being in skates for long periods of time.
  • Hip Strength and Mobility: Hockey players have inherently tight and weak hip flexors. This can dramatically affect explosive side-to-side movement on the ice, as well as being a contributing factor to sports hernias (please click here for more info).
  • T-spine Mobility: Hockey players rotate approximately 100x’s per game. Without proper t-spine mobility athletes will get that rotation from elsewhere (such as the lower back). Additionally, feeling “tight” up top will quickly translate to lower half instability as well.
  • Shoulder Strength and Stability: The amount of shoulder flexion and extension used while taking a shot can compound on itself after doing it on a daily basis for months at a time. Strengthening the shoulder and creating balance in the rotator cuff is key to injury prevention.
  • Core Strength and Stability: The ability to transfer lower body power through the core to the upper body is needed for all things explosive whether it be skating, taking a shot or delivering and receiving a check into the boards. Here at RPP we believe in building the athlete from the “core” out (please click here for more info).
  • Increase Single Leg Strength: All sports are unilateral (one leg at a time) hockey is no different. Unilateral strength is crucial for stride and lateral movement.

The RPP Skaters Programs begin in March and end in October just before the start of the new high school season.

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