photo(10)Whether you cheer for the Jets or Habs, your favourite hockey team’s off-ice strength and conditioning program probably looks a lot like CrossFit. Gone are the days of smoking between periods and skills-only training. Today’s top athletes need to be in peak physical condition year-round, ready for anything.

This is where CrossFit’s focus on General Physical Preparedness (GPP) is so beneficial.

CrossFit focuses on ten main general fitness skills: cardiovascular/respiratory endurance, stamina, strength, flexibility, power, coordination, agility, balance and accuracy. All of these skills (AKA measuring sticks of fitness) are absolutely essential for high-performing hockey players.

We’re not saying that CrossFit is a substitute for on-ice skill training, or even hockey-specific dryland training as the season approaches. We recommend CrossFit for dryland GPP training in the offseason to ensure your strength and conditioning is on-point when you lace up your skates in the fall.

Here’s how CrossFit Winnipeg can help hockey teams and players of all ages and skill levels:

We Develop Tailored Programs for Winnipeg Hockey Teams
While the average hockey player can jump into CrossFit Winnipeg classes a few days a week and see great gains, we also offer team-specific training programs. These programs generally include 2-3 sessions a week focusing heavily on the squat and power clean, sled and plyometric work, high-intensity interval workouts, as well as lots of mobility. These sessions are great for team bonding and we can even develop line-specific team workouts to help build trust and cohesion.

Olympic Lifting Builds Hockey Strength
Olympic lifting (clean, power clean, snatch, etc) is one of the best ways to develop dynamic hip power. For any athlete at any level, improving hip power will lead to greater speed, power and explosiveness. For hockey players specifically, Oly lifting can help you become a faster skater and improve your shot.

You’ll Build a Broader Capacity for Fitness
CrossFit is all about increasing General Physical Preparedness – this goes beyond speed and strength to improvements in balance, coordination and movement quality. Increased conditioning and body awareness from CrossFit can also help you learn new skills when fatigued during long practices.

CrossFit Increases Capacity in All Energy Systems
CrossFit is centred on high-intensity interval training, which leads to increases in the phosphagen, glycolytic and oxidative systems. We have a great understanding of how these energy systems work, and tailor programming to meet the specific needs of hockey players. In short, we can help you increase your conditioning to go all-out for short shifts, while also strengthening your oxidative pathways to help you make it through the entire game.

You’ll Make the Most of Your Gym Time
The cool thing about CrossFit is that it doesn’t take up a lot of your time. We won’t hog your schedule and won’t wear you out. In between games, you can come in for a short met con and strength session, and you’ll be in better shape to play come game time.

We Focus on Mobility to Prevent Injury
From our experience, hockey players tend to have extremely tight hips – often their hips are so tight they can barely bend over. All that skating causes the muscles to shorten, making it hard to get the most out of them. This is why we work on strength AND mobility in the posterior chain. This includes teaching correctknee/pelvic alignmentand hip hinging, as well as mobility sessions and a lot of kettlebell work.

Whether you choose to join CFW as an individual, or you are interested in individual or team-based training sessions, we recommend starting early in the off-season. This is a great time for training GPP. Closer to the start of the season, we would make changes to volume and intensity to ensure you are ready to go when the puck drops.

If you have any questions about CrossFit Winnipeg packages for hockey teams, please contact our general manager Marc Foidart at marc@crossfitwinnipeg.com or (204) 414-9348.