Getting The Jump Back In Your Legs
By Greg Siller - Pro Learning Systems
I play in a relatively competitive league (30 + Over) in New Jersey. I am 38 and am losing some of my jump on the ice. This is natural given my age and the fact that I am not skating 5 days a week anymore. What can I do to stay in hockey shape? I have inline skates and a fitness cycle. --Charlie
Charlie, I know
how you feel. I am going to turn 40 soon and do find it difficult to always feel that I am
on top of my game. Fortunately, you have most of the tools you need to stay in "game
shape". There are 2 basic problems that occur when you do not work out at least 3
times per week. 1 - Your overall physical (and to some degree--mental) capability to excel
during your competition diminishes. 2 - It takes a longer period of time to recuperate
when you are only working out once per week.
To overcome these problems, you need to maintain some kind of physical activity at least 3 times per week. If you can't play hockey that often, then inline skating is an excellent way to improve your physical capabilities. I would recommend that you skate for at least 30 minutes, two times per week. This will help you maintain/improve your leg strength and allow you to maintain some level of cardio-respiratory stamina. Working on an exercycle is also an excellent outlet, for the same reasons as inline skating. On the cycle, you can also, very easily, vary the intensity of your workout. Again, I would recommend at least 30 minutes of cycling, two times per week. To get some of your "jump" back, I would recommend that you vary the level of your exercycle workout. Start out slow, as a warm-up. Then increase your workout to include consecutive sets of 15 seconds of fast cycling, 60 seconds of slow cycling, 10 seconds of your fastest cycling, followed by 60 seconds of slow cycling. This variation in your cycling helps emulate what you do on the playing surface (sprint, skate slowly, skate fast, etc) and also helps train your legs, heart, and lungs to respond quickly to your need for speed.
After 2 or 3 weeks of the inline skating and cycling (plus playing hockey), you should begin to notice an improvement in both your jump and your stamina. Keep up with the program for the remainder of your season and you will notice a definite improvement in your skating abilities. During the summer, continue working with the inline skating and exercycle. If you are interested in playing roller hockey, I would also recommend that sport to continue your progress. Work on your training and let me know how you are doing.
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Email your questions to me at Siller@ProLearning.com.