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Skipping rope builds muscle and improves your endurance for hockey.
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Skipping rope is a key part of any boxer's workout routine, but your sport of choice doesn't have to be the sweet science to benefit from this exercise. If you're a hockey player, skipping rope can provide a number of sport-specific perks to help you excel on the ice. As an added convenience, your rope fits easily into your hockey bag, and you don't need any other gear for this workout.
Before hockey players hit the ice to warm up for their game, they get their muscles loose and ready for action. Although you can loosen up through jogging, riding a stationary bike or calisthenics such as jumping jacks, a short skipping session is ideal because it exercises the bulk of your body's major muscle groups. Human Kinetics notes you work muscles such as your calves, quads, hamstrings, glutes, abs, pecs, lats, traps, delts and triceps during a skipping workout. This workout also elevates your heart rate and gets you ready for the game.
Even if you keep your shifts short, hockey is a game of endurance. By the third period, players who have below-average cardiovascular endurance stand out because they're sluggish and slow. A player with a high level of endurance, however, can excel throughout the game -- especially when opponents get tired. Skipping is an aerobic exercise, and MayoClinic.com notes repeated dedication to an aerobic workout results in improved stamina and less chance of developing fatigue during exercise. The amount you choose to skip rope daily depends on several factors, but a 20-minute session should have you winded and your muscles tired; over time, though, the 20-minute session will get easier.
Improving Foot Speed
Regardless of a hockey player's position, quick feet can lead to success on the ice. Forwards have to make agile cuts to evade opponents, and if you play defense, quick feet can help you stay with your opponent and react quickly around the net. Skipping rope regularly not only builds muscle to improve your power, but also the rapid movements of the exercise help improve your foot speed. To get the most out of the workout, keep your jumping tempo high and try challenging variations such as sprinting on the spot.
Hockey players don't typically need to worry about burning calories during the season, as frequent practices, games and conditioning should keep a player's body in game shape. During the offseason, however, and especially as the season approaches, players make strides to get into playing shape. Skipping rope is an effective and convenient way to burn calories. Harvard Medical School notes a 185-pound person can burn 444 calories in 30 minutes of skipping rope, which burns calories at a comparable weight to vigorously treading water.