4 week Summer Off-Ice Program for Youth Hockey Players

4 Week Summer Off Ice Summer Hockey Workout Program

The summer is almost here and the kids will have more time to do nothing... if they want.  Young players who want to get ahead may want to consider committing to a good off-ice program that will help them leap frog their competition.  The program below consists of a lot of great hockey specific exercises and no weights are required.  There are four workouts scheduled for four different days of the week.  The workouts are organized into workout A, workout B, workout C, and workout D.  All of the exercises within these groups are outlined below.  Links to YouTube videos found throughout the internet are provided as demonstration resources for many of exercises that are tough to explain.  At the bottom of the page there is also a downloadable pdf available as an additional resource.

Workout A

This day focuses on speed and explosion.  It uses stairs and inclines to place an extra emphasis on the leg muscles.  This workout is the best at a park that has a flat inclined area of about 40 yards, a hill of at least 20 yards for sprinting, and a series of at least 20 stairs.

Warm Up

There are two options for warm up.  Jog lightly for 1/2 mile or a light skate on Rollerblades.  If you schoose to skate then make sure to use good skting form.

Incline Rollerblade Sprints

Find a flat surface with a slight incline and sprint the entire 40 yards.  Mark off a 40 yard section and do eight repetitions and start every repetition on 1:00.

Incline Hill Sprints

Mark off about 20 yards on an incline and sprint 20 yards.  Do 8 repetitions and start each repetition on 1:00.

Russian Lunge Jumps w/ Stair Sprints

At the base of the stairs start by doing 10 russian lunge jumps.  Right after explode up the stairs, two at a time.  Try to find a stretch of at least 20 stairs. Below is a quick demonstration of Russian Lunge Jumps.

Incline Broad Jumps

For this exercise you can use the same incline that was used for sprints.  This is is a great leg exercise as long as it is done correctly.  Mark off about 20 yards and do two footed broad jumps.  Make sure to stick each landing and explode from about 90 degrees with each jump keeping the chest up.  So 8 repetitions on every 1:30.

Workout B

Workout B focuses on leg strength using hockey specific muscles.  Again, no weights are used however older players can consider using weights.  A box or some sort of other safe elevated platform is used in a couple of the exercises.

Skate Walks

Find a 40 yard flat area with a smooth surface.  This exercise imitates the skating stride.  Keep your chest up and bent knees and pretend to skate using full extensions and full recovery.  Your head should not bob up and down.  Go slow and make sure to get a good stretch and get the leg muscles warmed up.  Do 4 repetitions of 40 ards.

Skating Lunge

Using the same 40 yard stretch do 4 repetitions of 40 yards. Use the video below as a reference.

Skater Hops

This exercise emulates the skating stride by bounding side to side.  The video below offers a good demonstration.

Forward Falls (Substitute for hinge lunge)

Do 3 sets of 10 repetitions of this exercise.  Demonstration can be found in this video Forward Falls.

Side Step Jumps

This excerise uses a box or elevated flat surface.  Younger players should not worry about using weights for this at all as the focus should be on explosion.  Watch this first excercise demonstrated by Ben Eaves in the video below. Try to do 3 sets of 8 repetitions.

Single Leg Box Squat

This is a tough excercise but it is a great one for the hockey lg muscles.  It is the second excercise in the video above.  Here is a direct link to the Single Leg Box Squat.

Workout C

On C days we will give the legs a bit of a rest after two days of tough work.  This day will focus on the core, a little bit of upper body, and some interval training.

Mountain Climber Push-Ups

These push ups also engage the core.  At the end of each push up you bring your knee up to the shoulder and then back down.  Do 3 sets of as many as you can do.  Each week try to do maore than the previous week.  Here is a link to the Mountain Climber Push-Ups.

Plank with knees to Chest

Watch this video for a demonstration.  Try to do 3 sets of 40 seconds each.

Stationary Bike Intervals

This is a 20 minute circuit that is geared towards a stationary bike in which you are able to adjust the resistance.  It starts with a 3:00 minute warm up with medium resistance.  Then there are 10 intervals of :30 second sprints at high resistance (7 out of 10) followed by 1:00 of medium pace on low resistance (3 out of 10). The cool down at the end is 2:00 for a total of 20:00.

Workout D

Back to the legs for the group D days.  You will notice on the schedule that you will have had one day off and there is another day off tomorrow, therefore, hit it hard and make the legs BURN!

Split Squat Jumps for Height

Do 3 sets of 20 seconds followed by 1:20 of rest between sets.  Use the video below as a demonstration.

Russian Lunges

This exercise is demonstrated in Group A and is used right before the stair sprint.  Please view that video to get the demostration.  On this day you do 3 sets of 20 seconds followed by 1:20 rest.

Squat Jumps with Hold

Here is a great leg burn! Start with a wall sit (without the wall) so that the knee bend is almost 90 degrees, the chest is up, and hands out in front of the chest.  After 10 seconds do three squat jumps then get back into the sitting position..  Each set should be 30 - 45 seconds with 2:00 of rest.  View the Squat Jumps with Hold Demonstration below.

Multiple Sports

Encourage kids to play other sports to prevent hockey burnout and overuse injuries. Playing different sports will develop different muscles and coordination skills that will contribute to the growth of their overall hockey game. Additionally, playing new sports will help them meet friends while trying out something new. The additional sports do not have to be through a structured organization (although they obviously can be). Having fun with activities like playing football in the backyard, tennis at the local court, soccer, baseball, basketball, golf, etc. can help improve the athlete as a whole and can be a whole lot of fun.

Off-Ice Unstructured Play

All hockey development does not have to take place on the ice. Taking out a hockey stick with a parent, sibling, friends, or solo and playing with a ball (tennis, golf, street hockey ball, etc) is extremely beneficial.

Unstructured play (such as 1 on 1 hockey games, 2 vs. 2 games, free shooting & stickhandling around a cone, games that you make up, etc) can help improve skills, coordination, creativity, fitness levels and most importantly, further develop a passion for the game.  Throw on some music or hockey highlights in the background during unstructured play and make it a fun activity. If you fall in love with practicing, great things will happen. 


At the end of the day it is important to let kids be kids after a long hard season. However, this article is aimed to be a compilation of some great off ice hockey exercises that have been planned out over the course of a four week period.  The goal is just to provide a road map for youth hockey players to use over one month during the summer.  No weights are involved unless you feel like you can incorporate them without losing the technique. We would love feedback from anyone who completes the program. A pdf of the workout has been provided below as a downloadable resource.

Additional Off-Ice Resources


Tyler on 7/14/2018
Great exercise. Really makes your body burn.
Anonymous on 4/16/2018
love this
on 6/10/2014

I cannot find the pdf. Can you email to scott.clarke@nf.sympatico.ca

on 6/10/2014

I cannot see the pdf download for this. Can you email it to me scott.clarke@nf.sympatico.ca