The Fartlek - A Hockey Dryland & Off-Ice Training Workout

The Fartlek -  A Hockey Dryland & Off-Ice Training Workout

Fartlek is Swedish for "Speed Play." This dryland training off-ice workout, specifically for hockey players, if committed to once a week throughout the summer (12 weeks) will translate to an increase in speed, more explosiveness, and more endurance.  This program should be combined with other off-ice leg programs so that players are doing leg exercises at least three times per week.  Therefore, this workout should be done as one of the three programs a player chooses to do during the off-season.  At the end of this article, there is a link to a Google Doc with the exercises, links, and 12-week record that you can print or save to your own Google Drive.

The setup requires you to create a large square or rectangle on a field/turf. As shown in the diagram a square field about half the size of a soccer field is ideal.  Start by jogging on one side, transition to one of the Fartlek exercises, transition again to jogging, and finally transition to one of the designated speed skating exercises.  A structural overview of the workout can be viewed in the video below.

There can be a lot of variation in this workout so that it never becomes repetitive and boring.  We have listed 12 exercises below that can be used for the lunges portion of the workout.  You will also notice the three levels mentioned below so you can build up your conditioning to the point where you are doing 8 of the exercises followed by 6 - 10 minutes of rest and then repeating the same exercises.  Of course, you can mix and match to your own imagination as well.  For example, for your first workout you would take a look at the exercises below and choose 6. You would then incorporate these 6 exercises into the "lunge" portion of the workout.  So your first workout would look something like this:

  • Lap 1 - jog, exercise 1, jog, exercise 1
  • Lap 2 - jog, exercise 2, jog, exercise 2
  • Lap 3 - jog, exercise 3, jog, exercise 3
  • Lap 4 - jog, exercise 4, jog, exercise 4
  • Lap 5 - jog, exercise 5, jog, exercise 5
  • Lap 6 - jog, exercise 6, jog, exercise 6

Fartlek Exercises

Single Leg Bounding

Skater Jumps (45 degrees)

Lateral Lunges

Stride & Cross Under

Additional Exercises

On the length of the field opposite from where the "Fratlek" exercise was performed is where the speed skating dryland exercises are done.  This is where the workout can get a lot of variation because we have a lot of exercises to choose from.  Here is a list of exercises to use:

Levels and Intervals

The levels and intervals of the workout can be divided into four levels and players can set a goal to reach level 4 at the end of the summer.

Level 1

Choose 6 of the exercises and do them consecutively then rest for 6 - 10 minutes before doing a second set.  For beginners, one set may be enough to start with.

Level 2

Once you are comfortable moving forward then move on to level 2. This time perform 7 exercises in a row before taking a 6 - 10-minute rest and then repeat the same seven exercises.

Level 3

Later into the summer, you should be able to move on to level 3 where you do 8 exercises consecutively followed by a 6 - 10-minute rest, then repeat up to 4 times.

If you can commit to doing this workout once per week along with other dryland leg exercises then you will notice a big difference when getting back on the ice next season.



Ben Eaves and Ice Hockey Systems Inc. filmed these exercises at the Sport Stable in Superior, CO.  Ben Eaves currently works with many College and Pro players during the off-season on developing hockey specific skills, strength, and conditioning.  Visit Ben Eaves on his LinkedIn profile if you would like to connect or consult with him about hockey player development.


illpour4u on 6/6/2019
Kelkev17 on 5/20/2019

Dry land 

Anonymous on 8/3/2018
Great program.