Whatever sport you play, strength and endurance are of paramount importance. Improving your overall strength can help you perform better on the field or pitch, increase your stamina, and even help to prevent injury and speed up your playing time.
Many athletes focus on strength training during the off-season because this allows plenty of recovery time after weightlifting or other strength training activities.
There are many different approaches to strength training, but professional coaches tend to stick to a few tried-and-tested methods.
If hockey is your sport of choice, you will want to incorporate general strength training into your routine, along with your regular field hockey drills. Online resources such as https://www.sportplan.net/drills/Hockey/ can help you with hockey-specific drills and exercises, but strength training is much more flexible and versatile.
The importance of warming up
It is easy to skip warming up or to whizz through a few gentle moves and think that you’ve done enough. Any coach will tell you, however, that the warm-up is an incredibly important part of any strength training session. You should ensure you warm up sufficiently before any exercise or workout and should always aim to warm your body’s core. Work your way through all your muscle groups, starting with the smaller muscles and working your way up to larger muscle groups to make sure you don’t miss anything.
Strength training exercises
The exact routine you choose to incorporate into your training schedule will depend on your overall level of fitness, the sport you play, and which parts of the body you want to target. Incorporating a Swiss ball into your training is a popular way of improving your core strength and balance, and it also aids your co-ordination. Ideally, you will focus on improving the endurance of your muscles along with their overall strength. Many professional coaches will suggest you take a brief break of 30 seconds between each set of reps to allow your body to build up its strength again.
Men’s Fitness magazine outlines the importance of the “big four” strength training exercises: bench presses, squats, deadlifts and bench presses.
The magazine claims these are the four best strength training exercises for any level of fitness, and they should all be a part of your regular training sessions.