Below we will list and link to our favorite training aids for hockey players. These are hockey training aids that will help you become a better player!
We have our own hockey training programs that I highly suggest you are signed up for, and below I will recommend some training aids that will pair with our training programs to help you reach your true potential on the ice.
Off-Ice Skills Training Aids
Hockey Shooting & Stickhandling Pads
A shooting/stickhandling pad is probably the most important piece of equipment a hockey player could have for their off-ice skills training.
If you aren’t practicing your stickhandling and shooting away from the rink then you will get nowhere near your true potential in those skills.
There’s a reason you hear stories from almost every NHL player about how they used to shoot hundreds of pucks per day or spent hours stickhandling at home – it helps you master those skills!
Our favorite company for various shooting pads of all sizes is Hockey Shot. You can check out a variety of options here.
Hockey Passing Aid & Rebounder
When training at home most hockey players won’t have someone to pass them pucks, which is why a passing aid is a great hockey training aid to have in your tool kit.
These passing aids or rebounders can work both off or on the ice, making them perfect for your driveway or out on the pond.
When you are shooting pucks a passing aid is perfect for dishing you one-timers, and when you are working on your stickhandling this is a great tool for working on making passes and receiving passes.
Although I don’t think a passing aid is 100% necessary for hockey players, I do think having one and being able to practice one-timers and passing at any time will give you a big advantage over other hockey players.
Our favorite company for passing aids is Hockey Shot and I recommend their new 4-Way Elite Passer that you can find here.
Stickhandling Training Aid
A stickhandling aid isn’t something that you need to have, but it’s something that’s nice to have when working on your stickhandling.
For many drills, I prefer just stickhandling around and in and out of pucks (or cones) but there are some great drills you can perform with a stickhandling training aid like the one pictured above.
If you are on a budget I would recommend making a stickhandling training aid yourself by drilling together some broken hockey sticks to pucks, but if you have the budget to buy a dangler tool I recommend the Speed Deke Trainer that you can find in the stickhandling aids section here.
A hockey net is a must for all hockey players looking to improve their shooting at home.
Make sure you pair your hockey net with one of the shooting pads listed above so that you can closely resemble what it’s like to shoot a puck on the ice.
I also recommend buying a net with a backstop around the net to prevent losing pucks and damaging anything behind it!
Off-Ice Hockey Dryland Equipment
Agility dots are another tool that allows you to easily train indoors and it’s also very easily transportable.
Variations of the 5-Dot drill have been around for ages, and that’s because it works.
Incorporating agility dots into the cool-down section of a workout is my favorite time to use them to help the hockey players out there who struggle with “quick feet” skill expression.
You can purchase agility dots here.
Slide Boards allow hockey players to increase the specificity of their training to the next level. When used properly, they can be a significant addition to your off-ice performance programming success.
I talk all about the perfect application for this tool in our hockey slide board article.
The slide board is incredibly unique in its application. It allows hockey players to perform their speed and conditioning training but do it in a way that forces the athlete to maintain the bent posture position that is highly sport specific to the skating mechanics you would use out on the ice.
Not only does it allow you to perform this action, but it’s the only tool that will enable you to perform this action, making it an incredibly unique and useful tool in the scheme of overall program design.
Essentially, you are getting speed training and conditioning training at the same time while also forcing the body to recruit the appropriate muscle sequences and force patterns that you would use on the ice.
This is something that’s not possible on any of your standard “cardio equipment” at the gym.
Beyond this, it allows hockey players to work all of the extensor muscles of the lower body that are responsible for a strong stride, as well as the hip abductors and adductors that are essential muscles for preventing injury.
If you’re serious about increasing your explosive speed and agility out on the ice I think getting some hurdles is a vital part of your program design.
The amount of single leg and double leg jumping variations you can perform here are endless and it’s suitable for speed, conditioning, and agility-based workouts — making it a very versatile tool.
Lots of hockey training aids only do one thing, so, it’s nice when you have a tool that can help you in three of the most important areas for hockey performance.
You can check out the hurdles here.
If you look at some of our all-time favorite speed, conditioning, and agility drills that we use here at Hockey Training; you will notice A LOT of them incorporate cones.
Whether it’s the T-test, reactive shuffling, sprints, box drills, or anything in between — You need some quality cones to work with that are going to last year-round.
Cones are a very simple and effective tool that all hockey players (and especially hockey coaches) should have in their tool kit.
You can purchase high-quality cones here.
I really like the jump rope for hockey athletes for five main reasons:
- It’s easily transportable anywhere you go
- You can do serious conditioning sessions with it
- It builds your hand-eye coordination and helps you prime your brain for performance pre-workout
- You don’t need a lot of space to get a workout in
- You can complete your workouts indoors
I have used the jump rope in the programming here at Hockey Training for warm-ups, cool-downs, and even complete conditioning sessions.
Beyond the workout value of the product, it is also very effective at flushing out the fluid from your legs after a long drive to an away game.
I have athletes jump rope for 2-3 minutes when they get out of the car so they don’t have that “heavy” feeling in their legs when they go on the ice.
You can purchase it here.
Home Gym Training Equipment
Stability ball training allows you to stimulate the core, hips, hamstrings, and stabilizing muscles much more effectively than many other training modalities.
In fact, our Hockey Core Product has an entire protocol just dedicated to core training using a stability ball.
Many tools ended up not standing the test of time after the “functional training” movement hit, stability balls were not one of the tools that disappeared.
Instead, research continued to come out regarding their effectiveness within a complete hockey strength and conditioning program.
Get high-quality stability balls here.
Hockey Training Sled
If you want to become a faster skater and better-conditioned hockey player you will want a sled or prowler in your garage (or gym). Sleds and prowlers offer plenty of versatility towards hockey specific movements that you can use to improve your game. At hockeytraining.com, you’re going to find suggestions for these within almost all of our programs for a reason, they deliver results.
More specifically, we utilize explosive sled movements within our programming to build both forward and rotational power within our athletes which has direct transfer to your starting speed and acceleration on the ice.
Beyond this, they are very effective “Contrast Training” tools where the idea is to transfer from a loaded movement to an unloaded movement (for example, a weighted sled sprint to a normal sprint). Loaded speed and conditioning training within the confines of the Contrast Training method has dramatic transfer over to your on-ice performance and should be the primary focus towards the end of your offseason to peak for camps.
Our favorite company for hockey training sleds is Rogue Fitness. You can pick up the sled we recommend here.
You will find medicine balls in a lot of our hockey training programs and workouts, as they are a great training aid to use to develop power and explosiveness. These exercises will translate to you becoming a more explosive skater on the ice.
Medicine ball variations are arguably the #1 exercise a hockey athlete can utilize to improve their total body power output. Not only does the research support these claims, but, out personal experience does as well.
Exercises such as the overhead scoop toss, rotational scoop toss from waist, medicine ball shot put, as well as incorporating them into combined movements such as the explosive medicine ball chest throw into broad jump, or, medicine ball chest throw into 20yd sprint are all phenomenal variations we have seen direct carryover to improving your performance on the ice.
Other exercises can improve power output, such as Olympic lifting and sub-maximal barbell lifts, but as time passes we have utilized medicine balls much more in our programming because they provide so many benefits that barbells don’t while at the same time being super easy to learn technically.
The best medicine balls we have found online to recommend to our hockey training audience is the Dynamax Medicine Ball that you can purchase here.
Are bands an absolutely vital component to your success in hockey? No.
But are training bands a scientifically validated way in which we can train to help accelerate our progress, provide a different training stimulus on our body, and help break through plateaus in the gym? Absolutely!
We incorporate bands here all the time within our injury prevention work, warm-ups, and even within our strength training. The smaller bands are excellent for hockey exercises such as the face pull or band pull apart, whereas the bigger bands help those who can’t do full chin-ups yet and need that extra assistance.
If you want 100% out of your training and not just 90%, I would have some bands on hand for when you need them.
Click here to purchase some bands.
Kettlebells have risen in popularity dramatically over the past 10 years. Some of it is just hype primarily driven from the CrossFit community, but plenty of it is legitimate performance enhancement.
For hockey players specifically, we like to incorporate KB squat jumps, KB swings, and KB goblet squats within our speed, conditioning, and normal weight training days (LOTS of versatility here).
The KB is an excellent tool to have because you can easily bring it with you to a nearby park to include within with hockey specific speed and conditioning programming, and it also won’t take up any room in your house for the days you can’t get to the gym and you want to perform one of our “At-home hockey workouts”.
The best place to start here would be a kettlebell in the range of 10-20 lbs for youth athletes, and 20-35 lbs for players 15+ years old. This size will have the greatest variation capability within our programming.
Get kettlebells from Rogue here.
Hockey Forearm Grip Tool
The Twist Yo’ Wrist product found here is an excellent hockey training aid because it contributes to on-ice performance factors such as your shot power, shot release, ability to fight others off the puck, and shot accuracy.
We have a complete program called Lighting The Lamp here on HockeyTraining.com that is totally dedicated to handgrip strength because of the major role that handgrip strength plays within your ability to score goals.
The players who have the best shots also have a crushing grip, this isn’t by accident. I highly recommend you pick up one of these today and start making gains towards one of the most underappreciated aspects in muscular development, your hands.
Get the Twist Yo’ Wrist here.
Adjustable Training Bench
If you’re building a home gym as a hockey player you are going to want to have an adjustable bench. Plenty of exercises will be performed on a bench, and you will want to have a bench that is adjustable for an incline as well.
Not all training benches are created equal. This Rogue bench provides great support, grip and is built to last a long time. The first time you lay down on this bench you will feel the quality.
For hockey specifically, we use benches like this to provide the support and stability you need across the different hypertrophy, strength, and power phases you will need to execute throughout both the in-season and offseason. A list of hockey specific exercises that are performed on the bench would be multiple dozens in length, so just take our word for it and don’t cheap out here.
You can purchase it here.
Hockey Plyo Box
If you’ve signed up for our hockey training programs you’ve probably seen some type of box jump incorporated into the workouts. Box jumps can be used in both speed or power workouts and also conditioning workouts as well.
We utilize box jumps frequently within our programming because the direct scientific literature suggests that an increased vertical jump power has a direct carryover to on-ice speed development for hockey players. Beyond this, it improves your mobility and sport-specific conditioning as well.
I highly recommend getting a legitimate plyo box for these workouts as they are a far more accurate way to measure progress and they are a much safer tool to use than “winging it” with anything you can find.
You can purchase them here.
Pull Up Bars
We’ve talked about how Pull-Ups are one of the best exercises out there for improving your hockey shot power and accuracy (and all-around upper body strength), so we had to include some pull-up bar kits on this hockey training aids page in case you’re building your own home hockey gym.
Here’s the thing, a lot of hockey players have been tricked into believing that their exercise needs to exactly mimic the hockey shot in order for it to be an effective exercise to improve their shot power (such as band resisted shots).
This couldn’t be further from the truth.
True sport-specific training to me means observing the biomechanical, physiological and bioenergetic demands of the sport and segmentally working backward in determining kinetic segments, muscle actions, intensities and energy systems required for each athlete’s position and/or movement pattern.
In the case of improving the shot; the shot is a low load, high-velocity rotational power movement, and should be trained as such. Additionally, it is heavily supported by relative strength, specifically in the lats, lower body and core. This means, if you want to improve your shot power, you need to pick up some medicine balls and a pull-ups bar today!
Click here to check them out.
Some of the hockey training aids links above may be affiliate links, meaning we get paid a commission (at no extra cost to you) if you click on that link and make a purchase. We only recommend products we personally love and use.