Can a hockey player get an awesome hockey-specific workout that improves their speed and functional strength on the ice—with only one dumbbell?
You bet you can.
In this article, I’m going to discuss the “Ultimate One Dumbbell Hockey Workout” so you can have a great hockey workout even when you have extremely limited equipment available.
Many of us have had sporadic equipment available for our hockey training due to various COVID-19 restrictions, making a workout like this the perfect “back-up plan.” While everyone else is forced to take time off, you can keep crushing your training sessions and be a mile ahead of them when you all step back on the ice. Additionally, this kind of workout is great for people who just choose to train at home, like me.
With a single dumbbell, you’re obviously limited by weight selection and exercise variation. In these training environments, it’s important to view these as positive constraints so you only choose the best “bang for the buck” hockey exercises to get the job done.
It’s also wise to use a fast-paced, challenging workout format so your light dumbbell eventually feels like a giant boulder.
Ultimate One Dumbbell Hockey Workout Structure
Most hockey players’ go-to option to make an exercise harder is to slap on more weight plates. However, when you don’t have access to that type of equipment, you need to be more creative in your workout design and exercise order.
I love utilizing a time-based philosophy for these types of training sessions, because it forces you to increase your workout density rather than just add more weight.
Here’s your plan of attack:
Reps: 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1
Time limit: 25 minutes
Perform 10 reps of each exercise (listed below) with no rest between them, then nine, then eight, until you have worked your way down to performing only one rep of each. Your goal is to get this done as fast as possible without ever compromising your technique.
Set your phone alarm for exactly 25 minutes.
If the alarm sounds before you finish, you lose game seven in overtime. Sorry about your luck.
However, if you get it all done before the alarm sounds, you’re the hero on the team who scored the overtime goal—because you were the athlete who put the effort into their dryland hockey training to be the most functionally strong and conditioned athlete on the ice.
Get competitive with yourself and really crush this thing. Here’s the exercise order for the session:
- Bulgarian split squat with left leg only
- Bulgarian split squat with right leg only
- Goblet squat
- One-arm overhead DB press with left arm only
- One-arm overhead DB press with right arm only
- Weighted sit-ups holding DB
- Renegade row with left arm only
- Renegade row with right arm only
- One-hand elevated push-up on left side only
- One-hand elevated push-up on right side only
The Bulgarian split squat is the #1 hockey training exercise and it’s still effectively trained with only one dumbbell, so it’s a natural choice to kick off the workout.
Immediately following that is the goblet squat, which gives your legs a serious pump and trains your posterior chain more effectively than the Bulgarian split squat.
The one-arm overhead DB press is one of my favorite overhead pressing movements, because you’re targeting the shoulder complex hard with the movement but forcing a dynamic cross-directional core stabilization effect, since you’re loading only one side of the body.
After the overhead work, you jump right into weighted sit-ups. I put direct core work here because it’s almost going to act as a mid-circuit rest period while still allowing you to keep moving, keep training, and keep the flow/pace of your workout going.
Once you’ve completed the sit-ups, you’re going to flip over and start crushing the renegade rows. This is one of my all-time favorite hockey core exercises because it trains your “anti-rotation” core strength while simultaneously challenging your lats, biceps, and upper back. This one’s easier said than done, but it’ll explode your shot power and ability to remain strong on the puck.
Finally, finish each round with one-hand elevated push-ups. This push-up is far more effective than your traditional push-up, because it increases the range of motion all of your working muscles are going through, which forces them to work harder—and in turn, get stronger.
This simple total body hockey workout only requires one dumbbell, but it will absolutely crush you—making you a stronger and more conditioned hockey player.
It hits every single muscle group and does so in a dynamic way so you don’t just get “gym strong,” you get hockey strong.
DB Bulgarian Split Squat
One-Arm Overhead DB Press
Weighted Sit-Ups Holding DB
One-Hand Elevated Push-Ups
Transform Your Game
If you’re ready to start training smarter than ever before when it comes to your hockey performance, I can tell you right now that you can make your hockey dream a reality with our new 2021 Off-Season Training System that features the F.A.S.T. Training Principle as part of our all-new E2-Formula™.
The new 2021 Off-Season Training System is backed by the latest knowledge in sports performance and provides you with the necessary amount of training stimulus needed to improve your functional strength and explosiveness so you can step on the ice as a completely different player next season.
You don’t have to be a “natural talent” to level up your game and have the best season of your life this year—because you can get instant access to the exact on-ice and off-ice training you need to be doing this year during the in-season so you can train just like your favorite NHL player.
Sure, you could go through all the research studies I have read and slowly piece everything together and you’d probably do just fine.
But if you want to take all of the guesswork out of it and get access to a completely “done for you” high-level program to get the best possible results, then head over to our 2021 Off-Season Training System page, and let’s get started today—because I can help you no matter what equipment you currently have access to (the above workout is just a sneak peek compared to a complete system!).
In the beginning of this article, I promised to give you the “Ultimate One Dumbbell Hockey Workout” that you could use to improve your all-around hockey performance this year.
I hope I was able to articulate it clearly and logically so you can hit the ground running with this awesome training session.
Don’t let the world of marketing force you to think you need a ton of fancy equipment to become a better hockey player. The above workout will kick your butt and make you an all-around better player. Try it out and you’ll see what I mean.
This is especially true when you consider that you could continue to build on this workout in terms of progressive overload with even harder exercise selections, tighter time constraints, more rep density, and the introduction of plyometric variants.
Your only limit in the world of dryland hockey training is your effort and creativity; if you keep these sky high, your performance will be too.
Don’t forget to check out the new 2021 Off-Season Training System if you want to perform exercises like this (along with all of the other best hockey training workouts) to completely explode your hockey performance potential and take everything to the next level this year.