Week by week I am giving you off ice tips to help you with your game. We started from the ground — with 3 balance progressions to add to your warm-up routine — and are working our way up the body to your ankles!
This week’s tips and exercises will help you get more power out of each stride on the ice by working on your ankle’s dorsiflexion.
The more mobility you have in your ankles, the greater the angle your shin can have compared to the ice, which will allow you to get more power out of each push on the ice.
To start, drop down to a half kneeling position (one knee down, one knee up).
As the video shows, I want you to grab your heel so that you can keep it anchored to the ground.
Next, I want you to guide your knee forward allowing your knee to gently move forward over your toes. Once you get to the end range of your ankle’s mobility I want you to pause and take a breath.
You will repeat this movement ten times on each foot.
If your knee does not have the ability to glide over your toes just yet that is okay. Rome was not built in a day and neither is good mobility. You can practice this drill every day as part of your pre-workout activation or before you skate.
If your ankle is really locked up or you want to get even deeper into your ankle mobility you can also try using a band to assist you.
Just as I demonstrated, you will need a thicker band and you want to anchor it to something sturdy.
Wrap the other end of the band around your ankle so that it crosses over where the top of your foot meets the bottom of your shin. Step out from the origin of the band so that the tension from the band is pulling your ankle backward.
Performing the exact same movement as you did without the band, perform ten reps of this ankle mobility exercise.
You should be able to get that knee a little bit further over your toes with the help of the band. Perform one set of ten reps and then load your new mobility as I show (you can also do some goblet squats, heel elevated squats, etc).
The more you practice this and the better your ankle mobility gets, the power you will be able to put into each stride you take on the ice!
Find more great hockey training tips and insights from Jeff LoVecchio at RIPT Hockey and the Hockey Think Tank website, Podcast, YouTube, and Facebook. And check out his Give More Be More (GMBM) apparel.