Hockey Workout: How to Train Like the Pros

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hockey workout
Sam Knight

All hockey players will be inspired to follow the hockey workout training of these athletes—whether recreational or pro

Toronto Maple Leafs sniper Auston Matthews has been one of the NHL’s most prolific scorers since his 2016-17 rookie year. The first overall selection of the 2016 NHL Draft surpassed 30 goals in each of his first five NHL seasons. This included a 40-goal season in his rookie year, a career-high 47-goal campaign in 2019-20, and an NHL-leading 41 goals in 52 games last season.

With Matthews once again driving a high-powered offense, the Leafs are one of the primary favorites to win the 2022 Stanley Cup for online sports betting in Ontario.

In a 2021 article written by James Mirtle of The Athletic, Matthews went into detail about the changes he made for his hockey workout training.

Renowned performance coach Ian Mack, who has worked with Chicago Blackhawks superstar Patrick Kane, caught the attention of Matthews. The Toronto sniper emphasized the wish to improve his overall agility and flexibility. For Matthews, that meant cutting weight. A target was set at 210 pounds.

The hockey workout and fitness training program under Mack included more work on the core strength and stretching to enhance Matthews’ overall flexibility. The program will hopefully help the All-Star scorer prevent long-term injuries that often affected him over his first four seasons.

NHL.com lists Matthews at 205 pounds. He’s once again in contention for the league lead in goals, with the likes of Alexander Ovechkin, Chris Kreider, Alex DeBrincat, and Leon Draisaitl.

Sid the Kid: Keeping It in Check

For Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby, devotion to intense hockey fitness training has allowed him to retain his superstar play—even in his age-34 season.

It’s very common to see top NHL stars regress once they enter their early 30s. But Crosby, now in his 17th NHL season, is still recording over a point per game. Behind his All-Star play, the Penguins remain a top contender to win the 2022 Stanley Cup.

Crosby is one of the few major superstar athletes who avoids the use of social media. While countless professional athletes like to relax and enjoy vacation time during the off-season, he doesn’t use the summer as a resting period. 

Following the Penguins’ second straight Stanley Cup-winning season in 2016-17, Crosby detailed his hockey workout training program in an article for Muscle & Fitness. In the piece, the athlete stated that his off-season training commences in the month of July at the Citadel Hill National Historic Site in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Crosby said that his hockey training at the Citadel Hill “forces me to continually push with my lower body, and it’s comparable to the physical requirements of skating, as it builds foot stability and speed in all directions.”

The three-time Stanley Cup champion and two-time Olympic gold medalist follows an off-season speed workout laid out by trainer Andy O’Brien. Come October, Crosby focuses on lower-body workouts with Penguins Strength & Conditioning coach Alex Trinca.

Training With Crosby Has Paid Major Dividends For Fellow Players

Some years ago, Boston Bruins winger Brad Marchand and Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon decided to join fellow Nova Scotian Sidney Crosby in hockey training.

Aside from Crosby, the aforementioned Andy O’Brien has also done plenty of work with Marchand and MacKinnon. It is no coincidence that both veteran forwards have only gotten better with age over these last few years.

Marchand used to be a notable pest whose main job was to get under the skin of his opponents. But the four-time All-Star has been one of the NHL’s most dominant all-around players since his breakout 2015-16 season that saw “Marchy” score 37 goals and 61 points.

Marchand’s season point totals since? A jaw-dropping 85, 85, 100, 87 in 70 games, and 69 in 53 games. He’s averaging well over a point per game, even at the age of 33 here in 2021-22.

Through his first four NHL seasons, MacKinnon never surpassed 24 goals or 63 points in a single campaign. Then he eclipsed the 30-goal and 90-point marks in three straight seasons, from 2017-18 to 2019-20.

Limited to just 48 games in 2020-21, MacKinnon still managed to rack up 20 goals and a whopping 65 points. That was enough to lead Colorado to the NHL’s best regular-season record.

Hockey training with Crosby has allowed both Marchand and MacKinnon to emerge as two of the NHL’s elite superstars. Surely, active and future hockey players will eventually be inspired to follow the programs of these athletes—whether recreational or pro.

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