A plyometric exercise is an exercise, such as jumping, that trains your muscles, nervous system and connective tissues to effectively complete the stretch-shortening cycle. These exercises are beneficial to performance in athletics, according to the National Strength and Conditioning Association. Hockey players can help increase shooting power, agility and their ability to rapidly change directions on the ice by incorporating both upper and lower body plyometric exercises into their routine.
Build With Box Jumps
Box jumps are a lower-body plyometric exercise that can be used for beginners or those advanced in plyometric training. For this exercise, you will need an exercise step. Stand behind the exercise step with your feet approximately a hips-width apart. Slowly bend your knees and assume a half-squat position. As soon as your assume a squatting position, immediately jump up onto your exercise step. Your feet should land gently on the center of the box. Step back down -- never jump down -- and repeat. Complete one set of 10 repetitions.
Train With Tuck Jumps
Tuck jumps are an intermediate lower body plyometric exercise. Stand with your back straight, your knee bent slightly and your feet shoulder-width apart. Your arms should be hanging at your sides. Jump up and bring your knees as close to your chest as possible. To gain momentum during your jump, swing your arms up in the air as you jump. Land on the balls of your feet and repeat. Complete one set of 10 repetitions. Don't stop between jumps.
Add Core Strength With Overhead Throws
Overhead throws are designed to strengthen your upper body. You will need a medicine ball to complete this exercise -- a medicine ball can be purchased at your local sporting goods store. Stand in a staggered stance -- one foot slightly in front of the other -- with your knee bent slightly. You should be standing a few feet away from a wall. Hold the medicine ball in both hands and pull it behind your head as far as you possibly can. Forcefully throw the medicine ball so that it bounces off the wall in front of you. Catch the ball after it bounces off the wall and repeat. Complete one set of 10 repetitions. Don't rest between throws. You can also complete this exercise by throwing the ball to a teammate instead of the wall.
Add Arm Power With Pushups
Traditional pushups can be turned into a plyometric exercise. Begin this exercise by assuming the traditional pushup stance on the ground. Lower yourself to the ground -- as if you were completing a regular pushup. Push off the ground forcefully so that your body jumps from the ground and your hands are no longer touching the ground. Catch yourself using your hands and repeat one set of 10 repetitions of plyometric pushups with no rest period between.
- "Essentials of Personal Fitness Training"; NASM; 2008
- National Strength and Conditioning Association: Plyometric Exercise