Focus on hip dominant lifts?

I am currently in the middle of my offseason, and I have a question to put to Charlie and others in regards to the remaining portions of my summer training. I currently have two days in which I do speed/weights, and a day for speed repeatability(as well as two to three tempo days depending on work commitments).

My question is in regards to exercise selection for the second weight day. On the first day, I front squat and then do push presses alternated with pull-ups. On the second day, I was doing deadlifts then bench presses; however, I find myself getting worn out from the deadlifts. My question is, should the lift I choose to replace the deadlifts be a hip dominant lift such as the power clean or pull, or can I use a second squat day(back squat), and rely on my speed work to take care of the hip extension component?

I should also add that I work at an arena currently so getting on to the ice regularly is not a problem for me. So with the volume of skating and speedwork I am able to do, should I just focus on limit strength with squats in the gym and not be concerned about balancing knee and hip dominant lifts? I would appreciate any thoughts on this from all of you regular hockey posters. I will thank you all in advance and I look forward to hearing your response

Are you deadlifting to close to your max?

Why front squats? Why not back squats?

Nothing wrong with 2 squat days.

I was using back squats in earlier phases of my training. This was used when I was using a conventional(straight bar) deadlift. For the last block of training, I was using the trap bar for the deadlift workouts. Since I can lift more weight with the trap bar than in the conventional deadlift, I used the front squat to try to limit the total amount of CNS intensive work, as I have also started skating more frequently. I try and keep my repetitions on all strength exercises below three following the recent recomendations of David W in the strength training forum(I do alot of bodyweight exercises with a focus on single leg work on tempo days).

Recently, I have noticed that I generally feel very fatigued, which explains the questions I posed in my first post. So I am attempting to follow Charlie’s recomendations to “look at what is already being done to see what remains to be done”(apologies if this is a slight misquote). For this reason, I have cut back on the volume of my speed work and am trying to use my time in the weightroom to focus on maximal strength. My question is mainly about whether or not I need to focus on muscle balance in my lower body exercise planning(knee vs. hip dominant), or can I rely on my sprinting and skating to take care of hip extension work. I should add that all squatting exercises I do are to full depth, calves to hamstrings.

How about SLDL or glute ham raises? Those are both hip dominant lifts that are less demanding than a conventional or trapbar DL. I personally feel for most sports, including hockey, the program should be designed to create balance between hip and quad dominant exercises. I think having one quad dominant and one hip dominant day would be most benefitial.

The posterior chain will be the driving force in your skating- so hip dominant is the way to go, in my opinion. I’m with Chris L- glute-hams and stiff leg deads like crazy. Good mornings are a great off season option, too- but get ready for some serious DOMS. I’d add a single leg lift each leg day, possibly on an unstable surface such as a gel pad or dyna disc. Strengthening the adductors with single leg exercises is big with me.

I do wide-stance squats as my main lower body lift. They’re very important for strengthening the groin also. I’ve dropped heavy deadlifts from my routine because they are too taxing. I still include sldls at really light weights 135lbs or less for high reps(10+). Other than that, I always use either cleans or snatches. Strength levels can be increased alot by doing upper body work. Single leg stuff is pointless in my opinion. Don’t worry about quad and ham dominated movements.

Single leg stuff is what sports are all about. How many times in hockey are you pushing off both legs at the same time? Single leg strength and agility go hand in hand. Single Leg Bulgarian iso-squats as described by Thibaudeau are unbelievable for firing and working the adductors. Single leg lifts will address any imbalances along the kinetic chain-huge for injury prevention. I think you’re missing a potentially big area for athletic and strength development.

Weak argument. Strength is improved by general means. Both legs are strengthen simultaneously when you squat lowering the number of lifts required as opposed to single leg lifts. The ability to tax the CNS with single leg efforts are also minimal.

Single leg work with heavy weights is an injury risk. What’s the point of combining strength and balance work? I could do power cleans on a skateboard at the top of a flight of stairs… does that make my agility better?


What are your relative strength levels? Are you “really” good? What “split” (whole body or UB/LB) do you use?
Without going into the discussion of Blinky and Boogatc (I will let them argue some time :smiley: to see what will happen) I would say both single leg and double leg are important. Again, the ratio between them is important… Single leg work, altought may cause an injury with heavy load or going to failure (here I agree with Blinky), it actually may improve double leg movements because of “bilateral deficit” (you can create greater force with one limb than with two * 1/2, so you can work that limb harder), balance needed and thus small mucles at hip, abductor and adductors (here I agree with boogatc)… bla, bla, bla :stuck_out_tongue:

If you are drained from DL then reduce their frequency to 1-2 every 1-2months… If you are really doing ME work, try upper/lower split and try to modify your training according to your recovery ability and adaptability…
For example

Week #1
Workout A
A. Oly’s (technique work, small loads)
B. Pressing Movements ME
C. Pulling Movements SE
D1. Shoulder Circle RE (YTWL)
D2. Rotator Cuff
D3. Grip/wrist

Workout B
A. Oly’s (power cleans, 80-90% or something submax)
B. Double Leg Knee Dominant (squats) ME
C. Single Leg Knee Dominant (vertical/lateral/linear) SE
D1. Double Leg Hip Dominant (RDL) SE
D2. Single Leg Hip Dominant Straight/Bent leg(single Leg bridges, single leg hyperextentions, one arm-one leg RDLs) RE
D3. Foot (DB dorsiflexion, toe rises etc) RE

Week #2
Workout A
A. Oly’s (technique work, small loads)
B. Pulling Movements ME
C. Pressing Movements SE
D1. Shoulder Circle RE (YTWL)
D2. Rotator Cuff
D3. Grip/wrist

Workout B
A. Oly’s (power cleans, 80-90% or something submax)
B. Double Leg Knee Dominant (DLs) ME (or SE)
C. Single Leg Knee Dominant (vertical/lateral/linear) SE
D1. Double Leg Hip Dominant (Sumo RDL) SE
D2. Single Leg Hip Dominant Straight/Bent leg(single Leg bridges, single leg hyperextentions, one arm-one leg RDLs) RE
D3. Foot (DB dorsiflexion, toe rises etc) RE

Alternate between A & B session (if you do strength 2-time per week excellent, if you do three times per week, then do BAB ABA, so does when it comes to DL, you do it only once per two weeks).
Do 2-3 cycles than unload and change exercises!

Hope it helps!

  • ME 1-3RM
  • SE 3-5RM
  • RE 5-15RM

As a certified Athletic Trainer, or athletic therapist to you guys from the great white north, I wouldn’t consider putting athletes through strength training exercises that would invite injury, so no, my guys don’t put 325 on a 7’ bar and do butt to the floor single leg squats. They do however use at least 1 SL activity each leg day as an accessory lift with appropriate sets and reps. Again, the injury prevention benefit alone from strengthening the small muscles around the foot, ankle, knee and hip is worth the time investment.
We also use single leg unstable exercises, like on a dynadisc or gel pad. Hockey’s all about being on an unstable surface.
I’m trying to come up with some good exercises to do on a skateboard, maybe a skateboard on a plyo box. I think Blinky’s on to something there.

Just make sure you wear pink while doing them. And talk about how extreme you are, being an athlete with a skateboard. – I hope SOMEONE gets that.

Guys, dont forget that strength training in sports is a mean to an end not an end to itself!

Are you playing hockey better because you are lifting 300kg squat than someone lifting 200kg or none?

Improved balance, hip mobility and stability as a AUXILARY work of single leg training is IMPORTANT!!! No one is sayin you should stop doing squats and do bulgarians all the time!!! You should start doing both!!!

Remember. Auxilliary work is exactly that - auxilliary.

Explain how Hockey is all about being on an unstable surface. Are you playing on a frozen pond?

Don’t people run one leg at a time as well? Single leg exercizes are good for correcting imbalances where they exist to a significant degree- and so long as they exist, but are not the means to safe and efficient/adequate strengthening of the general organism, as Blinky points out.
Without getting into names here, there has been a promotion of the single leg approach in sprinting as well, with disastrous injury consequences. (the old saw: “The operation was a success, but the patient died.”)

If you are suffering CNS fatigue, you cannot successfully concentrate on EITHER speed improvement or Max Strength. You need to figure out what the overstress was caused by and then recover from it before moving forward. If you recover fairly soon, you have time to re-focus on both factors, but if you start running short of time after recovery, I’d concentrate on Max Strength (big changes in a short time)

As always: great insights Charlie!
As auxilary work, single leg (lunges, bulgarians…) can improve double leg movements (squats, dead lifts), and thus they (double leg movements) can in more degree improve “general strength of the organism” (BTW, what is that? Aren’t strength specific to muslces/movement used, joint positions, velocity, energy system?? Maybe there are two factors: specific and general like in any other ability)
Single leg work can improve (according to my model - Homoeostasis performance model) a joint control/health/balance/mobility, activate some muscles (like glutes… see articles from Cressey and Robertson at t-nation), strenghten small muscles (rotators - stabilayires) as a AUXILARY work (larger number of reps, not failure etc), and as a result to improve ability to “maintain homoeostasis” (joint stability, proprioception etc) and as a result can INCREASE CNS output in major exercises because “inhibiting inhibitions” that serves to protect athlete from itself… The brain “knows” that ability to maintain homoeostasis is improved, so he (brain) allows more output in core exercises like squats!
Real life example: whenever I imporve my lunge, bulgarians etc my squat jumps! Whenever I improve my rotator cuff muslces, my bench jumps (altought my bench sucks anyway).
As Alwyn Cosgrove stated: If you have ferrary which is able to go 300km/h, but you have bad brakes, how much will you go? 100km/h max!!! Translated to athlete situation, his CNS knows that some muscles (small ones, stabilizers) are in disbalance, so CNS will decrease its output to prevent injuries… Improve “breaks” (homoeostasis control) and it will go faster!

666th post!!! :cool: Now the site will colaps hehe lol :slight_smile: :rolleyes:

I agree with the reasoning, but it is the extension of the corrective model (where needed) until it becomes the end-all training in itself, rather than the means to the general work.

You made this post today but you must have been thinking about it yesterday- cause that’s when we had the problem!!