Hockey, Acceleration, How to Increase Acceleration, First 3 steps, speed

Slow Feet? How to increase Acceleration

How to Increase Acceleration


How to Increase Acceleration? Improving first 3 steps:

What is acceleration? Acceleration is being able to “change direction in a high velocity” or often referred to in hockey as “first 3 steps”. Within the first 3 strides, you will know who’s going to win the “race to the puck”.  Overlooked with acceleration is stability, if you are not stable enough in your stance leg and your stride leg, you will waste more energy, rather than being able to accelerate at Top Speed. Acceleration and Speed are NOT the same. 


Why Stability Matters w/ Acceleration:

You want to maintain Triple Extension in your stride (glide) leg and Triple Flexion on your stance leg, this will help to make sure this is no wasted movement. Wasted movement causes you, as a player, to waste more energy having to work on taking more strides, as opposed to having a strong, powerful stride. The quicker you can switch legs with proper stability, the more force production you have to produce power to get to the puck. 



Want to Increase Foot Speed?

You need to minimize how long it takes you to extend your stride and bring back in. The longer it takes for your leg to extend, touch the ice, and reload the more “wasted energy” you are using. If the knee is not fully extended, the power is not being fully used to its full potential, which results in less speed.  Exercises and progressions we use to help, Loop Band Strides for feet, Monster Band around knee for stability, and both monster band w/ loop band to reinforce the stability and power. Can also add a weight or Band for resistance.



Try to do drill bodyweight or with sliders (slider skater strides) to see if the knee of the stance leg could be causing you to lose acceleration (not being stable enough to hold all the force being inserted on the hip that causes the knee to collapse. If having trouble with bodyweight, then use bands and weight to help reinforce the movement. Put it all together to help acceleration.





Written by:

Darrid Watson, CSCS, NSCA-CPT


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