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Jump Rope Training for Hockey Goalies … or Not

Jump Rope Training for Hockey Goalies … or Not

Boston College Goalie John Muse

John Muse jumps to celebrate a Boston College goal, one of the few times a skipping workout may help him as a goalie. (Scott Slingsby photo)

Regular InGoal Columnist Maria Mountain is an expert trainer of hockey players, including Stanley Cup Champions. Learn more about working with her at

I just watched the movie Rocky for probably the eighth time in my life – I grew up in the 70’s and remember my parents taking me to the theater to see it – I think I would have only been about seven years old. Anyway, my feeling after the movie was the same this time as it was that first time, and there were two things I wanted to do: Drink raw eggs and jump rope.

To tell the truth, my desire to drink raw eggs has decreased incrementally as I have gotten older.

As a seven-year old I think we all probably stared down a raw egg in a cup – I was pretty keen to try it until one of my friends tried it and said he wanted to barf for about three-hours afterward … okay, scratch drinking eggs off the list.

We did skip rope though. I don’t know if my Dad bought the skipping rope because of the Rocky movie or if we always had one at home, but we were jumping rope like fools after that movie – cross overs and everything.

This flood of happy childhood memories made me think: “Why don’t I add more skipping to my off-ice training routines?”

If it was good enough for Rocky Balboa, it is good enough for my hockey players.

Enter my common sense (Darn rational thought and common sense).

What does a boxer need to do: bounce around and stay light on his feet for the duration of their bout? Does a goalie or skater need to bounce around on the balls of their feet? Nope.

What gets the most tired when you jump rope – your calves? Your forearms? What gets the most tired when you play hockey? Your quads probably.

What position are your legs in as you jump rope – a good low ready position? Nope. You are up tall with your knees and hips barely flexed at all.

Okay, so maybe this is why we do not use more jump rope for off-ice hockey training. Does that mean we should not use it at all? I don’t think so. I think everyone should be able to jump rope; it teaches you to be quick and light on your feet and requires basic coordination. Add in some high knees skipping and that is a good way to teach an athlete to move at the hips while maintaining a stable torso.

Here is how I use skipping in my off-ice training programs and, thanks to common sense, this is how I will continue to use them.

I will use them for some short duration intervals on occasion. I think it is a great tool to use at home for doing your short duration interval training if you get tired of lateral hopping around your basement.

Here is a workout that I use with the jump rope:

• 20 seconds jump rope

• 20 seconds right side plank

• 20 seconds left side plank

• Repeat this sequence 8 times

About The Author

Maria Mountain M.Sc.

Hockey strength and conditioning coach Maria Mountain, MSc specializes in off-ice training for hockey goalies. As the founder of and the owner of Revolution Sport Conditioning in London, Ontario, Maria has trained Olympic Gold medalists, a Stanley Cup Champ and athletes from MLB, NHL, AHL, CHL, CIS and more. Try Maria's Goalie Stretch Solution today.

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