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Get Extra Speed on Your Breakaway

By Mark Fitzgerald, Elite Training Systems, 01/18/20, 10:15AM EST


Hit the Gym with a Strength Coach

It's one of the most exciting plays in hockey and comes down to a one-on-one showdown.

Finding yourself on a breakaway comes down to two things - taking advantage of a miscue from the other team and being faster than their players. The first push-off is key to have a long stride which could make the difference between losing the puck and getting past the defenders. Combining that speed with balance makes you a more agile player.


An exercise to increase strength and stability to have an explosive first stride on the ice.

What You Need: A flat surface, running shoes, athletic clothing.

Body Position: Start in a standing position.

The Movement:

First Progression

  • Start in a tall position. Drop into a single leg squat – bend one knee forward and balance while the other leg is bent and behind you. Hold this ‘loaded’ position before resetting.
  • The key is to have your knee straightforward, hips back and eyes up. Do five reps on each leg.

Second Progression

  • This is a single leg jump on the spot. Get into the loaded position and push up, sticking the landing on the same leg. Focus on your stability.

Third Progression

  • This is a single leg jump forward. Get into the loaded position and push out, driving out and sticking the landing on the same leg. Focus on your stability to mimic the first stride on the ice.

The Breakdown: Use these progressions if you already possess good lower body strength. The drill is designed to mimic the strides necessary to have burst of speed when quickly changing direction on the ice. This can be done at home or at the rink – remember to do reps on both legs.

Download the ETS Training App

OMHA athletes now have access to the ETS Athlete Development App. Pro-grade technologies deliver content and track critical athlete development metrics ensuring athletes and the coaching staff are on track for in-season developmental progress, download the training app.

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Mark Fitzgerald is the owner and founder of Elite Training Systems as well, as the ETS Athlete Development App. In addition, Fitzgerald is head of Performance Training for the Anaheim Ducks, Lead Training Advisor for Under Armour and a member of the Under Armour Global Team.

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