Written by Dan Minnicks
If you’ve mastered the exercises in the first article and are looking to take things up a notch, here are seven more exercises you can do at home with minimal to no equipment to help keep you in shape. Just like the last workout, these can all be done with minimal or no equipment. Make sure you properly warm up before each workout.
Nobody has ever said they are fast enough. You should always do sprints at the beginning of your workout if your goal is to increase speed. The best way to get faster is to do things as fast as possible and that only happens when you’re feeling fresh. Ever try to run or skate fast when you’re tired? Now you understand why sprints go first. Do four sprints at 10 yards with one minute rest in between. Then do five more at 20 yards with two minutes rest in between. The rest periods might seem long but that is what you want if you’re going all out on each sprint- which you should be!
Once all of your sprints are done you can continue to the rest of the workout below. Aim for 3-4 rounds of the following exercises taking rest as needed.
Alternate Explosive Step Ups
If you don’t have a bench or box, use a study chair, steps, park bench, picnic table, or the bumper of a car. Find a height that will start you with your thigh as parallel to the ground as possible. Push your foot down through the step and explode up into the air. Switch legs in the air so you come down on the opposite leg. Go slow at first to get the rhythm and then pick up the pace once you get the hang of it. Do 8-10 jumps per leg, 16-20 jumps total.
The key to this exercise is slow and controlled. Feel your muscles and joints moving as they should while you move them through the proper ranges of motion. You don’t need to use anything weighted with this exercise as you’ll feel a nice burn in all those little muscles of the shoulder and upper back. These will help keep your shoulders nice and healthy to deliver and absorb all those body checks. Do 15 reps.
Keep your hips and toes as forward as possible, and take a step out to the side. Sit back into this one a little, similar to your hockey stance. Sit as deep as you can and push off that foot to bring yourself back to center. To make things more challenging, you can hold a weight of some kind with both hands in front of you. Do 8-10 reps each leg.
For this exercise you will need something heavy that can be carried. Farmers walks are a great total body exercise that works on stability, grip strength, and helping build your aerobic system as well. Maintain a tall posture as you walk. A good rule of thumb I use is that if you feel like you can’t wait to get to the end to put it down, then you’re doing it right. If not, it’s too light. If you don’t have a weight for each hand, carry what you have down in one hand and then walk back with it in the other. Aim for about a 50 yard total distance. Down and back is one set.
Table Plank with Shoulder Taps
This is a bit harder variation of a straight arm, or push up, plank so if this is too challenging you can keep your legs straight and do the shoulder taps. The key to this is keeping your entire body completely stable. Squeeze your glutes together and brace your abs hard while keeping a nice long reach with your arms; thinking about pushing the ground away from you. Each shoulder tap is one repetition so aim for 16-20 total reps.
You’ll definitely need something to use for this exercise but it shouldn’t be anything that’s heavy. A full water or milk jug, a bag of ice or a big textbook will do just fine. The goal is to once again maintain a tall posture, and not dipping your head forward. Pretend your head is Saturn and you’re drawing a perfect ring around with whatever piece of equipment you decide to use. One repetition is a full circle around your head. Let’s do 12 reps each way.
As we enter the summer months, I encourage you to get outside to do these workouts. It’s incredible what some fresh air and sunshine can do for your body. Especially while training. Remember to keep things simple, be consistent, and have fun with it!
Dan Minnicks is the owner of Apex Performance Integration in the Pittsburgh area. At API, he works with professional to youth athletes, and all levels in between. Dan has coached athletes in the NHL and MLB as well as a U.S. Adult National Figure Skating Gold Medalist. In addition to working with a wide range of adult clientele, Dan is also honored and proud to work with members of various branches within the United States Military and Law Enforcement. Whether it's athletes or adults, he is passionate about helping those who settle for nothing but the best for themselves.