Although in-season conditioning becomes more sport-specific when it comes to athletes of certain sports, incorporating a good rowing program to your training schedule can also be extremely beneficial. With hockey already being a high-impact sport, rowing offers a full-body, low impact option for post-practice and postgame cooldown, as well as conditioning for players who might be working their way back from injury.
The nature of rowing lends itself well to sports that require teamwork and synchronicity. Line-mates rowing together during set stroke rates require them to work together and pace off of each of other. Performing an off-the-ice training routine is essential and the Concept2 rower is a great tool to get this work done. Being a physically demanding sport, finding ways to train while also preserving your body is key to having a long healthy season.
Using the Concept2 indoor rowing machine we can successfully re-create similar patterns that are common in ice hockey. Skating is difficult to simulate off the ice, but a full body compression and drive with the legs occurs in rowing. The closing and opening of the hips and legs from the drive phase of rowing has obvious carry-over to skating. Hockey is an interval sport, and the performance monitor is a great tool for interval training. Working in 30/45/60 second shifts with 2-3 minutes of rest for multiple rounds can simulate the metabolic demands of a game quite well.
1. Long distance rows like a 10k at a low rate of 18-20 strokes per minute (spm) will help increase leg strength and will also help with endurance.
2. Long distance rows between 8-10k with rate jumps. For instance, you may row 2k at 18spm and then 1k at 26spm and then 2k at 18spm back to 1k at 26spm and so on. This type of workout can mimic the duration of a game where you will be going fast at some points and then slow at other points. This will help with the much-needed conditioning to get through a 60-minute game. You can also adjust this structure to your liking, depending on your current conditioning and desired goal pace.
In conclusion, the Concept2 rower offers full body movement. It presents a safe, low-impact tool that develops anaerobic threshold and aerobic capacity. Simultaneously it improves flexibility and midline stability while increasing strength and endurance of the legs, hips, arms, and back. Being strong and mobile in these areas is vital to staying healthy all season long without the extra strain and stress on the joints. As a result, rowing can be one of the most adaptable tools an athlete can use.