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How often should I lift weights during hockey pre-season?

Because of the increase in sport-specific drills, practice, and pre-season games, you should only lift weights 3-4 days per week. This allows you to maintain your strength, stabilization, and power levels without overtraining. For example, you can perform one or two days of corrective exercise, one day of strength and endurance training, and one day of stabilization training. On the day(s) that you perform corrective exercises, begin by foam rolling and static stretching any tight muscles and then focus your resistance exercises on any weak muscle groups such as the core and glutes. Foam rolling is a form of self-massage in which you apply pressure with a foam roller to tight areas for 30 seconds. This breaks up adhesions, or "knots", in the muscle and relaxes the muscle to allow for a better static stretch. Suggested areas to foam roll and stretch are the calves, inner thighs, and thighs (quadriceps). During the one day of strength and endurance training, use the following acute variables: 2-4 supersets of 8-12 repetitions using a medium tempo for the strength exercise and a slow tempo for the stabilization exercise. Use medium weights or resistance and only rest 45 seconds between sets. An example superset for this training day is a leg press exercise supersetted with walking lunges. For the third day of weight training during the week, use stabilization exercises with the following acute variables: 1-3 sets of 12-20 slow tempo repetitions using light weights and 30 seconds rest between sets. Example stabilization exercises to use on this day are stability ball leg curls and step-ups to balance. To perform stability ball leg curls, lie on the ground on your back with the calves resting on a stability ball and the feet pointing up toward the ceiling. Engage the core and bridge up by lifting the hips off the ground. Pull the ball in toward the glutes, hold this position, and slowly return to the starting position. Be sure to keep the hips up until the set is complete. For the step-up to balance, use a box and step-up with one leg on to the box keeping the foot straight and the knee in line with the point of the shoe. Make sure to engage the core and try not to touch the other foot on the box. Raise the trailing leg up until the thigh is parallel to the ground. Hold the position for 2 seconds and then slowly return to the starting position.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.