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Hockey-inspired cardio circuit training

Hockey players are in good shape for a reason: Their intensive training and the physical demands of playing the sport keep their bodies toned and energized. And that’s something we can look to for inspiration and incorporate in our workout routine.

Woman doing burpee

Circuit training focuses on building strength and muscle through a series of high-intensity aerobic exercises, with minimum rest in between each circuit. When one circuit is complete, the individual must start with the first exercise again and run through the circuit a second time. The number of circuit runs depends on the individual’s level of fitness and goal.

The activities in the following circuit take inspiration from hockey, either through movements found in the sport or the training involved in preparation for a game.


10 Jumping squats

This exercise is great for your quads, which are essential in hockey. Stand with feet hip width apart, and lower into a regular squat. Push yourself off in a jump, reaching for the ceiling. Upon landing on your feet, lower into a squat again. Repeat.


10 Burpees

This exercise is great for building strength and improving cardio. Stand with feet hip width apart, and squat, placing your palms on the floor. Extend your feet back in a quick jump so you are in the plank position. In a similar quick motion, return to the squat position, and stand up. Repeat.


10 Curtsy lunges for each leg

This exercise is fantastic for strengthening your legs. Stand with feet hip width apart and hands on your hips. Take a step back with your left leg, cross it behind your right, and then lower your hips (bending at the knees) until your left thigh is parallel to the floor (both knees bent at 90 degrees). Rise back up, and repeat with your right leg.


10 Side lunges for each leg

These are great for toning your butt and thighs, and they’re easy on the knees. Stand with your feet together. Take a deep step to the left with your left foot, and lunge toward the floor. Keep your right leg as straight as possible. Push back up to the starting position, and repeat with your right leg.

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10 Reverse lunges for each leg

This exercise will tone the entire leg, but it’s kinder to your knees. Stand with feet apart. Take a generous step back with your left foot, and sink into it so both your knees are bent at 90-degree angles. Your right heel should be lifted. When your right knee is almost touching the floor, hold, and then rise back up into the beginning position. Repeat with your right leg.


20 Sit-ups

This exercise strengthens the abdominal muscles. Lie flat on the floor with your knees bent and arms either behind your head or across your chest. Lifting your head first, sit up until you are at a 90-degree angle (with your feet still firmly on the floor), and hold for a second. Lower yourself back to the floor, and repeat.


10 Push-ups

This exercise strengthens your arms, especially the triceps and deltoids. Lie on the floor with palms shoulder width apart at your chest, your toes curled, and the balls of your feet on the floor. Lift yourself off the floor, keeping your back in a straight line, to enter the plank pose. Lower yourself back down until your elbows are bent at 90-degree angles, and then lift yourself back up. Repeat.


30-second plank

This is a magical pose that builds strength in the abdominal muscles, arms, glutes and the back. Assume the push-up position, and simply hold it for 30 seconds.

Repeat this circuit three times, and gradually increase the number of times you repeat it.

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