Being built like Mr. Olympia may prevent your teammates from stuffing you into a locker if you miss the game-winning goal, but it won’t guarantee you a wicked slap shot. Much like a softball swing, an effective slap shot relies just as much if not more on mechanics than on the size of your guns. To help you add power to your shot, we asked hockey coach Tim Coghlin, the 2011 Division III Men’s Hockey Coach of the Year at St. Norbert College in Wisconsin, to tell us about exercises and technique tweaks that’ll help turn you into an offensive menace.
“Strengthening muscle in the right places is a must for a strong slap shot,” Coghlin says. His exercises will strengthen your legs, shoulders, arms, and most importantly, core muscles — and then his technique suggestions will help you utilize your newfound power.
Woodchoppers are an excellent way to elevate your slap shot power because “they target the core muscles, which are vital to the transfer of power from the lower body to the upper body and into the puck,” Coghlin notes. Use a medicine ball, dumbbell, or cable attachment to execute the exercise.
How to do it:
• Stand upright holding the weight above and beside your ear with both hands
• Make a swift but controlled chopping motion by moving the weight from the starting position across your body diagonally, ending near the opposite knee
• Finish the repetition by returning the weight to the starting position by reversing the motion
• Do 3 sets of 10 on each side.