Monday, 17 Jun 2024

Fitness Testing for Hockey

Do you aspire to be a hockey player? Like most team sports, hockey requires various components of fitness for success. Alongside skating skills, speed, power, agility, and endurance fitness play crucial roles. Here, we will explore the different fitness tests that are suitable for ice hockey players. Each physical attribute has specific tests that can be utilized. We’ll also delve into the significance of body size and composition, flexibility, strength and power, speed, anaerobic power and capacity, agility, and aerobic fitness. Let’s discover what it takes to excel in the game of hockey.

Body Size

The reach and body size of a hockey player are crucial for tackles and puck control. Tests measuring height, weight, and wingspan are essential in determining arm span or reach.

Body Composition

Excess body fat can hinder a hockey player’s ability to move freely on the ice, leading to increased fatigue. Monitoring body weight changes or using the skinfold method to measure body fat can offer valuable insights.


Good hamstring and lower back flexibility are essential for hockey players. The sit and reach test can evaluate lower back and hamstring flexibility.

Strength and Power

Strength tests, including power tests, are crucial for determining strength levels and monitoring changes during training programs. The vertical jump test measures leg power, while maximal strength tests assess specific exercises. Upper body strength endurance can be evaluated through a push-up test, and hand grip strength can also be measured.

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Maximum speed and acceleration are vital in hockey. On-ice skating speed tests or standard running sprint tests over specific distances can measure speed effectively.

Anaerobic Power and Capacity

Hockey players must possess the ability to repeat sprints at high intensity. Tests such as the Wingate test and the Yo-Yo Intermittent Recovery Test can evaluate anaerobic power and endurance capacity.


The ability to change direction quickly is crucial for hockey players. On-ice agility tests are the most accurate measure of skating agility. Off-ice tests such as the hexagon test and the Shuttle Cross Pick-Up can also assess hand-eye coordination and agility.

Aerobic Fitness

Aerobic fitness is an important component of hockey fitness. The shuttle run (beep) test is commonly used to assess aerobic capacity. There is also an on-ice version of the beep test available.


Recently, the Toronto Maple Leafs transitioned from using a bicycle-based VO2max test to an on-ice “skating efficiency test.” This innovative test measures heart rate and blood lactic acid levels. It involves skating at incrementally increasing lengths of the ice surface over timed intervals. Additionally, players sprint through a series of four laser gates to measure acceleration and power.

Related Pages

  • Fitness components for ice hockey
  • Warm Up for Hockey
  • Poll about the important fitness components for ice hockey
  • Information about specific fitness test protocols: the NHL draft combine, SPARQ testing for hockey, and Hockey Next Testing
  • Ice hockey-specific beep test
  • Women playing against men in professional ice hockey
  • Fitness testing for other sports
  • Testing for intermittent sports
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Q: What tests should I perform to measure body size in hockey?

A: To measure body size in hockey, you should consider tests that assess height, weight, and wingspan. These measurements are important for reaching out for tackles and puck control.

Q: How can flexibility be evaluated in hockey players?

A: Flexibility in hockey players can be evaluated through the sit and reach test. This test focuses on assessing lower back and hamstring flexibility.

Q: Which tests are essential for measuring strength and power in hockey players?

A: Strength and power in hockey players can be measured using various tests. The vertical jump test is effective for evaluating leg power, while maximal strength tests and push-up tests assess overall strength. Hand grip strength can also provide valuable insights.

Q: What is the most important fitness component for hockey players?

A: While all fitness components are crucial in hockey, speed on the ice is particularly important. Maximum speed and acceleration play vital roles in a player’s performance.

Q: What tests can be conducted to assess aerobic fitness in hockey players?

A: The shuttle run (beep) test is commonly used to assess aerobic fitness in hockey players. This test measures the individual’s endurance and cardiovascular capacity.


To excel in hockey, players must possess a range of fitness components, including speed, power, agility, and endurance. Body size and composition, flexibility, strength, aerobic fitness, and anaerobic capacity all play critical roles in a player’s performance. The Toronto Maple Leafs have recently adopted a skating efficiency test to measure their players’ heart rate, blood lactic acid levels, acceleration, and power. By conducting various fitness tests tailored to ice hockey, players can gauge their abilities and work on areas that need improvement. It’s time to step up your game and reach your full potential on the ice.

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