In hockey, as in many other sports, players are exposed to both aerobic and anaerobic loads. Let’s take a look at both types of exercise and their role in hockey:
- Aerobic Exercise: Aerobic exercise is prolonged, moderate-intensity exercise in which the body is able to supply the muscles with enough oxygen to do the work. In hockey, aerobic loads include skating on the ice for the entire game and endurance containment for long periods. They help players maintain endurance and efficiency throughout the game.
- Anaerobic Exercise: Anaerobic exercise is high-intensity, high-intensity exercise in which the muscles do not have enough oxygen to do the work and begin to utilise the glycogen stores in the muscles. In ice hockey, anaerobic loads are seen, for example, in sprints to the puck, scrums with opponents, fast sprints and sharp turns. These require a rapid expenditure of energy and can lead to muscle fatigue.
Hockey is a fast and dynamic sport that requires both high aerobic endurance and the ability to perform intense anaerobic activities for short periods of time. Training programmes for hockey players typically include a combination of aerobic exercise, such as skating and long jogs, with anaerobic exercise, including sprints and strength training, to ensure players are comprehensively developed and ready to play.