Acta Gymnica - Ahead of Print

Acta Gymnica X:X | 10.5507/ag.2017.007

Upper body strength and power are associated with shot speed in men's ice hockey

Juraj Bežák, Vladimír Přidal
Faculty of Physical Education and Sports, Comenius University in Bratislava, Bratislava, Slovakia

Background: Recent studies that addressed shot speed in ice hockey have focused on the relationship between shot speed and variables such as a player's skills or hockey stick construction and its properties. There has been a lack of evidence that considers the relationship between shot speed and player strength, particularly in players at the same skill level.

Objective: The aim of this study was to identify the relationship between maximal puck velocity of two shot types (the wrist shot and the slap shot) and players' upper body strength and power.

Methods: Twenty male professional and semi-professional ice hockey players (mean age 23.3 ± 2.4 years) participated in this study. The puck velocity was measured in five trials of the wrist shot and five trials of the slap shot performed by every subject. All of the shots were performed on ice in a stationary position 11.6 meters in front of an electronic device that measures the speed of the puck. The selected strength and power variables were: muscle power in concentric contraction in the countermovement bench press with 40 kg and 50 kg measured with the FiTRODyne Premium device; bench press one-repetition maximum; and grip strength measured by digital hand dynamometer.

Results: The correlations between strength/power variables and the puck velocity in the wrist shot and the slap shot ranged between .29-.72 and .16-.62, respectively. Puck velocities produced by wrist shots showed significant correlations with bench press muscle power with 40 kg (p = .004) and 50 kg (p < .001); and one-repetition maximum in bench press (p = .004). The slap shot puck velocity was significantly associated with bench press muscle power with 40 kg (p = .014) and 50 kg (p = .004).

Conclusions: This study provides evidence that there are significant associations between shot speed and upper body strength and power.

Keywords: wrist shot, slap shot, muscle power, bench press, grip strength

Received: October 13, 2016; Accepted: February 19, 2017; Prepublished online: April 12, 2017

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