This is an excerpt from Complete Conditioning for Hockey by Ryan van Asten.
None (bodyweight only) or dumbbells or barbell, squat rack for barbell loading, single-leg squat stand or bench and pad for rear foot–elevated split squat
The split squat, a single-leg squat variation, is essential for strength development in a sport in which a large portion of the game is spent on one leg.
Assume a split stance position with the back of your front foot approximately 3 feet (1 m) away from the front of your back foot, but maintain a stance approximately shoulder-width apart. If you are loading with dumbbells, hold them at your sides. If you are loading with a barbell, set the bar up in a squat rack at the appropriate height. Stand close to the bar with feet shoulder-width apart, and place your hands on the bar at an equal distance from the center, just outside of shoulder width. Set your body under the bar, and pull your shoulder blades together, creating a ledge on your upper back for the barbell. Lift the bar from the rack, and assume the split position. Brace your core to prevent movement of the spine throughout the movement.
Lower your back knee to the ground. Be sure not to hit your knee off the ground. Maintain an athletic position at the bottom with a positive shin angle (figure 5.30), with most of the load received by the front leg. Finish the movement by returning to the starting position. Repeat this sequence on the opposite leg.
A common issue is when the front knee collapses to the middle (valgus). Be sure to drive the front knee laterally.
Another common error is when the torso flexes forward. Be sure to maintain proper core engagement and, if necessary, decrease the external load.
Progressions and Variations
Reverse Lunge to Hip Lock
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Elevate the moving leg into the hip locked position (flexed hip above 90 degrees of flexion). Step back approximately 3 feet (1 m) with the moving leg. Lower your back knee to the ground; be sure not to hit your knee on the ground. Like the split squat, assume an athletic position at the bottom with a positive shin angle, with most of the load received by the front leg. Reverse the movement, bringing the swing leg up to the hip locked position (figure 5.31). Elongate at the top position by engaging the stance leg’s glute muscles and core musculature. Once all repetitions are completed, switch legs.
Rear Foot–Elevated Split Squat
Assume the split stance position similar to the split squat; however, your back foot will be elevated. Lower your back knee to a pad (figure 5.32). Finish the movement by returning to the starting position. Once all repetitions are completed, switch legs.