When competing in ice hockey, athletes use nearly every major muscle group, according to Business Insider. When developing a training plan, players should focus on thighs, hip flexors and core muscles.
Hockey players must have strong quadriceps, hamstrings and hip flexors to balance on skates while making abrupt turns and stops and demonstrating explosive speed, states Business Insider. The Hospital for Specialty Surgery emphasizes the importance of a strong core to increase a player's balance and speed. Core muscles include the abdominals, obliques, hips and lower back muscles. Players must also develop arm and shoulder strength to handle the hockey stick accurately while playing.