A dam Francilia, who works with some of the best goalies in the game, has kindly shared with InGoal Members a number of exercises he uses with his pro clients. One of the features we always see is a tie in between the off-ice work being done and a specific technique being taught on the ice.
Today’s exercise is the sixth in a series designed to train neuromuscular patterns to avoid counter-rotation when moving laterally on the ice. Previous articles in this series include Horse Stance Dynamic 90-degrees, single leg kneeling abduction, the supine lateral ball roll, the prone lateral ball roll, and the tube hold. Together the exercises can make up a 30-minute core workout done as part of your regular off-ice training.
If you’d like to learn more about counter-rotation, a great place to start is Carter Hart’s excellent pro-read where he calls himself out for making this common error that causes delay in movement that will also challenge your ability to remain square as you push to move laterally.
As we have noted before, this week’s exercise will look simple but as Francilia has pointed out, it’s only easy if you are doing it incorrectly. One of the major points of this series is to train neuromuscular firing patterns — which muscles contract in which order for a given movement. What your body is used to doing is not necessarily the most efficient movement on the ice when you are trying to gain access to pucks and take away space from shooters. So there is no point in doing these without focus and precision of movement. You will get stronger but you won’t train your body how to move properly as a goaltender. In fact, you’ll just reinforce doing it incorrectly. Remember: Practice doesn’t make perfect — practice makes permanent. Only perfect practice makes perfect. That goes for all your on-ice movements as well — always work smart and work with a purpose.
So as always, please watch the video through in its entirety to ensure a complete understanding of both the purpose and the technique as well as key teaching points to focus on before attempting it yourself. Francilia suggests you do 7 repetitions in each direction as part of your regular training with the counter-rotation series.
If you don’t have access to the tubes or bands used in this video they are quite affordable and a solid investment for your at-home training and they’re easy to take on the road. We’ve provided a link to the set we use after the video but there are lots of alternatives.
Please also check out some exercises from Adam Francilia that will support you in desperation mode, including the swing leg pushup and a one-arm pushup designed with goaltenders in mind. You should also try the Swiss Ball Groin Buster.
For those who missed our introduction to Francilia in earlier articles, a quick refresher: He jumped into the NHL spotlight for the off-ice transformation in 2017 that “helped propel Winnipeg Jets No. 1 Connor Hellebuyck to a Vezina Trophy nomination in 2018, but was working with goalies like James Reimer long before the NET360 camp, where we first me, started in 2015. His current client list includes more than a dozen other NHL-contracted goalies like Reimer, Devan Dubnyk, Matt Murray, Laurent Brossoit, Eric Comrie, Thomas Greiss and Troy Grosenick.
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