Carey Rie looking down ice close up

5 Damn Things to Improve Goalie Hip Health

by | Jul 14, 2023

James Wendland is a manual osteopathic therapist and kinesiologist with a master’s degree in exercise/respiratory physiology, a bachelor’s degree in human kinetics/kinesiology, a diploma in manual osteopathy and a strong focus on how the body works and commitment to making it work better.

Wendland has over 20 years of experience working with elite athletes in several sports, currently teaches human kinetics and kinesiology at universities and colleges in British Columbia, and also runs his own gym and clinic in Kelowna, where the client list includes James Reimer and Kristen Campbell.

“Working with James has been a total game changer for me. My body has never felt better! Our weekly sessions ensure my body is in alignment and my tissues/ joints are working optimally so I can perform on and off the ice. He is incredibly knowledgeable and I have learned so much about how I can personally enhance my recovery strategies off the ice. He has added various exercises into my routine to help me address my weaknesses. I have never seen the direct effects of a treatment translate to the ice before meeting James.”

Kristen Campbell

Canadian Women's National Team

So, when InGoal witnessed Wendland quickly and dramatically improve the functional range of hip motion for the goalies he works with, we wanted to share some of his secrets, and he was happy to oblige by walking us through five exercises designed to increase the internal rotation that goalies create and rely on every time they drop into, or move from, the butterfly.

Wendland called this quick-and-easy series of exercises “5 Damn Things,” adding the emphasis because it’s important for goalies to do them regularly to maintain good hip health.

“James has really helped keep my hips in line, which is integral for a goalie. His quick hip reset has really helped me perform at a high level on and off the ice.”

James Reimer

Detroit Red Wings

“Daily. Before ice. Nightly. The neutral sacrum/pelvis takes regular work multiples times a day as the sport and demands of goaltending causes so much anterior tension. It’s a must do. Daily. Repeatedly,” Wendland said. “5 damn things are designed to address the muscle groups that tension the hip socket, thus preventing the ability to internally rotate. When the glutes and hamstrings are tight, they suck the head of the femur superior and posterior into the acetabulum. The piriformis kicks in and then pushes the head of the femur into the anterior surface of the acetabulum. This means zero internal rotation, zero comfort in butterfly, and massive risk of impaction for the hip socket leading to pincer/cam lesions and labral issues.”

This five-exercise series is designed to be done bilaterally, meaning do all five on one side in order before switching to focus on the other side. All you need is a towel and yoga block.

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