Carey Rie looking down ice close up

5 Damn Things to Improve Goalie Feet

by | Aug 17, 2023

When we introduced James Wendland to our InGoal Premium membership a few weeks ago with “Five damn things to improve hip health (and widen your butterfly),” the feedback was overwhelmingly positive. Much like his clients James Reimer and Kristen Campbell, goalies who adopted the simple warm-up routine shared stories of almost immediate improvements.

With all that in mind, we didn’t want to wait long to go back to Wendland, 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 how to make it work better, for more insights.

The result is another ‘Five Damn Things,’ but this time with a specific focus on the foot and ankle. But before we show you the “how” video below, a quick walk through of “why” it matters.

Why should we commit additional training time to working on our feet and ankles? It’s about getting your brain to connect to the muscles of your feet, the mechanisms through which we can control the inside and outside edges of our skates and how we access them.

“Where does stability start?” Wendland asked. “Most people say the abs and my question is ‘do you walk on your stomach?’ A lot of people talk about warming up their hips, but what does your hip do on the ice? Sure, it propels you but how? What is it acting through? Your foot. If you can’t lock the tarsals out, there is no stable platform to push off. It’s an instant spring. Your foot is designed to lock tarsals out because it winds the spring, so now I am athletic.”

Campbell, a member of Canada’s National Team, noticed a difference on the ice.

“Having not done it much before, it felt like my foot was finally opened up and unlocked and before it was super rigid in my skate and they always hurt inside my skate too,” Campbell said. “I did also notice I was much lighter on my feet after opening up my feet and I was known for being heavy on my feet when I am shuffling and even pushing, but now I am really absorbing those pushes better but it’s because my foot is actually opened up now.”

We’ve got more on the “why” and how to implement it on the ice in the second video below, but first we’ll let Wendland walk you (and Campbell and Matthew Hutchison of the WHL Vancouver Giants) through his Five Damn Things for Feet and Ankles in this video:

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