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Three Most Effective Goalie Specific Lower Body Exercises

Three Most Effective Goalie Specific Lower Body Exercises

Maria Mountain, M.Sc.

Maria Mountain, M.Sc.

This will start a three-part series looking at the top goalie-specific strength exercises that will help maximize your performance on the ice and reduce your risk of injury. First up are lower-body exercises.

Notice I did not say the three hardest goalie specific strength exercises. That happens to be something completely different and something I am not all that interested in.

I will concede that there may be other really, really good exercises out there. Most of them will not be listed here. I will also concede that there may be some other exercises that you really, really love to do. Most of them will not be listed here.

Heck, there are exercises I love that are not going to be listed here. Remember I am just trying to find the three most effective exercises that should be in every goalie’s training repertoire, so here we go, in no particular order …

1. Single Leg Squat Off A BoxMaria Mountain Single Leg Squat off Box

I love this exercise because there is nowhere to hide. You cannot cheat without it clearly looking like you are cheating. Like ‘hey, everyone in the gym, look at me, I am cheating like crazy on this exercise because I am not strong enough to do it well.’

I love it because it trains single leg strength which I think is more important for goalies than skaters. I think more of a goalie’s success is related to their single leg strength and power.

A skater needs single leg strength as well, but their success is also dictated by their ability to hit, battle in the corners and screen the goalie – predominantly bilateral endeavours.

Not only will this exercise give you stronger more powerful legs, it also requires hip stabilization. Again, without sufficient stabilization (and it requires quite a bit), you will not be able to do the exercise as shown in the video.

If you are just starting to add this into your training program, start with a low step and work your way up or start off standing on the floor and sit your butt back to lightly tap a weight lifting bench. This will get you started.

2. Side Lying ClamshellMaria Mountain Side Lying Clamshell

This is one of those exercises that looks very, very easy, but it is actually quite difficult.

I chose it because it works muscles that help stabilize the hip, but also hip lateral rotators, which are muscles you use when you make ‘C’ cuts. So they are important, but I bet most of you have never trained them before.

With this one, go slowly, make sure your positioning is correct. If you are having trouble getting lined up, then lie with your feet, butt, shoulders and head along the wall, this will help you find the right position.

Pause for three seconds at the top and lower the leg for a count of two. Make sure you do not let your hips roll back as you lift the knee.

Finally, you should feel this one working on the outside of your butt cheek, not along the outside of your thigh. If you feel it along the thigh, shorten the arc of movement slightly, that should help.

3. Lunge Lateral to BalanceMaria Mountain Lunge Lateral to Balance

Another ‘big bang’ exercise, and by that I mean you get a lot of ‘bang’ for your buck. In this one exercise you can:

• Reduce your risk of groin strain by teaching the adductors to lengthen under tension

• Develop lateral pushing power

• Train transitional balance so you are ready for your next powerful push.

Those are some good benefits for an exercise that you can do anywhere with only your bodyweight or with a few dumbbells.

The key points for this exercise are keeping the trail leg straight as you lunge away; this is where you will get that adductor (groin) learning to lengthen under tension.

Think about sitting back in your hips as you lunge to the side and watch that your shoulders and pelvis stay level.

Push hard so you pop right back up to the starting position and finally, take your time to find your balance at the top of the movement, do not simply start the next rep because you have lost your balance.

So there you have it, my top three most effective goalie specific lower body exercises.

To see exactly how to do each one, check out the video below:

About The Author

Maria Mountain M.Sc.

Hockey strength and conditioning coach Maria Mountain, MSc specializes in off-ice training for hockey goalies. As the founder of and the owner of Revolution Sport Conditioning in London, Ontario, Maria has trained Olympic Gold medalists, a Stanley Cup Champ and athletes from MLB, NHL, AHL, CHL, CIS and more. Try Maria's Goalie Stretch Solution today.

1 Comment

  1. Shutout31

    Should these exercises be preformed before or after weighted exercises? For instance, I do barbell squats, single leg curls, and walking lunges as part of my lower body workout; should I do these exercises before or after this workout or does it matter?