Select Page

Exercises That Make You Slower And Increase Injury

Exercises That Make You Slower And Increase Injury
Maria Mountain, M.Sc.

Maria Mountain, M.Sc.

There are a few easy ways to succeed at pretty much any task:

#1 – Work on the right things, and

#2 – STOP doing the wrong things.

Over the years I have given you quite a few ways to improve the strength, power and mobility of your lower body – you can find some of them HERE.

So, the focus today is on getting you to stop doing the wrong off-ice strengthening exercises. Some of these have become staples of the goalie’s gym routine and the sooner you can banish them from your workout the better.

I am not saying these two exercises won’t make your muscles stronger and maybe even bigger, all of which great stuff as long as you are body builder.

What I am saying is they won’t make you a better goalie and will even INCREASE your risk of injury by training your body in such a non-functional way that your brain is trained to “dumb-down” your movement patterns to robotic uni-planar hinge-like patterns.

That is definitely not what you need as a goaltender.

So please, I am not saying you are a bad person if you do these exercises. Some of you absolutely love them because you can move a lot of weight with them – maybe even the whole stack on the machine. Some of you will be thinking to yourself, “but it feels good when I do it.”

There are a lot of things that feel good, but we really shouldn’t do them (I will leave it at that).

So here are the exercises I would like you to banish from your workouts – quit cold turkey:

1. The Leg Press

I could (and may) write an entire article on why goalies should not use the leg press.

For the sake of brevity, I will focus on these two words: DISC HERNIATION.

Watch anyone use this machine in the gym. Do they round their lower back a little at the bottom of the movement when their knees are up under their chin? Yes they do.

So this machine allows you to lift a lot of weight (that is why it is fun) with a flexed lumbar spine – this is how herniations happen people.

But what if you don’t round your back at all?

Number one, you probably do even though you think you don’t.

Number two, the leg press will give you stronger legs without putting any stress on your torso (core). From a functional standpoint this is a HUGE problem because in any functional position, your legs and torso need to work together. Creating an imbalance between the strength of the two segments is a recipe for disaster anywhere along the chain.

What to do instead?

Almost anything: Front Squats, Split Squats, Step Ups, Deadlifts, Single Leg Squats, Sumo Squats.

2. The Old Groin Machine

You know it, the one that only goalies and Moms use.

You sit in it open and close your legs. Goalies love the stretch they get from it and I can see that part of it.

The problem is in the positioning. Sitting on your bottom is not overly functional, even if you probably have made more than a few saves from the seat of your pants. There is also no requirement at all for stabilizing while strengthening. So while you may be developing nice strong prime movers with this machine, you are not teaching the smaller stabilizers the finesse you need to control those muscles and movements on the ice.

Think of a Formula One racer. They may stomp on the accelerator to get up to speed on the straight away, but they can’t just slam on the brakes for every corner, they need finesse on the brakes if they are going to go wide open on the throttle.

What to do instead?

Standing Cable Adduction, Kneeling Groiners, ½ Kneeling Abduction, Sumo Squats

My apologies if you love either of those exercises, but you need to take a break – now.

They are not helping you achieve your goals on the ice, there are much better ways to do that.

Happy training!

Maria-Mountain-150x150Hockey strength and conditioning coach Maria Mountain, MSc specializes in off-ice training for hockey goalies. As the founder of www.GoalieTrainingPro.com 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.

You can get a FREE 14-Day Flexibility program for goalies HERE!

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 www.GoalieTrainingPro.com 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.

2 Comments

  1. Pierre Voyer

    Is there a connection to make between those two exercices and labrum tearing in the hip area? I did get surgery in juniors and I was a big fan of both of them, working out pretty much every day probably made things worse.
    What do you think?

    Pierre

    • Maria Mountain

      This is a great question Pierre and it is tough to say for sure. If you were getting impingement in the hip at the end of range with either of those exercises, then they would very likely contribute to the wear and tear.

      However, the very same could be said by chronically impinging the hip with squats for example.

      The problem with these particular exercises (in your situation) is that you probably could load them up a lot, so potentially more wear and tear. But really it is hard to say, that could have happened if you did everything right just based on the structure of your hip.

      Cheers,
      Maria