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Revolution Conditioning Training Tip: Bottom Up Training – The Shoulder

Revolution Conditioning Training Tip: Bottom Up Training – The Shoulder

This is the third in a five part series. You can read Part One- The Ankle here and  Part Two – The Knee here.

When you think of dryland training for goalies, you probably think about the hips first and then the spine or ‘the core’. But remember that muscles and joints (because muscles cross joints) do not work independently; they work as a system.

Let me illustrate this. Picture yourself skating full speed from your crease to the bench on a delayed penalty call. Your legs are driving powerfully, but what are your arms doing? They are driving as well, working in opposition to your legs, so when your right foot is forward, your left arm is forward.

Now, do me a favour. The next time you are on the ice skate one length of the ice as fast as you can. Then skate another length as fast as you can without using your arms at all. Notice any difference in your speed? Absolutely.

Just like the way a dysfunction in your hips can reduce your power production, a dysfunction in your shoulder can also reduce your power and/or lead to a change in your movement mechanics which can put extra stress on your neck, mid-back or lower back, which in turn can all impact the joints further down the chain including the hip, knee and ankle. I hope you can appreciate that.

Now, what is the best thing you can do for your shoulder joint? It is the same thing that is the one best thing you can do for your spine – have good posture – sit up tall, stand up tall in the torso, do not let your shoulders slouch and round forward.

Next, you should consider the position of your blocker hand and your glove hand since both put a sustained load on the shoulders in a rotated position. Your ready position on your blocker hand brings your shoulder into internal rotation and the ready position of your glove hand brings your shoulder into external rotation. So it is important that you have full functional range of internal/external motion in the glenohumeral joint and that those muscles have sufficient muscular endurance.

You can easily work on your internal/external rotation using a simple resistance bungee. In addition to maintaining your shoulder health, strengthening the rotator cuff muscles will also improve your performance by allowing you to maintain your glove and stick position when the pucks start flying. You know when you  see a goalie make a glove save, but then his glove crosses the goal line? This probably would not happen if they had stronger shoulder muscles.

So check out the video below to see these and a few other exercises that will improve your shoulder function.

I hope you have enjoyed this Bottom Up Training series. It represents some of the basic exercises that any goalie could use to improve the functiofnality of their body. Let me know if you would like to see me repeat the series in a few months with more advanced goalie specific drills – that might be cool, eh? If you are interested, leave a comment below – if I get at least 10 of you who are interested, then I will definitely do it in a few months.

Maria Mountain is the strength and conditioning coach to Olympic, World and Stanley Cup Champions. She specializes in off ice training for hockey goalies. Visit to learn more or click here for your free copy of the Ultimate Guide to Durable and Flexible Hips for Goalies

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. Pat Roy

    Love the series! Fits right in with my pilates.

    • Maria Mountain

      Thanks – glad you like it!

  2. BeninLondon

    I am all in favour of a progression to more advanced drills. Still loving the Rapid Response Goalie Training Program; well worth the purchase.

    • Maria Mountain

      Thanks for your feedback – guess I better get busy doing the advanced series 🙂

      Glad you are loving the RRGT – thanks for letting me know.

  3. Jason Proffitt

    Love the “Bottoms up” series. Goalie-specific drills would be awesome!! Please!

    • Maria Mountain

      Thanks Jason – I will put that on my ‘to do’ list!

  4. gongshowhky29

    Hi Maria,

    You mentioned balancing out pushing and pulling exercises; typically I do one day of pushing and another day of pulling. Is this a proper balance? Or would I be better served by doing an equal amount of pushing and pulling each day?

    Thank you

    • Maria Mountain

      Depends a bit on how many days per week you train. I have most of my players lift four days per week. Two days Push/Pull and two days of Lower body. Does that make sense? I think it would be better to do 3-4 exercises of each twice per week rather than 6 exercises of each once per week.