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Revolution Conditioning Training Tips

Revolution Conditioning Training Tips

3 Ways to Improve Your Hip Flexibility

Regular InGoal Columnist Maria Mountain is an expert trainer of hockey players, including Stanley Cup Champions. Learn more about working with her at www.hockeytrainingpro.com

That you have never seen before…

Flexible Goalie Splits

Bridgeport Sound Tigers Goalie Joel Martin is one flexible goalie! Photo by Scott Slingsby

 

I don’t need to convince you that flexible hips are an asset for any goalie, but in my experience, I see a lot of goalies spending their time trying to get into the splits. Often they are frustrated because they spend hours (okay, maybe just minutes) trying to get into the splits day after day, yet they see little improvement.

I think this comes back to the way many athletes view muscles – they think of muscles as working independently, rather than thinking of the muscles working together as a system. So your inability to get into the splits may actually have something to do with tightness in your abdominal obliques.

The other issue is that most athletes are still ignoring their connective tissue – heck I think there are still lots of trainers out there who do not include connective tissue work yet. Without getting all ‘anatomy geek’ on you, here is the quick version of how connective tissue can impede your quest toward more flexible hips.

Every single muscle fibre, bundle of muscle fibres and complete muscle is surrounded by a fibrous connective tissue called fascia. There are some folks much smarter than I, who theorize that this fascia is not just an inert tissue that bundles the muscle together, but rather it interacts with the muscle and gives the body sensory input – – okay I am getting a little geeky now. Anyway, for our purposes today we will just remember that the fibrous fascia can adhere to the underlying muscle fibre and limit the flexibility of that tissue. Simply stretching the muscle will not get rid of those adhesions, you must do some myofascial release to get those two tissues gliding past one another.

I put together a video showing you a few ways that you can boost your hip flexibility that perhaps you have not considered before. Make sure you definitely try the foam rolling exercises at the very least.

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.

6 Comments

  1. Goalie Training

    That was a great article ! I agree that flexible hips are an asset for any goalie. I have recently joined a Goalie Training School and they make us do similar exercises. I really like the teaching techniques in this school. But i’ll definitely try out your methods.

  2. Goalie Crease Network

    Maria, good work as always. You’re a busy girl these days doing all this stuff for all the sites.

  3. Michael

    Thanks! I was focusing just on the leg stretching before I saw this article.

  4. Matt

    There’s more than just theory that the fascia interacts with muscles and provides sensory input. It’s been shown to be innervated by all kinds of mechanoreceptors that affect blood flow and resting tension in muscles. Fascia’s also been shown in laboratory experiments to have contractile elements that allow it to affect how a muscle lengthens! Geek out! 🙂

  5. Maria Mountain

    Great input on the fascia Matt. Ever been to a Tom Myers course? You should definitely check him out – a fascia genius!!
    Cheers,
    Maria