Training outside the box: Carter Hutton’s goalie water workout
If you’ve been reading the InGoal series* of articles with St. Louis Blues goaltender Carter Hutton, you are getting a good idea of what a great human being lives behind the mask. Part of my job is to help Carter come back to the ice a more mobile, quicker and more durable version of himself each season.
Carter and I do all the same stuff I preach to you about here on InGoal. We prioritize mobility, then build solid functional strength (the way a goalie needs it), then we help him apply that force as quickly as possible, that’s where the speed comes from.
We build speed in all planes, including vertical speed for getting into and out of his butterfly quickly and his stamina training looks nothing like a run on the treadmill or a ride on the bike. It’s multidirectional with stops, starts, read and react elements.
That is the “normal” stuff but here’s something Carter does that is different: He trains in the water.
Like a lot of us, he likes to get away to the lake for weekends in the summer, it makes for a great mental break, but it is pretty far from the gym, so I created some water workouts so he could get in a nice workout on the weekend, but not feel like he was at the gym.
I actually love training in the water for goalies because you can adjust the depth of the water to vary the speed and the resistance for each movement. When you train in the water, your muscles experience a variable resistance, the faster you move your body segment, the more resistance it experiences.
The water let’s Carter move in any plane using any movement pattern, he can also be maximally explosive without the same landing impact to his hips, knees and ankles that he would experience on land, because the buoyancy provided the water absorbs much of the force.
This let’s us work really goalie-specific movement patterns with a good dose of resistance but not much jarring wear and tear. Here are a few of the moves we used last summer (sorry, no video of these):
Low Power Push
Kneel in water that is just above your belly button. Pick up your RIGHT leg and push laterally (like a half butterfly push). The key is to stay low in the legs and get a full push each way.
Stand in water at about belly-button level, then get low in your legs and shuffle to your right for 10 pushes as hard and as fast as you can go; shuffle 10 pushes back to where you started. Then step into water that is just below hip depth (top of thighs) and repeat with the decreased resistance.
Standing Lateral Hip Circle
Stand in water that is waist/belly button height. Stand on one leg and abduct the other out to your side – do not go as high as you can, only about 75 percent of that height. Make circles about the size of the bottom of a pop can, but go quickly. Try to keep your torso stable.
Use a flutter board or boogie board to float your upper body and then do frog kicks with your legs try to get a full range of motion and exert force driving the legs out and together. Maintain a stable torso and pull evenly with both legs.
You can quickly see how we are able work the big moving muscles, but also really target the stabilizers building both their strength and stamina, which is key to building durable hips.
What you might not appreciate until you try some of these drills is how much core stabilization is required to provide a solid foundation for your leg movements.
Something to try the next time you are at the lake or pool.
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, including Hutton, AHL, CHL, CIS and more.
Maria also has a NEW version of her FREE 14-Day Flexibility program for goalies that anyone can try for free by clicking HERE!