Being quick and agile from your butterfly is a make or break ingredient for you. It’s part strength, part power, part skill. Today I’m going to give you three exercises that work on all of those elements, and you’re really going to feel an improvement on the ice. It’s even going to help even out your strong side and your weak side. We all have one. So, that’s what I’ve got for you today.
This is another one that will help to watch the video so check it out on YouTube here >> https://youtu.be/Nu5O2iNvl_U
As soon as you see these drills, you’ll immediately recognize how that’s going to translate to help you on the ice.
Even better, once you take the time and effort to do the drills, you’re going to feel in your muscles exactly how they’re going to translate onto the ice. Because they’re going to be the same kind of thing that you feel limits you on the ice, are going to be those muscles that fatigue when you do these drills off the ice.
When I study movement in goalies to come up with these off-ice exercises, I don’t just sort of check my Instagram feed and be like, “That looks cool.” I actually think about them.
When I think about these movements, crease movements from the butterfly, I really picture Carey Price as the gold standard, because he does such a good job of keeping a neutral pelvis, and I think that’s what helps him move as fluidly and look as relaxed as he does.
What I do is, I study Carey’s movements, and then I apply the biomechanics and the anatomy and the physiology to it and come up with these three drills that I have for you right now.
I like this first exercise for a lot of reasons. I have Carson in the gym helping me with these exercises again. Number one, he’s going to start sort of in his half-kneeling, one leg extended position, so he gets a chance to keep his hips really tall. He’s not sitting his bum back as he does this. He’s stacked over that knee, which is exactly where we want him.
Then I just have a towel and a ten-pound plate on top of the towel under his foot that is extended out. Again, resist the temptation to make it like, I’m going to do it with a 45. It’s not meant to be that.
What I’d like, we also do a version that’s similar with a bungee… but what I like about this version is, he has to push down a little bit into the floor, into the towel. Otherwise, his foot’s going to just slide right off, which is what you have to do, too. You can’t just brush your skate along the ice. You have to push down, get that edge, hold that edge as you drive.
The other thing I like about it is, it’s not just the lateral drive, so he’s using the muscles on the outside of his hip. But then he also has to pull it back up using the muscles on the inside of the hip and the groin.
I think sometimes we spend too much time working on the powerhouse and not enough time working on the antagonist muscle group.
As he does this for us and I explain it in a second, you’re going to see, he needs to keep a really, really stable torso. He’s not going to fold at his hips at all. He’s also going to think about recovering this leg by bringing his knee up and in. So it’s going to be sort of a knee focus. And I’ll explain the option, what we don’t want him to do in a second.
So he brings his knee up in towards his body, bringing the plate under his foot in too. You can see at the finish position, his knee is pointing straight ahead. He’s setting himself up into a really good pushing position, and he’s got some force down on the plate.
Now, here’s what some people do by habit or just naturally feels like what they should do. They push their knee up, and then kind of swoop in by internally rotating the hip. This is a lot of stress on the inside of the knee.
You can probably feel, it’s a little bit of torque on the inside of the knee. Plus it just isn’t an efficient position or an efficient way to recover if you’re moving on the ice. Make sure you think about drawing that knee kind of straight up on an angle, to your ready position.
For this next one, what we’ve got on are basically just goalie knee pads underneath. We also have some roller blade knee pads that work. I think it’s best if they have a hard shell, just because it seems like it slides better. And then we just have hockey socks doubled up over top.
What he’s going to do is, he’s just going to do a half-butterfly push on the wood floor. It doesn’t have to be a wood floor. We do this on the slide board, is usually where he does it. But not all of you have a slide board, so it also works on this wood floor. We do it when we work with sort of a team or something like that. If you have linoleum, wood floor, any smooth sliding surface will do.
What he’s going to do is, get in that half-butterfly position, and then push. The goal is to get that nice recovery and then a push out to the side, but still staying really stable in your torso.
So what you will do is push yourself over, sliding on your knee, using your outside leg. Notice how when Carson does this, his shoulders stay nice and level. And it’s hard because you will hit a little … just like out in the ice, you’ll hit a rod or you’ll hit a little sticky spot, and you really have to try and work and keep that balance.
I want you to also realize there’s kind of a difference in how you can push. You can do a really big power push, which you need sometimes in a desperation type of save. But then there’s also some little quick powerful pushes, which is typically more what we’re after.
Any time you take a big huge push, you’ve just opened a big hole that then takes more time to close up again when you get where you’re going to make this save. So it does make you more vulnerable.
If you can get from here to there with a quick push, not only are you using less energy, but you’re also not making yourself so vulnerable by opening up great big holes.
So we’ll start with the big push. You can see how he’s kind of getting that full extension. And now just a couple little quicker punches. And then back again.
So the last drill I’m going to give you is just a knee recovery lateral hop. Kind of back down into your knees.
Now, don’t worry about doing your butterfly in this. It really doesn’t add a lot to the exercise, and it can actually add some wear and tear to your hips. If you want to use your knee pads when you do this one, I’m pretty delicate, so I usually like to wear my knee pads. But whatever suits you.
The key is, once I get to the other side, you’re not smashing down into your butterfly. You’re just settling back into it.
Carson’s going to come in here in a second and show us how it’s really done. But I want you think about, “Hey, where would be glove be? Where would my blocker be?” If I’m moving this way, where’s the puck? So I’m going to practice those little habits off the ice as well. If I’m moving, I’m going to come up, glide across, and then back down into my butterfly, ready for the next shot.
We’re going to have Carson show the difference too, between taking a big huge push and opening up those holes like we just talked about, versus taking a sort of more quicker impulse of a push so that we’re not opening as much holes, and we’re being a little more efficient with how we use our muscles.
It also doesn’t make good sense to do a humongous push across and then have to throw up a whole bunch of snow to stop this once we get there. If we can really just get there just as quick with a quick impulse.
So, we’ll start with thinking of blocker, glove, the puck’s over here.
Let’s start with showing that big power push, which again, sometimes you need it. So he’s in the tall kneeling position, and will do a recovery push over and onto his feet, then come back down into the kneeling position. And see how he just settles down. So you’re not smashing into the butterfly, that’s not what we’re trying to do.
You’ll notice again how he keeps his shoulders level, keeps his torso, moves with his hips. He’s not side bending away in the direction he’s trying to go.
And also, go across and then come back with just a quicker power push.
I’m going to give you a little bonus tip, too. If you’re a little shaky on your butterfly crawl, so when you’re moving on the ice with one pad down, and it just is challenging for you. You’re losing your balance, you’re tipping over, one of the best things you can do is just work on your single knee balance.
What you’re doing to do to improve this is, get into the kneeling position with one leg in front at a 90 degree and foot on the ground. Get everything stacked. Again, I’m right over my knee. My knee, hip, and shoulder in a line. I’m just going to pick up that front foot and I’m going to practice getting really comfortable balancing on my one knee. Because that’s a part of it.
We’re used to balancing from our foot. We don’t really think about it, but we have all those muscles in our lower leg and our foot and our ankle to help balance us. When we’re balancing on our knee, we really have to be very, very good at using our hip. And our hip isn’t used to having that kind of fine motor control. But as a goalie, it’s exactly what you need. It’s so important.
Even just try it right now for 30 seconds, balancing on a single knee. You’ll be surprised. You’ll be all over the place. You won’t be able to do it without putting your foot down or your hand down. Then think of how much time you spend in transition.
When I push and then recover, I have to be stable, and I have to be balanced over this knee. That’s going to be a huge one, if you don’t do it already, start doing it right away. You’ll notice within three days, an improvement on the ice.
So those are three ways to get you moving faster on the ice from your butterfly position. If in the back of your head you’re like, oh, that’s going to be awesome. I’m going to do that. But really what I need is better mobility, I just can’t move. I don’t have a wide butterfly flair, I can’t get my body in … RVH, forget about it. I’ve got something for you that we’ll look after that. It’s free, too.
It’s called The Butterfly Challenge. What I’ll do is I’ll put the link below and you can check it out. It’s a 14-day flexibility program, only takes about ten minutes a day to do, you’re going to have a wider butterfly flair and looser hips in the next two weeks.
I promise you, it actually works.
I’ll share another little secret with you. My movement in the crease from the butterfly, because I’m just figuring this stuff out and I’m not very good. It made a world of difference when I started using sliding cream on my pad. There’s a couple different brands you can get. But I actually just started out using Glide Wax. I was an old cross country ski racer, so I’ve got tons of wax in the basement. So I pulled out some Toco Yellow if you’re interested, and just put that on the sliding surfaces of my pads, and then I just kind of smoothed it in.
Again, it used to be full effort pushes for me to get from one post to the other. Once I put that sliding cream on, I know some of the new pads have that sliding skin or whatever they call it. I would do a full push and slide like, three feet out of my crease. What it did is it let me, again, be much more efficient with my movements. It took a lot of getting used to because I was way over sliding the puck. Within 20 minutes, I kind of figured out, okay this is where I’m going to end up.
So that’s a little bonus tip for you. I don’t know if you’ve ever used it. If you’ve ever used it, put a comment, let me know how you liked it. If you’re like, what is this sliding cream of which you speak? Let me know that too because I can do another video showing you exactly what it is, how I put it on, how it works.
So just leave any of that in the comments below. If you have any questions at all about off-ice training to be a better goalie and stop more pucks, leave that in the comments below. I answer each and every single one of them.
That’s it for today. See you next time.