3 NEW Core Exercises For Any Goalie

I used ‘the Twitter’ last week to ask what you needed. What areas of the body did you want a new exercise for?

You answered loud and clear >> THE CORE was your answer.

So, here is not one…not two… but THREE core exercises to help any hockey player.

But first – let’s set the ground rules; what are we talking about when we say “core training”?

What is it anyway?

The term “core” is a bit of a catch-all.

In fact, a few years ago I refused to use the term because it wasn’t anatomically specific enough. Then I came down off my high horse and gained an appreciation for the connotation.

After-all when someone says “leg exercise”, I have a good idea what they mean without them defining the exact anatomical structures they are looking to train.

I think most of us understand that when someone says “core training” they are often looking for exercises to give them ripped abs (you know it’s true) and I will give you one of those – but let’s expand it to include all the real estate from your arm-pits to just above your knees – this way we include the hips – because the muscles of your torso, very rarely (if ever) work in isolation when you are on the ice.

Exercise #1 – Eccentric Roll Out

This one will get those 6-pack muscles working. Make sure you only go as far as you can without losing your neutral back position (resist the temptation to round your back) and without feeling any strain in your lower back.

This should only be in your abs (and maybe your shoulders) – if you are feeling it in your back, you are trying to go farther than you can stabilize.

Start with 4 reps – lowering for a count of 5.

Exercise #2 – MB Overhead Hand-To-Hand

If you have ever used the Russian Twist (and if you still do – “STOP”), this exercise works pretty much the same abdominal muscles, but in a way that does not put as much strain on your spine.

Remember you must sit up tall – even though you are leaning back slightly, you want your back in a neutral position – not rounded.

Start with a 4-6lbs Med Ball and do 10 passes each way.

Exercise #3 – Low Pallof IsoHold

This one highlights the integration of the hips and the torso. I like how it also builds stamina in your legs, teaching you to stay low on the ice.

Start with a 30s hold each way – use a moderate load; you are not trying to go as heavy as possible with this one.

So there are three new core exercises for you. Don’t do them all in the same workout; rotate through them – one each off-ice training session.

Notice the absence of crunches? I haven’t given an athlete crunches since at least 2009.


Well, because they don’t teach you to stabilize or transfer force the way your torso actually needs to on the ice and they increase your risk of herniated discs in your lower back, which are no fun at all and a very serious injury.

So if you currently use crunches, do me a favour and stop – replace them with these for the next 4-weeks and feel the difference on the ice


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