Goalie Training Pro TV: Ep 2 – How goalies should warm up

All right, welcome to episode two of Goalie Training Pro TV!

So this episode is all about pre-ice warmup, and what you should go through. On Instagram on Monday for my Mobility Monday, I posted a really, really quick like, “This is the bare minimum that you should do before you get on the ice,” and so then for you guys on Goalie Training Pro TV today, I’m going to give you the full version of, you know, “These are the steps you should go through. This is what it should include,” and then you’ll know.


It will help you out to watch the visual on this episode because I demonstrate a lot of what I’m talking about.
If the video here isn’t working for some weird reason, just click here >> https://youtu.be/IldGRuyYasE

It is super important because if you ever feel like it takes you 3, 5, 10 minutes to get in the rhythm of the game or if you find you’re often getting scored on in the first five to 10 minutes, probably a huge part of that is that you’re just not warmed up, and it’s not even just that you feel warm and you feel like, “No, I feel good. I feel ready.” It’s that there are chemical processes that have to take place at the cellular level, at the muscular level to make your muscles work efficiently, and to get these energy substrates circulating in your blood so that when you use energy, there’s more energy there to replenish it.

Those have to be primed! It’s like a formula in race car. Those guys don’t just like go out into the garage, and turn the key, and then like, “Rrrr,” race in a Formula One. Like the tires have little like cozies on them that keep them warm so they have good traction. The engines are running, and are tuned, and is ready to go. Even the driver, they’re hydrated. They’re warmed up. They’re ready to go.

You are a Formula One race car so you need that warmup. We look at ways, “Oh, how can I enhance my performance? Should I take protein powder? Should I drink Gatorade?” Do your proper warmup. There’s performance enhancement right there. Guaranteed. Proven. Here we go.

So let’s walk through the steps as we go.

You should start with some kind of self-myofascial release. What I carry in my hockey bag is a lacrosse ball because it’s so easy. It’s small, and it gets in there. You can really get it in there. But you could also use something like a stick. This is we’ll use to give ourselves massage. Look, whatever you use, foam roller, the stick, like just don’t go too fast and rip around all over. It’s like if you went to get a massage from a massage therapist and they were all over the place , you’re going to be like, “Uh, this isn’t really what I’m looking for.” Think of it just like that, like you’re your own massage therapist.

The areas you’re going to get, you’re going to get your gluts, all areas of your gluts. You’re going to get your hip flexors, which doesn’t really feel very nice. It looks a little weird. You’re going to get your iliacus so on the inside of your hipbone, just inside your pelvis there.

You’re going to get your lats, so up on the backside of your armpit because those muscles come up from mid and low back, and then underneath our arm. When they’re tight, they pull us forward. When they’re tight, they’re in a position to almost pull you here. Well, if part of what I want to do is stay nice and tall in the net, and takeaway a lot of space, and be able to use my arms, I don’t want to start slouched over.

You work on your calves. You can also get your adductors, and it’s a little bit harder to do just with the ball. Sometimes, what we’ll do is put the ball up on like a table or a bench, and then you can get in there a little better. Really, just because as I go up my leg, my knee will hit the ground, and then I can’t get in there.

We also can do the fronts of our shins. Not on the shin bone but on the tibialis anterior, the muscle right behind. You could get into your quads a little bit. You could get on your TFL, but again, if we’re just going to pick like five areas, we’ll go gluts, hip flexors, iliacus, lats, and calves. Calves are super important. You’re going to say, “Why not my groins?” You can do your groins. I will probably do my calves over that because getting your calves, getting your ankles so that it can flex like dorsiflex is what lets you get in that good, balanced ready position.

Then, you would do a little static stretch circuit, so just holding 30 seconds of each exercise. Again, there are a million things we could do, and you might specifically have some injuries that … It’s like, “Well, but I have to stretch my pecs before I play every time or else, then I have a sore shoulder or something.” We’re not giving specific advice for injuries. It’s just, “Hey, these are some of the areas you’ll want to cover.”

So, adductors? Yeah. I think you should stretch your adductors. A lot of times, if it’s a pre-game, we’ll do some version of a dynamic stretch like maybe just holding in three different positions. So like getting a rotation here for 15, straight here for 15, straight to the side for 15. You can also do a kneeling. You can do a tall kneeling. Lots of versions. Some kind of a glute stretch, a figure four, or an elevated glut stretch.

Again, coming back to dorsiflexion, so watching my ankles. Making it so that I’m getting good, deep flexion here at my ankles. When I’m in my ready position, I’m balanced over my skate. If I don’t have my dorsiflexion, then what happens is my butt gets thrown back and my chest has to come forward to keep me balanced, which isn’t the position that you want at all. I’d say of everything, the ankles are the most overlooked element of your mobility in general and in your pre-ice warmup.

Then, we would do hamstring, so a standing hamstring, supine hamstring. If you have a little strap, you can put that around your foot and do supine. BUT THE KEY with this is straight knee, and leg nice and straight, and a straight back. Please, for the love of Martin Brodeur, do NOT do a standing hamstring stretch, and then round your back and reach for your toes.

Doing a seated hamstring stretch with your back rounded isn’t stretching your hamstring. And maybe you even feel it stretching in your hamstrings, but really, what’s doing most of the stretching is your back. If you want to do a seated hamstring stretch (I don’t personally think it’s the best way to go) but if you do, you just have to get up nice and tall, and then just pivot forward from your chest to feel that stretch.

And then, hip flexors! Make sure too when you do your hip flexors like if you’re doing your hip flexors and you’re pushing too far forward, again, you’re stretching your back into extension, not hip flexor. Your thigh that is kneeling should be straight down or slightly back, and then you’re going to tuck your bum underneath to feel it in the front of your hips. Or you can do a hip flexor, foot on the wall, which then will get a little bit more rectus femoris in the front of your thigh.

Again, those are certain if I was going to pick just five areas because I know that a lot of you don’t have like, “Okay. Here’s a great warmup. It’s going to take you 45 minutes to do.” It’s like, “I don’t have 45 minutes. I just have like 10 or 15.”

So, self-myofascial release and then static stretch circuit about 30 seconds on each side. If we’re going to do five areas, it would be adductors, gluts, dorsiflexion, hamstrings, and hip flexors.

And we’ve also done like a little circle check of our body like, “How does that feel today? Does that feel tight? My right side is tight, but not my left side. It’s tight. It’s not normally tight. Maybe I need to give it a little more attention.” You can see how it gives you a lot of information before you even get on the ice.

Then, the next thing would be the dynamic warmup, and you would do about four of each of these. You can do the traveling out in the hall, outside the dressing room, or you can just do it on the spot in the locker room. It’s totally fine, but you do like single-plane movements to start with.

For example, that would be things like walking quad stretch, walking knee hug, leg cradle, hamstring, those kind of things. So you would do … yeah, I think that would be a good selection. Quad, something for the hip, and something for the hamstrings in that straight line plane of movement. So, that would be a sort of a sagittal plane.

Then, you would go frontal plane, which would be some sort of down and back type of motion, and then you would go multi-plane, which would be something that combined. Like a sagittal plane movement, but now I’m going to add in rotation to it. We want different ways that we can work and challenge our body to move in different planes just the way we’re going to do on the ice.

That would be our dynamic warmup. Again, about four of each. We’re going to do some just in the straight sagittal plane like quad, hamstring, glut. We’ll do some in the frontal plane. That will help our groins. We’ll do some multi-plane. That might be like a hip extension, and then into a rotation to tie in that link from our hip flexor up through our abdominal obliques.

Might be a frontal plane movement with a rotation, again, to go from our adductors right up through our obliques to work that pattern. Because a lot of times, when you see a goalie tear out their groin, their leg is out and then they’ve reached for a puck, and they’ve torn their groin. When really, the groin was okay , but now, when I add that extra tension through the chain, we have a weak link and boom.

Then, you would go to some rapid activation, so that could just be as simple as like quickstep lateral hop. Thinking about, “Okay. Where should I be? What are my hands doing?” We want it to be like … Okay, so we’re going to move quickly with purpose, come back, and close up, and not leave big gaps. That will get your muscles firing a little quickly.

I’m using some specific movement patterns, but not trying to mimic like backside recovery or something like that. We’re not going to be trying to be sliding around on the floor of the dressing room.

And then, right at the very end, you would add in a little bit of hand-eye coordination.

Again, my preference if you’re going to do some juggling is to do it overhand because most of your catching is up there. I mean, yeah, sometimes you’ll get handcuffed, but not too much as under hand, so I’d rather it be up. And practice most of your catching with your glove hand. You can still catch in your other hand, but it’s your glove hand that we need to worry about.

So do work on the side that doesn’t feel as good, that isn’t as easy, but also, if it’s before a game or a practice, pick the drills that you are good at. Don’t pick that time to like, “I think I’ll get a reaction ball, and I’ll close my eyes, and use strobe glasses, and something that is just going to suck,” and then you’re going to go on the ice thinking, “Oh, I’m a little off.”

Pick something that you know how to do it, so you might throw with your right, catch with your left. Practice that good habit. Follow it right into your hand. Try to read the markings on the lacrosse ball or pick up whether it’s this side or this side so that you’re actually trying to focus on the ball, but you would only do that for like a minute or so.

So, let’s recap!

Self-myofascial release, a little static stretch circuit. Both five exercises, so combine those things. It will take you 8 to 10 minutes. Then, you’re going to do a little dynamic warmup, four on each side of about, again, five or six different exercises. That will take you about 3 minutes, and then you’re going to finish with some rapid activation, which will be some sort of quick movement to get your muscles firing quickly using different patterns. (Even at the end of that, it’d only be like a 10 to 15-second duration of maybe two drills, but you’re a little bit like, “Okay. I’m breathing a little harder than normal.” Not like crazy but just breathing a little bit harder).

Then, you’re going to go into a little bit of hand-eye just for like 30 seconds or a minute. Then, you’ll have a sip of water. We usually don’t drink Gatorade or a sugar-containing drink before we go on the ice because it will actually stimulate our insulin response and tell our body to take up sugar and store it in our cells. Then we get on the ice and just like I talked about in the beginning, part of this warmup is to get energy substrates flowing in our blood so that we have them easily at our disposal to make more energy molecules to fuel our work on the ice.

So just have some sips of water, and then take your time getting dressed. Even while you’re getting dressed, think of the one or two technical things, very simple technical things that you’re going to focus on or what your mantra is going to be for that game.

It might be like, “Find the puck. Stay low,” or, “Square on the puck.” If you often make the mistake of squaring up to the shooter, which I do like I catch myself doing it a lot. “Square to the puck. Square to the puck. Square to the puck,” and just have that so that you know what you’re going to focus on to set you up for success.

That’s pretty much it, gang!

For London, Ontario area goalies, I’m trying to put together an eight-week master class. There will be four in-person sessions here at Revolution Conditioning that I will personally coach. Then there will be eight weeks of online training. If you’re in the London area, you can hit me up for the details on that.

Okay, gang. Thanks for joining me for episode two. Goalie Training Pro TV. We’ll be back next Wednesday with episode three.

If you have any ideas for topics, just put it in the comments below. I’ve got lots of ideas, but I want to make sure I’m covering what you want to know. My plan is starting next week, although if one of you guys has an awesome suggestion, I’ll change it, but my plan is to do a full bottoms-up episode or a series, so we would start talking about the ankle and how the ankle impacts goalie performance on the ice, ankle injuries, how to overcome them, how to prevent them. All that stuff. That’s the plan of attack, but things can change.

Thanks so much for joining me, I’ll catch you next time. Cheers!