GTL Live Q&A – #1 Off-Ice Training Questions

What’s up? On my Goalie Training Lab Facebook group I asked you guys what your number one off-ice training questions were, and you guys had a lot of questions, so I’m trying to plow my way through and do a couple at a time. I do a couple every week on the Facebook Live Q&A that I do over on the Goalie Training Pro website. Here are the next couple.

If you can’t see the above video, you can also watch it here:

This is from my friend Jeff. So, “46 year old goalie. Minimum flexibility, mobility, and core strength. Which would I try to fix first? In other words, which is most important?”

Probably what’s most important is the one that’s the worst. Like, the less flexible you are, really the more stable you are. A joint that won’t even move is actually quite a stable joint, but it’s not really functional, so then in that case I would work the flexibility in that joint to try to loosen it up a little bit, but really, too, if you’re kind of working mobility, which is flexibility plus control, and strength through the range of motion, and strength through those lengthened positions, then you’re kind of addressing both.

In terms of the core strength, again, we want it to be functional. My best advice would be start with some mobility training first, so that will give you a little more range, and more control through that range of motion. Then you’re gonna start doing just a good, functional style training program where even just the exercise where you’re making your legs and your upper body stronger is challenging your core.

So then that’s really how you’re getting your core training. Because in real life, or in sport, that’s really how we use our torso. It’s not that we put ourselves in positions where we really have to stabilize with our torso that much. It’s more like, “Okay, I’m on my feet, I’m using my hips, and then I have to rotate, or I have to pass the puck, or somebody’s sticking their bum in my face and I have to push them away.” You know how it is, so that is my advice for you, Jeff.

This is from Snorri. “What’s my opinion on doing exercise with my ligaments in a wrong angle? For example, side steps but turning feet in, or out, or ankles in or out, and more out, or back steps with turning my ankles, or crossing my legs? Would this benefit my mobility and/or stretch my ligaments?”

Really, we don’t really want to stretch ligaments because they’re really what hold our joints together, so we don’t want … Let’s say you just pick like our MCL, or like our medial collateral ligament in our knee, or our lateral collateral ligament in our knee. They’re the ligaments on the sides of our knee that basically stop our knee from bending a certain way in the frontal plane.

Our knee isn’t supposed to bend some ways in the frontal plane. That is like a recipe for dislocation. Our knee is designed to bend back and forth, but it is in no way designed to bend sideways.

So if we go about trying to stretch those ligaments so that our knee can go sideways, really what we’re doing is making it so that we have a laxity in that joint, and that probably even when we walk … You see some people that are bowlegged, and this just happens over time, we’ll get sort of what’s called a lateral thrust, which means the joint is moving sideways a little bit.

What happens there is that one of the compartments of your knee, so visualize the top of your tibia, so there’s your thigh bone, there is your shin bone, there’s a medial and a lateral sort of portion of the tibial plateau where your joint is.

Well, if I’m wiggling sideways, that means I’m shifting my weight-bearing axis onto one of the compartments, and actually putting a lot more load through that compartment, so wearing it down faster, and probably, well, definitely speeding my way to osteoarthritis, and potentially a knee replacement. We don’t really want to do things to stretch our ligaments.

“I tend to experience some lower back strain from on-ice workouts and games, probably from being too deep in my stance in the crease. Are there any off-ice exercises you would recommend to focus on lower back strengthening, or possibly some other solution?”

This is a good question. My guess is, and my guess is you probably don’t realize you do it, and it probably doesn’t feel like you do it, so look at some videos. My guess is that when you’re in your stance, instead of sort of bending your knees a little bit to get low, my guess is that you keep your knees a little bit straighter and then get low by bending further forward at your hips. Because it feels like you’re doing the right thing, because you’re like, “I’m low on my stance,” because your eyes are closer to the ice, but you’re getting there the wrong way.

For two reasons. One is you’re putting a lot of load on your low back, and it’s gonna fatigue just like you’re feeling, but the other one is without bending your knees your legs aren’t loaded, and you’re not gonna be explosive moving side to side. You’re gonna be slower, and putting strain on your back that doesn’t really help.

Instead of trying to strengthen your back because of that technical habit, fix the technical habit. It’s like, have you ever had a car where the steering wheel is crooked, but you’re going straight? Well, we could just, I suppose, unbolt the steering wheel and go like that, and then be like, “Oh, good,” but still, it’s like that because something is out of alignment, so we need to fix the underlying issue.

Let’s do one more. “Should I do off-ice training the same day I play a game of shinny? I’m using Rapid Response Blade Training 2.0 and play once a week. Thanks, Maria. P.S., the program’s great.”

You know what, if you’re only playing once a week, I would probably not do the workout on that day, because you’re gonna get a great stamina workout playing shinny. If, for some reason, scheduling-wise that’s one of the only days I have to do my workout, then I would probably do it after the shinny. Whatever is the premium workout for you of the day, which, I’m guessing, is how you play shinny. You don’t want to show up tired and fatigued in your muscles, so I would do shinny first and then do the workout after if I had to, but ideally I wouldn’t do it on the same day.

Okay gang. I think that’s all we have time for today, but  I will catch you later.