Goalie Training | Groin-Proofing For Hockey Goalies | GTP TV Ep 58

My mission today is groin-proof you, and if that sounds little worrisome… it is.

Not really, don’t have any reason to worry. I’m going to give you a progression of eccentric actions to help teach your groin muscles, your adductor muscles, how to lengthen under tension because that’s where you get into trouble. So let me show you exactly what I mean.


Want a visual to help you out with these exercises? Check it out on YouTube here >> https://youtu.be/G0e2fmlpHgY


I know it sounds like I have a bit of a sick mind because I actually study video of goalies injuring their groins. When a NHL goalie goes down with a groin tear in a game, I’m on YouTube watching that clip over and over again to try to figure out the mechanism and what he was doing, what happened when that injury occurred.

It isn’t very often, if ever, that the goalie just kicks his leg out and tears his groin. It’s almost always accompanied by some other movement.

So they’re pushing one way, but the player reverses, so now they lunge the other way maybe, and they reach. Or they’re kicking this way, the player reverses, now they kick that way and rotate the other way.

It’s almost always two things; rapid lengthening and usually some sort of rotation of the torso, maybe or maybe not accompanied by a reach.

So, this progression, I want to work a lot on that lengthening and then we’ll add in some reaches.

Please don’t skip ahead, feel like, “Oh, that’s too easy.”

Your body doesn’t know. You have to teach your body in steps and stages, so just be patient with it. Give yourself two to three weeks at each stage, seriously, two to three weeks at each stage. You’re not some like superhuman specimen that can just, your body adapts after one session…

Even if it feels easy. That’s beside the point. We’re trying to get this tissue to adapt and your nervous system to learn.

The first one is simply a half kneeling position with one leg out to the side. I cushion my knee. My foot’s on a wood floor on a towel just so it slides nicely. I’m going to stay tall in my torso. I can actually come forward like I’m angling myself over the puck a little bit. That’s totally fine, but then I’m going to come down to a count of five but use my hands to come back up.

So this is what I mean. I’m going to come down (by sliding my foot out) to a count of one, two, three, four, five. Now I put my hands down on the floor. I bring my foot up and then I return.

I’m not using any of my adductors to pull myself back up into that ready position.

And just go till you feel a gentle stretch. Don’t go as far as you think you can because with this type of muscle action sometimes it doesn’t feel that bad, and the next day you are sore or even bruised because you’ve overstretched it.

So just go till it feels like a mild, sort of medium stretch.

Again, it goes like this… Down for one, two, three, four, five. My hands comes down. I come all the way back up and then I get into tall again.

I don’t mind if you’re a little bit angled forward like you would be to sort of telescope yourself over the puck, but what I don’t want is as you come down to be sitting down in your hips, to be sitting back. I don’t want to teach that habit, at least not for that exercise.

So we’ll come out, we’ll try to stay nice and keeping that good neutral pelvis position too. So not way hyperextended with an anterior pelvic tilt.

You’re just going to do five repetitions on each side lowering for five seconds. You can do two sets. You could do those two to three times a week.

You might be a little bit sore the next day after the first session or two, but if you’re continually like “Oh, I’m sore” every single time, you’re going too hard at it. This isn’t something we’re trying to force. Its something we’re really just trying to teach our body how to lengthen those muscles under tension.

So here’s your progression. Now we’re going to add a little concentric element, or we’re going to pull our leg back up, but we’re not going to go out as far as we did the first time.

We’re going to do these little pulses just in a small range of motion and really just that much range so that we get used to lengthening and pulling.

Still I’m keeping my nice tall torso position and it’s kind of a controlled thing. So don’t start off quick and hard. It’s just nice and light just staying in that range.

That’s step two. You’ll stay there for two to three weeks. You can still do the eccentric lengthening too, we’re just going to do some jabbers, and we’ll do about 10 on each side.

Step three will be lengthening out, getting that mild to medium stretch like we had in the eccentrics, but when I change direction, slowly pulling myself back up. So not jamming on all those muscles, just building that tension to pull myself back up, going out slowly so I can feel where that’s a good mild to medium stretch, and then I’ll pull myself back up to my starting position keeping that good torso position.

That one will also be five to six repetitions on each side.

So now we have that basic progression. We’re going to start adding a little element of rotation in.

The first one we’re going to come back to our little jabbers, and we’re going to add a little rotate away. So as my leg goes out, I’m rotating away from that leg, so I’m actually lengthening that chain through my groins or my adductors up through my abdominal oblique. So when I lengthen the leg and I rotate my torso, I’ve created more tension in that chain.

That’s why sometimes you see, they’re fine in that position, because that muscle can take it, but now they rotate and they’re pulling on it sort of from the top down through their abdominal obliques, and that causes the overload and the tissue fails.

So we’re adding in that little elements of rotation, and you can add in a reach with the arm and that adds even more length to the chain.

Light, quick, not a big stretch on the muscle.

The final element would be… you guessed it… lengthening your leg, getting way down there and a big reach as you come back up. And sometimes too we’ll rotate back towards that ankle that we’re moving out. So I’ll reach out, I’ll pull my foot back in, but it’s not going to be fast.

We can just kind of build into it like that.

Think about what you’re doing. Feel that you’re using a strong torso. Feel that you’re pulling with both your adductors and that you’re controlling that movement. You’re not just flopping around.

So there’s a progression. It’s definitely an advanced progression. If you haven’t been doing your regular goalie mobility, any off-ice training, this is not for you. This is going to be too advanced and you’ll actually, quite frankly, increase your risk of tearing your groin. So, I can’t strongly suggest that you not do it enough if you’re not doing regular groin-specific mobility and some sort of off-ice training that’s for goalies.

But for those who are at that stage and you’re ready to teach your adductors how to be strong at length, how to recover at length even when we’re putting tension on those muscle chains, this is a great progression. Two to three weeks at every single stage. Don’t be in a rush, but you’ll notice a huge difference on the ice.

If you are just getting started and you’re like “Well, I do stretches but I don’t even know if I’m doing the right kind of mobility training for a goalie.” I’ll make it super simple for you. Below this post, I’ll put an image with a link to a program I made. It’s free. It’s called The Butterfly Challenge, and you can download it in PDF or there’s a app for iPhone or Android, and you can do it.

That’s the place to start. Then you might come back to something like this.

If you found this video helpful, learned a couple of new things that you didn’t know, let me know. If you have any questions or videos that you’d like to see me make, just leave them in the Comments below because I read and I respond to every single comment that I get, and that’s how I find out what’s important to you because that’s exactly what I want to deliver.

This is Maria from Goalie Training Pro TV. I hope you’re having a wicked awesome day. See you next time.