GTP TV Episode 27: Do This, Not That

Hey gang, it’s Marie here from with Episode 27 of Goalie Training Pro TV. Today’s episode is do this, not that. So we’re gonna look at some of the common exercises that you guys are probably doing in the gym trying to build strong legs, strong hips, but you can get way more bang for your buck doing something different.


Check out all the demonstrations by watching the video on YouTube here >>

So the first one that we’re gonna look at is that knee extension machine. So it’s a machine that you sit on, and then you straighten your legs and it really gives your quads a great burn. And it feels good, and you look at your legs and you see your muscles, you’re like, “Yeah!”

But the problem is, our quadriceps don’t really act just to do that. They don’t act that way. There’s stabilization involved and deceleration and acceleration. So we can get way more bang for our buck.

In the gym here … ‘Cause we want you, too, to get that quad feeling, to work those quads. In the gym, one of the ones we use is a sled pull. But we could also do it with a cable. So you can do it in your gym. If you don’t have an area that you can use a sled, you can do it in the gym. I just put two handles on a relatively low pulley. ‘Cause I’m gonna get nice and low in my legs. I’m gonna keep a good neutral back. And then I’m pushing back, pushing back, pushing back.

And I’m getting good extension here from my legs? And then again, I’m controlling it as I come back. I’m gonna push, push, push, keeping a good neutral back position. So not letting my back round, keeping my shoulders back. So I’m getting nice, closed chain quads pushing and controlling.

Another one that we could do to get your quads is a split squat. So the front leg is gonna be a little more glute-dominant, but the back leg is a good quad-dominant movement pattern. So when I split squat on both sides, instead of doing your knee extension machine.

The next one we’re gonna look at is the back squat. So the reason we don’t back squat (and I haven’t had an athlete back squat in the gym probably for at least eight years) is because you can back squat heavy and poorly.

So if I’m back squatting, I have a barbell on my back. And I squat, and I’m gonna miss my lift, or I can’t hold my position, I can still kinda get in a terrible position and bring it up. Whereas if I’m front squatting and I get down and I don’t have it, I’m gonna just drop that load. So I can’t as easily front squat poorly and heavy.

So we do a lot of front squat. Now, not everybody can get their elbows up to get the good front rack position. We’ve actually been using a safety squat bar this summer a little bit. So the pad is still on your back, but the way the bar is cambered, it centers the weight more over the front of you like a front squat would.

Basically you come in underneath it, and it keeps it a little bit balanced for you. It still lets me keep my chest up nicely as I go through my squat pattern. So that’s a tool we’ve been using this summer when we’re doing our bilateral lifts like that.

We do a lot of unilateral lifts in the gym, because it gives us way more hip stabilization. So we’ll use a lot of single-leg squat to tap as well, instead of back squats.

So you know, really even for our safety bar squats or our front squats, we just want our athletes to be strong enough. So we honestly don’t care if you can squat 600 pounds. I’d rather take you and put you in a position that’s more challenging to your strength and your stability and have you using less weight. Because I think that’s gonna translate better on the ice with less overall wear and tear on your body, which really is the secret sauce.

So those are a couple options for a back squat.

Hamstring curl machine, again, there’s tons of them. Some at the gym, you lay down and you curl your heel to your bum. Some they have you set up in a standing position and you curl your heel to your bum.

But again, in real life, in real sport, our hamstring doesn’t really do that. And you’ll be like, “Well, in sprinting it does.” Well, no, actually it doesn’t really. It sort of holds that knee in that position. It’s a secondary hip extensor. But our glutes is what does that.

Our hamstrings really fire to shorten that lever so that we can recover it, and then to decelerate our leg as we extend it and get ready for our next step. That’s kind of how they work.

So we do some hamstring curl work. In particular, our skiers, football players, soccer players, those athletes that are at risk of ACL tears. We wanna make sure that, yes, that those hamstrings are strong, because some of the research suggests or shows that when the hamstring-to-quadricep ration is way out of balance, those athletes are at higher risk of a tear.

So we will use just a stability ball to do a hamstring curl. So we lay on our back with our heels on the stability ball and just come up into our bridge position. We do two versions. So starting out, we just start like this, keeping the hips stationary, not keeping our body in a straight like. So there isn’t really an overall length change of the hamstring, but just lets them get a feel for it.

But then we would go to lock in this position at the hips where our body is in a straight line and curl the heels towards the bum, and do a nice hamstring curl that way.

And then we have other variations. We’ll go to single legs and different tempos and that kind of thing.

But we do … When we really, truly try to work our posterior chain, we’ll do way more deadlift pattern stuff. So we’ll use the trap bar to do some hex bar deadlift. And again, we don’t squat the trap bar. We do a deadlift pattern.

So it’s a hip hinge coming through that gets the weight moving. So that’s why … And again, it’s not just our hamstrings. Our glutes are gonna be the prime mover. Our back extensors are gonna be doing some work.

The other one that we use a lot is (different variations) single leg, stiff leg, and deadlift variations.

So really squeezing that glute and that hamstring to pull yourself up tall, keeping your hips nice and level to the floor, just bringing the dumbbells to about mid-shin range, not rounding your back. That’s another substitute for a hamstring curl.

Moving on, number four, that adductor machine. And you guys love it, ’cause you’re like, “I’m goalie and I need strong groins!” And you sit down and you do it.

Again, I think it probably puts you more at risk for a tear than helps you.

So a couple suggestions. One that I really like … And you’ll be shocked if you try it the next time you go to the gym at how challenging it is for you. And even for your leg that “isn’t working,” it’ll be so fatigued. But it’s just a pulley adductor. So if we attach the cable to one ankle and keep both legs straight. Going heel to toe.

Again, keeping that knee straight. Coming out to the side, coming toe to heel, keeping the knee straight. So guys always wanna bend their knees when they come behind. Keep it straight. So we’re getting different adductor muscles and different planes of motion, but also this one has to stabilize, otherwise we just get pulled over. So that’s probably one that we start everybody with.

And then we have some that I think are kind of nice, a little bit more functional ones. So this is a fancy piece of equipment. It’s called a 10-pound plate on a towel. Pretty expensive. You can probably order it on Amazon somewhere.

So you’re just standing with a little bit of a knee bend in your ready position. Spread your feet a little bit and put one foot on the plate. And then you’re pulling together. Take a step, pull together. Take a step, pull together.

So again, one side has to stabilize and the other side is shortening. And that builds a deep burn after a while. So those are a couple for your adductors.

Then the other one that I still get emails about … “Should I just go run three miles for cardio?”

No. I mean, if you love to run, you could do it once a week kind of as a special treat. But it won’t be your cardio training.

If you’re wanting to do some kind of longer duration cardio training, I’m a pretty big fan of the shuttle run. So how that works is, you basically measure out 25 yards. Rough measure it, whatever. You set a cone at each end. And then we do 300-, 200-, and 100-yard shuttle runs.

So if we do a 300-yard shuttle run, we start at one cone. We run to the other one and back. That’s 50 yards. So yeah, 50 yards, so then we do that six times. And we take our time for it.

Our high-level guys, guys in our Hockey Strong program, they all have to do it in under 60 seconds. And they have to be able to do two of them with five minutes rest in between, under 60 seconds.

So yeah, see where you’re at. And then a 200-yard shuttle is just there and back four times, 100-yard shuttle is there and back two times.

Because it gets the change of direction, the acceleration, the deceleration. And that’s the exhausting part of it.

We don’t use 300s as much as we used to. We use them a little more sparingly and go a little harder on 200s, ’cause they’re around that 38-second, 37-second range, and I kinda like that range. Because the 300s are just super baggers. We still do them. We did them yesterday. They were really fun. The boys loved them.

So that’s what I … There’s a million things you could do, but that’s something specific that you could do instead.

So do this, don’t do that. Just make the most out of your time. I know it’s just ’cause you don’t know. And you go in, and you’re in the gym, and they’re like, “Oh yeah, this gives you good strong legs.” And you’re like, “I want good strong legs.” So you’re doing it.

But when you understand how the body works and how the body creates force and how you need stabilization to exert your force, then some of this other stuff is like, “Oh yeah, okay.” That tends to make more sense.

So if you want it all put together for you in a package tied up with a bow, exactly what to do, how many sets, reps, what days, all that stuff, then probably check out Shutout Academy. You can get it for a week for only a buck, just to see if it’s right for you. ‘Cause I don’t want you spending money to get it if you’re not gonna do it, really is the number one reason. People don’t follow through, so made it just a buck, and you can check it out if you want.

But otherwise, I will catch you next week with another exciting episode of Goalie Training Pro TV.