GTP TV Episode 39: PRI Exercise for Goalies

Welcome to Goalie Training Pro TV, episode 39. We’re going to talk about your splits today! But we’re going to start with a little assessment first…


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So this is what I want you to do. I want you to go into your front splits and I want you to go with your left foot forward and see how far you get, then you’re going to go with your right foot forward and see how far you get.

And I’m going to make a guess like Johnny Carson used to do. Remember that, Johnny Carson would get the card and he’d hold it up on his head? And he’d put off and in your case, I would say left. I think you get further with your left foot forward than your right foot forward. Am I right? I know I’m right. There’s a reason and the reason is that your human, and this is what I mean.

There is a school of thought called PRI, The Postural Restoration Institute. A very smart guy, but he’s noticed some common asymmetries in how our bodies, how we use our bodies. One of those common asymmetries is that we have a tendency to stand with our posture a little bit shifted.

So most are a little bit shifted to our right side which means a couple of things. So if we look at this it means that our left hip is chronically in slight flection. The right hip is in slight extension. The left hip is externally rotated and abducted. The right hip is internally rotated and adducted.

Basically what it means for you is even though I’m facing square in front of me, my pelvis is a little bit facing this way. So it’s not like we’re all gunked up, but it’s just that we’re a little bit offset.

I don’t think they really know exactly why but one of the hypothesis is that like our liver, for example, we only have one, but it’s set to the right side, and it’s big, so maybe we kind of post to hold that up. Our inside organs aren’t symmetrical. You know our heart is up and it’s a little bit sets to the right. Even our diaphragm is asymmetrical, side to side.

So there are lots of things that play. This is just the observation.

You can see how even when you are on the ice and you go to recover, well one side is already in some flexion. Do you have one side where you feel like you don’t have quite as much range of motion as the other side? Those are things that we’re not really trying to fix so that, “Oh well now I’m perfectly square.” But we’re trying to teach you to just at least get out of that characteristic asymmetry so that you’re able to get into the opposite side.

So I’m going to show you a technique. Again, it highlights this idea that stretching isn’t enough. I want you to get out of your head that, “Oh well I’m doing my stretches, you know, so I can move better on the ice.” It’s not about stretching, it’s about mobility and how you move.

Stretching is one piece of the puzzle but it’s not the answer. If you’re just putting all of your eggs in the stretching basket, “Oh I need to move better, I need to stretch more.” You’re not going to get there. So you’re missing a huge piece but you’re just not going to achieve your maximum mobility.

So let me just show you one of the exercises, there are a million exercises, but I’m just going to show you one. What I want you to do, before you try this at home, is I want you to just walk across the floor, you know just back and forth, just paying attention to what it feels like when you step and then we’re going to do a little test afterwards.

But let’s get down on the floor and I’m going to show you this exercise. You only do this exercise laying on your left side. So I have just a foam roll under my feet because my feet have to be elevated. And my feet are flat against a wall or some sort of surface.

I’m going to push the bottom foot into the wall and I’m going to reach the top knee forward. So I’m kind of getting in that opposite pattern of what my asymmetry is. So I’m at 90 degrees in my knees, 90 degrees in my hips, I’m almost a little rounded forward in my torso.

Left foot is pushing into the wall. Right knee is reaching forward and then I’m just coming up with my right knee.

So I continue pushing, I continue reaching and I’m lifting. Now I’m going to breathe in through my nose for four seconds. I’m going to hold my breath at the top for four seconds and I’m going to breathe out through my mouth for six seconds and I’m going to do that four times and I’m not going to reset in between.

Typically we’ll do it one or two sets of four breaths.

And then you’ll try your walk again and you’re going to see, “Hey does that change how my hips feel?” And really you’re not going to notice like, “Oh yeah, I’m so loose now.” It’s going to feel a little different. Feel a little more fluid.

So that’s an introduction to the PRI, The Postural Restoration Institute and this idea that we have a very common asymmetry that especially, as a goalie impacts how we use our hips. And it can have a compounding effect, so I want to really teach you to be able to find that other position so that you can move better on the ice, but also I suspect reduce some wear and tear on your hips.

So again, stretching isn’t enough you need to come at it from a muscle structure perspective. From the fascial remodeling perspective, from a movement pattern perspective which this one teaches you. Even from a nervous system control perspective stretching is one ingredient but it’s not the key that unlocks your ultimate mobility.

If you want to look for a complete system that does that check out I’ve put all the pieces together for you but at least now you know it’s not just about stretching it’s about improving your movement patterns, teaching your body to move more efficiently. I’ll see you next time.