Bottom Up Dryland Goalie Training: The Shoulder

Okay – now I am super SOUR – – I had put a great and very inspirational intro to this post and then I uploaded the final installment of the Bottom Up Dryland Goalie Training series and somehow during that transition, the entire post was deleted.  Unprecedented!  So sour!

I will share the inspiration with you another day – now I am pouting and I am just going to give you the shoulder stuff –

Dryland Goalie Training: The Shoulder

When you think dryland training for goalies, you probably think about the hips first and then probably the spine or ‘the core’.  But remember that muscles and therefore joints (because muscles cross joints) do not work independently, they work as a system.

Let me illustrate this.  Picture yourself skating full speed from your crease to the bench on a delayed penalty call.  Your legs are driving powerfully, but what are your arms doing?  They are driving as well, working in opposition to your legs, so when your right foot is forward, your left arm is forward.

Now do me a favour, the next time you are on the ice skate one length of the ice as fast as you can.  Then skate another length as fast as you can without using your arms at all.  Notice any difference in your speed?  Absolutely.

So just the way a dysfunction in your hips can reduce your power production, a dysfunction in your shoulder can also reduce your power and/or lead to a change in your movement mechanics which can put extra stress on your neck, mid-back or lower back, which in turn can all impact the joints further down the chain including the hip, knee and ankle.  I hope you can appreciate that.

Now, what is the best thing you can do for your shoulder joint?  It is the same thing that is the one best thing you can do for your spine – have good posture – sit up tall, stand up tall in the torso, do not let your shoulders slouch and round forward.

Then consider the position of your blocker hand and your glove hand – both put a sustained load on the shoulders in a rotated position.  Your ready position on your blocker hand brings your shoulder into internal rotation and the ready position of your glove hand brings your shoulder into external rotation.  So it is important that you have full functional internal/external range of motion in the glenohumeral joint and that those muscles have sufficient muscular endurance.

You can easily work on your internal/external rotation using a simple resistance bungee.  In addition to maintaining your shoulder health, strengthening the rotator cuff muscles will also improve your performance by allowing you to maintain your glove and stick position when the pucks start flying – you know when you very rarely see a goalie make a glove save, but then his glove crosses the goal line?  Probably would not happen with stronger shoulder muscles.

So check out the video below to see these and a few other exercises that will improve your shoulder function.

I hope you have enjoyed this Bottom Up Training series – it represents some of the basic exercises that any goalie could use to improve the function of their body.  Let me know if you would like to see me repeat the series in a few months with more advanced goalie specific drills – that might be cool, eh?  If you are interested, leave a comment below – if I get at least 10 of you who are interested, then I will definitely do it in a few months.