Q&A: Flexibility training for hockey goalies.

Hi Gang,

I had a question posted on one of my YouTube videos and it was a great question.  The goalie asked why he needs hip mobility to be a better butterfly goalie?  He said everyone tells him to work on his flexibility, but does not know why.  Now he also mentioned that he can do the splits, so it is pretty clear that he is not greatly lacking in flexibility.  Here are the ways better mobility can help butterfly goalies:

  • You can get a wider “butterfly”, so when you are down on your knees if you have more hip internal rotation you can fan your pads out wider and take away the bottom of the net more effectively.
  • You do not often need that full splits save, but when you do, you had better have the flexibility to get there so you can make the save and not tear your groin.
  • Having good mobility in your hips will let you stay square to the puck as you perform powerful lateral pushes.  If you lack hip abduction you may tend to rotate your hips prematurely in the direction that you are moving.  This not only give the shooter more net, but it also telegraphs your movement.
  • Good mobility for a goalie is like proper alignment on a Formula One car – it makes everything more efficient and decreases wear and tear on your joints.

I hope this helps and thanks for the great question.