The worst groin exercise for hockey goalies.

Hi Gang,

Yet another way my goalie training programs do not work!

Well, I got another one of those emails telling me how my program “was not working for them”.   Please don’t get me wrong, I am not trying to pick on these folks, I just want to talk to those of you who are really serious about playing better hockey with fewer injuries.  I know sometimes things get away from you – you figure you will rest after the season until May and then start your off-ice training.  But then May comes and you are so busy with school or work that you push it back to June.  Then June comes and you are still busy with everything on your plate (like everyone else) and so you decide to wait until July…. do you see where I am going here.

So back to the email about how my program was not “working for them”.  Was it too hard?  Too easy?  Not goalie specific? Nope, none of that – the issue was that they had it for 3-weeks, but had not yet even activated the program so they could look over the material!  Um, okay so how is this a problem with my program.  Were you hoping that I would jump right out of your computer and kick your arse out of bed an hour early every day?

Hey, I have no issue with athletes being honest about not applying themselves to training, but be honest.  The problem is with the athlete’s desire to succeed, not the program people.  So do me a favour and get busy getting ready for next season – eight weeks from now you will wish you started today!

3 of my favourite strength exercises for hockey goalies and two I hate.

I will keep this simple and cut straight to the point, here are my three favourite strength exercises for hockey goalies.  If you are wondering how many sets, reps, etc to do, that is a great question and I went over it in detail in this post – the right sets and reps for strength exercises.  Now, here are a few of my favourite strength exercises for hockey goalies

1.       DB Split Squat – great for building leg strength, you can do it anywhere with only some dumbbells.  Challenges the goalie to balance and maintain good neutral alignment at the knee.  This one will also highlight a lack of core stability or overly tight rectus femoris (hip flexors).

2.       Push Ups on Stability Ball – with your hands on the stability ball you need strength and stability to perform the exercise correctly.  This exercise will challenge a goalies core stability and their shoulder stability so it is a win-win exercise.

stability ball push ups for goalies

3.       DB Lunge Lateral – as you know goalies make a lot of lateral movements.  This exercise is a great one to build some lateral pushing power, but I love it because it also takes the adductors (groins) into a lengthened position dynamically.  Many groin strains occur when the adductors are lengthened under tension.  Most goalies stretch the groins, but not all of you make your groins more injury resistant by strengthening them in a lengthened position.

Lateral strength exercise for hockey goalies

These are not the only ones I use, I still use lots of the standard athlete development lifts like front squats, hex bar deadlifts, dumbbell presses and dumbbell rows, but I am trying to focus on more goalie specific strength training exercises in this article.  Here are a few others that I really like…

4.       Squat Lateral with Foot on Stability Ball – lengthen the adductors (groins) under tension with this one.  And if you are lacking in hip mobility or stability, you will not be able to keep your hips and shoulders level as you squat down and back with your hips.

groin exercise for hockey goalies

5.       TRX Row – a great suspension exercise that targets your mid-back and biceps, while using your butt, hamstrings and back extensors to maintain a neutral back position.  So there is some nice stabilization in the posterior chain and strengthening for the upper body.

Now for the ones I cannot stand:

1.       The seated groin machine – not functional at all – this is not the way your groins work during activity and it just looks ridiculous!

the worst groin exercise for hockey goalies

2.       Barbell squatting on the round side of a BOSU or on a stability ball – this is a balance exercise, not a strengthening exercise.  You do not need a barbell on your back to train balance – the risk reward ratio is way out of whack on this one – run away!  As you can see below – even I used to use this ridiculous exercise many, many years ago – then I realized that I am not training a Cirque du Soleil performer, but a hockey player.  Duh!!  Serious, if your trainer ever tries to pull this one out – – ask for your money back – then RUN!!

Yes, even I was stupid enough to do this 9-years ago or so.


PS – I have also had 4 emails/phone calls this week from goalies who were invited to the main camp of a team they want to play for next season.  The main camp is in 7-8 weeks and they want to know how they can be in top shape.  Although it is impossible to fit 16 weeks of work into 8 weeks of training – all you can do is start today.  Be consistent and you will make some huge gains before main camp rolls around!