Q&A: What Makes Goalies Tight?

GCG Prospects Week - fun in the sun!

Hope you are having a great week.  You may know from reading my emails that I am a ‘routine’ girl.  I like to have my routine – get up around the same time, have the same breakfast, do my work without interruption, go to bed early, etc.  Well, this week my routine got all out of whack so I am still trying to get back on track.

My routine got ‘whacked’ for a good reason though.  I was in the Boston area for Sunday, Monday and part of Tuesday to help at Brian D’Accord’s Goalie Consulting Group Prospects Week at Merrimack College.  It was awesome to take 90+ of the top goalies from Canada, the US, Germany, Sweden and Russia through their off-ice training.

Travels there and back were great, although driving through Boston to get to the airport was a little wacky.  My GPS looked like an Etch-A-Sketch there were so many roads going every which way.  I have driven in Manhattan a few times and it is a cake walk compared to bean-town.

Anyway, today I am hitting you with a Q&A about what makes goalies tight and how to gain flexibility…

The Question

Hey Maria,

Hope you are having a good summer so far.

I have a question about muscles and what makes them tight.  Through the stretching routines that I’ve learned from you I’ve been able to make big strides in increasing the flexibility in my hips, but I find that if I am not rigorous in my routine (i.e. if I stop doing it) they quickly go right back to being tight again.  It’s like I’m fighting a losing battle all the time.

I also struggle with tight neck and shoulders, which I know is due to a desk job and sometimes not having the best posture.  I know that my shoulders are fairly weak so it makes me wonder if the tightness comes from a lack of muscle… i.e. the muscle that is there is overworking and getting tight.

Not sure if that makes any sense or not… but I’m just curious on how it all works and if adding muscle would help or not?


The Answer: This Is What Makes Goalies Tight

Great question T and the answer is …lots of things.  You are right muscles can be weak and tight, they can be strong and tight, they can long and tight, they can also be short and tight.  So you can see for some issues, you may need to strengthen, for others you need to lengthen.

For example with your neck and shoulders – you probably round your shoulders forward a bit at the desk job putting more tension on your upper traps – pulling them into a lengthened position (as well as your rhomboids and mid-traps).  At the same time you will be making your pec minor shorter.  So you are bang on with focusing on your posture – that would put your pec minors on a consistent low grade stretch and your rhomboids and mid traps on a low grade contraction and let your upper traps return to their resting length.

Make sure you are doing your foam rolling or lacrosse ball as well.

But you are also right that you have to keep doing it in order to maintain the benefits.  It is no different from strength training.  If I go lift at the gym and get up to a 135lbs front squat – I will not keep that front squat if I decide to take a few weeks off the gym.  Make sense?

Great question and I will do up a blog post on this topic – thanks, you just made my job easier – now I have a blog post for this week 🙂

Summer is going well here – very busy, but I am still trying to find time to stop and smell the roses.  Paul and I got some stand up paddleboards in the spring and we are only about 45-60 minutes from Lake Huron so we are trying to get up a few times to take those out.  Pretty challenging workout, but loads of fun.

Hope your summer is going well.