One of the areas where I have changed my methods a lot during the recent years is the approach towards dryland and strength training for my goaltenders. In the past goalies used to do almost all off-season training and especially strength training just like the forwards and defensemen and used the same programs. The more analysis I have done and the more the game has changed the more I have been tuning goalies training programs to serve the needs of their game.
In this article I am focusing on strength training and giving you one alternative method & show some of it’s benefits. This method is Swiss ball training combined with some medicine ball drills as well.
There are some specific reason why I started to use Swiss ball training with my goalies. These are:
- I would say #1 reason is balance. I have been looking for methods to add more and more balancing drills to my goalies training regimen and Swiss ball training will definitely work in that area.
- Another thing that we were looking for is how to better involve the whole body and especially goalies mid-section in strength training. In this area Swiss ball training is great alternative to traditional weights and by far superior to nautilus etc machines that isolate the moves to specific muscles only (great for rehab though).
- Third reason was motivation. With Swiss ball training we can make alternative type training sessions that are refreshing and break the routines. I first thought that this would be great with the older goalies that I work with, but did discover that even the younger ones really got a kick from these different type training sessions / methods.
- Last reason is shear efficiency. Well planned Swiss ball training works great and is very effective.
In these photos you see my goaltender Ari Sulander (Fin) from ZSC Lions (Swiss league) going through his lower body / mid-section Swiss ball strength training session in May 2006. Remember that you can also create very effective upper body training methods / moves with Swiss ball.
Typical workout like this usually includes:
- 15 minute warm-up on stationary bike + stretching
- 3 X 10 of all the moves in the photos
- 10 minute cooldown on stationary bike + stretching
Wall squat. Squat against the ball. Keep you back straight and use appropriate weights. Hip extension knee flexion. Start from your back and first straighten your body and get your back off from the floor. Next bend your knees and last bring the ball back towards you as close as you can get it. Then bring it back and repeat the move. 1-Leg squat. Keep your back leg on top of the ball as far as possible while squatting. Coach can help the proper movement by keeping the ball away from getting too close to the goalie. As your goalie advances you can add a small balance board under the front foot too. Angled 1-leg wall squat. Keep your inner foot off from the ground while squatting with outer foot and body angled as in the photos. Medicine ball lunge. Pass the medicine ball to the coach or your goalie partner while performing a forward lunge step. Ball will be passed back to you as you push back up. You can do this either with one leg at the time or alternate the leg that comes forward. Leg blaster. bring the ball as far as possible from your body and then back to as close as possible while maintaining as hard pressure as you can on the ball by pushing it down with your leg. This is one of the best moves for goalies. Side pass. In this move you will focus on your midsection by bending with the medicine ball as far to the side as possible. As you came back you toss the ball to the coach or your goalie partner who will give it back to you immediately as you go for another bend. Stomach & back. Finish your round always with set of stomach and back crunches.