Non-believers are sitting on the bench…

In Dryland, English, Resources, Resurssit on

This article was provided for Goaliepro by Maria Mountain from

The next time you are sitting in the locker room – take a glance around at the players on your team.  You can probably identify the three different types of players on your team (from an dryland goalie training perspective anyway).

  1. Those who do something.

These players go to the local gym (or used to go to the local gym) where they follow the herd.  They do their circuit of the machines, they even suck it up and get on the ‘groin’ machine that is usually reserved for the ladies trying to ‘tone’ their thighs.

After their weight circuit of leg press, seated knee extensions, lying hamstring curls, the groin machine, chest press, seated row and preacher biceps curls they go for their 40-minute steady state bike ride.

I love asking these goalies if their dryland goalie training is fun.  I have never found anyone who says they enjoy it, but they do it because they want to be better.

So after 80-minutes these goalies stagger out of the gym feeling bored, their muscles feel bored.  You feel slightly disheartened because even though you are training for hockey (you actually are not) you know that you are not going to see much improvement on the ice.  You are disheartened, but you keep it up because you don’t want to lose what you have built over the years.

I want you to ask yourself – does any of this resemble anything you actually need to do on the ice?

2. Those who do too much of the wrong thing.

We have all seen a workout program on late night TV.  The actors look great – their muscles are so ripped – we want that!  I want it too!  Some of you actually go for it and go for it full out!

You love it because the workouts are killer brutal and your muscles scream from start to finish.  Your Plyo workout has you doing repeated jumps for 40 seconds in a row followed by …more jumps for 40 seconds.  By the end of the workout your feet are not even getting off the ground – but you love the tired feeling you have at the end and you do find that your stamina has improved even though your lower back now aches.

Let me ask you a question – if I gave you a marathon training program for your goalie off ice training program would you think I am a genius?  Would you do that program?  If you loved to run you might do that program, but I think we can all agree that it is not the best way to improve your performance on the ice.

Are you going to see some improvements?  Probably your stamina will improve and you might lose some body fat, but again it will never be the best use of your time.  So before you email me to tell me how much you love your infomercial workout program – STOP – I am happy if you are happy, I am just saying it is not the most efficient way to become a better, more injury resistant goalie.

3. Those who do nothing…

These goalies are lazy, lost or leery.  The lazy ones just don’t care enough about being better.  The lost ones have no clue what to do or where to start so they do nothing.  The leery ones have tried working out before but found that they actually got more injuries.  Instead of thinking that perhaps they were not following a program that was suited to them, they quit altogether.

You rationalize you inaction by saying – ‘hey, I’m not training for the NHL’ or maybe you think you are as good as you will ever be; you don’t believe in yourself, you don’t believe that you can be twice as good as you currently are, you don’t believe you can be a better goalie at 37 than you were at 17.

If you were booking a holiday to a nice sunny beach somewhere what steps would you take? You would probably:

  • Find a flight that fit your schedule and budget
  • Find a hotel that offered the activities you were interested in
  • You would book the time out of your schedule
  • And finally, you would enjoy the fruits of your planning and preparation when you have an amazing holiday.

Goalie dryland training is the same, you just need to follow a system of steps to success.  Do you think you would have ever become a better skater if you never practiced or worked on your technique? Probably not.

Do you believe you could become a more flexible, stable, strong goalie regardless of your age or past experience?  Do you think more speed and stamina would help you perform on the ice?  Do you believe that you could systematically train these elements to become a noticeably better goalie?  Or do you really believe that you are playing the very best hockey that you are capable of?  Do you think you would enjoy the game more if you could make a few more saves each game – just two more saves each game?

Do you believe that if you take a laser focus on the areas that need the most improvement you could become a better player even if you only spend 20-minutes or less on your off-ice goalie training?  Darn right!

I want to share with you my 2 STEP SOLUTION.


Step 1.  Think about what you need to do to be successful on the ice.  Are the demands of the skaters, the exact same as the demands of the goalies?  No, there are some distinct differences that include:

  • Lateral power from various positions.
  • The ability to make quick powerful movements followed by relative rest on a repeated basis for an entire 60 minutes (or more)
  • Pliable, yet strong groin muscles so you can get into the positions you need with control – like anti-lock brakes on your car.
  • The flexibility in your hips to have a nice wide butterfly flare without putting undue strain on your knees
  • The core stability to maintain your ready position without your aching back creeping into your conscious mind – taking your focus off the game – even though you are trying to concentrate.

Step 2.  Train for those things.

  • Banish machine based training from your workouts forever – no more seated leg press, seated groin machines, seated knee extensions, lying hamstring curls – no not even your beloved preacher curls!
  • As soon as you can get rid of the steady state cardio training – does riding a bike resemble anything that you do on the ice?  Are you training for the Tour de France?
  • Still only static stretching your groins in pursuit of the mythical splits?  Start some sort of self-myofascial release like foam rolling to take your flexibility to the next level?
  • If you are not stretching your hips into internal rotation – you are not going to get a wider butterfly flare
  • Crunches are not core stability training, again – does this resemble anything you do on the ice?  A properly designed training program will get you more than enough core training by including functional exercises that have you standing and stabilizing as you train your arms and legs.
  • Finally, get some professional help.  Find a good trainer who understands the special requirements to maximize your dryland training.  This does not need to be overly expensive, most trainers will put together a program for you and then let you check in every 4-6 weeks.

Here is a sample workout that will only take you about 20-minutes to complete.  You can start with this, but then make sure you are following a progressive system so you can build on each level of improvement as you climb to the next level.

Still don’t believe in dryland goalie training?


Juha Halmesvaara