Kevin Neeld — Hockey Training, Sports Performance, & Sports Science

Hockey Goalie Training for Flexibility

I recently caught up with Maria Mountain, another great mind in the world of hockey training. I asked her if she’d put together an article for you on goalie training.

Check out the article below. I always love articles with material that is instantly usable. This is definitely one of those!

Three new ways for hockey goalies to improve hip flexibility.

Look at any of the spectacular saves from the highlight shows and you will see hockey goaltenders displaying their great hip flexibility.  Does this happen by chance?  It shouldn’t.  If you want to steal more wins for your team, then you must have amazing flexibility, so here are my top three stretches to help you make those impossible saves.

Standing Groin Stretch

If you are a hockey goaltender, then hopefully you are not making many saves from your butt, however if you look at goalies stretching routines, they spend much of their time sitting down with their feet in a wide ‘V’ position to stretch their groins.  I am not saying that is a bad stretch, I just think it can be better by taking the athlete into a standing position.

Seated Hip Internal Rotation

If you play with the butterfly style, then you need hip internal rotation which means you must stretch your hip external rotators.  The stretch I will describe below is an active stretch meaning that the hockey goalie will contract his hip internal rotators to help him stretch his hip external rotators.

  • Begin by sitting on a trainers’ table or your kitchen counter with your knees right against  the edge of the counter.
  • Pull your feet and knees together.
  • Sit up tall.
  • Try to keep your knees touching as you pull your feet apart (keep the knees bent to 90 degrees).
  • Pull the feet outward for five seconds and then relax.  Perform 15-30 repetitions.

Self Myofascial Release with the Foam Roll

Any of you goalies out there stretch your hips but find that your flexibility still doesn’t improve?  Frustrating isn’t it?  The problem may not be that your muscles are tight at all, but rather your fascia may be stuck.  Fascia is the connective tissue that surrounds every muscle and every individual muscle fibre.  It can get tight or get bonded down to the underlying muscle and unless you actually get the fascia moving you will have trouble making gains through traditional stretching.  If you do not have a foam roll, get one.  If you are serious about your sport then you should have one.

Now, check out the video below so you can learn exactly how to do the stretches described above and learn more about how hockey goalies can implement foam rolling to increase hip flexibility.




Maria Mountain, MSc, CSCS is the owner of Revolution Conditioning and a professional fitness coach who is trusted by hockey players to help them compete at levels beyond their expectations while reducing their risk of injury.  Her training methods have been proven at all levels from the NHL to AAA.  If you are a goalie looking to take your game to the next level visit www.ultimategoalietraining.com or get your free 5-Part Hockey Training Insider’s Report at www.hockeytrainingpro.com.

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Kevin Neeld

Kevin Neeld Knows Hockey

Kevin has rapidly established himself as a leader in the field of physical preparation and sports science for ice hockey. He is currently the Head Performance Coach for the Boston Bruins, where he oversees all aspects of designing and implementing the team’s performance training program, as well as monitoring the players’ performance, workload and recovery. Prior to Boston, Kevin spent 2 years as an Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach for the San Jose Sharks after serving as the Director of Performance at Endeavor Sports Performance in Pitman, NJ. He also spent 5 years as a Strength and Conditioning Coach with USA Hockey’s Women’s Olympic Hockey Team, and has been an invited speaker at conferences hosted by the NHL, NSCA, and USA Hockey.