Hockey may not be the world’s most popular sport, but it may very well be the fastest and most intense. Whether hockey is played on ice, in a gym, or on the street, plays are often completed in the blink of an eye, which means players must be in top physical form in order to excel.
Arguably, the most physically (and mentally) demanding position in hockey is the goaltender position. Unlike forwards and defensemen, goaltenders regularly play the entire game, meaning they must have top-notch endurance. They must also move in unique ways; rather than covering the entire length of the ice in the shortest time possible, they must shift up and down and side to side quickly and efficiently. Put simply, they face unique challenges that demand a special type of workout. So, what should hockey goalies be doing when away from the rink to improve their chances of making that game-saving stop?
Ask a friend who doesn’t usually play goalie to tend the crease for a game. Afterwards, they’ll tell you there’s one thing that made the job especially difficult: the constant up-and-down movement. Today’s goalies are constantly moving from a standing to kneeling position and back again—it’s a type of movement that demands extensive power in the legs and core.
To build up the muscles that help one transition from standing to butterfly and back again, try jumping squats. Stand as you would in your crease with your knees slightly bent, then crouch down like a baseball catcher. From this position spring into the air, before coming back down to land in the crouched position. Repeat this movement 20 times through 2-3 sets.