The basic movements of hockey goalkeeping are unlike almost any other position in sports, and demands an exercise program to match, regardless of your skill level. At the core are some fundamentals.

Some Basics

Keeping the cardio up and working on range of motion exercises that strengthen and bolster muscle groups that lend themselves to the demanding movements of a goalie are key. Going for a walk or a run is an excellent simple basic activity. Not only is it free but it helps your body stay vital, energy up, fatigue down, and contributes to clarity of thought, the foundation of a healthy hockey goalie.

If you run, modulate your routine with slight elevation changes, and a variety of pace changes. Start walking for 5 minutes to “get the blood flowing” and then get into a jog for 5 minutes. Then try 2 minutes walking, 4 minutes jogging, 3 minutes walking 7 minutes jogging, and end with a walk.

Explore your neighborhood and see if there are any streets you could follow to give you the variety you need.

Upper Body

Butterfly Traps with free weights: lay on your back on a workout bench, with free weights in each hand with arms extended out from your sides. Make sure your elbows are bent slightly and slowly raise your arms until your knuckles touch, and then slowly lower back to the start position. The mass of each weight doesn’t (and shouldn’t) be too much, certainly not if you have to struggle. Challenging but with frequency is the way to go and good advice for any exercise. This is also a common exercise for gym machines, which works just fine as well, however the machines are one dimensional in that they only move in one direction. To be able to perform the exercise with free weights requires more muscle to get involved to be able to keep your arms on target and on the path you intend to get those knuckles to touch.

Over the Head: Stand with free weights in each hand, a starting position just above the top of your head, and push the weights up, extending your arms until they are almost completely straight, then let the weights down again until they are just above your head, repeat.

Lower Body

Ball Crunches: this isn’t as painful as it sounds, what you need is a medicine ball, and you are going to kind of lay back on it. Start in a sitting position with your feet on the floor in front of you, and roll your back down the ball, then return to a sitting position. Repeat.

Leg Lifts: to start, lay on your back with your feet on the floor but close to your body so your knees are up. Slowly bring your knees back towards your head and back to the start position, but just before they touch the floor. Hold them for a moment and then repeat.

Leg Abductor and Leg Adductor: kind of like Butterfly Traps for the legs, in both directions. Find a machine at your gym that allows you to exercise the muscle groups that you use to open and close your legs for the butterfly. One method provides resistance in spreading your knees and one provides resistance in closing your knees, both paramount for goalies.

Leg Press: Unless you can rig something up on your own, this might be a machine-only exercise, but good nonetheless. This is just the same as the Bench Press, but with your legs. Instead of lifting weight up and away from the body with your arms, it is with your legs. Make sure that on the down-stroke, you don’t bend your knees too much. You want to operate in the top half of your knee extension, so just before your knees are bent halfway, stop, hold, and push up. Repeat.

Please note that you should consult your sports or personal doctor or a fitness professional before beginning any exercise routine to ensure your safety. Simple repetitive routines are best, do not over-exercise, and stop if you feel pain