Workout For Goalies

The Best Strength Training Exercises for Absolute Performance


Three sets of 10 repetitions. Rest 60-90 seconds in between sets. You must stretch before AND after.

Dumbbell Press - Lie on your back with a dumbbell in each hand. Push the weights straight out in front of you but try to keep your elbows slightly close to your body. (I try to do whatever is comfortable for me.) Slowly let the weights back down to just above chest level. Photo 1 Photo 2

Seated Rows - Sit with your back straight and knees bent. You will likely be sitting with your legs in front of you and your feet against a platform for leverage. Use your arms and back muscles to pull toward you, but remember to keep your back straight to localize the exercise. Photo 1 Photo 2

Cable Cross - The handles that are attached to the cable should be above your head and to either side of you. Grip both handles and stand with your feet shoulders' width apart. Taking a slight step forward with either foot enables this exercise to both be easier and work the muscle group harder (you're not trying to balance at the same time). Bring both hands down in a large arc in front of you, almost like you are flapping your arms like wings (but much slower) and slowly return to your original position.

Cross Cable Lat - Attach one handle to a cable at your feet. Stand with your left foot next to the handle and grab it with your right hand. Stand up straight with your feet shoulder's width apart (you may also use your left hand to grab something for slight leverage). Stretch your right arm up in a sword-drawing motion, keeping your hand close to your body. Slowly return your right hand down to your left hip. Do your set of these (about 10-15) and repeat for the other side.

Bent Over Lat - With two dumbbells in your hand, stand with your feet shoulders' width apart and bend at the waist. Your body should be almost parallel with the ground. Let your hands hang in front of you, then pull your arms back, keeping them straight. Only bend your elbows slightly, no more. Let your hands slowly back down to the starting position. Photo 1 Photo 2

Dumbbell Curls - Sit up right with your back straight. You may also want to find a chair or bench with a back on it to support your back. Let your arms hang down to the side, each holding a dumbbell. Raise both dumbbells toward your head, keeping your elbows stationary, and let them back down. You can also stand and/or alternate hands, as in the photos. Photo 1 Photo 2

Dumbbell Tricep Extension - This is much the same as the bench press, but instead of the weight being in front of you, it's over the top of your head. Lying down on a bench, grasp a dumbbell in both hands, holding it slightly above (not above your face) the top of your head. Keep your elbows stationary and push the weight up so that your arms are almost completely extended, and slowly let it back down. Photo 1 Photo 2 Alternate

Lower Abdominal Leg Lifts - Lie on your back with your knees up and your feet on the floor. Bring your knees to your chest and back down -- don't let your feet go back to the floor until you have completed your set (about 15 repetitions).

45 Degree Lunge - Hold a dumbbell in each hand, with your feet slightly apart. Take a large step forward with your right leg to step out at a 45 degree angle, keeping your back leg in place. Do NOT lean, keep your back straight. Return your right leg to it's original place (or bring your left leg up to meet it) and repeat with the left leg.

Leg Curls - Lying on your stomach, curl your legs upward so that your heels are moving toward your butt. Some machines are upright but the motion is the same. Photo 1 Photo 2

Leg Press - The idea of this exercise is to imitate a sitting or squatting position. Do not bend your knees too far, this puts undue stress on your knees -- bend halfway (at the most) before returning to a standing position. A machine can also be used, as in the photos. Photo 1 Photo 2

Leg Adductor - (You will need a machine for this one!) Sit with your legs as far apart as they will go comfortably. Squeeze your legs together to bring them in until your knees (or the machine) come together. Slowly allow your legs to retreat to their original position. Photo 1 Photo 2

Leg Abductor - (You will need a machine for this one!) Sit with your legs straight out in front of you and close together. Spread your legs apart until they can't go any further. Slowly allow your legs to retreat to their original position.

Seated Calf Raise - Some gyms have a special calf raise piece of equipment, feel free to use this and/or the leg press machine or squat machine. Your feet should be resting on a flat surface, with your heels hanging off the edge. Flex both feet (imitating a tip-toe position) and return to the starting position. Alternatively, you can do a standing calf raise, as in the photos. Photo 1 Photo 2

Medicine Ball Twist - Lie on your back with your knees up and your feet flat on the floor. Hold a medicine ball (or a lightweight object you can easily hold) straight out in front of you. Lift your head toward your knees half-way and move the ball to the right of your knees simultaneously, then return back to the floor. Repeat on each side.

Ball Crunch - This is much the same as the Crunch (above) except you can use an exercise ball instead of the floor. Sit on the ball and roll down until your lower back is supported by the ball. Your feet should be firmly planted on the floor and your hands can be either on your shoulders or by your head. Lean back and bring yourself back up to a sitting position.

Also make sure you visit our section on stretching exercises, these are very vital to every workout!

Another great reference for strength training specifically for hockey is Complete Conditioning for Ice Hockey, I highly recommend it!

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