How Flexible Are Hockey Goalies

Hockey goalies are known for their impressive flexibility on the ice. Here are five supporting facts about the flexibility of hockey goalies:
1. Stretching routine: Hockey goalies typically have a rigorous stretching routine to improve their flexibility. This includes exercises that focus on the hips, groin, hamstrings, and lower back, which are essential for making agile saves.

2. Split saves: Goalies often need to perform split saves, which require exceptional flexibility. By using the splits technique, goalies can quickly cover more area in the net and make remarkable saves.

3. Contorting their bodies: A goalie’s ability to contort their body is crucial in making saves from awkward positions. They have to be able to twist, turn, and reach in various directions to stop the puck from entering the net.

4. Quick lateral movement: Hockey goalies need to move quickly from side to side to stop shots. Flexibility allows them to extend their legs and push off powerfully when needed, enabling them to cover the far edges of the net with ease.

5. Recovery from saves: After making a save, goalies need to be flexible enough to recover quickly and maintain their readiness for the next shot. Flexibility helps them get back up from the ice smoothly and efficiently.


1. Are all goalies naturally flexible?
Not all goalies are naturally flexible, but they can improve their flexibility through regular stretching and training routines. Flexibility is a skill that can be developed and enhanced over time.

2. Why is hip flexibility important for hockey goalies?
Hip flexibility is crucial for goalies as it allows them to perform crucial movements such as the butterfly save technique. It enables goalies to drop quickly into a butterfly stance, where their knees are bent, feet are turned outwards, and their pads cover the bottom part of the net.

3. Can goalies with less flexibility still be successful?
While flexibility is advantageous for goalies, it is not the sole determining factor for success. Goalies can compensate for limited flexibility with excellent positioning, anticipation, and quick reflexes. However, being more flexible can provide an advantage when making difficult saves.

4. How often should hockey goalies stretch?
Hockey goalies should incorporate stretching into their regular training routine. Ideally, they should stretch daily, focusing on areas like the hips, groin, hamstrings, and lower back. Stretching before and after practices and games is especially important to prevent injuries.

5. Can goalies improve their flexibility during the season?
Yes, goalies can continue to improve their flexibility during the season. Implementing regular stretching sessions and working with a trainer or coach can help maintain and enhance flexibility throughout the hockey season.

6. Can being too flexible be a disadvantage for goalies?
While being flexible is generally seen as an advantage for goalies, excessive flexibility can sometimes lead to overstretching or injuries. It is important for goalies to strike a balance between being flexible and also maintaining stability and strength.

7. Does age affect a goalie’s flexibility?
Flexibility can naturally decrease with age due to factors like muscle stiffness and joint tightness. However, with regular stretching, strength training, and proper warm-up routines, goalies can maintain and even improve their flexibility at any age.

BOTTOM LINE: Hockey goalies rely on their flexibility to make extraordinary saves on the ice. They can improve their flexibility through stretching routines, allowing them to perform split saves, contort their bodies, and move quickly from side to side. While flexibility is advantageous, goalies can still be successful with less flexibility by focusing on other key skills. Regular stretching and maintenance of flexibility are crucial for goalies to ensure their readiness and performance in every game.