What can you learn from an NHL goalie about stretching?

As many of you know, I like getting hit by pucks in my spare time. I was reading an article a few weeks back about the science of stretching in relation to goalies, and came across a great little tidbit.

Meet Miikka Kiprusoff. He is a Finnish goalie who now plays for the Calgary Flames (or rather would be playing if there were not an impasse in labor/ownership negotiations). He’s an incredibly athletic 35 year old who can do the splits at a moment’s notice.

Well, it seems like a moment’s notice.

The thing is, he knows he’ll probably need to do it practically every night. It’s kind of part of the game. So he prepares well in advance before that inevitable moment comes.

He doesn’t do that just by thinking positive thoughts (though I’d wager he probably does do that). He doesn’t just hope he’ll be able to do the splits even though he’s 35 and “aging.” No. He prepares.

How does he prepare?

“Miikka Kiprusoff spends up to 3 hours stretching on a game day.”

That’s 45 minutes before practice, 45 minutes after practice, then 45 minutes before the game, and 45 minutes after the game.

The man means business when he stretches — simple as that. And when you watch a highlight reel of him doing the splits (like the one above), you’ll see that a strong dedication to targeted stretching really does work.


About the Author

Matt Hsu is a trainer and orthopedic massage therapist. He fought a long battle with chronic pain all over his body and won. He blends the principles he learned in his journey, empirical observations with clients, and relevant research to help others get their lives back.