Hockey Lab Japan articles #10

Make your BUTTERFLY WIDER!

"BUTTERFLY STRETCH"

by Hiroki WAKABAYASHI

The butterfly save is undoubtedly the most important technique for contemporary goaltending. However, not too many goalies can have big wide butterflies like Roy. As a goalie coach, I've been asked by a lot of goalies, coaches and parents about how to increase the size of butterfly. Although I don't believe the size of the butterfly is the most important asset to employ butterfly style, it's still better to have wider butterfly. Wider butterfly can give you some edge when you make tough saves, and flexible knees can prevent you from get injured.

So, can you increase your width of the butterfly? The answer is YES! First of all, you have to understand the mechanics of the butterfly. It's not the JOINT OF THE KNEES and HIPS that determine the width of your butterfly. Shapes and the constructions of your joints DO have something to do with your flexibility, but it's not a major factor. It's the muscles surrounding these joints that determine the flexibility of your NKEES and HIPS AREA! Do stretch muscles of your legs especially your groin area daily, and you can see your butterfly gets a bit wider in one month!

Picture 1 shows you the stretch in the Half Butterfly position. Stand on your knees (shoulder width apart), right toe points straight backward, left toe points sideways to your left. Your back should be straight, never sit on your legs. Put your right hand on your right hip and push slowly out in front (and to the ground) so you can feel your right groin area is well stretched. Keep this position for 30 seconds and switch side. Repeat 3 times each side.


Picture 1

Next step is to sit in the position as Picture 2. The inside of your right knee should lay flat on the ground. Try to push your right hip toward the ground slowly. Keep this position for 30 seconds and switch side. Repeat 3 times each side.

Picture 3 & 4 are the progressions of the stretch before. Spread your right leg to the outside a bit and do the same stretch (Picture 3). Lay down on your back and do the same stretch (Picture 4).


Picture 2


Picture 3


Picture 4

Picture 5 is the advanced stretch for butterfly. DO NOT TRY THIS BEFORE YOU COMPLETE THE STRETCHES ABOVE AT LEAST ONE MONTH. Lay down on your back, spread your knees like you do butterfly on the ice. Have someone push your knees toward the ground SLOWLY & EASILY. Keep this position for 30. Repeat 3 times.


Picture 5

NOTE: All stretches should be done after you completely warm up your body, and should be done on the safety mattress.

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