Using a Hip Adduction Exercise Machine
Using a Hip Adduction Exercise Machine

Training-Room Tips (Video): How to Predict and Prevent Groin Pulls

Dick Moss, Editor, PE

A recent study has confirmed that a reduction in strength in the leg adductors (the groin muscles that pull the thighs together) is one of the main causes for the groin pain in athletes .

This reduction in strength can be used to predict future groin injuries, and the maintenance of hip adductor strength can prevent such injuries.

The Study
Researchers from Victoria and La Trobe Universities, in Australia, performed weekly tests on the adductor muscle strength of 86 elite age-class Australian football players. Within seven weeks, 12 of the players (14%) had sustained groin injuries.

It was found that the groin-injured players had experienced a drop in adductor strength of about 5% two weeks before the injury and 11% during the actual week of the injury.

Since a drop in hip adductor muscle strength is so highly related to the onset of groin injuries, it's a good idea to perform strength exercises to maintain the strength of these muscles.

Good exercises include hip adductions using machines or surgical tubing. In these exercises, the thighs are pulled together, against resistance.

A side benefit of such exercise is that it may also maintain muscle balance in the thigh muscles, which can prevent knee-tracking injuries such as Runner's' Knee (Chondromalacia).

And, if athletes who already perform such exercises begin to notice adductor weakness, it may  be a harbinger of a groin injury. It's a warning that they should reduce the intensity of exercise, stretch gently and avoid risky movements for a while.

To see a demonstration of the Hip Adduction exercise
using a stretch cord (surgical tubing), watch the video below:

Reference: Justin Crow, Alan Pierce, James Veale, Dan VanderWesthuizen, Paul Coburn, Tania Pizzari, “Hip adductor muscle strength is reduced preceding and during the onset of groin pain in elite junior Australian football players.” Journal of Science & Medicine in Sport,  March 2010, Vol. 13 Issue 2, p202 .

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