Today’s “Thursday Throwback” is a quick one from 2009. This continues to be a trend we see in our assessments today and I think, while basic, highlights that you can go wrong on both ends of the flexibility continuum. Those that are too immobile at one joint are likely to move excessively at another. Those that are too mobile at one joint may be more likely to suffer from injuries as a result of a lack of stability and/or constant attempt to manage the instability (e.g. muscle injuries). This is why optimizing movement is such an important concept!
Enjoy the post below:
A couple weeks ago I did an audio interview with Joe Heiler for SportsRehabExpert.com, one of the most underrated membership sites on the web. I’m really humbled that he asked me to contribute.
If you’ve never been there, check it out. Joe’s a really bright guy and has compiled a lot of great information from other smart, successful coaches and therapists.
One of the things that came up during the interview was what we can do to prevent “groin” (adductor) strains. We’ve been fortunate in that we haven’t had too many adductor injuries in our athletes. This is probably, at least in part, due to the hip mobility and hip muscle activation exercises we use.
We did have a couple athletes complain of adductor pain though, and they all had ONE thing in common:
OUTSTANDING ADDUCTOR FLEXIBILITY!
This trend flies in the face of the “you got hurt because you didn’t stretch or aren’t flexible enough” way of thinking.
In these athletes, we were able to resolve their pain relatively quickly, by having them STOP STRETCHING their adductors, start stretching their glutes a few times a day, and by doing isometric adductor strengthening exercises by crushing a medicine ball between their knees for time.
The rationale was simply that their adductors were weak relative to their abductors (to be overly simplistic: weak groin, strong glutes).
By stretching their glutes and strengthening their adductors, we were able to shift the strength and stiffness relationship between those muscles into more balance and get rid of their pain within a week or two.
To your success,
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Kevin has rapidly established himself as a leader in the field of physical preparation and sports science for ice hockey. He is currently the Head Performance Coach for the Boston Bruins, where he oversees all aspects of designing and implementing the team’s performance training program, as well as monitoring the players’ performance, workload and recovery. Prior to Boston, Kevin spent 2 years as an Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach for the San Jose Sharks after serving as the Director of Performance at Endeavor Sports Performance in Pitman, NJ. He also spent 5 years as a Strength and Conditioning Coach with USA Hockey’s Women’s Olympic Hockey Team, and has been an invited speaker at conferences hosted by the NHL, NSCA, and USA Hockey.