Sports hernias and groin strains are affecting an increasing number of hockey players (and athletes in general for that matter). These injuries generally appear toward the end of high school and into junior/college/pro levels.
If you’re interested in some of the research, causes, and ways to prevent these injuries, check out an article I wrote called Dissecting the Sports Hernia last summer for StrengthCoach.com outlining some of the research on the topic.
The anatomy involved with these injuries can be very complex, but the concepts involved in preventing them are relatively simple: Maintain balanced strength among the muscles connecting to the pelvis and maintain adequate hip range of motion. Admittedly, these concepts are “simple” in theory, but difficult to implement.
This can be the result of excessive tightness of the hip external rotators. The mobilization (which can be held at “end range” as a static stretch) in the video below is a great one to maintain hip internal rotation range of motion.
Basically you just plant your feet, pull your stomach down toward the floor, and pull your knees toward each other. You should feel this deep in your hips.
Train Smart. Stay Healthy.
Kevin Neeld, MS, CSCS
Athletic Development Coach
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.