Injury prevention has become a popular term in the sports community. We are now seeing high rates of sports injuries in the amateur and professional settings. Hockey groin injuries have been one of the more predominant injuries that both amateur and professional players have been dealing with. Several studies have found that this non-contact injury is predominantly due to the excessive forces generated during the acceleration to deceleration phases of skating. Trends have also shown that groin strains in the NHL have increased, and a portion of those has suffered multiple groin injuries. It is especially important in our younger players who want to have a long injury free hockey career (amateur or professional) to avoid these injuries. Knowing this, one can see how important it is to try and get a jump on attempting to prevent a groin injury. 

First, a little information on what causes the injury before I give away tips regarding groin injury prevention. Researchers have found that one main difference between players that are more prone to these types of non-contact injuries, groin strength! Specifically the difference of strength ratio between hip adductors (those muscles that allow you to squeeze your knees together) and hip abductors (muscles that allow you raise your leg to the side). They found that hockey players who had weaker adductors when compared to hip abductors were more prone to groin injuries. Think about that for second. Have you ever been told to stretch your groin after the injury? Why would you want to stretch an already weakened/injured muscle? Strengthening your adductors would be a better option if the findings were the same as mentioned above.

Below is a program to help prevent groin injuries related to hockey. Try incorporating this into your cardio day or having 1 day/week dedicated to this program for minimum 6 weeks before your regular season starts up.

Warm-up Reps/Sets
Stationary bike 10 min
Adductor muscle stretch 20-30 sec x 2 Sets
Elevated adductor dips 12-15 reps x 2 sets
Foam Rolling 12-15 reps
Strengthening Program
Goblet sumo squats with kettle bell 12-15 reps x 2-3 sets
Sumo Deadlift 12-15 reps x 2-3 sets
Standing adduction with cable/elastic resistance 12-15 reps x 2-3 sets
Standing with involved foot on sliding board 12-15 reps x 2-3 sets
Tri-planar Lunges 12-15 reps x 2-3 sets
Skater Diagonal Leaps 12-15 reps x 2-3 sets
Sumo Squat Leaps 12-15 reps x 2-3 sets

This program would be best to begin pre-season before your play ramps up and there is an increase chance of injuring your adductors. If you have already suffered an adductor strain, come in the Active Health Institute to have one of our highly trained physiotherapist’s or chiropractor’s assess and develop a treatment plan specifically for you.