Do This Not That – – for your groins

Before I give you 15 alternate exercises you can use to strengthen your adductors/groins while making them more resistant to injury, I am wondering how your weekend went?  Did anyone watch the Toronto game on Saturday night?  I listened to the first two periods in the car and got home in time to see the last period – not really pleased with the result – shutout loss AND Bolland gone for a few months 🙁

I drove to Gravenhurst (in the Muskoka area of Ontario – so cottage country) right after work on Friday.  I actually breezed right through Toronto on the collectors at about 6:30pm – it was awesome.  I was in Gravenhurst to speak at the Fire Service Women Ontario annual conference.  So on Saturday I got to speak to a couple groups of female firefighters about nutrition and training, etc.  It was a fun day – – and then I zipped back home in time for the end of the hockey game.

Was pretty happy to have the extra hour of sleep Saturday night!  Okay – on to the business…

Do THIS, Not THAT:  The Groin Machine Edition

The other day someone on a Forum asked about the Seated Groin machine they have at their gym.  They thought it looked like it would be really good for their groins (adductors), but he was a little hesitant because there always seemed to be women using it.  Basically he felt like a total creeper, standing there waiting to ‘work in’ with somebody’s Mom.

Depending where the gym is located, I could see it being a problem – like if the gym were in Jersey for example.  Just kidding to my Jersey friends 🙂

Someone else was kind enough to post a link to a post I wrote a few years ago declaring this exercise  the ‘worst’ exercise a goalie could do.  And this in turn rattled a few folks who apparently have strong feelings of love for that little adductor machine.

So maybe it is not the WORST thing…

They took exception that it is not the ‘worst’ thing you could do to your adductors and I guess I have to agree – even though it is not functional, it does not use your adductors the way they are ever used on the ice and in my opinion can increase your risk of groin or abdominal strain, I am sure there are worse things you could do – like back your car over your groins to lengthen them out maybe or jump off the roof and try to land in the splits, that would be worse.

As I pretty much always say (and it pretty much always gets ignored) is this – – – if you L-O-V-E that little seated adductor machine, then I hope you two will be very happy together for a long, long time.  That is my wish for you.

But let me give you a few options that in my opinion do a much better job of giving your adductors the strength, stability and mobility they actually need on the ice.  You see the adductors do pull the legs together (move the femur on the pelvis) when you are seated or suspended or in some other way your feet are off the ground.  BUT once you are in a standing position they also work to move or stabilize the pelvis on the femur and that is a big difference.

Try this little test…

To prove my point, I put this challenge out to the goalies on the Forum – and I ask you to do the same if you use the Seated Groin Machine.

  • Go to your gyms adjustable Cable Column – if your gym does not have one, then immediately start looking for a new gym
  • Attach the ankle cuff to your…well…your ankle – duh.  Put it on the right ankle.
  • Set the resistance as low as it can go
  • Step out 1 meter from the machine with your right foot closest to the pulley
  • Stand on your left leg and reach out to your right with the other leg.  Remember to keep your shoulders and pelvis level and NO you cannot hold on for balance.
  • Now bring your right foot to meet your left foot and appreciate how the right adductor is moving your femur on the pelvis, while your left adductor is working to stabilize your pelvis on your femur.  That sounds like a little more bang for your buck doesn’t it.

Would you be able to do anywhere near the same resistance with this functional, ground based set up compared to the seated version?  Not a chance, so I hope you appreciate that the strength you build using the seated groin machine is not usable strength on the ice.  In fact you are making those muscles very, very strong in a way that they are not used during your sport – that does not make much sense to me.

Try these instead…

If you cannot see the video in the player above, simply click the link below…

  1. Standing Cable Adduction (video)
  2. Closed Chain Cable Adduction (video)
  3. Slideboard Groiners
  4. ½ Kneeling Eccentric Groiners (video)
  5. FRC Kneeling Groin Stretch
  6. Squat Lateral (video)
  7. Squat Lateral with foot on stability ball or bench (video)
  8. Sumo Squat (video)
  9. Single Leg Knee Recovery
  10. Lunge Lateral (video)
  11. Wide Out
  12. Low Cable Hip Shift
  13. Low Hip Shift with Plate Push
  14. Cable Cross Under (video)
  15. Fonzie Russian Dancing – ==>> CLICK THE LINK – THIS IS HILARIOUS ==>>>

Good, Better, Best…you could do better

So I will concede, if I were stranded on a desert island with nothing but a seated groin machine, I would be on that thing ever day – I would probably even find a way to do biceps curls using it.  But other than that, for a hockey goalie (or any athlete) I would choose to train my adductors using one of the above.

Give them a try and let me know what you think.