How hockey players can reduce the risk of groin strains. Contest Winners!

Hope you all had a great weekend – personally I had a great weekend and am thrilled for two reasons.  First, it was great to see the Leafs pull off a shootout win over the Bruins with Phil Kessel getting the winner.  Honestly I am not a huge Phil Kessel fan and was not a fan of the trade, but lately he has been growing on me a little (scoring shootout winners, definitely contributes to that).

Secondly, it has FINALLY started snowing here in southern Ontario so that has me pumped!  They are saying as much as 60cm in the next 48 hours…fingers crossed!

Okay, now to the winners of the free Rapid Response Goalie Training programs.  Thank you very much to everyone who entered and left feedback on their experiences with the Ultimate Goalie Training System.  I told you I would select one at random and one that I thought was the best response so here are the winners!

Congratulations Nick Bado and Lisa from Ohio!  You have won the RRGT!  Merry Christmas!

Would the winners and the rest of you who entered please send me a quick email ?   I need to give the winners the download link and I would like to send the rest of you a really nice special bonus to show you how much I appreciate you taking the time to put your thoughts down.  Thanks again!

I will be announcing another contest for those of you who have never used the Ultimate Goalie Training program later this week so stay tuned.  Now on to today’s post.

When I worked as the exercise specialist at the sport medicine clinic at the University of Western Ontario, I learned that a key to preventing injury (or the recurrence of an injury) was to gain a full understanding of why that injury occurred in the first place.  Once we identified the cause, we could rehab the injury and then train the athlete in a way that reduced their risk of re-injury.

If we look at groin strains in hockey players they often went hand in hand with a lack of core stabilization.  If the muscles of the torso did not work with the muscles of the hips to maintain a stable platform at the pelvis, where the adductors or groin muscles attach, this instability could put undue strain on the tissue and result in a tear or strain.

Mike Reinold posted a review of a study published in the American Journal of Sports Medicine that looked at risk factors for groin injuries in male soccer players.  I know soccer and hockey are different sports, but any better understanding we can gain is worthwhile.  You can check out the article entitled, “Intrinsic risk factors for groin injuries among male soccer players: a prospective cohort study.” (2010 Oct; 38(10)2051-7).

Out of the 508 players enrolled in the study and followed over the course of the season, 61 injuries occurred in 51 players.  The top two risk factors that they found were a previous history of a groin strain, in other words if you have strained your groin before, you are more likely to do it again – not so shocking.  The second top risk factor was weak adductor (groin) muscles.

This leads to two action steps. 1) If you have strained your groin, it is not ‘better’ just because it does not hurt when you walk or skate.  The rehab should not stop when the athlete is pain free, as I stated earlier, if that underlying mechanism has not been addressed then the hockey player is still at risk.  2) Many hockey trainers and players spend time working on the muscles that propel them down the ice (the abductors and extensors) that they fail to strengthen the adductors.  When hockey players do work on their adductors it is often on that stupid sit down machine at the gym or using a pulley but from a non-functional position.

This video will give you a few ideas that you can use in the gym to reduce your risk of groin injury.

I will get busy making another video outlining how to address a few of the other causes of groin strains.


PS – Forwards and D-men, don’t worry I have not forgotten you in this season of giving – I have a special Christmas surprise coming for you soon.  Just a head’s up…if you are thinking of purchasing the HockeySTRONG Training System for skaters – DON”T do it yet!  Trust me, you will be glad that you waited!