Straining or “pulling” a muscle is one of those issues that arises far too often in sports. Soccer, hockey, and many track and field runners are part of the population that seemed to get plagued with these. Often times hamstring pulls are actually groin issues. These strains can be caused from a variety of issues such as…
- Poor tissue quality
- Strength imbalance between addutors and ABductors
- Limited hip range of motion
- Stiffness imbalance between glutes and adductors (basically similar to #2)
- Lack of overall core stability
- High volume running or skating in the preseason and a lack of off-season preparation
Poor Tissue Quality
If there is one area of the body that seems to feel like a steel cable to many athletes it is in their adductors. Soccer players, hockey players, and a variety of track runners that I used to know always noted how there adductors seemed to be problematic. One way to really get into the “high” posterior adductor magnus, the one adductor that gets overworked (check glute strength), is to use a dense medicine ball in this area as part of the warm-up (as foam rolling should be but the medball in this case works better). Also, hammering the glutes (lax ball), and hip flexors.
Posterior Adductor Magnus
Stiffness Imbalance between ADDuctors and ABductors
Since spending the past 2 in-seasons with a hockey organization, I have noticed similarities in warm-up and stretching with hockey and soccer players. Many of them have too much flexibility or mobility in their adductors and not enough with their glutes. What is the first stretch you will almost always see these players go to…
As a result, they gain too much frontal plane flexibility (side-to-side flexibility), and much denser or “stiffer” glutes. We can help prevent the imbalance by mobilizing the glutes and strengthening the adductors in a shorter position
Lack of Core Stability
Sports hernia’s are the rage in many sports and to learn a great deal about them, I suggest taking the time to check out Kevin’s blogs about all these. Click here to start.
Basically, there is a tug of war going on with the fascia of the core musculature and the adductors. A marked anterior pelvic tilt makes this situation even worse. Anterior pelvic tilt stretches the abdominal wall–>bad news. We need to get athletes out of this extension and back to neutral by always coaching neutral spine.Thanks to the guys at Endeavor for teaching me these things
P.S. 400 meter sprints have been known to be one of the top ways to lose fat. Guess what, they probably are. I got home about 1 hour ago after doing 3×400’s. My heart rate shot up to 190-193 and it took me 4 minutes to get back down to 120s (call me fat and out of shape). I am going to do these 1x/week and see how it helps my conditioning.