Our 5th and last blog post on Hip Strengthening will be dedicated to the one the most powerful muscles groups in the lower limb: the Hip Adductors.
What is Hip Adduction?
Adduction is the movement of a limb toward the mid-line of the body. If we think of the hip then we’re looking at the pelvis and the femur moving toward each other.
In soccer think about a pass or kick with inside of your foot, Hip adduction happens when the kicking leg is off the ground and moving toward the pelvis. It can also happen with the foot on the ground and the pelvis moving toward the leg. ( think about the plant leg in the same kick).
Anatomy of Hip Adduction
The adductors is a group of 5 muscles:
the adductor longus,
Why having weak or tight Adductors can lead to serious problems for Soccer Players?
Lack of movement in adduction and / or weakness in these powerful muscle group have been associated with Low Back Pain, Groin Pain, Pulled Hamstrings to name a few.
There are many reason why Hip Adductors can be stiff , weak and tight. Sports that require repetitive sprinting, kicking or constant change of direction ( football, soccer , rugby , hockey ) load the adductors and can increase your risk of having a Adductor injury or Groin Pain.
When these muscles are weak or tight ( tightness is another sign for weakness), they will not have the proper length to allow the limb to properly access to the extremes of the movement causing tearing or pulling of this muscles.
Furthermore, the body will sense this inability of the adductors to function adequately and will compensate with another muscle group to allow us to keep doing those important movements we need to play soccer, overloading other joints or muscles like the hamstrings, gluteal muscles, hip flexors or lower abdominal muscles.
Adductors and Groin Pain
Tight hip adductors will overload the Groin area and may damage the surrounding soft tissues like the Inguinal canal, the abdominal wall and even the bone when they pull “too hard “ from its attachment and causing pain in the pubic area
Adductors are one of the main causes of Pain in people with Chronic Groin Pain. Groin Pain always goes with weakness in adduction and this is one of the movements , we as therapist, need to restore first in these cases. Research (Kristian Thorborg 2018) shows that from all the Groin injuries, the Adductor Group ( inner thigh muscles) accounts for 40 % of them.
The most common Injury to the Adductor Group is a muscle Strain of the Adductor Longus (aka Pulled Muscle)
The adductors is a group of 5 muscles: the adductor longus, adductor magnus, adductor brevis, Pectinus and Gracilis. 62 % of Adductor Tears occurs in the Adductor Longus, that thick vertical muscle in your inner thigh. If you want to Lean more about Adductor Strain, check out our Blog Post on this topic
How to improve Hip Adduction
By now you can see that having proper Hip Adduction ( mobility and strength) are super important components, so now I will share with you different exercises you can do to improve them.
Hip Adductor Mobility Work
In this first two Videos, I demonstrate how to increase hip range of motion
Knee to Chest mobility work
To improve hip flexion and gentle mobilize your groin area to reduce symptoms of pain and stiffness.
Begin lying on your back with your legs straight.
Using your hands, slowly pull one knee toward your chest until you feel a gentle stretch in your lower back.
Make sure to keep your back relaxed and flat on the ground during the stretch. Use this as part of your warm up or after games to maintain a healthy balance at the hip and play pain-free
Adductor Mobility Work
Supine Hip Adduction - “Ball Squeeze “
Begin lying on your back with your legs bent, feet resting on the floor, and a soft ball positioned between your knees.
Engage your core musculature by Bracing with your abdominal muscles
Squeeze your knees together into the ball, then release and repeat.
Make sure to keep your back flat against the floor during the exercise.
Soccer players need strong but at the same time mobile Hips.
Today I showed you the importance of hip adduction for this sport.
You have now two mobility drills and 1 exercises to improve Hip Adduction.
You will feel stronger and quicker once you do these Drills
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