• Lionel Pannunzio PT / SCS

Hip Strengthening For Soccer Players | Part II - Hip Abduction | Weston | Florida


Introduction


We continue today with our series on Hip Strengthening Exercises for Soccer Players.

The Hip has 6-direction of movements: flexion / extension, Abduction / Adduction, Internal / External Rotation . The hip joint is the most important link in this chain called lower extremity. In this second article I will talk about the importance, for Soccer Players, of Hip Abduction.



What is Hip Abduction ?


Hip abduction is when the leg moves away from the mid line of the body. We use this action every day when we step to the side, get out of bed, get out of the car, or more sport related , when we open the leg to reach for a ball.


The hip abductors are often important and often forgotten muscles that contribute to our ability to stand, walk, and rotate our legs with ease.


Anatomy of hip abduction


The hip abductor muscles include the gluteus medius, gluteus minimus ( see second Picture below ) , and tensor fasciae latae ending in the Illiotibial Band (TFL).





Hip Abduction and Pelvis Stabilization


The Abductors, not only move the leg away from the body, but also help rotate the leg laterally at the hip joint. Besides this movement-oriented function the Hip Abductors help to maintain the pelvis stable on the standing or plant leg to allow movement on the other like when we stand on one foot , or the movement of running or kicking.


The pelvis must remain level or as level as possible for the other muscles to act properly. In my opinion this function of leveling the pelvis and the body is extremely important to play soccer pain-free and many of the problems Soccer Players have in their lower back, hips, knees and ankles can have their origin in weak hip abductors.


Weakness in the Hip Abductor muscles can cause

  • lateral hip pain called Gluteal Tendinopathy ( the old name for this condition was bursitis ) ,

  • lateral knee pain called Ilitibial Band Syndrome ( ITBS syndrome) ,

  • Patello-Femoral Pain Syndrome ( PFPS)

Studies have found that people with PFPS, Gluteal Tendinopathy and ITBS are more likely to have hip weakness than those who don’t suffer from hip or knee pain. This supports the idea that hip abductor strength is important when it comes to Hip and knee health and stability.



Knee valgus Collapse





Knee valgus Collapse refers to when the knee caves inward, giving a “knock-kneed” appearance. This is most commonly seen in young women and older adults or in those with muscle imbalances or improper form during exercise.

Research has shown that knee valgus is associated with lack of hip strength and that hip abduction exercises can improve the condition. Also excessive Knee valgus especially when landing from a jump or during running or change of direction can create excessive shearing at the knee and generate a Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injury ( ACL tear)


Finally the inability to stop the trunk or body from moving laterally can contribute to roll your ankle joint ( Ankle Sprains).



Hip Abduction Weakness and Patello-Femoral Pain Syndrome


It’s not clear whether hip abduction weakness is a cause or a result of Hip or knee problems. Findings about the relationship between hip abduction and knee issues are mixed. In general, though, strengthening these muscles delivers benefits.


For example in patients with PFPS , a 2008 study showed positive results with a six-week exercise program that included strengthening the hip abductors. Physical function was significantly related to hip abductor strength at two, four, and six weeks.


A 2011 study study looked at the effectiveness of a hip abductor strengthening program among 25 participants, 15 of whom had PFPS. They found that after three weeks, participants with PFPS saw an increase in strength and a decrease in pain.


Hip Abduction and Core Strength


Core muscles and Hip Abductors are are closely related and are crucial for balance and athletic activity.


If you have been follow my blogs, you will know by now that I’m a big fan of core activation in close relationship with leg muscle activation.


The lateral sling represents this synergy very well and side planks are the best to recreate this Core / Hip abductor dual activation https://www.wbsphysicaltherapy.com/blog-1/the-one-exercise-that-can-end-your-low-back-pain-weston-florida


Hip Abduction Exercises


Standing Isometric Hip Abduction with Ball on Wall





Setup

Begin in a standing upright position with your knee bent to a 90-degree angle resting against a small ball on the wall.

Movement

Gently press your knee into the ball. Hold briefly, then relax and repeat.

Tip

Make sure to maintain your balance and do not arch your low back during the exercise.


Side-lying Hip Abduction with Resistance at Ankle




Setup

Begin by lying on your side with a resistance loop secured around your ankles.

Movement

Extend your leg slightly backward until your toes are at the level of your bottom heel. Raise your leg toward the ceiling, keeping your knee and foot straight.

Tip

Make sure not to roll forward or backward during the exercise.


Conclusion


  • Hip abduction exercises can offer many benefits from Hip and Pelvic stabilization necessary for sports to resolve or prevent Hip, Knee or Ankle Injuries

  • Exercises you can do to improve hip abductor strength include: Sidelying Hip Abduction with Resistance at Ankle and Standing Isometric Hip Abduction with Ball on Wall.

  • Soccer players need strong but at the same time mobile Hips.

  • Today I showed you the importance of hip Adbuction for this sport.

  • You have now too very good exercises to increase or maintain the strength of your lateral hip muscles.

  • You will feel stronger and quicker once you do these Drills



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