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  • Writer's pictureLionel Pannunzio PT / SCS

Hip Strengthening For Soccer Players | Part IV - Hip Internal Rotation | Weston | Florida


We continue with our series on Hip Strengthening Exercises for Soccer Players and today we will focus on the hip internal rotators

What is Hip Internal Rotation?

Hip internal rotation is the twisting movement of your thigh inward from your hip joint.

In soccer, Hip internal roration is very important to

  • change of direction or when making a cut Hip Internal Rotation helps decelerate the body while also loading the hip allowing for a powerful re-acceleration.

  • When sprinting Hip Internal Rotation allows a soccer player to maximally extend their hip. You know from our previous blogs on this topic, how important Hip Extension is for playing soccer.

  • For rotational movements, Internal Rotation is crucial for optimizing force transfer from the upper body to the lower extremity.

  • In strength training, having and optimal Hip Internal Rotation allows the femoral head to remain centrated within the acetabulum allowing for a pure Squat pattern without compensations at the lumbar spine/knees/ankles.

Anatomy of hip Internal Rotation

As estrange as it could sound, we don't have any primary Hip Internal Rotation Muscles, yes, none. Other muscles from the hip which their primary functions is not Internal rotation will secondarily rotate the hip internally.

These muscles are:

  • the adductor longus, brevis, and magnus (your usual inner thigh muscles )

  • Pectineus muscle: The pectineus muscle is a flat, quadrangular muscle that lies at the top of your inner thigh, often referred to as your groin muscle. It's primarily responsible for hip flexion, but it also rotates your thigh and adducts, which means it pulls your legs together when the muscles contracts.

One of the main problems in soccer players, is lack of Hip Internal Rotation

For a healthy Hip, we need full Range Of Motion (ROM) in all the directions. We discuss in other blogs the problems associated with the lack of Hip Extension and for Hip Internal Rotation the situation is very similar

Lack of Hip Internal Rotation may lead to:

  • increased risk for adductor strain in professional soccer players

  • increased lower back pain in professional soccer players.

  • back and abdominal muscle injuries in soccer players.

  • increased risk of Hamstrings injuries.

  • increased risk of Groin Injuries

  • Labrum tear (inside the hip joint ) and Femoro-Acetabular Impingement.

We have the solution for those deficits of Internal Rotation...

Mobility drills and strengthening are a must for every joint but especially important for the hip. Restoring full ROM in between practices and games is mandatory is you want to stay pain-free.

Hip Internal Mobility in Supine


  • Begin lying on your back with your knees bent, feet flat on the floor, and legs wider than hip width apart.


  • Let your knees fall toward the same side, then repeat on the other side.


  • Make sure to keep both of your shoulders on the ground during the exercise and do not arch your back.

  • Keep your core active and the lower back in contact with the floor Push to the end actively. You can also help a little bit with your hands to reach a tiny bit further

  • As you repeat this you should feel that you can go further and further in both directions

Hip Internal Rotation Strengthening


  • Begin sitting upright with your feet flat on the floor , a soccer ball in between your thighs by the knee and a resistance loop wrapped around your ankles.


  • Brace your core muscles, Keeping your other foot anchored to the floor and rotate your lower leg outward, pulling against the resistance. Hold briefly, then return to the starting position and repeat.


  • Make sure to keep your knee bent at a 90 degree angle and do not lift your thigh from the chair during the exercise.


  • Hip Internal rotation exercises can offer many benefits from Hip and Pelvic stabilization necessary for sports to help prevent Groin and Hip Pain.

  • Exercises you can do to improve hip flexion strength include: mobility drills to increase range of motion in internal rotation and strengthening exercises of this movement

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

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

  • You have now a couple of very good exercises to increase or maintain the strength of your rotator hip muscles.

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

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Are you having Hip or Groin pain while playing soccer ?

Do you want to find out what tissues or muscles can be causing your hip Pain ?






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