Groin Injuries in Ice Hockey
PART II – CORE STABILITY FOR THE ICE HOCKEY PLAYER
Welcome back to our groin injury series!
The first goal (pun intended) in preventing or recovering from a groin strain is addressing your pelvic position. As we discussed last time, the skating position in ice hockey lends itself to a posture where the low back has an excessive arch and the pelvis is tilted down and forward.
If you are in fact in this “extension posture”, which you can get screened by a physical therapist or performance coach, then you will need to learn how to RESIST extension with what has been dubbed anti-extension drills. Addressing this is crucial because there is no sense in improving mobility or strength until proper positioning is achieved first.
If you recently sustained a groin injury, these will allow you to work on resisting core extension while keeping tension OFF of your groin muscles
∙ While laying on your back with your knees and hips bent, hold a weight above your chest with arms extended
∙ Slowly lift your arms overhead and prevent your lower back from arching up off the table.
∙ A way to tell if your back is arching is to look down towards your chest and check your ribs; if they are flared up then your lower back is most likely off the table
∙ Intermediate: Plank
∙ If recovering from a groin injury, the plank will allow you to start adding tension through the hip flexors
∙ Lay on your forearms with your elbows positioned directly under your shoulders and legs extended out straight
∙ While in this position, your back may arch and or your hips will sag downward so make sure to stay TIGHT and maintain a straight/solid position from head to tail; make sure NOT to raise your buttocks in the air to compensate!
∙ Advanced: Body Saw
∙ If recovering from a groin injury, the body saw will utilize a stronger “pull” from the hip flexors as well as train your core to resist extension
∙ Set up the same way you would as described above for the plank, BUT with a folded up towel under your feet (if you can’t use a towel on hardwood floor other substitutes include furniture sliders on carpet or turf)
∙ From your forearms, push yourself backward using the towel to slide and resist the urge of your lower back arching and hips sagging towards the floor
∙ Slide yourself back to the starting position by driving your elbows backward and pulling the toes forward
Join us next time for the final installment where will take a look at how to gain length in the hip flexors and hip adductors as well as how to strengthen those muscle groups.