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Hockey Players: Learn the NHL’s Secret Weapon Against Groin Strains

July 15, 2015  /  04:21 PM

Goals, assists, penalties—all key hockey stats. There’s another number that should matter to players: The ratio of their inner to outer hip strength. A bigger imbalance between these muscle groups means a greater risk of groin strains.

Fortunately, exercises using tools like the TheraBand CLX can equalize hip strength and reduce injury risk. As proof, researchers recently evaluated an entire National Hockey League team. Of the 58 players tested, 33 ranked as high-risk and completed a six-week preseason strengthening program.

Only three groin strains occurred in the next two seasons (compared to 11 in the two seasons prior). And those who did sustain strains missed less playing time, in part because they incorporated similar strengthening moves into their rehab program.

Three strength-building sessions per week did the trick for the pros. If you play hockey or another sport with side-to-side motion, they could prevent injuries for you, too. 

Goals:

Increase strength; Prevent sprains, strains, hip and groin injuries

Activity:

Cutting, Skating

  • step 1

    Begin by anchoring the end loops of your CLX to a CLX door anchor at waist level. Wrap the middle of the CLX band around your waist. Start with feet hip width apart and then step out to your side away from the CLX anchor and perform a small side lunge. Be sure to keep your trunk upright during this exercise. Hold briefly and slowly return to starting position and repeat.

    <p>Begin by anchoring the end loops of your CLX to a CLX door anchor at waist level. Wrap the middle of the CLX band around your waist. Start with feet hip width apart and then step out to your side away from the CLX anchor and perform a small side lunge. Be sure to keep your trunk upright during this exercise. Hold briefly and slowly return to starting position and repeat.</p>
  • step 2

    Kneel down to one knee as you place your foot through one of the center Easy Grip loops, anchoring the CLX at your thighs just above your knee. Carefully switch to the other knee and place that foot into the other center easy grip loop. Then slowly stand and adjust the loops to be sure the CLX is anchored just above the knees. Grab the remaining CLX and either hold in hand or place hands inside the easy grip loops. Maintaining an athletic stance with knees and hips slightly bent take 3 steps laterally against the band while keeping your back straight. Return to your starting position and repeat.

    <p>Kneel down to one knee as you place your foot through one of the center Easy Grip loops, anchoring the CLX at your thighs just above your knee. Carefully switch to the other knee and place that foot into the other center easy grip loop. Then slowly stand and adjust the loops to be sure the CLX is anchored just above the knees. Grab the remaining CLX and either hold in hand or place hands inside the easy grip loops. Maintaining an athletic stance with knees and hips slightly bent take 3 steps laterally against the band while keeping your back straight. Return to your starting position and repeat.</p>
  • step 3

    Begin by anchoring your CLX to a CLX Door Anchor near the floor. Place one ankle through an Easy Grip Loop. Stand sideways with the exercising leg closest to the door. Keep your knees straight and kick inward. Keep your back straight, and avoid leaning or bending over. Hold and slowly return.

    <p>Begin by anchoring your CLX to a CLX Door Anchor near the floor. Place one ankle through an Easy Grip Loop. Stand sideways with the exercising leg closest to the door. Keep your knees straight and kick inward. Keep your back straight, and avoid leaning or bending over. Hold and slowly return.</p>

Dr. Phil Page

PhD, PT, ATC, CSCS, FACSM

Phil Page PhD, PT, ATC, CSCS, FACSM, LAT is a licensed physical therapist, athletic trainer, and certified strength & conditioning specialist. He graduated from LSU in physical therapy and received his master’s degree in exercise physiology from Mississippi State University, as well as a doctorate in Kinesiology from LSU. He has been involved in rehabilitation and sports medicine for over 25 years. Dr. Page was recently named a Fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine. He is currently the Global Director of Clinical Education and Research for Performance Health, manufacturer of TheraBand, Biofreeze & Cramer products. His duties include maintaining the Thera-Band Academy website, directing the international educational programs and managing product research around the world. Dr. Page is also an instructor in the Athletic Training curriculum at Louisiana State University and a Clinical Instructor of Orthopedics for Tulane Medical School in New Orleans.

 

Dr. Page’s clinical and research interests include the role of muscle imbalance in musculoskeletal pain, and promoting physical activity for health-related physical fitness, particularly for chronic disease management. He is a member of educational committee for the “Exericse is Medicine” initiative for the ACSM. He is on the editorial board of the International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy and serves as a member of several national advisory boards. Dr. Page is on the scientific review committees for the APTA and ACSM. He regularly reviews grants and article submissions for several professional journals.

 

Dr. Page lectures extensively and provides workshops on a variety of topics around the world, including the Janda Approach to Muscle Imbalance. He was  awarded the Lifetime Excellence in Education Award by the Sports Physical Therapy Section of the APTA. He has presented over 100 international lectures and workshops on exercise and rehabilitation topics, and has over 50 publications including 3 books; most recently publishing Assessment and Treatment of Muscle Imbalance: The Janda Approach. He has worked with the athletic programs at LSU, Tulane, the New Orleans Saints and Seattle Seahawks, as well as the United States Olympic Track and Field Trials. He lives with his wife and 4 children in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.