There are many potential causes of pain in the hip and groin area and working out what and why is very important in the management of these problems. In almost all cases, strengthening will play a key role in the improvement of hip/groin symptoms. Keep in mind the specific exercises which a Physiotherapist may give will depend on their assessment, but the following 3 are exercises that I commonly use at different stages in treating adductor tendinopathies in soccer players.
1. Isometric Hip Adduction with bridge or sit up
This is a great exercise for settling pain in the hip adductors (groin). This exercise is performed by placing a ball in between the knees while you use your adductor muscles to squeeze the ball. It may be performed whilst also doing a glute bridge as shown in the video or whilst doing a sit up.
2. Standing resisted hip adduction (cable or band)
Hip adductor (or groin) muscle weakness is often overlooked by less experienced physiotherapists, but are very important for bending the hip up and inwards across the body and therefore important in overall hip function. It is important to be strong for nearly all sports involving sprinting but particularly in soccer and football where kicking is frequently involved.
3. Copenhagen Hip Adduction Exercise
Finally, the Copenhagen hip adduction exercise is a higher level that is nice for strengthening the hip adductors. The exercise resembles a partner assisted plank, with the only real difference that the support is held inside to overload the top leg adductor system. The athlete doing the exercise performs a repetition by raising their hip up and then slowly controlling the lower leg down to the ground and back up again.
These exercises are great for the hip adductors when implemented at the right time and appropriate stage. It is important to have your hip and/or groin pain tested by a Physiotherapist so that the most appropriate exercises for you can be recommended.
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