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. Pain, tightness, catching, clicking, locking and giving way can be typical of issues in this area especially if the issue is related to the hip joint. 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 are ones I commonly teach patients for their hip muscles:
1. Crab Walk
This is a great exercise for the hip abductors, which are the muscles on the side of the hip responsible for bringing the leg out sideways and single leg stability. This exercise is best performed with the band around the feet and is great for any activity involving lots of single leg landing, such as running, football, basketball and netball just to name a few.
2. Resisted Side Lunge
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. Patients with hip joint related pain often present with groin muscle weakness and it is important to be strong for nearly all sports involving sprinting but particularly in soccer and football where kicking is frequently involved. The side being trained is the side closer to the weight and is trained ‘eccentrically’, meaning it is trained in a controlled stretch manner which is highly effective for strengthening.
Finally, twisties are great for the external rotators of the hip which include the large gluteus maximus muscle but also the small deep muscles which help to stabilise the hip joint during movement. Is it challenging as it involves controlling while standing on one leg. The band should be attached to the opposite side of the leg being trained. Keep the knee facing forwards without collapsing inwards and keep the stick as horizontal as possible without tilting it.
These exercises are great for the hip, but 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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