2016-01-27 16.59.13They weren’t even ON the podium in 2015

Before we get talking groins – let’s talk about what a difference a year makes!

At last years Canadian National Figure Skating Championships, Trennt Michaud and Hope McLean weren’t on the podium at all.  

Fast forward to 2016 and they are standing on top of the Junior Pairs podium with GOLD around their necks and headed to the World Junior Championships in a few weeks.

Here’s the article from the London Free Press written just before they left for Nationals – http://www.lfpress.com/2016/01/18/new-local-skating-talent-in-the-medal-hunt

Okay…now let’s talk groins

As much as you hear about high ankle sprains, sports hernias and even concussions, I rarely do an assessment on a a new athlete (Varsity and Masters) who hasn’t at some point tweaked their groin.  For those of you who have done it, you know it isn’t nice and can sometimes be REALLY not nice.

So, whether you have had the pleasure of a groin strain (read: sarcasm) or not, here are a couple simple exercises that will help your body fight off the next one.

It isn’t actually your “Groin”

Technically, when you injure your groin, you have injured one of several adductor muscles.  I won’t bore you with ALL of the details, but I want you to understand that there are a bunch of them working to move your thigh bone in different planes of motion.

  • Adductor Magnus – the huge one
  • Adductor Brevis – the  short one
  • Adductor Longus – the longer one (but not as long as the Magnus or Gracilis)
  • Pectineus
  • Gracilis

They all originate on your pelvis and attach somewhere on the inner portion of your thigh bone (except that Gracilis which attaches just below your knee on the inside of your shin bone.

Despite what the ‘groin’ machine at the gym would have you believe, the adductors do much more than just pull your leg inward (adduction).  They can also flex, internally rotate, externally rotate AND extend the hip.  If that sounds like they can move the leg in pretty much any direction, then you are right, so there is a lot going on.

No wonder they are vulnerable to injury eh?

How To Improve Their Performance And Protect Yourself

Don’t make the mistake of taking these as ‘injury prevention’ exercises, they are first and foremost performance enhancing exercises, that will also reduce your risk of injury.

Think of them as basic rotator cuff exercises for your hips, just like a baseball pitcher does for his shoulder or any of you golfers, tennis players, squash players, Dragon boaters, hockey players, football players or rowers should be doing.


Standing Adduction

[kad_youtube url=”https://youtu.be/ve2Ox6hqH7Q” maxwidth=550 ]

If you cannot see the video above, just click this link…https://youtu.be/ve2Ox6hqH7Q


Adduction + Flexion

[kad_youtube url=”https://youtu.be/ve2Ox6hqH7Q” maxwidth=550 ]

If you cannot see the video above, just click this link…https://youtu.be/LIKGJO_tDR4

Key Points

  • You MUST maintain a level pelvis when you do these exercises.  That will require stabilization from the hip of the leg you are standing on AND core stabilization.  If you find yourself leaning to one side or kicking your hip out to the side, then you are not stabilizing.
  • Keep your foot pointing straight ahead, do not rotate it out to the side.
  • Use a light to medium load – you do not need to go heavy on these exercises and doing so could create problems down the road by strengthening compensatory patterns.
  • Include one of these two exercises into your workout 2-3 times per week.  Start with 2 sets of 12 reps, using a 2s down, 0s pause at the bottom, 1s lift and 1s pause at the top (2011) tempo.

Happy Training!