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Revolution Conditioning Training Tip: The Secret to Reducing Your Risk of Sports Hernia

Revolution Conditioning Training Tip: The Secret to Reducing Your Risk of Sports Hernia
Maria Mountain on Sports Hernia

In this week's article Maria Mountain talks about preventing sports hernia

The other day I sent out a tweet on “The Twitter” (because that’s the way I roll) with a quick tip for those hockey goalies who want to reduce their risk of sports hernia (which is every single one of you). The tip…strengthen your adductors.

“Great tip Coach – oh so helpful. Only one thing – what the heck are my adductors and how in the name of Martin Brodeur do I strengthen them?”

Details-details. First let me explain the term ‘sports hernia’. Basically, this is more of a syndrome or collection of symptoms rather than a discrete injury. A hernia – umbilical or inguinal will have a protrusion of tissue through the abdominal wall. What they call a sports hernia on the other hand can be attributed to a number of surgical findings without an actual protrusion of tissue through the abdominal wall.

Essentially, if an athlete is having pain in the lower abdominal or upper groin area that does not respond to typical treatments that resolve muscle strains, they may be diagnosed with a sports hernia.

If we think about the postures and movements required to play in goal, can you see how tightness in the front of the hip can contribute to a reduction in the ability to extend at the hip? Can you also see how trying to skate with tightness in the front of the hip will put more stress through the abdominal wall as the lower back extends to compensate (I describe this a little better in the video)?

Does it make sense that skating and even some training programs, which emphasize the development of the abductors (skating muscles), leaving the adductors (groins) relatively weak can set up a muscle imbalance that is found in athletes diagnosed with sports hernia?

Now that you have some background and understanding of sports hernia in hockey players, let’s look at a quick routine that will help reduce your risk of these injuries that will leave you sitting in the stands if not lying on the operating table.

  • ½ kneeling groin w rotation
  • low cable hip shift w rotation
  • cable adductor – front and back
  • plate pull
  • TRX squat lateral

Maria Mountain is the strength and conditioning coach to Olympic, World and Stanley Cup Champions. She specializes in off ice training for hockey goalies. Visit to learn more or click here for your free copy of the Ultimate Guide to Durable and Flexible Hips for Goalies

About The Author

Maria Mountain M.Sc.

Hockey strength and conditioning coach Maria Mountain, MSc specializes in off-ice training for hockey goalies. As the founder of and the owner of Revolution Sport Conditioning in London, Ontario, Maria has trained Olympic Gold medalists, a Stanley Cup Champ and athletes from MLB, NHL, AHL, CHL, CIS and more. Try Maria's Goalie Stretch Solution today.