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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
*Do not exceed 300% elongation. Some exercises may require longer lengths of CLX.