With each forceful kick, male soccer players risk strains where they’d probably least like them—the inner thigh. In fact, groin strains rank among the most common injuries on the pitch.
Good news, guys: You can protect this area before trouble strikes. Use the TheraBand CLX to build what’s called eccentric strength—muscles that remain powerful when lengthened. The more eccentric hip strength you have, the more safely you can slow down, stop, and change directions mid-kick.
Danish researchers recently assigned soccer players to either a hip-strengthening or control group. After eight weeks, both groups improved their strength. However, the men who did the eccentric moves saw 13 percent greater gains.
Add that to an earlier study showing fewer groin strains in hockey players after a strengthening program. The result—an insurance policy against inner-thigh injury. For best results, add these exercises into your practice routine two to three times per week.
- Begin by anchoring your CLX to a CLX Door Anchor. Place one foot through an Easy Grip Loop. Stand with band to side closest to exercising leg. Keep your knees straight and kick inward. Keep your back straight, and avoid leaning or bending over. Hold and slowly return.
- Begin by anchoring your CLX to a CLX Door Anchor, or have a partner hold the ends of the CLX band to stabilize it out to your side. Wrap the middle of the CLX band around your waist. Step out to your side away from the CLX and slowly return. Keep your trunk upright.
- 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.
*Do not exceed 300% elongation. Some exercises may require longer lengths of CLX.