No one likes to think about youth hockey players getting injured or hurt in any way. Unfortunately, however, such things do happen, and one of the most common types of injuries among young hockey players is groin pulls.
Fortunately, these injuries aren’t serious, though they can be quite uncomfortable. In fact, that’s basically what a groin pull is- the groin muscles being overly tired and sore, leading to discomfort. This happens because, when players start moving and getting more active, especially at the beginning of the season, their groin muscles are constantly being stretched, leading to overuse, which, in turn, leads to pain. To make matters worse, skating and working on stride are especially adept at causing groin pulls, especially for players who are not used to the intense workout that is a part of hockey.
The good news is that you can keep groin pulls from happening to the young player in your life by encouraging players to engage in groin stretches, as well as stretches that support and strengthen the surrounding muscles, such as the hip flexors, the hamstrings, and the quadriceps.
Try this Great Stretch!
If you’re looking for a simple and effective stretch to prevent groin pulls, there’s a great one you can try with your little athlete!
Have him or her get on hands and knees and then begin moving the knees as wide apart as possible. The player should start to feel a good stretch in the groin muscles and should attempt to keep the toes pointing straight out to the side for protection and balance. Once steady, the athlete should push himself or herself back towards the feet slightly for a more intense stretch. The stretch can then be held for up to two minutes and repeated as desired.
Doing this stretch frequently will increase flexibility and strength and will greatly reduce the chances of suffering a groin pull when hockey season starts back up!