3 Off-Ice Exercises to Prevent Hockey Hip Injuries

Research has shown that over 90 percent of recorded groin and abdominal strain injuries in the NHL occur in non-contact situations. Even worse, the number of groin and abdominal strain injuries at the top level in hockey is significant and increasing.

However, there's a way to markedly reduce the likelihood of non-contact hip injuries, and it applies for everyone from beer leaguers to the pros—plus, you don't need to spend hours every day on "prehab" drills to combat common hockey hip injuries.

Bullet-proofing your hips begins with a smart, progressive strength training program, one that strengthens the abdominals, quads, glutes, hamstrings and low back with both bilateral and unilateral movements.

Add some targeted isolation work for the hip flexors and adductors on top of that and you'll be good to go.

You can complete a simple but effective hockey hip prehab program in 5 to 10 minutes. No clunky or expensive machines are required for these exercises, so you can do them at home or even on the road during hockey season if necessary.

Equipment Needed

  • Valslides or furniture sliders
  • Light resistance band
  • Med ball or Swiss ball

Include the three exercises below in your workouts, either as a part of your warm-up, active recovery between sets or as a finisher at the end.

Valslide Hip Flexion

How to perform:

  • Assume a push-up position with tight glutes and one foot on a Valslide.
  • Maintaining a neutral low back, drive the knee of the leg in contact with the Valslide toward your chest until the knee passes the hip.
  • Use a resistance band to make the movement more challenging over time.

Sets/Reps: 3x8-12

Valslide Hip Adduction

How to perform:

  • With one foot on a Valslide, go into a lateral Squat.
  • Perform the eccentric part under control for 2-3 seconds.
  • In the concentric part, think about pulling your working foot back by keeping the leg straight and pushing the heel through the floor.
  • You should feel the muscles on the inside of your upper thigh working.
  • Use a resistance band to make the movement more challenging over time.

Sets/Reps: 3x10-15

Lying Med Ball Adductor Squeeze

How to perform:

  • Lie on your back with a med ball between your thighs.
  • Squeeze your glutes together to bring your hips up.
  • With your hips extended, think of crushing the med ball between your thighs.
  • Hold the position for a 3-count.
  • Relax and bring your hips down for a second.
  • A softer Swiss ball with more "give" can be used instead of a hard med ball.

Sets/Reps: 3x8-12

Combine these three prehab movements with a solid off-ice strength training program to minimize common hockey hip injuries to the groin and abdominal area.


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