Most athletes experience their fair share of bruises, bumps, pains, aches, strains, sprains and even broken bones. Some injuries just require rest or ice to get you back on the field, while others, like hip injuries, can be notoriously painful and difficult to recover from, often responsible for significant time spent sidelined. Hip and groin injuries account for about 10% to 23% of all high-risk sports injuries, with female athletes more likely to suffer hip injuries as a result of playing soccer, running, doing yoga or participating in fitness activities. Male athletes tend to get these injuries as a result of playing sports like hockey, soccer, baseball or running.
Hip and sports injuries can be avoided (and reinjuries can be prevented) with proper prehabilitation and warm-up exercises. Through targeted strength training, proper stretching of the lower body, dedication to maximized recovery time and avoiding overuse, athletes can protect their hips, prevent sports injury, and maintain their sports for the long haul.
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Make sure your muscles always have a chance to warm up before training or playing your sport. Walk quickly or do a light jog for a few minutes to get the blood pumping. Muscles that are frequently warmed up are less likely to develop an overuse injury.
Once your muscles are warm, stretch out your lower body with some of these activation moves that keep the hip joints mobile while stabilizing the hip.
Through targeted strength training, proper stretching of the lower body, dedication to maximized recovery time and avoiding overuse, athletes can protect their hips and maintain their sports for the long haul.
Try to work different muscle groups on alternating days when you're training. This can help reduce the chances of developing an overuse injury like a torn hip labrum.
Building strength in the adductors and abductors, as well as working on trunk rotation and extension exercises, can help reduce the risk of hip injury. Try some of these resistance activities to build strength and prevent injuries in the hips:
If you're building up lean muscle mass, increase the amount of weight you use gradually each week in 10 percent increments until you achieve your strength goals.
Change up your fitness routine with cross-training. Even marathoners take breaks from running by doing swimming, biking, walking and strength training workouts.
If you're experiencing hip pain, avoid doing deep squats, lunges, deadlifts and distance running, says Scott Martin, MD, Mass General Brigham Sports Medicine specialist and the director of Joint Preservation Service at Massachusetts General Hospital. "If you're susceptible to hip injuries or already in pain, these activities are going to make it much worse and are. going to actually accelerate the degenerative changes that occur."
Don't squat with heavy weights if you're in pain or experienced some kind of hip injuries in the past.
Make sure you cool down and stretch for a few minutes after training, practice or a game and stretch. Allow plenty of time for recovery and rest after a particularly tough workout or taxing game. Remember that taking a day off allows your body to rest, heal and repair itself.