Hip adductors' strength, flexibility, and injury risk

J Strength Cond Res. 2009 Aug;23(5):1514-7. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e3181a3c6c4.


The hip adductor muscle group plays an important role in both movement and stability at the hip joint in many athletic pursuits. Injury to this muscle group has been reported in a number of sports, among them, ice hockey, soccer, Australian football, and swimming. The identification of muscle characteristics that predispose a muscle to injury is an important step in developing conditioning programs to reduce injury risk. Muscle strength and range of motion are 2 parameters that may influence injury risk. The aim of this review was to examine the relationship between hip adductors' strength, flexibility, and injury risk. Strength testing has involved isokinetic or hand-held dynamometry. Flexibility has usually been assessed by goniometry during maximal hip abduction. An association has been reported between adductor strength deficits and injury for ice hockey players. Low adductor flexibility has also been identified as a risk factor for injury in soccer players. An intervention program that strengthened the hip adductors had some success in reducing injury risk for ice hockey players. There is some low- to moderate-level evidence from cohort studies to suggest that flexibility and strength are related to injury risk in particular sports and that an intervention program may be effective in reducing injury risk. Higher level evidence from randomized controlled trials is required to firmly establish the link between hip adductor flexibility, strength, and injury.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Athletic Injuries / etiology
  • Athletic Injuries / physiopathology*
  • Hip Injuries / physiopathology
  • Hip Joint / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Muscle Strength / physiology*
  • Muscle Strength Dynamometer
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology*
  • Range of Motion, Articular / physiology*
  • Risk Factors
  • Sports / physiology