Adductor longus mechanics during the maximal effort soccer kick

Sports Biomech. 2009 Sep;8(3):223-34. doi: 10.1080/14763140903229500.


Groin pain is a common cause of athletic disability and often involves the adductor longus. A common complaint of patients with groin problems is pain while preparing to kick the ball. The purpose of this study was to examine muscle length and activation of the adductor longus while kicking a soccer ball. Three-dimensional joint positions and muscle activation were obtained from 15 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division 1 male soccer players during maximal effort kicks. Musculoskeletal modeling techniques incorporating joint position and muscle attachments were used to estimate adductor longus length from the beginning of the kicking leg's swing phase until ball strike. The maximum rate of stretch of the adductor longus (22.3 +/- 5.3 cm/s) and maximum hip extension (23.3 +/- 8.80) occurred near 40% of swing phase. Activation of the adductor longus occurred between 10% and 50% of the swing phase. Adductor longus maximum length occurred at 65% of the swing phase. Maximum hip abduction (25.3 +/- 5.40) occurred at 80% of swing phase. The adductor longus appears to be at risk of strain injury during its transition from hip extension to hip flexion. This knowledge could be applied to muscle injury prevention and rehabilitation programs to aid with treatment of adductor longus related groin pain.

MeSH terms

  • Groin / physiology*
  • Hip Joint / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Muscle Contraction / physiology*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology*
  • Physical Endurance / physiology*
  • Physical Exertion / physiology*
  • Soccer / physiology*
  • Stress, Mechanical
  • Young Adult