The Warriors' athletic trainer teaches techniques with the help of rookie Gilbert Arenas
, one of the Warriors’ rookies, has graciously agreed to demonstrate some standard exercises we use while treating a groin strain. The adductor muscle group
is a group of three muscles in the thigh that is responsible for moving the legs together. A strain of these muscles can hamper a player’s ability while in a defensive sliding position, as well as when changing direction or cutting while running.
Here is a sample of some exercises that we utilize when strengthening a player that has sustained a groin muscle strain. These are easily done at home with minimal equipment and are extremely efficient.
|“Butterfly” stretch: This is a standard flexibility technique to stretch the adductor muscle group. Bring the heels together and try to slide them as close to your body as possible. Hold this position for 20-30 seconds and repeat two or three times. If there is no pain or soreness with this maneuver, you can push the knees down gradually to enhance the stretch.|
| ||“Isometric Squeeze”: Once there is no pain with stretching, you can begin strengthening exercises and this isometric exercise is a great way to get started. Simply lay on your back with your knees bent and place a ball between your knees. Once the ball is in place, gradually squeeze the knees together. This activates the adductor muscles that have been strained. Hold the squeeze for about six seconds, then relax a few seconds. Repeat this sequence of “squeeze and relax” six times and then rest for a minute. You should do four sets of the “six second hold”. It is very important that you don’t feel any pain while doing this.|
|Straight Leg Raise: This is a great isolation exercise for the adductor muscle group. Proper positioning is critical for the success of this exercise. Lay on the hip of the bad leg and take the leg straight up. To enhance the challenge, apply a weight cuff to the ankle. A standard sequence of three sets of 10 repetitions per set is appropriate for this exercise.|
Prior to returning to play following a groin strain, make sure the muscle has as much flexibility and strength as the opposite leg. When you begin playing, be sure to stretch and warm up well, then apply a cold pack on the injured area for 15-20 minutes when you finish playing.
Tom Abdenour in his 15th season as the athletic trainer for the Warriors. He spent his 2000 offseason serving as the athletic trainer for the gold medal-winning USA Men's Basketball Team at the Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia. He also stays involved with the community as a member of the NBA's National All-Star Reading Team -- part of the Read to Achieve program.
Abdenour is hosting NBA.com's Gonna Make You Sweat: NBA Health & Conditioning section by answering fan questions and providing his insight and expertise on a series of fitness and rehabilitation issues.