Josh Beaumont's picture

How Not To Get A Sports Hernia

The thought process of old was sit-ups, sit-ups, and more sit-ups. The higher number you could do in a minute, the stronger your core was. Today, we are finding that ability to stabilize is more important than the number of sit-ups one can do. I frequently have players with six-pack abs that can easily do 100 sit-ups in a minute but fail to stabilize their core and pelvis. Before long, they start to have issues with their hip flexors and groins, often leading to a sports hernia.  

Eccentric strengthening of the abdominals and core is key. That’s why I like Ab-wheel. t forces you to eccentrically contract your abs so you can avoid doing a face plant.  Eccentric core strength is the key in preventing injuries because it allows the body to absorb all the forces that generated during all the various soccer activities including cutting, dribbling, and shooting. 

It is easy to adjust your core workout to address these needs. During most core exercises the body moves in concentric (contracting) and eccentric (lengthening) phases. An example of a modification is during a sit-up, lower yourself back to the ground with an 8-10 count. Both your strength and stabilization gains will be a lot greater than just doing sit-ups.

Other great examples of eccentric core strengthening are:


Hamstring curls on a physioball or on val-slides

Pikes on a ball.

Russian (cable) twists with a 4-10 second return to the starting point. 

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