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What should soccer players do to prevent groin injuries?

Soccer players should perform a comprehensive program including flexibility and strength training for the muscles surrounding the groin and the core. Some exercises to consider adding to the performance training program to help combat groin injuries are stretches for the adductors (inside part of the thigh) and abductor muscles (outside part of the thigh), strength training for the adductors and abductors, and core training.  Begin the flexibility training with a self-massage technique called foam rolling that uses a foam roll device to alleviate knots and tension in the muscles. Foam roll the adductors, IT-band, TFL, and piriformis.  While foam rolling these muscles, find the tender spots and hold on the spot for thirty seconds.  Follow the foam rolling with static stretches for the same muscles. You can try the standing adductor stretch, kneeling hip stretch, lying down piriformis stretch, and the outer thigh stretch to help keep the range of motion in the hip joint.  Once the flexibility routine has been completed, it is important to strengthen the muscles and restore balance to the body. Great strength training exercises to include are forward, side, and turning lunges and step-ups.  Core training is also important as it will help stabilize the hips, spine, and back, and create a foundation from which your legs can move.  Including plank, side plank, and draw-in with march exercises into the training program will improve the endurance of your core muscles and help prevent injury.      

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.