8 Tips to Prevent a Sports Hernia
The core this. The core that. If you’ve been involved in any sort of physical training in the last couple of years, then know that strengthening your “core” is a key element of fitness. The philosophy behind a strong core is that building your core supports not only your overall health, but the rest of your body’s strength as well.
There is no magic exercise or training regimen that will prevent a sports hernia. That being said, a strong core could lower your chances of this type of injury. The core is your trunk and torso, exactly where sports hernias occur. They are a result of weakened muscles in the abdomen area. Powerful hits or strain in the lower abdomen are a common cause for sports hernias, which is why they’re prevalent in soccer, hockey, dancing and other activities with similar movement.
Prevention coincides with strengthening the core. Following are eight sports hernia prevention tips:
- Strengthening the adductor muscles (what gives the six-pack)
- Increasing hip extension
- Building core muscles to prevent the abdomen from compensating for weaker muscles (usually in the legs)
So how does one go about this strengthening, increasing and building?
- Don’t dramatically increase the intensity of your training or sports activity suddenly. That last minute push may be the final straw for muscles susceptible to a sports hernia.
- If you haven’t already, introduce exercises designed to build your core and promote equal strength between your leg and stomach muscles.
- Don’t skip or skimp on the warm up and cool down before and after your workout or game.
- Include activities that promote balance and flexibility. Yoga, Pilates, exercise bands and the like incorporate smooth movements. With better flexibility and balance, you could avoid an awkward twist that results in a sports hernia.
- Maintain a healthy weight. This isn’t anything new for athletes, however an injury or hiatus from sports can result in minor weight gain. Just an extra few pounds place stress on your joints.
Personal and professional trainers are an excellent source for specific exercises designed to strengthen your core. By following these tips, you can decrease your chances of suffering from a sports hernia. Contact Dr. Brown if you have any questions.