Br J Sports Med doi:10.1136/bjsports-2012-091095
  • Original article

Eccentric strengthening effect of hip-adductor training with elastic bands in soccer players: a randomised controlled trial

  1. Kristian Thorborg1
  1. 1Arthroscopic Centre Amager, Copenhagen University Hospital, Copenhagen, Denmark
  2. 2Clinical Research Center and Departments of Orthopedic Surgery and Physical Therapy, Copenhagen University Hospital, Hvidovre, Denmark
  3. 3Institute of Sports Science and Clinical Biomechanics, University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark
  4. 4National Research Centre for the Working Environment, Copenhagen, Denmark
  1. Correspondence to Dr Kristian Thorborg, Arthroscopic Centre Amager, Copenhagen University Hospital, Italiensvej 1, Copenhagen S 2300, Denmark; kristianthorborg{at}
  1. Contributors In accordance with the Vancouver guidelines, all six authors have contributed to conception and design, acquisition of data or analysis and interpretation of data; drafting of the article or revising it critically for important intellectual content; and final approval of the version to be published.

  • Received 26 February 2012
  • Accepted 30 May 2012
  • Published Online First 4 July 2012


Background Soccer players with weak hip-adductor muscles are at increased risk of sustaining groin injuries. Therefore, a simple hip-adductor strengthening programme for prevention of groin injuries is needed.

Objective We aimed to investigate the effect of an 8-week hip-adductor strengthening programme, including one hip-adduction exercise, on eccentric and isometric hip-adduction strength, using elastic bands as external load.

Methods Thirty-four healthy, sub-elite soccer players, mean (±SD) age of 22.1 (±3.3) years, were randomised to either training or control. During the mid-season break, the training group performed 8 weeks of supervised, progressive hip-adduction strength training using elastic bands. The participants performed two training sessions per week (weeks 1–2) with 3×15 repetition maximum loading (RM), three training sessions per week (weeks 3–6) with 3×10 RM and three training sessions per week (weeks 7–8) with 3×8 RM. Eccentric hip-adduction (EHAD), isometric hip-adduction (IHAD) and isometric hip-abduction (IHAB) strength, and the IHAD/IHAB ratio were measured assessor-blinded preintervention and postintervention, using reliable hand-held dynamometry procedures.

Results In the training group, EHAD strength increased by 30% (p<0.001). In the control group, EHAD strength increased by 17% (p<0.001), but the increase was significantly larger in the training group compared with the control group (p=0.044). No other significant between-group strength-differences in IHAD, IHAB or the IHAD/IHAB ratio existed (p>0.05).

Conclusions 8 weeks of hip-adduction strength training, using elastic bands, induce a relevant increase in eccentric hip-adduction strength in soccer players, and thus may have implications as a promising approach towards prevention of groin injuries in soccer.


  • Ethics approval The Danish Ethics Committee of the Capital Region (ID: H-4-2010-119) and the Danish Data Protection Agency (ID: 2007-58-0015).

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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