Do hip and groin muscle strength and symptoms change throughout a football season in professional male football players? A prospective cohort study with repeated measures

Review written by Dr Stacey Hardin info

Key Points

  1. In professional Dutch male football players, hip muscle strength (abduction and adduction) remained unchanged throughout a full season.
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Hip and groin injuries are common in all sports and at every level. These injuries are particularly prevalent in football (soccer), resulting in significant participation time lost. Additionally, many athletes continue to play even while experiencing groin pain which may contribute to a decline in performance and ultimately progress to a time-loss injury.

A recent systematic review and mini meta-analysis (1) has shown the efficacy of the Copenhagen adductor exercise in increasing eccentric adductor strength; however, it is still unclear what changes to hip strength and function normally occur over the course of a full season.

The objectives of this study were to determine:

  1. Normal values of hip muscle strength and self-reported hip and groin function
  2. Whether there were changes to these values throughout the full season; and
  3. If previous injury, leg dominance or league participation were associated with these outcomes.

Hip and groin injuries are particularly prevalent in football (soccer).
Changes in hip strength and self-reported function should be considered unexpected and should alert the clinician to investigate further.


313 professional football players (23.0 ± 3.8 years old) from 11 clubs were evaluated for changes in hip muscle strength and Hip and Groin Outcome Score (HAGOS) during a single season. Hip adduction and abduction strength were evaluated via hand-held

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