Ice hockey athletes frequently injure the hip complex via a noncontact mechanism. The authors investigated patterns of strength and range of motion (ROM) to establish major differences compared with soccer athletes. Soccer athletes were compared with ice hockey athletes due to similarities between the 2 sports with regard to the intermittent nature and high number of lower-limb injuries.
To compare the differences in ROM and strength of the hip for both the dominant (Dom) and nondominant (Ndom) limbs in ice hockey and soccer athletes.
Bilateral ROM in hip flexion in sitting (FS) and lying (FL), extension, abduction, adduction, and internal rotation (IR) and external rotation (ER) were measured using a goniometer and assessed for strength using a handheld dynamometer on both the Dom and Ndom limbs.
24 male, active, uninjured NCAA Division III ice hockey (16) and soccer (8) athletes.
Main Outcome Measures:
ROM and strength for hip FS, FL, extension, abduction, adduction, IR, and ER. A mixed-model ANOVA was used to investigate interactions and main effects.
Ice hockey athletes exhibited greater hip-adduction ROM than soccer athletes in the Dom leg (both P = .002) and when both limbs were combined (P = .010). Ice hockey athletes had less ROM in ER (P = .042) than soccer athletes. Ice hockey athletes displayed less strength in adduction in their Ndom leg than in their Dom leg (P = .02), along with less adduction than soccer players in their Ndom leg (P = .40). Ice hockey athletes displayed less strength in hip adduction (P = .030), FS (P = .023) and FL (P = .030) than soccer athletes.
The findings suggest that ice hockey athletes may present an at-risk profile for noncontact hip injuries in comparison with soccer athletes with regard to strength and ROM of the hip.