Watch any athletic endeavor closely and you will notice that most, if not all, of these activities have a prominent rotational component.
Keep in mind that our muscles are slaves to our nervous system and muscles work together in what are called “force couples”. An expression that I use often is that “muscles that are wired together fire together.” Thomas Myers work with his Anatomy Trains system brilliantly illustrates how we can be broken down into several subsystems.
In the video below, we discuss connecting the Anterior Oblique Subsystem, which consists of the Adductor/Groin muscles and External Obliques/Side core muscles on the opposite side. When creating or controlling rotation, if the workload is not shared across these muscle groups in unison, one will become overloaded and lead to breakdown, which becomes one of the all too common groin pulls or oblique strains. Unfortunately this issue is exacerbated when in rehab the focus is on isolated strength in the affected area, where the genesis of the issue may reside in the accompanying muscle group on the opposite side of the body. Check out the video to see some of my favorite entry level drills to create this communication and coupling:
One thing to note is that these drills require a certain level of mobility competency in the hips to achieve a straight leg position with the legs at 90 degrees. If you can’t achieve this position, take the time to back up and work on hip mobility and correct the Leg Raise pattern first before coming back to revisit if necessary.