HIP FLEXORS RESISTENCE IN YOUTH HOCKEY PLAYERS

  • Guy Gosselin
  • M.C. Norman
  • L. Hould

Abstract

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE. In today’s youth hockey leagues, the participation of an individual is based on the chronologic age without regard to the children's variations in development and maturity. Although it is currently accepted that the overall strength and growth of children increases linearly throughout childhood until puberty, the individual body parts growth do not develop at the same rate. The object of this project was to evaluate pelvic girdle resistance of youth hockey players in relation to leg length. METHOD. Nine hundred (n=900) hockey players aged 6 to 16 participated in the study. First, a 14 points physical examination was done on all subjects. Finally the Milgram test (modified bilateral leg raise) was performed. This procedure represents a good and easily performed test of hip flexors resistance and permits possible detection of thecal pathology. Incidence of positive Milgram test is presented and a Chi square statistical test is used. RESULTS. The results indicate that in our subjects, the youngest and oldest players had the lowest percentage of positive findings on the Milgram test; 6 years old: 5%, 16 years old 7.14%. The 10, 11 and 12 year old groups had a mean value of 47.22% positive Milgram tests. From all the 257 subjects with positive Milgram test only 2 individuals demonstrated possible thecal pathologies after the fourteen steps examination was performed. The Chisquare (x*) statistical test indicates that the difference between the observed frequency and between the theoretical frequency is significant (X2 = 117,081, df = 10, Q < .OOl). CONCLUSIONS. It appears from this study that almost 50% of children in the 10, 11 and 12 year old have difficulty in performing a simple hip flexing resistance exercise. This situation may be secondary to an uneven rate of growth of the lower limbs versus torso, therefore increasing the leg moment arms, thus increasing load and brending moments on the pelvic structures. . These results may explain the observed difficulty some of these hockey players experience in performing specific skills demanding high pelvic and hip flexors strength and resistance. Researchers are encourage to pursue biomechanical investigation f limb length ratio and their specific effects on axial structures and development.