Stop Pulling Your Groin

No. Not like that, I mean injuring them. Get your minds out of the gutter.

Anyway, yesterday I wrote about yoga as a resistance exercise, and how I gained 20 lbs from regular yoga practice. One thing I failed to mention was that, while gaining those 20 lbs, I also dropped an inch from my waist. That’s 5 – 10 lbs of fat gone, netting me 25 – 30 lbs of muscle mass.

Funny thing is, when I began yoga, I had no intention of replacing ½ my wardrobe from muscle gain. What I really wanted was to stop getting injured playing hockey. Have I mentioned yet that I play a lot of hockey?

Well, funny thing about hockey. It’s a sport which requires learning two completely independent skill sets (skating and stick/puck handling), performing them simultaneously, at unnatural speed, while wearing 30 lbs of equipment. All of which, added together and combined with middle age, spells doom for your groin and back muscles.

We’ll skip back muscles for today, and concentrate on groin muscles.

Without getting into a long aside on why skating is difficult, unnatural, and murder on your groin muscles, let me just say this; skating forces small muscles in the groin to be used at higher force levels and different angles from what those muscles are used to, whether from everyday life or even most exercises.

Add in that skating is much faster than running making turning and stopping generate higher forces than running sports.

Add in 30 lbs of safety gear you’re wearing and those higher forces are even higher still.

Add in that it’s done on a steel blade on ice. This risks an edge catching, making the stop instantaneous, and the forces even greater.

Add in sedentary lifestyles and middle age and I now I’m wondering how on earth anyone manages not to get hurt, even in Sunday shinny.

So, with all of that in mind, we turn to March of the year before I discovered yoga, in which I pulled a lower groin muscle. That summer, my wife and I went off to spend 6 months in Beijing. Interestingly, that is where I discovered hot yoga and without meaning to, without knowing, complete the recovery from the pulled groin. Anyway, my next hockey game was February of the next year. And while I had recovered from the pull, I could still feel the ache from that old injury, 11 months later.

But…yoga. Practicing hot yoga stretched and strengthened those wretched groin muscles that like to get injured in hockey. How much so? In the last 10 years I have missed exactly 0 games due to a pulled muscle.

So, guys who-hate-to-do-yoga, a question. Do you like to play your favourite game? It doesn’t have to be hockey, but, well, it should be. Anyway, is your desire to play your favourite game greater than your dislike of yoga? What is it worth to be able to play the games you love, without fear of injury?

Cross posted at