Groin/hip injuries are prevalent in rugby union (RU). Assessment of hip muscle strength is important when designing bespoke injury prevention and rehabilitation programmes.
The primary aim of this study was to determine normative values of hip muscle strength in elite-level RU players. A secondary aim of this study was to compare the Copenhagen Hip and Groin Outcome Score (HAGOS) between players with and without a history of groin/hip injury.
Cross-sectional cohort study.
Professional RU club.
58 male professional RU players competing in the PRO14 league elite club level competition.
Handheld dynamometry eccentric strength values of hip abduction (ABD), adduction (ADD), internal rotation (IR) and external rotation (ER), HAGOS.
Players’ dominant (DOM) and non-dominant (NDOM) hip strength values were, 2.38 and 2.34 N m/kg for ABD, 2.79 and 2.71 N m/kg for ADD, 2.69 and 2.55 N m/kg for IR, and 2.65 and 2.54 N m/kg for ER. ADD:ABD strength ratio was 1.17 ± 0.26 for the DOM limb and 1.16 ± 0.24 for the NDOM limb. There was no clinically significant difference in strength between players’ DOM and NDOM limbs. Players with a history of groin/hip injury scored lower on four of the HAGOS subscales (pain; symptoms; sport; quality of life) compared to those without a history of groin/hip injury.
This study may help establish normative hip strength and HAGOS values for elite-level RU players. The results presented have important implications for the assessment of hip muscle strength and could provide clinical markers for return-to-play following injury.

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