Five-Second Squeeze Testing in 333 Professional and Semiprofessional Male Ice Hockey Players: How Are Hip and Groin Symptoms, Strength, and Sporting Function Related?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background: Hip and groin problems are just as common in ice hockey as they are in soccer. The 5-second squeeze test (5SST) is a valid indicator of hip- and groin-related sporting function (self-reported function) in soccer and is suggested to be interpreted according to a “traffic light” approach in guiding the early identification and management of affected players. It is currently unknown how the 5SST relates to self-reported function and muscle strength in ice hockey players. Purpose: To investigate correlations between the 5SST result, self-reported function, and hip muscle strength in ice hockey players. A further aim was to investigate the discriminative ability of the “traffic light” approach (numeric rating scale [NRS] score: 0-2 = green, 3-5 = yellow, 6-10 = red) regarding levels of self-reported function and strength. Study Design: Cross-sectional study; Level of evidence, 3. Methods: Professional and semiprofessional male ice hockey players (N = 333) performed the 5SST and completed the Sport subscale of the Copenhagen Hip and Groin Outcome Score (HAGOS). Bilateral adduction and abduction strength was measured using handheld dynamometry. Associations were estimated using Spearman rank-order correlations, and groups were compared using the Kruskal-Wallis test or analysis of variance. Standardized effect sizes (ESs) for differences in strength (Hedges g) and self-reported function (r) were provided. Results: The 5SST result was significantly correlated with self-reported function (rho, –0.319; P < .01) and hip muscle strength (rho, –0.157 to –0.305; P < .01). The HAGOS Sport scores differed significantly between all 3 traffic light groups (ES, 0.23-0.33; P ≤ .005). Players with an NRS score >2 (yellow or red light) had lower adduction (ES ≥ 0.75; P < .001) and abduction strength (yellow: ES, 0.30; P = .031) (red: ES, 0.51; P = .058) than players with a green light. Conclusion: The 5SST result was significantly correlated with self-reported function as well as hip muscle strength and was able to discriminate between the traffic light levels in ice hockey players. Players with a yellow or red light had reduced adduction and abduction strength compared with players with a green light (NRS score ≤2). Routine 5SSTs may allow the early identification of affected ice hockey players and indicate yellow and red light situations, in which players may benefit from load management and appropriate hip muscle strengthening.


External organisations
  • Copenhagen University Hospital
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Physiotherapy


  • groin pain, athlete monitoring, Muscle strength dynamometer
Original languageEnglish
Article number232596711982585
JournalOrthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine
Issue number2
Early online date2019 Feb 20
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Publication categoryResearch