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Can You Get a Groin Injury from Lifting Weights?

author image Steve Silverman
Steve Silverman is an award-winning writer, covering sports since 1980. Silverman authored The Minnesota Vikings: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly and Who's Better, Who's Best in Football -- The Top 60 Players of All-Time, among others, and placed in the Pro Football Writers of America awards three times. Silverman holds a Master of Science in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism.
Can You Get a Groin Injury from Lifting Weights?
A woman lifting weights in a cross fit class. Photo Credit IPGGutenbergUKLtd/iStock/Getty Images

The groin is the place where the torso meets the legs. It extends down to the upper thighs. The groin can be pulled, strained or torn during exercise and sports. You can suffer a groin injury if you don't allow your body to have the proper amount of rest between weightlifting sessions or you lift more weight than your body can support.

What Leads to Injury

When you're lifting, whether you're doing cleans, bent-over-rows, lunges, Olympic dead lifts, squats or even bench presses, your groin muscles are under a great deal of stress. Groin pulls can happen if you're trying to move too much weight and use your legs improperly to try and lift the dumbbells. If you're struggling with the weight and feel unsteady, you should let your spotter take over immediately. If you have a mindset that you are not going to give up and you are going to lift the weight no matter how difficult it is, you may suffer a groin injury.

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When to Lift

Another aspect of weightlifting that can lead to a muscle injury is lifting too frequently. When trying to build strength, you need to give your body the opportunity to recover after a heavy weightlifting session. Generally, weightlifters work out every second or third day. If you lifted weights on Monday, you should not lift on Tuesday. You can lift again on Wednesday if your muscles have recovered from the stress of Monday's session. If you're still feeling pain on Wednesday from Monday's weightlifting, you should not lift again until your muscles have fully recovered. If you lift too soon, you may cause a serious groin injury.


Groin injuries are initially treated with ice and rest. If you feel the twinge of a groin muscle pull, stop and get ice on the injury immediately to minimize swelling. Elevate your leg while you ice it. See your doctor if you feel anything more painful than a twinge. If the pain is severe, you may have suffered a tear or rupture. A ruptured groin almost always requires surgery.

Prevention Strategies

Don't let your enthusiasm for building strength overcome your common sense. If you are serious about getting stronger, you need to work out a plan with an experienced coach that will suit your needs and keep you from getting injured. You want to build strength steadily, and you do not want to make any sudden changes in your weightlifting plan, because it could result in an injury. You have a better chance of avoiding groin injuries if you go though a warm-up period that includes stretching, according to Dr. Mark Galland of Orthopaedic Specialists of North Carolina.


Strength training should never include performance-enhancing drugs like steroids or human growth hormone. While they may help you recover to lift more weights sooner, steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs have been associated with devastating side effects. You may feel stronger as a result of using them, but they will give you a false sense of power. Lifting heavier weights under the influence of steroids can result in serious muscle injuries.

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