If you're experiencing tightness in the groin area, you're most likely feeling the pull of your both your hip adductors — the muscles that allow the legs to draw together — and the tendons that connect them to the thigh and pelvis. Prolonged sitting, especially with your legs crossed, along with poor conditioning and neglecting to warm up properly before exercise are the main causes of tightness.
Hip adductors help stabilize the hip during walking and running and enable the legs to move inward toward each other. Tightness in the groin area is not only uncomfortable on its own, it can also set you up for a painful groin injury from sudden below-the-waist movements. Tendons attach muscle to bone, and tightness in one usually goes with tightness in the other. Tight tendons in the groin can also cause lower back pain by pulling your pelvis forward and taking your spine out of alignment along the way.
Like the muscles to which they attach, tendons respond to stretching, heat and exercise. Do yourself a favor and lower your risk for future injury by elongating those tendons and muscles in the groin area with these exercises stretches. It's also crucial to stretch and tone the other muscles that stabilizing the gait and lower back, such as the hamstrings and glutes.
Half-Kneeling Groin Stretch
HOW TO DO IT: On a cushioned mat, kneel on your left leg with your right leg forward and your foot on the ground in front of you. Tuck in your pelvis while maintaining a straight but not rigid back. To deepen the pose, lower your hips toward your knee.
After holding the position for 5 to 10 seconds, heel-toe your right foot outward to the side of your body until your right leg is perpendicular to the body. Hold for 5 to 10 seconds and, again, deepen by lowering your hips to your knees.
Seated Glute Stretch
HOW TO DO IT: Sitting in a cross-legged position, place your right foot just inside the left thigh where it meets the pelvis. Lifting your back out of your pelvis, lean forward, craning your upper torso over the floor space in front of you. Hold for 5 to 10 seconds, repeating for three reps. Switch legs and repeat on the other side.
HOW TO DO IT: Stand with your feet wide apart. Extend your right leg out laterally to the right while bending your left leg and lowering your pelvis to the ground. With your right foot turned out at about 45 degrees, extend it outward until you feel a certain pull in the inner thigh. Hold for 5 to 10 seconds, performing three reps on each side.
Bound Angle Pose
HOW TO DO IT: Sit on the floor. Draw your knees up to your body and allow them to fall to each side with the bottoms of your feet touching. Holding onto your toes, press your hips downward, drop your shoulders and lift your crown to the ceiling. Inhale, lower your shoulders and press your chest forward, feeling the pull in your inner and outer grown area. Now exhale and pull your torso forward, pressing your knees to the floor until you feel the pull in your inner and outer thighs and groin area.