Stiff groin muscles can interfere with your athletic performance and put you at risk for injury. Regular stretching is key to maintaing optimal range of motion in your groin. It is also important to stretch other muscles that work at your hips and pelvis. Learning correct stretching technique is critical for getting the most out of your stretching routine.
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Muscles of the Groin
The muscles of your groin include the three adductor muscles, magnus, longus and brevis, along with the pectineaus and gracilis. Adduction is a movement that brings your leg in toward the midline of your body, as when kicking a ball. The groin muscles also help to flex your hip as when raising your knee toward your chest, to bend your knee and to rotate your leg inward. Your groin muscles help to stabilize your pelvis when walking, running or moving side to side.
Stretching Your Groin
Groin muscles can become tight from repeatedly using them without regular stretching. But stretching your muscles when they are cold can result in microtears to muscle fibers that can lead to pain and increased stiffness. Before stretching, warm up your muscles with a hot bath or shower, or with five to 10 minutes of moderate intensity cardio. Use dynamic stretches before play to lengthen your muscle spindles and prepare joints for athletic performance. Use static stretches after play to relax muscles and restore muscle fiber elasticity.
Dynamic Groin Stretch
Stand next to a post or wall, using one hand to stabilize and balance. Keep your chest lifted and contract your abdominal muscles. Kick your outside leg forward from the hip as high as it will go, then swing it back as far as it will go. Repeat this swinging motion 10 times, increasing your range with each kick. After performing the forward swing on both legs, swing the outside leg out to the side, then across your body. As with the forward swing, strive to increase your range with each repetition. Perform 3 sets of ten of both exercises on each leg.
Static Groin Stretch
Static stretches take the muscle to its longest length and then hold it there for up to 60 seconds. Sit on the floor with an erect spine and place the soles of your feet against one another. Grasp your ankles and pull your feet as close to your body as possible. Lift your chest and lean your trunk forward from your hips, pressing your knees toward the floor. Breathe rhythmically as you relax into your stretch, holding for 15 to 60 seconds. Repeat three to five times, attempting to increase your range of motion with each repetition.