The muscles within your inner thigh include the adductor brevis, adductor longus, adductor magnus and gracilis, which are referred to collectively as the hip-joint adductors. These muscles work to pull your legs toward the midline of your body -- an imaginary line that divides your body into left and right halves. Performing stretching and strengthening exercises targeting the adductors on a regular basis will help keep them healthy.
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The inner-thigh muscles lengthen as you spread your legs apart when you perform the butterfly stretch. Sit on the floor upright with your knees fully flexed and the bottoms of your feet together on the floor in front of you. Grasp around your feet with your hands and pull them toward the base of your torso as far as possible. Place your elbows on the insides of your knees, then lean forward and press your elbows downward to spread your legs farther apart. Hold the stretch for 10 to 30 seconds. Avoid stretching too forcefully or quickly to prevent a muscle strain.
Standing Groin Stretch
Performing the standing groin stretch lengthens the hip adductors as you place one hip at a time in a position of deep abduction, with your leg extended sideways, away from the midline of your body. Stand with your feet spread much wider than shoulder width, then flex your knees, lean forward at the waist and place your hands on the front of your thighs. Flex your left knee farther and lean your torso in the same direction, straightening your right leg. Stop when you feel a gentle stretch through your right inner thigh, then hold for 10 to 30 seconds. Perform the stretch for your left leg as well.
Lying Hip Adduction
The hip adductors contract to pull your legs together and to control the speed of movement as you spread your legs apart during the lying hip adduction exercise. The exercise requires two resistance bands or a machine that has two ankle straps, each attached to a weight stack via a cable. Attach one end of one band to a sturdy object near the floor and one end of the other band to a separate object about 10 feet away. Sit between the objects and attach the opposite end of each band to your ankles. Lie on your back with your legs extended above your waist and spread apart as far as possible, then pull your legs together above your waist to stretch the bands. Spread your legs again slowly, then repeat.
Side-Lying Hip Adduction
The inner-thigh muscles work to cross one leg at a time in front of your opposite leg as you perform the side-lying hip adduction exercise. Lie on your left side, resting on your left elbow, with your left foot in front of your right foot on the floor. Hold one end of a barbell in front of your abdomen with your right hand and lay the opposite end across the outside of your left foot. Lift your left leg six to 12 inches off the floor, raising the barbell at the same time, then lower your leg back down and repeat. Perform the exercise with your right leg as well. Wear ankle weights to provide resistance if you don't have access to a barbell.