You might not think much about your groin muscles until they start to bother you. Tissues and muscles in your deep inner thighs and groin can become tight and stiff from poor posture and inactivity. This can lead to weakness in your hips, which can cause pain in your lower back, hips and knees.
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Groin stretches can help reduce pain and improve hip mobility, allowing more freedom to move in your hip joints. Remember to warm up with five to 10 minutes of dynamic activity, such as jogging, before stretching.
Active Groin Stretches
Stretching the inner thighs and groin by holding the stretch reduces nerve stimulation to the region that can contribute to tightness and sensitivity. You can also stretch the area by moving your hip joints toward and away from the center of your body repeatedly. This type of stretching, called active or dynamic stretching, improves tissue elasticity, which increases your range of motion before exercise.
1. Standing Hip Extension Stretch
This exercise stretches the hip flexors, upper thighs and deep groin together, while activating your buttocks. You also work on abdominal and spine stability as you maintain your posture and hold the stretch.
HOW TO DO IT: Stand with your legs together and step back with your left foot. As you tighten your left buttock and shift your weight to your right foot, raise your left arm over your head and extend your torso back slightly. Hold this stretch for three deep breaths, then lean your torso to your right to stretch the tissues extending from your armpits, through your torso and into your left hip and thigh. Hold this stretch for three deep breaths. Repeat the exercise on the other leg and hip.
Read more: Stretches to Improve Low Back Flexibility
2. Active Frog Stretch
This exercise moves your hip joints and inner thighs in and out from the center of your body, stretching and contracting the tissues in the muscles and joints. Doing this exercise on the ground keeps your spine in place while you move only your hip joints.
HOW TO DO IT: Lie on your back and put your feet on the ground together with your legs bent. As you exhale through your mouth, lower your knees to the ground while keeping the soles of your feet together. This stretches all the connective tissues in your inner thighs and groin. Hold the stretch for one deep breath, then bring your knees together. Repeat the exercise for two sets of 10 reps.
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3. Self-Myofascial Release
Self-myofascial release, or SMR, is a self-massaging method that releases tight tissues that cause trigger points, or muscle spasms. By massaging the inner thighs and surrounding muscle groups with a foam roller, massage stick or your own fingers and thumbs, you can reduce the number of trigger points and improve circulation in your tissues. Use SMR before and after your workout to reduce muscle soreness and expedite recovery.
HOW TO DO IT: Hold a massage stick at each end and sit at the edge of a chair with your feet on the ground. Roll the middle of the stick along your inner thigh repeatedly until the tenderness subsides. Roll on your thighs, the sides of your hip, calves and hamstrings to improve overall tissue elasticity.