Tight groin muscles can be particularly painful. Each step taken, each stair climbed causes discomfort, not to mention trying to do anything more strenuous, such as hiking or cycling. Hip flexibility, including the groin muscles, is crucial for moving with ease in your daily life and your active life. Performing a few yoga poses regularly can help relax tight groin muscles and hip flexors.
1. Reclined Bound-Angle Pose
This passive stretch is a great way to relax after a workout. If your groin muscles are very tight, you'll need some yoga blocks or pillows to place under your knees.
- To start, says Yoga Basics, lie on your back on a yoga mat with your arms extended alongside your body.
- Bend your knees and bring the soles of your feet together.
- Allow your knees to fall out to either side. If your groin muscles are very tight, place a yoga block under each knee for support.
- Adjust the position of your feet either closer to or farther away from your hips, depending on how tight your hips are — the farther away, the easier the stretch.
- Hold this position for up to three minutes.
2. Garland or Squat Pose
This is a challenging active pose, which might at first be difficult for people with very tight hips. Don't push beyond your limits says Gaia. You can gradually work into it using a yoga block and a folded yoga mat.
- Step your feet apart about hip-distance apart or wider if your hips are very tight.
- Squat down as far as you can without leaning your torso forward. Keep your feet flat on the mat; if you can't, roll up the end of your yoga mat to support your heels. For more support, you can place a yoga block under your bottom on the lowest, medium or tallest height, with the latter being the best place to start for those with really tight hips.
- Open your thighs wider than your torso and lean your torso forward just enough so that you can bring your elbows inside your inner knees.
- Press your palms together in front of your chest.
- Press your elbows against your inner knees and press your inner knees into your elbows to lengthen the groin muscles, continuing to lengthen the spine.
- Stay here for up to one minute.
Read more: 7 Dynamic Stretches to Improve Hip Mobility
3. Wide-Legged Forward Fold
This standing posture stretches the muscles of the groin, buttocks and backs of the thighs.
- Stand at the top of your mat and step your right foot to the back of your mat.
- Turn to face the side and open your arms out to the side. Your hands should be aligned above your feet.
- With your feet parallel, turn your toes in slightly.
- With a flat back, begin to fold forward at the hips, bringing your palms down to the floor below your shoulders.
- Inhale and extend your spine; then exhale and fold forward as far as you can without letting your back round.
- Grab hold of your ankles or the sides of your feet. Hold here for 30 seconds to one minute, says Yoga Anatomy.
- Walk your hands back out under your shoulders.
- Place your hands on your hips and with a flat back, rise back up to standing.
Read more: 10 Best Yoga Poses for Beginners
4. High Crescent Lunge
This lunge pose stretches the groin muscles as well as the hip flexors, glutes and quadriceps.
- Step your right foot back about a leg's length.
- Stay on the toes of the right foot, and lower the right knee down to the mat. Your left knee should be at a 90-degree angle with the foot aligned under the knee.
- Pull your right hip forward and your left hip back to square your pelvis with the top edge of your mat.
- Inhale and raise your arms up toward the ceiling. Hold here, or take it further by pressing through the right toes to lift your right knee off the mat.
- Extend the right knee fully and sink down a bit lower in your front knee.
- Hold for five deep breaths; then switch sides.