One of the most important parts of our bodies to groin stretches is the groin area. Whether you are male or female, this area of the body is vitally important. You use your groin in essentially every active activity that you could be doing, from walking to extreme sports. An injury to the groin can put you out of action (and on the couch) for quite a few weeks! Thus, even if you aren’t the most active person in the world, it’s still important to stretch and condition this part of your body.
What Is the Groin?
The groin is most commonly defined as the area that is located between the abdomen and the thigh, and it wraps around the pelvic bone. This is the central locus of the body where movement is concerned, and this is why an injury here can knock you off your feet for days or potentially weeks. Whenever you are doing anything strenuous (or even if you’re just waking up and doing some light stretching), including the groin in your routine is essential.
How Have I Injured My Groin?
While there are several ways you could injure your groin, by far the most common groin injury is when somebody has experienced a strain in the hip adductor muscles. The hip adductors are responsible for keeping your femur (the big bone in your upper thigh) and the knee under the center of gravity in the body. Thus, an injury to these muscles is very painful based on how important they are for walking and movement.
How Do I Prevent Painful Groin Injuries?
The only real way to prevent painful groin and prevent tennis elbow injuries are to make sure that you are stretching your groin appropriately before you engage in any strenuous activity. However, while you certainly want to stretch your groin before you start engaging in any strenuous activity, you also want to heed the advice “never stretch a cold muscle.”
Thus, a good way to warm up prior to groin stretches is to take a light jog around the field or on the treadmill for about 5 minutes just to loosen up your body. You don’t have to go at it until you’re sweating and panting, but loosening up your muscles and body is a good way to prepare your muscles for the tension of a stretch.
When you are doing groin stretches, you want to hold each stretch for at least 10 seconds. Ideally, the stretch should be a bit difficult for you to maintain, but not overly painful. If the stretch starts to hurt, then you’ll want to pull off the stretch slightly and relax. You can lean back into the stretch once the pain has gone away.
Make sure to breathe evenly when you are stretching the groin. Choppy breathing can result in your body jerking unevenly and can cause pain or even pulls. Do not hold your breath while you are in deep stretches. You want to breathe slowly and easily. You can also read the guide to goin pulls.
What Are the Benefits of Groin Stretches?
The major benefit of groin stretches is reducing the possibility of injury to the groin. Even if you are not a very physically active person, it’s important to keep your body limber and loose, as tight muscles are more likely to sustain injury. If you are a physically active person, it’s very important for you to ensure that your groin is adequately stretched. This will keep you healthy and safe.
Additionally, the more you stretch your “groin muscles” (the hip adductors, inner thighs, and pelvic floor), the more control you’ll have over these muscle groups. While the groin probably isn’t the first muscle group you think of, the groin is extremely important! This is where our center of gravity is located, and for good reason. The more your groin is stretched and exercised, the stronger the core of your body will be. While you might think big beefy arms or sleek ab muscles when you think of a “fit” person, in reality, the groin is just as important, if not more important than those muscle groups. You want this area of your body to be as fit and limber as possible!
Regular groin stretches can also increase the range of motion in your hip joints. This is important for anybody who is engaged in strenuous activity, but it becomes of particular importance to the elderly. Hip joint problems are common in the elderly, largely because of the damage taken from falls. While there are many things that contribute to a hip injury (like bone health), having maximum flexibility in the hip joints is important for our sense of balance as well as ability to recover from falls. We always recommend that the elderly engage in regular groin stretches for this reason.
Any sort of stretch can help you improve your circulation. Having poor circulation can lead to any number of problems or ailments, which is why we recommend that those suffering from issues like Diabetes, or anything where circulation may be a problem, engage in stretching regularly. Particularly the groin, which is located in the center of the body, is important to stretch in order to promote maximum circulation out to the extremities.
Finally, stretching the groin is a great way to strengthen it. Unlike some other targeted areas of the body, there aren’t that many direct ankle rehab exercises that target the groin, simply because the groin is included with so many other kinds of exercises. For instance, if you are doing squats at the gym, this is largely considered a leg exercise, even though this certainly involves the participation of your groin.
Even though it’s unlikely you will be involved with “groin day” at the gym, it’s important to take the time to stretch your groin separately from your quads or your abs. This group of muscles is so very important to the well-being of your entire body. It’s important to take care of it!
What Are Some Examples of Groin Stretches?
Seated Groin Stretches
The seated groin stretch is probably the most common kind of frozen shoulder exercises and groin stretch. It is often known as the “butterfly” stretch. The way that you accomplish the butterfly groin stretch is to sit on the floor, and then put the soles of your feet together with your knees bent, creating a diamond in your lap, or a “butterfly.” (However, you definitely don’t want to bounce your legs like a butterfly’s wings, as many children are tempted to do. Remember, you don’t want to make any sort of jerky movements while you are stretching.)
Pay attention to the feeling in your groin. For some people, particularly those just starting with groin stretches, this simple seated position will stretch out the adductors more than enough. If you find that you don’t feel the stretch from the butterfly position, you can lean forward and press your forearms into your legs, which will increase the stretch.
This very relaxed groin stretch is good for beginners. However, if you are naturally more limber (or you have spent a lot of time stretching your groin), you may want to move on to something a little more advanced rotator cuff exercises.
Standing Groin Stretches
This stretch is also pretty well known and easier to do. It provides the benefit of being mild enough for the beginner, but it also presents a higher level of challenge than the seated “butterfly” stretch does, so it’s also ideal for those who are more flexible.
This stretch involves standing with the feet planted a little wider than shoulder-width apart. Then, you can start by bending your left leg while keeping your right leg stretched out. Lean over to the left until you feel the stretch in your adductor muscles. The advantage of the standing position, here, is that it’s easy to make this a more challenging stretch if necessary. When you have held the stretch for at least 30 seconds, go ahead and lean to the other side, bending your right leg while keeping your left leg stretched out.
Another way to do this is to keep both legs stretched out and simply bend over and put your hands on the floor. If you do this correctly, you will stretch both legs at the same time. Again, if you need more challenge, spread your legs more or try to touch your elbows to the floor.
Squatting Groin Stretches
This one is somewhat similar to the butterfly position; just instead of being seated, you’ll be up on your toes in more of a “frog” position. Go ahead and squat down onto your toes (or the flats of your feet if your body allows it), and then put your hands on the floor in front of your squatted thighs. You can now press your legs into your arms, using them as a stopgap. This will create a stretch in your groin similar to the butterfly position. This is good for people who want something a little more kinetic than the seated butterfly stretched and IT band stretches, but may not be limber enough for the standing option.
Your groin is one of the most important parts of your body. It’s important to take care of it and ensure that it’s stretched well to keep yourself limber and active.